Monthly Archives: October 2017

Pollution Figures Justify Immigration Controls: I.S. Supporters Most Unwanted

Inspired by the fashion for wearing Che Guevara t-shirts by people who didn’t know who he was I once joked that most of the people frequenting the Sandinista bar in the city I live in, the city of (Chilis song), probably thought it was a Spanish island! It’s real meaning features below. If that ‘joke’ sounds arrogant and obnoxious, I think I’m only average on general knowledge, and am no University Challenge contestant; not a great one anyway!

It’s ironic that in Blighty, after non-white people who want a non-white majority (I’ve heard journalists Ayesha Hazariki and Yasmin Alibiah Brown supporting more mass immigration lately on Sky News newspaper round-ups; the latter said we’ve got it coming for what happened in the colonial era, amazingly using the example of Australia! Meanwhile, Chuku Umunna is one of the leaders of Labour’s Open Britain campaign slogan.) it’s usually the hippy counterculture types; such as Momentum; who advocate open borders mass immigration, while also protesting against more energy use (fracking etc) and nature destruction (city tree-felling etc).

Welcome New Alliances

They are entitled to their opinions, as I am to mine, and I’ve heard Alibiah Brown speak well against Islamism before. I’ve been pleased to see farmers and countryside types joining protests against fracking on the news recently; traditionally people on opposite sides of the animal welfare debate united in trying to protect the countryside environment.

During the greenYgrey years I seemed to provoke negativity from both sides; as well as women and men now seemingly united in protesting against institutional bullying and grooming, which was also high on the gYg agenda.

40,000 Reasons Why Team GB Should Choose Best Team

Pollution figures released yesterday showed nearly all cities and towns in Blighty at disease-causing levels, with 40,000 deaths per year attributed to it. Yet those who argue against mass immigration are treated negatively by the ‘nice leftie types’, who think politics is just making ‘nice’ decisions, spending all the money, and hoping for the best!

I was one before New Labour took Blighty to the brink of civil war and bankruptcy, inspiring the Brexit vote to leave the EU. I am worried about Blighty post-Brexit, especially for animal welfare and the environment, but Labour’s Open Britain policy just seems worse.

My Left-Wing Proof

I write this knowing that many on the right-wing would probably deport me if they could, because I’ve been critical of Blighty, and was a socialist counter-culturalist ‘enemy within’ during the 1980s and 1990s. Maybe because they think I’m a ‘J’ too!

My ideal image of a post-Brexit Blighty is of a semi-socialist environmentally aware utopia, with Cuba and Scandinavia the main inspirations. When I visited both I saw a lot of patriotism, alongside the socialism, and that’s how I think Team GB should be in the future.

I know socialism hasn’t worked a lot of the time, with Venezuela a recent example, although they have apparently faced embargos from the West?

Although I studied the Balkans in university, and the Middle-East was high on the agenda as usual, my main interest in international affairs during the 1980s was the Latin American civil wars. Although the socialists eventually gained power in countries like El Salvador, and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, apparently they were usually a disappointment. The main left-wing group in El Salvador had been the FMLN (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front), and I posed by a poster supporting them when travelling through in 1993:

Scan_20171017 (59)

I’m in the greenYgrey middle now, but still support the ‘primero the gente’ people first slogan. I don’t follow international affairs much now, not believing I can change anything, and it’s not really my business, and doubting how much influence I can even have in Blighty, or should have; I am after all only 1 of 65,000,000, thought to be rising to 70,000,000 in the next few years.

Which means much more pollution without less immigration or more greener policies; electric cars are not set to take over until 2040, which is 23 years x 40,000 deaths or more, which is about 1 million according to a quick web calculation.

And then I hear of nice hard-working Europeans having to leave, while I.S. volunteers are welcomed back! The Yazidi sex-slaves victims of the attempted genocide wasn’t even a topic in the interview with a play-station playing I.S. volunteer.

Sexual harassment in British institutions is high on the agenda, and sexual crimes on the streets is rising, yet some want to welcome back those who were tempted to fight for an enemy of Britain that boasted of their sex-slaves rape, and that have a culture dominated by female subservience and child marriage.

If we’re going to have a limit on non-British people, needed for a country fit to live in, environmentally and socially, can Team GB’s leaders choose the right ones: such as Nepali Gurkha veterans, Asian vegetarians, European allies/non-threats and those from around the world who support our good values and morals (admitting that in the past we haven’t always acted that way, as most or all other countries and cultures haven’t).

