Here’s another selection of posts from my journal, with my last month of exams for my Accounting & Finance course at university. Euro 2004 has also been getting everyone excited, and I’ve found another top 100 list that I wanted to share. So I hope you enjoy going through this latest set of entries!
Tuesday June 1, 2004
The revision’s still going well. My next exam is this Thursday, and should go ok.
BBC Radio 2‘s listeners have been voting for their favourite songs of all time, and a top 100 has been produced. Many surveys of this nature have been done, I know, but it’s always interesting to see what people come up with. So the BBC Radio 2 Sold On Song Top 100 is as follows, with a surprising twist at the top:
- A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procul Harum
- Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
- Angels – Robbie Williams
- Hero – Mariah Carey
- Imagine – John Lennon
- Move It – Cliff Richard
- Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
- Bat Out of Hell – Meat Loaf
- Everyday – Slade
- Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
- Hey Jude – The Beatles
- Live Forever – Oasis
- Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
- One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men
- God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
- One – U2
- Meet on the Ledge – Fairport Convention
- Mr Blue Sky – ELO
- Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks
- Halfway to Paradise – Billy Fury
- True – Spandau Ballet
- In My Life – The Beatles
- When You Say Nothing At All – Ronan Keating
- Home Thoughts From Abroad – Clifford T Ward
- Hotel California – The Eagles
- Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
- Dancing Queen – Abba
- Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen
- With or Without You – U2
- Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush
- Downtown – Petula Clark
- Streets of London – Ralph McTell
- Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Yesterday – The Beatles
- Careless Whisper – George Michael
- Nights in White Satin – The Moody Blues
- Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
- A Day in the Life – The Beatles
- Love Will Tear us Apart – Joy Division
- Wonderwall – Oasis
- Barcelona – Freddie Mercury & Monserrat Caballé
- I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt
- That’s Entertainment – The Jam
- Unfinished Sympathy – Massive Attack
- Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
- You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me – Dusty Springfield
- American Pie – Don McLean
- Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
- Let it Be – The Beatles
- Annie’s Song – John Denver
- Teenage Kicks – The Undertones
- That’s Alright Mama – Elvis Presley
- Layla – Derek & The Dominos
- Alone again (Naturally) – Gilbert O’Sullivan
- Don’t Dream it’s Over – Crowded House
- It Must Be Love – Madness
- Life on Mars – David Bowie
- Romeo and Juliet – Dire Straits
- Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
- Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley
- I Am the Resurrection – The Stone Roses
- Miss You Nights – Cliff Richard
- My Sweet Lord – George Harrison
- Something – The Beatles
- Stardust – Nat King Cole
- Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles
- Your Song – Elton John
- Everybody Hurts – REM
- I heard it through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
- Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
- Feel – Robbie Williams
- Fire and Rain – James Taylor
- Hunting High and Low – A-Ha
- Same Old Rock – Roy Harper
- Heroes – David Bowie
- I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) – Meat Loaf
- Martha’s Harbour – All About Eve
- Who Knows Where The Time Goes? – Fairport Convention
- Beautiful – Christina Aguilera
- Being Boring – Pet Shop Boys
- Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
- Don’t look Back in Anger – Oasis
- Every Breath You Take – The Police
- Fairytale of New York – The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl
- Losing My Religion – REM
- Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi
- Witchita Lineman – Glen Campbell
- All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
- Closer to Fine – The Indigo Girls
- Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd
- (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
- I’m Not In Love – 10CC
- Puppy Love – Donny Osmond
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Eva Cassidy
- Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
- Surf’s Up – The Beach Boys
- This Charming Man – The Smiths
- Tracks of my Tears – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
- Without You – Harry Nilsson
- Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
There are plenty of great tracks in there, and a few I don’t know too. And I’m not disappointed that Queen aren’t at #1, as they’ve topped so many polls before anyway. Having said that, while Whiter Shade Of Pale is a good song, I’m not sure that I’d put it at the top. The Beatles appear to have the most entries, which is hardly a surprise, given the sheer number of songs they’ve made. There are no tracks by The Who though, which is a shame as I’ve been getting into them quite a bit recently. We could argue for ages about songs that didn’t make it though, there are just so many great tracks that have been produced over the years. But on the whole the list would make a great CD compilation – although I suspect most people (like me) own most of the songs already on other collections.
