This is the place – a poem about Manchester

The last days were incredibly difficult for the inhabitants of the UK and in particular Manchester. The atrocity has brought people together and some people have been so inspiring with their work, that today I wanted to share this poem by Tony Walsh. A poem about his beloved Manchester, a poem that moved me.

This is the place

In the north-west of England. It’s ace, it’s the best
And the songs that we sing from the stands, from our bands
Set the whole planet shaking.
Our inventions are legends. There’s nowt we can’t make, and so we make brilliant music
We make brilliant bands
We make goals that make souls leap from seats in the stands

And we make things from steel
And we make things from cotton
And we make people laugh, take the mick summat rotten
And we make you at home
And we make you feel welcome and we make summat happen
And we can’t seem to help it
And if you’re looking from history, then yeah we’ve a wealth

But the Manchester way is to make it yourself.
And make us a record, a new number one
And make us a brew while you’re up, love, go on
And make us feel proud that you’re winning the league
And make us sing louder and make us believe that this is the place that has helped shape the world
And this is the place where a Manchester girl named Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side led a suffragette city with sisterhood pride
And this is the place with appliance of science, we’re on it, atomic, we struck with defiance, and in the face of a challenge, we always stand tall, Mancunians, in union, delivered it all
Such as housing and libraries and health, education and unions and co-ops and first railway stations
So we’re sorry, bear with us, we invented commuters. But we hope you forgive us, we invented computers.
And this is the place Henry Rice strolled with rolls, and we’ve rocked and we’ve rolled with our own northern soul
And so this is the place to do business then dance, where go-getters and goal-setters know they’ve a chance
And this is the place where we first played as kids. And me mum, lived and died here, she loved it, she did.

And this is the place where our folks came to work, where they struggled in puddles, they hurt in the dirt and they built us a city, they built us these towns and they coughed on the cobbles to the deafening sound to the steaming machines and the screaming of slaves, they were scheming for greatness, they dreamed to their graves.
And they left us a spirit. They left us a vibe. That Mancunian way to survive and to thrive and to work and to build, to connect, and create and Greater Manchester’s greatness is keeping it great.
And so this is the place now with kids of our own. Some are born here, some drawn here, but they all call it home.
And they’ve covered the cobbles, but they’ll never defeat, all the dreamers and schemers who still teem through these streets.
Because this is a place that has been through some hard times: oppressions, recessions, depressions, and dark times.
But we keep fighting back with Greater Manchester spirit. Northern grit, Northern wit, and Greater Manchester’s lyrics.

And these hard times again, in these streets of our city, but we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity.
Because this is a place where we stand strong together, with a smile on our face, greater Manchester forever.
And we’ve got this place where a team with a dream can get funding and something to help with a scheme.
Because this is a place that understands your grand plans. We don’t do “no can do” we just stress “yes we can”
Forever Manchester’s a charity for people round here, you can fundraise, donate, you can be a volunteer. You can live local, give local, we can honestly say, we do charity different, that Mancunian way.
And we fund local kids, and we fund local teams. We support local dreamers to work for their dreams. We support local groups and the great work they do. So can you help us. help local people like you?
Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes, because this is the place that’s a part of our bones.

Because Greater Manchester gives us such strength from the fact that this is the place, we should give something back.

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Always remember, never forget, forever Manchester.

Written bij Tony Walsh


Writing a book – “I thank Him for His work”

Finding purpose in life can be tough sometimes. The one thing that always gives me a sense of existing, is writing. I love to write as you can so from the amount of blogposts on this blog. But creating and writing is something that I love, so I decided to take up a new project for myself. A project to enable me to grow with my writing and to give me something to focus on, while battling with incredible low. I decided to write a book.

I think everyone knows, I bloody love football and it was just a matter of time before I would start writing another book on football. Funny enough, my most creative moments are when my depressions is the most present. It’s as if the depression pushes my sadness into insane creativity with words. It was on Sunday evening that I decided to write a book about one of my loves: Hibernian FC. The book is called: “I thank Him for His work” – it can be found in the lyrics of The Proclaimers’ Sunshine on Leith.

“Captain David Gray has scored. Hibs are standing on the brink of history!” – Scottish cup final 2016, Rangers FC – Hibernian FC 2-3 Hibernian FC.

This book is all about the club based in Leith, Edinburgh. I guess it’s a bit of a surprise that a Dutch football fan would ever write about a Scottish football club apart from Celtic Glasgow or Rangers FC. But that’s one of my points of this book, it’s going to be something different. This is not your typical glory hunting book about winning more than 20-30 league titles, this is the story of enduring. I don’t pretend to be a historian, well not entirely anyway. I don’t pretend to have invented football or to know everything about this club. But it’s my club, as it’s home to many people’s heart. From Leith, from Edinburgh, from Scotland, from Europe and from all over the world. I am pretty sure they are over a hundred books written about the history, the successes, the curses and the 114-year trophy draught of Hibs. But I don’t want to write about that with 100% accuracy. I want to write this book from the perspective of a Dutch fan, who fell in love with both Leith and Hibernian FC. This is my green-white story and it’s an emotional one.