Advertisements

Blue Planet II 2nd to greenYgrey3, as Sir David Attenborough is to Me, like capybara is to coati

Blue Planet II showed the sea world is fascinating, but still second to land. The same goes for the presenter, Sir David Attenborough, who’s improving with age…
but the youngster still has some way to go before rivalling me,
as proved by my self-proclaimed genius blog post title poetry,
adding another line to return to the title with another three.

Introduction Explanation

Just a little self-parody comedy intro there about Sir David Attenborough, who’s of course a legend who’s done wonders for awareness of the natural world, and also agrees with me; or I agree with him is probably more accurate, along with Rupert Murdoch; that humanity is destroying the planet and animal world with overpopulation and unnecessary waste.

Although there are lots of ingenious and beautiful creatures under the waves I still prefer the land ones, and especially the furry ones, such as cute coy coatis and cantankerous cuddly capybaras. While the Bolivian El Choro trek was independent, my time in the Brazilian Pantanal wetlands was on an organised safari, arranged after crossing the border by train from Bolivia.

Scan_20171016 (8)

Brazilian Pantanal Animals Photos

Coati living free:

Scan_20171016 (19)Scan_20171016 (22)

Capybara in verdant shelter:

Scan_20171016 (24)Scan_20171016 (30)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were also my old friends, monkeys:

Scan_20171016 (9)

XaW Files: Beyond Humanity has an animal welfare and environmental awareness theme, as I’ve had since my teenage years, although with different levels of importance, such as putting it to one side for most of my twenties spent travelling, before rising again in university and the advent of blogging, when I thought I may be able to do my bit for the planet, like Sir David Attenborough. It was therefore prominent for the whole of my greenYgrey decade, culminating in XaW Files:

South America Tarzan of the Apes

The greenYgrey world I created was complete:

Screenshot (237)

[In reality its Chiara Ferragni from a fresh off the press MSN article about her Blonde Salad website, hopefully showing my positivity rather than competitiveness to her demographic.]

So I escaped back into my travel history, getting back to nature, with a Tarzan recreation photo from the Pantanal in Brazil in 1994, where I saw loads of wildlife, on the eve of a David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II. It’s also a great early example of me greenYgreying!

Scan_20171016 (26)

I had done a lot of monkeying around in South America:

Scan_20171017 (72)

Scan_20171017 (62)

Scan_20171008 (10)

Marc Latham’s books are available on Amazon.

El Choro Trek, La Paz, Bolivia, 1994 Photos

After posting a The Vikings movie recreation photo yesterday I scanned the rest of the photos from the Bolivian El Choro trek from high altitude to lush greenery and back to La Paz last night, so thought I’d create another blog post out of them here.

It was an independent trek with three other people as I remember. From La Paz we got a lift with a truck to the starting point. La Paz is the highest altitude capital in the world, and cold in the early morning in what is their winter. That’s me in the colourful blanket I still had in Africa four years later:

Scan_20171025 (27)

The walk starts at the top of a valley. The high altitude sunlight lightened my hair in this photo:

Scan_20171025 (28)

I fitted in with the llamas:

Scan_20171025 (30)

The trek started down this valley, and was nearly all downhill. Note the settlements on the left, and lovely sunny weather; walking on sunshine!:

Scan_20171025 (29)

The settlements close up:

Scan_20171025 (31)

The scenery got greener as we descended:

Scan_20171011

It was lush greenery at the end:

Scan_20171011 (5)

Marc Latham’s books are available on Amazon.

Vikings Movie Reminder in Bolivian Andes above La Paz

Seeing thatched houses and huts in the Andes on the El Choro trek above La Paz, Bolivia reminded me of old European houses, such as in The Vikings movie that had been one of my favourites when young. Finding a tool in a hut I stayed in along with some other travellers on the three-days hike from 5000 metres (downhill) back down to Bolivia’s capital, after getting a lift to the starting point with a truck, inspired this movie-inspired photo in 1994:

Scan_20171016 (61)

Marc Latham’s books are available on Amazon.