And another quick music fact – Elvis has spent more time in the UK charts than he did alive. That’s according to Guinness World Records this week. He’s spent the most time in the charts, while Queen were in 4th place.
Friday June 4, 2004
The most important thing to remember this week is that it’s the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Although the England flag is currently flying for Euro 2004, it should also be flying for all those brave men and women who fought for the freedom we have today. Without their sheer bravery and skills, we could be living in a very different world today, and we thank them for that.
As for my own achievements, I did my Financial Management exam yesterday. And it went reasonably well, I think. We’ll soon find out anyway. Only 2 more left to go – I’ll have finished this time next week!
As I mentioned though, Euro 2004 is fast approaching, and England’s first match is on June 13th. I’m probably not going to watch the matches, unless we reach the late stages of the competition, but I’ll keep an eye on how we do, of course. Still, call me pessimistic, but I can’t see us winning it. Then again, miracles do happen – Tim Henman has reached the semi-final in the French Open tennis championship, and he’s the first British man to do that for 41 years. Perhaps that will give him a boost for Wimbledon, but don’t get your hopes up too high!
This, of course, means there’ll be a lot of sport on the TV over the next few months, causing many people to moan no doubt. I don’t watch much sport anyway, but I can always find other stuff to watch. Indeed, I’ve got something more interesting to watch this weekend, as we’ve been lent the second Harry Potter film (The Chamber Of Secrets) by one of Dad’s friends from work. We borrowed the first one this time last year, which was good fun, so the second one probably is as well. If it is good, perhaps I’ll buy them for myself. I’ll let you know what I think anyway.
Sunday June 6, 2004
It’s exactly 60 years after D-Day took place, back on 6 June 1944. I sincerely hope the celebrations go well for everyone today. There will be some sadness as well, as we remember those who gave their lives for the freedom we have today, but everyone feels proud too. All the stories that we’ve been hearing this week show just how brave all our troops were. And yet, we’ll never know just how scary it was at the time, it’s just unimaginable.
It was such a huge operation, to storm Normandy’s beaches like that (Operation Overlord, to be precise). The Allies had to go to enormous lengths to fool the Germans, particularly making them think they would land somewhere else. They had to fool the German’s army, navy and spies, and somehow, they did it. And D-Day should actually have been on June 5th, but was postponed by a day due to the weather. Had the Germans got wind of the truth in those extra 24 hours, the outcome for us could have been very different. But they didn’t and, while many lives were lost, it marked the start of the end of the Second World War. We cannot thank our brave men and women enough.
On a happier note, England beat Iceland 6-1 in a friendly match before Euro 2004 yesterday. I doubt they’ll hammer any teams by such an extent in the championship, but we could do reasonably well. Also on a sporting note, Tim Henman lost the semi-final of the French Open, but you can’t say he didn’t try. He’s just too unpredictable – he can do really well in one set, and then badly in the next.
It’s the European Elections on June 10th in the UK, and there are local elections too, and I’ve voted in both (by post). There have been trials in some areas for 100% postal voting – i.e. there are no polling booths, everyone votes by post. This has resulted in some cock-ups though, with errors on the ballot papers and, therefore, delays in getting them out. Many people just, and only just, got theirs in time.
Oh, and one more piece of news – ducks have regional accents apparently!
As for me, I’m still revising for my last 2 exams. I also saw the second Harry Potter film last night, and enjoyed it. Despite being long (2 and a half hours), it keeps you watching until the end, like the LOTR films. I’ll read the books one day I expect.
