We’re away at Charlton tonight. If I wasn’t otherwise occupied I might have gone; the Valley is only round the corner and I’ve never been. I like visiting other sides’ grounds – it reminds me how lucky I am to support a team in whose ground it will forever be the 1980s (I genuinely mean that). It goes without saying that we must win.


I’m not only going to talk about flowers here, but I bought some daffodils yesterday and they were all closed up, and this morning they had started to open, and it occured to me that daffodils are an underappreciated flower. You can buy a bunch of twenty for 99p, and they grow all over the place (there are some growing right next to the snowdrops on the unlovely patch of scrubland outside the Ritzy), and I think that’s why we take them for granted. A rose flaunts its beauty in an unabashed way, but there’s something very modest about the daffodil. And it’s no less beautiful for that.

Transit maps of the world

This has just arrived in the post, and it’s very beautiful. Maps and trains, all in one book! If I had a coffee table, or a house in which to put a coffee table, it would be taking pride of place. As it is, it’ll be going into a box along with all my other worldly goods.

And while we’re on maps, there’s no reason not to plug my favourite (fictional) version of the tube map, and this, which is even better but sadly isn’t available as a poster. Although, of course, I’d have nowhere to put the poster, due to the aforementioned lack of anywhere to live. <Sob>

Monday update: Apparently the map of the world’s transport systems is available as a poster. From, uh, the London Transport Museum. I shall have to pay them a visit.


I just got carried away in the newsagent’s and bought £1.65’s worth of pick’n’mix. I can’t explain it; they didn’t even have any of the best sweets. I was just instinctively spurred into action by eight-year-old me. Anyway, it got me thinking about the best pick’n’mix sweets so here, in ascending order for added excitement, are my top five ever pick’n’mix sweets. I was going to do a top ten but I can’t think of ten, and I don’t want to compromise the integrity of the list by including placeholders.

5. Kola cubes
4. Shrimps
3. Chewing nuts (better than they sound)
2. Jazzies
1. Fizzy cola bottles (but the non-fizzy kind were rubbish)

I was going to include teeth because they were quite cool in a faintly horrifying way, but they never tasted that good.

Update: they did have fizzy cola bottles, but I’m eating one now and it’s very disappointing. Overly chewy (I suspect its best before date may be be some time past) and barely fizzy at all. There’s a lesson in this: you can’t go back.


Palace are at home to Southampton tomorrow. If I could sacrifice an animal to guarantee a win, I would. Our odds are much shorter than theirs, which is always cause for concern.

Southampton are one of the sides who we know we’re better than, but who are often, incomprehensibly, doing quite a lot better than we are. See also: Charlton, Norwich, Sheffield United, Ipswich, Leicester, various others (it depends on the time of day). To have them way down in fourteenth (that’s FOURTEENTH) while we’re in fifth (that’s FIFTH) puts a whole new slant on playing them.