I Am Media: Conspiracy Eggs

One of academic philosopher Mark Rowlands’s books is Everything I Know I learnt from T.VRowlands isn’t being academically precise in the title, but makes the point that you can learn a lot from television, and it’s where most people pick up their world views. In the ‘West’ we seem to have a lot of free information, so have access to enough viewpoints for us to form opinions and think we know as much about our existence as we can.

Beyond the Extremes: Chicken and Egg

When I went to university I wanted to know as much as possible, including like Gary McKinnon what was in Area 51 in the U.S.A, and if there was knowledge of life beyond our world.

I guess I thought it was safe then, but 9/11 and what followed showed that government secrets are necessary. Conspiracy theorists probably argue that was one of the reasons somebody in the ‘West’ did it, along with creating justification for a global military clampdown, but I don’t think the following decade in American politics and international affairs suggests that was the case.

Media Lucky in Blighty and the West

I apparently grew up in the golden age of British children’s television, and think I did in the golden age of comedy too, with many great sitcoms in the 1970s and 1980s. I think there’s enough choice in the media, with the internet and multiple channels (like Quest, Eden and Sky Ocean Rescue [although Rupert Murdoch seems to have been a ‘baddie’ for most of his life in the eyes of the world I welcome Sky joining the environmental battle, as Richard Flanagan did a businessman protecting forests in Tasmania]) providing choice and specialist interest.

While I mentioned the BBC and Hollywood in my criticism yesterday it was with a heavy heart rather than vindictiveness, as they’ve provided most of my entertainment, and a lot of my general knowledge in my life.

Look North Conspiracy?

As nobody else was blamed for the Jimmy Savile years in the BBC I can’t help wondering if there are still such elements controlling operations. Those suspicions were heightened when Harry Gration and Paul Hudson went on a sponsored walk around Yorkshire not long after the Savile years were publicised, and said in the studio that it was suggested from above.

While my charity fundraising, and grooming scandal criticism, wasn’t getting much attention after twelve years of endurance running and freelance blogging, it seemed ironic that the BBC, home of Savile, sent out two middle-aged/old men and the public flocked to them as if there had never been any scandal at the BBC: like Russell Brand being Stylist women’s magazine’s man of 2017!

I don’t think Gration and Hudson were involved in any conspiracy (and especially not Keeley Donovan, local superAAW, who I’m glad to see seems to have been promoted to presenter, as well as getting engaged to be married), and beyond the conspiracy think it was great they did the fundraising, and that people supported them, but within the conspiracy at the BBC, because nobody was blamed for Savile, could have been symbolic tools of evil power people like Savile; I.S. and Weinstein; who think the ‘masses’ are easily manipulated for their entertainment and service.

I write this in hope that Blighty is emerging from that era, with more truth and information, but fear more waves of it, especially from mass immigration and multicultural fascism, as the inside children’s homes scandals of the 1950s – 1980s were replaced by outside children’s homes scandals from the 1980s -2010s.

Will Blighty ever be safe for children? Not with more immigration and cuts I fear, in a stormy seas scenario, rather than the calm reservoir needed. That’s why I continue to write about it, and watch television as much as possible, following my PhD in Communications (mostly media) Studies in 2005.

Doctor Who Am I?

One of my favourite programmes and earliest sci-fi inspirations when young was Doctor Who, on a Saturday evening after Grandstand (sports programme) I think. The newest Doctor Who team of doctor and assistant, Jodie Whittaker and Bradley Walsh, role reversing younger woman and older man, kind of symbolises how I’ve been blogging, and my main target audience, over the last twelve years.

My writing has evolved to being more complex than that, psychologically scientific rather than sci-fi scientific, but I’m sure there’s going to be lots of knowledge and philosophy contained in the series, and especially for the young audience Doctor Who is aimed at. I think Bradley Walsh is a safe option for an older man in the series.

Sorry to Stylist, which I generally enjoy reading, and all his female fans, but I still don’t think the same for Penguin publishers’ choice of Russell Brand to retell the Pied Piper story!

For those who think I’m jealous of Brand, or anti-hippy, here’s some images from my ‘counter-culture’ time in South America in 1994 chasing the same kind of mind dreams and world knowledge that Brand and his followers seem to want; perhaps an early influence on my greenYgrey concept theme for my writing site!?:

Scan_20171017 (16)Scan_20171017 (5)

Marc Latham’s books are available on Amazon.

Muddle-East: Kurds and Iraq Fight at Kirkuk. Avoiding Middle-East.