 “It was the 22nd of August 2010 and it was my first ever visit to Easter Road. I was quite nervous and Mike noticed my feelings and emotions. He thought it was beautiful that I could experience these nervous feel and said the following words to me: “You are going to love it here”. Little did I know then that I would love it. Even more so, considering the outcome of the match. We played Glasgow Rangers (This is before they went into administration and came back as Rangers FC) and lost 0-3 on our own pitch. It was a bitter pill to swallow, because I loath Rangers and everything it stands for. It would turn out to be a very hard season for Hibs, where they almost got relegated to the Scottish Championship. In the end they were staying up and that was amazing to experience. I suppose experiencing a clear victory like that, wouldn’t be very appealing to most football fans out there, but for me it was beautiful. Not the losing part obviously, but the fact that the unity between supporters at Easter Road was great. Hearing the begin tunes of Sunshine on Leith by the Proclaimers and hear thousands of people belt it out with pure emotion. That is what made me fall for this club. I can genuinely say that I fell in love with Hibs and Leith that day.” – Actual part of the book I am writing now.

I want to take you on my journey, my journey through every aspect of what makes Hibs my club and why it means so much to me. I want to grab your hands and guide you through the history of this club, which knows no equal and perhaps, you will finally see at the end of this book, that Scottish professional football thrives. Not because of Celtic or Rangers. No. Because of the diamond that is Hibernian FC. This is my story.

What do you think about my book idea? Let me know!


20 apps I use daily!

I use my phone. A LOT. I know I should use it less, but yeah I can’t, I suppose? Anyway, I want to give you all heads up and share the 15 apps I use daily on my phone. I have no idea why I’m doing this, but I thought it would be a good idea. Oh God, Marc…

1. Facebook 
2. Twitter
3. Instagram
4. Facebook Pages
5. Whatsapp
6. Messages
7. Buffer
9. Pinterest
10. Spotify
11. Youtube
12. Gmail
13. Flashscore24
14. Podcasts
15. Fitbit
16. Reddit
17. Football Manager 2017
18. Evernote
19. Timehop

What apps do you use daily? Let me know in the comments!

What I watched in April

I didn’t watch much TV in March, but April was very different to that. I watched a lot. From films to tv series to documentaries. Some things I watched for the second, third or fourth time and others were completely new to me. Here is my recapitulation of my last month.

I’ve graded them with */**/**. With * being bad/disappointing, ** being solid/okay and *** exceeding expectations or very good.

Ironclad [2011] *
Kingdom of Heaven [2005] ***
Rogue One [2016] **
Dallas Buyers Club [2013 ***
Misconduct [2016] **
Risen [2016] *
London has Fallen [2016] *
The imitation game [2015] ***

Blacklist season 1 [2013] **
Peaky Blinders season 2 [2014] ***
Planet Earth II [2016] ***
I Am Ali [2014] **
Supersonic [2016] ***
The Class of 92 [2013] **
The Barkley Marathons: The race that eats its young [2014] ***
The Fear of 13 [2015] ***

Stand Up Comedy

Louis CK – 2017 [2017] ***
Lucas Bros – On Drugs [2017] ***
Hannibal Buress – Comedy Camisado [2017] ***


What I read in April

I love reading, but you don’t always find the time to read, d’ya know what I mean? Where I read many mental health related books, as you can see from the photo above which is totally unrelated to the books I read in April. This month or rather, last month, I read different books!

Tim Parks – A Season with Verona
If you are a fan of everything to do with Italy, culture, language and football, this is the perfect book for you. Tim Parks, an Englishman living in Italy travels around the country with the local professional football club called Hellas Verona. Where we all know Verona from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Julia, it also is the home of two football clubs: Chievo and Hellas Verona. Seeing a football club from the outside, seeing the passion, euphoria, sorrow and anger, is something special. It’s one of my favourite books and I would 100% recommend it to football fans and culture lovers alike.

Bart Deelen – De race naar het Witte Huis (The race to the white house) [DUTCH]
This Belgian correspondent followed American Politics for almost twenty years and covered five presidential elections. The thing which I found particularly interesting about this, is the different view it gives us. We all get the elections from an American or European perspective, which is often very in depth or briefly. This tells the story of someone who’s been in the US for almost 20 years and gives us the perspective of someone who became part of the American society. A very interesting read.

Hans Jaap Melissen – IS – Tot alles in staat ( ISL/ISIS – capable of everything) [DUTCH]
This is written by an Dutch correspondent who visited in Iraq and Syria, and followed the developments of radical Islamic movements in that part of the world. He starts with 9/11, and the bombing of Iraq which got rid of the majority of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. This left a vacuum for Islamic State to grow. It’s a great read for everyone interested in the development of those radical movements and to understand the world a bit better. It’s maybe not the most bright story of the world, but it’s very raw and it depicts the reality.

What have you been reading lately? Let me know!