Tuesday June 8, 2004
I had my Economics exam today, and it was the best of the lot so far. I’ve been most confident about that one, and the questions were good. Plus you get a choice of 4 out of 12 questions to answer, which is pretty generous. So I should get a good mark from that one. Just one more exam to go! My last exam is on Thursday afternoon, and it’s the shortest one (only 2 and a half hours). Then I’ll be free! Woohoo!
Friday June 11, 2004
I had my last exam yesterday, and it went better than I expected. We had new people teaching the course, so we couldn’t really go on past exam papers to get an idea of what we would be doing. The module also relied heavily on reading articles – not easy, but I think I’ve got by. The results are out on June 30th. I think I should have passed them all, so I shouldn’t have to do any resits. Here’s hoping anyway!
The news has been marred by 2 deaths in America this week – former US president Ronald Reagan has died from Alzheimer’s aged 93 the other day. and now blind musician Ray Charles has passed away aged 73. Lots of people have been going past Reagan’s coffin in the US to pay their last respects, as he was loved by many Americans. I know very little about him myself, other than the fact that he was an actor long before he became president.
Euro 2004 starts this weekend, so best of luck to the England team! And I’ve got bits and pieces to do – I think a tidy-up of my paperwork is in order to start with, now the exams are over!
Monday June 14, 2004
Well, that’s just typical! Damn you France!
It’s probably pretty obvious what I’m on about. England played their first Euro 2004 match last night. We’ve never won the opening match of the European Championships, and France were a tough team to start with.
Lampard scored for England in the 38th minute with a great header. It was 1-0 to us at half-time, and in the second half nobody scored for the main 45 minutes. So with all 90 minutes of the match gone, England had it in the bag… or so we thought…
Injury time was upon us, 4 minutes of it… France gets a free-kick in the 91st minute, Zidane takes it – and scores! Fair enough, at least we get a point for drawing…
France then get awarded a penalty (perfectly fairly). Zidane takes that too – and scores again! 2-1 to France! The match ends, England fans go home in shock!
England were so close, yet it just slipped away. It’s a great shame, and it now means we’re at the bottom of the table. Still, all is not lost. We’ve got 2 more games to go in Group B, and could still go through. It’s not over yet. Our next match is on Thursday.
The only other thing in the news is the European elections. Smaller parties, such as the UK Independence Party (UKIP) have been getting a larger share of votes, with people protesting against the government over the Iraq war. There’ll be a general election next year, so it will be interesting to see how long that lasts. The British National Party thankfully didn’t win any European seats. UKIP are a bit extreme as well though. But I didn’t vote for either of those anyway. We should be in Europe, but I think most of the country doesn’t know or understand much about it, because we aren’t being told enough, and people don’t trust the government enough either. That’s largely why people are reluctant to vote. I did vote, as should everyone else, but it’s not easy to know who to go for.
Friday June 18, 2004
That’s better England! We’ve beaten Switzerland 3-0, with 18-year-old Wayne Rooney becoming the youngest person to score for England. He scored twice, and did a handstand-somersault in celebration after his first goal, so it was lucky he didn’t injure himself! We have to play Croatia next on the 21st, and we only need a draw to go through. Any of the teams in Group B could go through though. If we win, we definitely go through.
As for me, I’ve had a good week. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I met up with two friends of mine from school in Exeter. One of them is my mate who’s come down from Bournemouth, where he’s finished his first year at uni, while the other is a friend who lives locally, and we saw her flat. We met up for lunch on Tuesday, went ten-pin bowling on Wednesday, and played pitch and putt on Thursday, so it was good fun. We also met a couple of members of a bowling club for visually impaired people on Wednesday, and it sounds like they have a great time. They meet on Wednesdays, but when I get a job I doubt it would be possible for me to get along to that. Weekends wouldn’t be a problem, but they don’t meet then unfortunately.
Tuesday June 22, 2004
ROONEY! ROONEY! ROONEY!