While I think those ‘Westerners’ who went to fight against I.S. were as heroic as those who went to join them were either deluded or evil, I didn’t feel like going myself, apart from supporting the Yazidis, as I thought it would morph into another war, or other Islamist groups would rise out of it.

Kurds Surrounded, Joe Robinson Arrested

That seems to have happened already, with Iraqi forces advancing on Kirkuk last week, after Kurdish people declared independence, in an oil rich part of the region. They had both been fighting against I.S. until recently defeating it in Iraq.

To the north, the Kurds’ enemy is Turkey, which is a NATO member. The newly Islamist Turkey under President Erdogan seems as complex as the Middle-East as a whole. A few months ago, British ex-soldier Joe Robinson was arrested and imprisoned there after fighting for the Kurds against I.S.

This Blog’s Dilemma

After Greece I went to the Middle-East. As my book states, I mostly had a great time, and as it was the first time I’d been outside Europe, I was often buzzing with the new sights and smells.

However, the Middle-East is such a toxic region, with many ‘Westerners’ imprisoned there, that I don’t know if I should be promoting and celebrating it. That’s one of the reasons I suspended this blog a few years ago, after I.S. attacks made travel more dangerous – while the world is full of advertising, most of it for products with a negative impact, I don’t want to feel responsible for anybody’s decision that ends up harming them.

Personally, I think it will also open me up to the ‘J’ word persecution (not Jersey!) by some in the liberal-left and far-right, who still blame ‘Js’ for all the troubles in the world.

In fact, my atheistic criticism of monotheism (which most of them don’t know the meaning of, or didn’t before I wrote about it anyway!), as well as male feminism, has probably been punished by the Harvey Weinsteins of this world – Stylist magazine’s man-of-the-year, Russell Brand, is the Hollywood star, not me!!

Men who’ve been fighting against the grooming scandal for a decade or two don’t get a look in, while the Pied Piper (releasing his Trickster Tales book of that name at the height of it – if he is a dodgy liberal establishment (Hollywood to BBC!: not everybody there, or even a majority, but they are multi-headed beasts, as academia and other corporations are!!) patsy as some claim, they must have been laughing their heads off at the ‘masses’ buying that book at the height of liberal Britain ignoring the grooming of British children. In an exhibition in Leeds I recently saw that one of the creators of Penguin publishing, Brand’s publisher, was an Asian; I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence or not, and is just a coincidence as far as I know!

Even trying to provide balanced neutrality in talking and writing about the Middle-East, such as claiming the Middle-East wars were a cycle of violence, after researching it quite intensively, if reluctantly, in university; it was a side issue to my Balkans focus; drew allegations of ‘J’ bias from my liberal-left circle of friends, who were like the Momentum wing of Labour now treating Jeremy Corbyn as the new ‘J.C.’, and who have been accused of anti-Semitism.

Middle-East Then and Now 

Although there had been seemingly constant war in the Middle-East during the twentieth century, the biggest concern amongst Westerners in the late 1980s seemed to be inspired by the Midnight Express movie.

The 1978 movie told the story of Billy Hayes, and his harrowing time in Turkish prison after being arrested for possession of hash.

While I’d like to post my nice photos from the Middle-East here, I don’t know if I should, considering the situation in the region now. What do you think? I understand if you don’t want to publicly declare your thoughts; I don’t want to either really!

Like Salman Rushdie found out, the more you want to free yourself from the Muddle-East and its religions/wars, the more you’re drawn into it!!

I don’t know the ins-and-outs of the Middle-East wars, and although I specialised in international affairs in my university study, I now feel like focusing on Britain and its near neighbours/allies.

However, even that’s muddled, with Joe Robinson a hero British ex-soldier now being held captive by a NATO ally after fighting against our deadliest enemy in recent years!

Although the Syria war was horrible, and I wonder if we could have stopped I.S. earlier, I think keeping U.K. troops out of it was a good decision, and I definitely think that Parliament was right to not bomb Assad, as that would have helped I.S., prolonging their evil reign.

The fighting still going on in Syria, and growing around the Kurds, suggests there won’t be peace in the region any time soon, but I think the U.K. is right to stay as isolationist as possible, while helping those fighting against the Islamists as much as possible; and helping British people who fought against I.S. to return, such as Joe Robinson.

