It's been so long, as erstwhile popsters and harmonisers Dodgy once sang (on the flipside of "Staying out for the summer", I think), although they weren't talking about this place, which wasn't even so much as a dirty thought in the heads of Mr & Mrs E1 during the heady britpop feuding bands era. I'd tell you what the song was about, but it's been so long I haven't listened to it in a while. Love, things that pass, stuff and nonsense like that, poorly expressed, I suspect.

"There's too much love" sang fey cardigan wearers Belle and Sebastian. Which goes to show how much they know.

"Where's the love?" chirrupped an on-the-money Hanson showing unusual prescience in ones so young. The answer, my friends, is I don't bloody know, go and bother someone else. Or maybe just wait till friday, when L-O-V-E will be dripping from the ceiling, pasted on the walls, shouting at you from every angle. Ignore it. Be Loveless. Just like guitar abusers My Bloody Valentine.

Quick interlude for crap but amusing joke that doesn't really work on screen - Where does Saddam Hussein keep his CDs? In Iraq.


The Cricket world cup has begun, what joy! The hosts lose the opening game to a Lara-revival led West Indies. More joy! Zimbabwe's finest ever cricketer and first black Test player protest against their government. Angst! No-one seems to want to play in Zimbabwe. No joy! Even though apparently there is absolutely no threat to anyone, especially the England touring party, according to those that know. Whatsoever. There's a simple answer to this, however. Don't play in Zimbabwe. Are four world cup points, and reaching the Super Six stage really so important?

Why does cricket, more than other sports, get so intricately woven with politics? Pakistan get to play India about once every 300 years, players repeatedly get banned for participating in 'rebel' tours, but if it was football, all would be well. We'd all smile, and forget how much we hate each other - sport conquers the great divide! - rather than kick-up an awkward international dispute. There's some socio-historical explanation in there, I'm sure, but I don't want to expose my colonial ignorance by attempting to discuss it.

Maybe Iraq should have hosted the World Cup. I don't know much about the geography of the region, but from the name 'Desert Storm', I'm assuming a typical day is a dry day. Ideal for cricket! And for day/night games, burning oil-fields would make a cheap and easy alternative to floodlights. Quick batting tip: on these wickets, you can't afford to play square of the wicket, get in line and drive through the axis of evil.

Actually, it's a terrible idea. I vaguely recall being told once that the critical mass of something or other pretty nasty and nuclear-like was roughly the size of a cricket ball. Simplistic and wrong, I know, but I for one don't want to take that chance.

I'll be looking out for the next series from Ray Mears, though. I'm fairly sure he hasn't visited Iraq yet, but I'd like to see him explain how to make fire when stranded in the desert, using only a secret stash of weapons-grade plutonium ("You can keep a decent fire going all night with the right preparation").

"Hate is all you need", sang the Delgados. They know where it's at.