What more needs to be said? He’s only 18, yet he’s had some cracking goals in Euro 2004. That helped England beat Croatia 4-2 in last night’s match. That means that we go through to the quarter-finals, where we have to play Portugal (the hosts) on Thursday, so that should be interesting. Rooney’s a great player, and he’s taking it all in his stride. He can’t lose his temper really, he’s already got a yellow card from earlier in the tournament – one more booking and he’s out for the championship, and we need him.
I’ve got some more stuff from Amazon. First, there’s the Deluxe Edition of The Who’s debut album (My Generation), with plenty of bonus tracks. I’ve got it on now, and it’s sounding great so far. Secondly, I’ve got the complete set of Rising Damp (4 series) on DVD, with an unbroadcast episode. I’ve also got The Who’s Live At Leeds on the way, and the first 2 Harry Potter DVDs, as I enjoyed those films. As I didn’t read the books first, I’ve got nothing to compare the films to, which perhaps makes them more enjoyable.
Friday June 25, 2004
I knew it was going too well for England. No sooner have our hopes been built up, then they’re dashed again. Our match against the host country Portugal last night was over 2 hours of high drama, and luck was not on our side.
We did score early on, with Owen taking an early chance. It looked to be going so well. Halfway through the first half, however, Rooney’s boot came flying off, and he ended up getting his foot tangled up with a Portuguese player. Despite trying to continue, Rooney was clearly unfit, and was substituted. Having been taken for x-rays, we now know that he’ll be out of action for a month. Not that we’ll need him now, but things could have been different if that accident hadn’t occurred. A great shame.
Our hearts were dented, but we were still winning for most of the game. However, Portugal then equalised and, at the end of the game, the score was 1-1. It should, however, have been 2-1 to us. We did score another goal towards the end of normal time, with a great header from Sol Campbell near the goal. But the Swiss referee disallowed it! He wasn’t a great referee in the whole match, to be honest, and many of his decisions were questionable. Portugal seemed to get the advantages from him. Had our second goal been allowed, which it should have been, we would have been through to the semi-final. But, it was not to be…
Being the quarter-finals, a score of 1-1 meant extra time. Nobody scored that elusive ‘silver goal’ in the first 15 minutes, so another 15 minutes were required. Portugal scored. We thought it was over, but the 15 minutes were not over. Amazingly, we equalised! Extra time ended with the score on 2-2.
It’s great that we equalised, but the match couldn’t be over with a draw. Someone had to win. It all came down to those 2 words we all dread – “penalty shootout”. Partly skill, partly lottery, the tension could not have got any higher by this stage. David Beckham started for England – and missed completely, a mistake which he’ll never live down. The penalty spot was not satisfactory for many players during the shootout, but as everyone was playing in the same conditions, you can’t argue that it was unfair. It’s a sand-based pitch at that stadium, which doesn’t help, but it’s not the spot’s fault.
Of course, Portugal fired home their first penalty, and we were trailing by a point. Then, Portugal missed, and the penalty score came to 5-5. So it was now sudden death. Darius Vassell shoots for England… but the Portuguese goalie saves it. Portugal now have to take their penalty. Who takes it? Their own goalkeeper! And he scores! Not unexpected, but a great shame for all England fans.
All in all, it was an interesting match. Some odd decisions by the ref didn’t help things. But, in the end, it has to be said that Portugal were the better side. They did deserve to win, as they were just playing better than us for most of the match. Our players are good, but not good enough. Beckham in particular is not on form. He’s not injured, but he just doesn’t seem to be as alert as he used to be. He maintains that he’ll still be Captain though, and Sven has stated that he will stay as the manager for the team’s World Cup campaign in 2 years time. Let’s hope we can improve by then.
Apart from that, I went to a careers fair at the university on Wednesday and picked up plenty of information. I’ll go to the careers advisors next week to sort out my CV and other things. At the moment, I’m just looking at the information that I picked up, plus various websites, to give myself things to think about.