 

 

Queen Kate Moss Still Reigns: Unexpected Freedom Show of Unexplained Power

As artificial intelligence technology increases, I wonder if we will one day be able to send all our thoughts into writing, as I recently saw at the Leeds Light festival music being transmitted from thoughts. It’d save me lots of time, because as Chris Packham said in his Asperger’s documentary that his thoughts cascade, mine are overflowing at the moment… with the stimulation of two mugs of coffee.

Leeds Win 3-0 Ending 3 League Games Losing Streak

After I blogged about Leeds United last week they returned to winning ways yesterday, with a 3-0 win. The first two goals were scored by the team’s current most skilful playmaker, Samu Saiz, who is reminiscent of past favourite players of mine, such as Tony Currie and John Sheridan.

With hindsight, I’d compare Peter Lorimer more to Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale in Europe, rather than Lionel Messi, who is more like Saiz and Currie; and Eddie Gray or Johnny Giles in the great Don Revie Leeds side of the 1960s/70s. I also made a couple of date typos in that post, which hopefully shows it’s coffilosophy stream of thought spontaneous prose.

AAW – Alien New Genius Theory

Waiting for the day’s football highlights, I wanted some stimulating television viewing, and The Unexplained Files (human-alien skeletons with non-human DNA and a mysterious ‘UFO?’ on the Baltic Sea floor last night) wasn’t on Quest until 9pm (the evidence contained in that documentary was meeting the above topics like a confluence, after Chris Packham’s Asperger’s documentary last week reminded me of Gary McKinnon, an Asperger’s ‘sufferer’ who hacked into the Pentagon looking for U.F.O. evidence, as I’d tried to use my university study to ‘find the truth’) but I’m going to dam it until later. As you can hopefully see, rather than looking for topics to blog, I’ve got a backlog, that needs to be categorised, otherwise I’d be here all day!

So I watched the George Michael ‘Freedom’ documentary I’d recorded on Monday night. I didn’t know the greenYgrey world’s Queen Kate Moss was involved, and her powerful introduction showed that she still reigns.

After watching the alien programme, and reading more about it today on Wikipedia (that stream of thought is still flooding the one I’m trying to stay on!) I had a new thought that is the first I know of; yes, I’m claiming it as evidence of my self-proclaimed genius!: could female beauty often being defined by women who have sharp squarish cheekbones be inspired by aliens that once walked the Earth, as told in Inca legends featured last night, and others around the world, and the skeletons with non-human DNA; as described on Wikipedia: ‘not least of which the amount of bones on the head that consisted of four in total that had sharp edges’).

Kate Moss Intro to George Michael 

I wasn’t a fan of George Michael in the 1980s. In fact, Wham were antithesis to me: a pagan warrior metaller! I’ve thought since that it might have been better to be clean and stylish and liked Wham for the women, instead of having long greasy hair most of the time, and scruffy clothes. I did watch The Clothes Show, but that was just because I was a fan of the supermodels!

Who knows, I might have ended up in Primrose Hill in 1990s with Kate and the gang. In reality I didn’t even know about PH then; or don’t remember it anyway, I probably did see about it in tabloids; and was more interested in L.A.s Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard inspired by L.A. Metal.

Ironically, while I didn’t like Wham’s music, it was also their squeaky clean image I didn’t like, and then George Michael went more leftfield and wild than the Hollywood bad boys I revered, and died a death that most of them thankfully escaped.

Watching the documentary last night (I probably wouldn’t have if he was just living a normal happy life, such as with Anselmo [inspired by my previous blog posts this week, I wondered if he looked like me, in a Cantonaesque way!?] and not died from a drugs overdose last year), I related to George Michael’s tragic-tortured artist personality, who likes a certain amount of privacy really, while creating an image to take his fans on a journey with, and wanting to be recognised as a true writer; and being disappointed by rejection and animosity from those in the ‘liberal-left’ (being politically correct) that he was trying to please. Freedom was the name of the documentary, and I really liked that song, its message, and its video.

Debbie Harry of Blondie

Anyway, before Kate Moss there was Debbie Harry of Blondie, goddess of the greenYgrey world; who had similarly striking cheekbones.

As proof of my fan love (number 197 in the Blondie fan club!) for her in the 1970s (because of her looks and voice not name), and one of the first examples I have of my original independent thinking, rather than collecting and constructing as instructed in the comics booklets featured in the last blog post, here’s an image of one of my first self-publishing projects:

2015-12-24-11-30-23.jpg

Marc Latham’s books are available on Amazon.

Leeds United: Premier League to Football League Supporter

As you can see from my 1987/88 diary and this blog football was a big part of my life from childhood. That’s one of the reasons people thinking they are a big influence on me late in life annoy me so much. I had a big thirty years of life before coming to Leeds, from being moved from Jersey to  a damp one-parent family council flat where I became asthmatic to travelling to all the populated continents on a shoestring. I learnt a lot at university, and am still learning all the time, with my day-job good for technology and keeping me on my toes, balancing out my coffilosophy deep thought here. Some of the women have inspired some of my feminism, although only added to others before them, and some of my uni friends influenced my appreciation of the British countryside. I’d been hiking around the world before, but hadn’t bothered much in the U.K., trying to be as much of a ‘townie’ as possible when living in the countryside! I’m willing to provide appreciation and thanks to other people, but retract it if they take it the wrong way (such as sexually when it’s not), claim credit for my coffilosophical writing, or don’t consider themselves to have benefitted from knowing me (such as thinking themselves inherently above me). I think the ‘nice’ people have kept me on a ‘good path’, but sometimes think it’s the wrong one, and a dead end, and that I’d be better off deeply embedded with my ‘real demographic’.

Early Influences on Writing

As I’ve written before I dropped out of school in the second year of secondary school, losing interest and increasing rebelliousness, becoming quite politically aware for my age, mixed with the country seeming in turmoil, especially for the working-class. I only wanted to be a footballer anyway, so didn’t think school had any benefit; especially as it was totally focused on rugby union, which I also enjoyed playing, but preferred football.

Rather than schoolwork I preferred reading football and music papers and magazines, as well as The Unexplained: looking back, it’s probably a sign of ADHD, or maybe Asperger’s, having watched a Chris Packham (inspiration for greenYgrey nature correspondent Chris Packwolf!) documentary about his life with a mild form of it. I hope to focus more on that documentary in the near future.

While the first inspiration for my writing goes back to my earliest teaching to read and write, and the books such as Rupert the Bear that probably influenced the greenYgrey, the first big influence was probably the comics I used to read, and during good storylines, used to wait eagerly in anticipation for the next thrilling episode.

I still remember some of those characters. As ‘Hot Shot’ Lorimer played for Leeds, there was a Hamish ‘Hot Shot’ Balfour who played for Princes Park in Scotland; ‘Nipper’ Lawrence who grew up on the backstreets to play for Blackport and of course Roy Race of Melchester Rovers; I recently read the latter’s making another comeback!

Here’s some evidence of my early creativity, inspired and instructed by comics, at the ‘height of my childhood’, born in 1965, so probably the first Olympics and World Cup that I fully knew what was going on, and could watch fully; that’s what I guess now anyway, as they do seem the special ones, although I remember earlier ones:

 

2015-12-24 11.18.40

Leeds United Supporter Career

Growing up in south-west/mid Wales, everybody supports a big team, with Swansea the closest team to the town I lived in, fifty miles away. They were a lower league team in my childhood, so had no supporters amongst my age group that I knew; some had them as a ‘second team’, and took more interest when they reached Division One.

There were lots of Leeds fans, as they were one of the biggest clubs, and as I was more into football than most, I considered myself a Division One Leeds supporter. However, as I played every weekend, I was just an armchair fan.

That changed in the 1985/86 season when a friend with ties to the Swindon area asked if I wanted to go to the Swindon v Leeds F.A. Cup replay on February 3rd, 1986 (Footballsite date: I haven’t got a statto brain like a Leeds fan I saw on T.V. that can remember all such stats). I of course jumped at the chance, and four of us went to the game, which Leeds won 2-1 thanks largely to a heroic display by Mervyn Day in the Leeds goal.

I left to travel in August, 1987, and was away for nearly four years apart from a couple of months. I was then home for about two and a half years, and saw a few Leeds games as they returned to the glory days for a few years under Howard Wilkinson.

After returning in June, 1991, in the 1991-92 last Division One champions season I saw Leeds draw 1-1 at Everton on February 23rd and in my first game at Elland Road 0-0 at home to West Ham on March 28th (Wikipedia) (I’d remembered the Norwich game below as my first home one until now!).

In the 1992-93 season I saw Leeds beat Manchester City 1-0 on March 13th (Premier League).

We lost 0-4 to a great Norwich side on Saturday August 21st, 1993 in the 1993/94 season (Sky Sports), but then equalled it with a win, 4-0 v the Wimbledon crazy gang on October 3rd in the same season (Sky Sports).

Leeds Fan Distant Fantasy and City Reality

I left for the Americas later that autumn, and after returning the next autumn enrolled in an access course, and after completing it in 1995 was accepted by the University of Leeds.

I had a season ticket the first year, but then started working there, and I think saw every game over the next decade, when there was lots of glory without quite winning anything, but I did go to Wembley to see the League Cup final in my first season, and the Champions League semi-final season.

After gambling on regular Champions League football, and off-field distractions, there was unfortunately a big slump that has partially ended, with promotion from Division One to the Championship, and the early season was looking good, briefly leading the league, but not the last few games.

I write this having already achieved a winning season for my 5 games minimum: winning 4-1 v Port Vale, 5-1 v Newport and 2-0 v Brum; I also had a ticket for the 5-0 win v Burton but a ferry cancellation meant I didn’t make it, but I was there in seat and spirit!

Although I thought of myself as a Premier League Leeds supporter before arriving in the city, unfortunately I don’t feel like one any more, although I am still a keen follower. I’m not from Leeds or Yorkshire (although I found out after arriving that my Latham name is!), and don’t really want to go to every game like some fan(atics) do.

That’s probably partly down to the team not doing that well, the way football has gone in the last twenty years and my age too. If Leeds were doing well, it was still cheap to go, and I didn’t have other interests, such as this writing, I probably would want to go all the time!?

I feel able to write this with Leeds in a mini-slump, in the hope that it motivates the team to return to form for a tough schedule of four games in ten days. Good luck!

Like Peter Ridsdale, I nearly took Leeds United to the top of the world, after wearing the shirt for the whole of my Jiri to Gokyo Ri (5,357 m [17,575 ft]-high peak) trek in 2009:

Nepal 113

Marc Latham’s books are available on Amazon.

Leeds United: Lorimer to Cantona Traveller

I was born in 1965 and started supporting Leeds United in 1970. They were one of the biggest clubs in the country at the time, and would go on to be a legendary one until Don Revie left to manage England in 1974. I can’t remember much about those seasons, apart from the two F.A. Cup finals.

Peter Lorimer and Eric Cantona, Leeds United Footballers

Peter ‘Hot Shot’ Lorimer was one of the star players and best known, because he was renowned for having the best shot and scoring spectacular goals, kind of like the David Beckham or Lionel Messi of his time; before European football was televised much in Britain; or Kevin De Bruyne in the Premier League at the moment.

Uncannily, not only was Lorimer my favourite footballer, but I think he looked a bit like me too… and Eric Cantona when at Leeds!

Image result for lorimer images Image result for eric cantona  leeds united images

From Lorimer to Cantona there was a decade and a half of strife. I listened to Leeds win promotion back into Division One on top of Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong in 1990. In 1991 I returned home on the Trans-Siberian from Beijing, via the Soviet Union (as it was then). I continued on the train to Prague in Czechoslovakia (before it divided), Budapest in Hungary and Berlin in Germany (recently united), before hitching back to Britain from there (taking a day to reach the port, Calais I think).

So I was back for the 1991/92 season, when Leeds won the last Division One title, with the help of controversial midfield/forward, Eric Cantona. He inspired my haircut, and I used to play with the number 2 shirt for my local team, as Cantona did, even though I was a centre forward at the time.

I also liked the fact that he tried to be an artist and  philosopher, providing a bridge to the ‘counter-culture’ I also liked. My favourite rugby union player of my childhood was also a Frenchman (maybe my Jersey birthplace influence), Jean-Pierre Rives, a ferocious tackler in my favourite position of flanker. I didn’t know what happened to him after he retired from rugby until looking him up during the writing of XaW Files, and found out he was also an artist!

Here’s some photos I consider my most Cantonaesque (and Lorimer) from my next travel to the Americas in 1993/94, when Leeds United’s resurgence also inspired me to take a replica shirt!:

Scan_20171016 (60)

Scan_20171017 (2)Scan_20171017 (3)