Harry Potter and the Big Coincidence

So, I finished reading the last Harry Potter book to Alex tonight. Two or three years’ worth of bedtimes, and astonishing to think, I’ve read all seven books out loud. Stephen Fry, eat your heart out. Alex can’t even remember that far back, when he was just four years old and in Reception class, so effectively he’s never known a bedtime without Harry Potter being read to him. I don’t know how we’re going to fill the void!

The incredible thing was, today we went up to London. By train. From Cambridge to Kings Cross. So naturally we went to take a look at Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters. On the very same day that we finished the Harry Potter series. How about that for a coincidence?

I’ve enjoyed the books. I can’t say I kept up with every last character and detail, and I was confused as to how Neville got the sword of Gryffindor at the end (did Griphook put it back in the Sorting Hat or something?). I also thought Voldemort went without much of a fight – or at least with an uncharacteristic number of fundamental fighting mistakes. I can’t wait for the last two – no, three, apparently – Harry Potter films. Not least of which because he seems to spend most of the last two books under the Invisibility Cloak, which is going to be rather hard to film.

As many questions as answers, probably

After I submitted a statistical analysis of Town’s season to Those Were The Days a week or two back, the good folks there have been badgering me for more, and I have to admit I couldn’t resist. Anyway, if you want to read all five I’ve now done, here they are:
Boring Boring Ipswich
Did We Punch Above Our Weight This Season?

Did We Blow it All Mid-Season?
Tough Acts To Follow For Magilton?
…and the one which kicked it all off:
2007/08: How Does it Compare?

Ebbsfleet Utd’s Big Day Out ends happily

What a great day for Ebbsfleet United, and yah-boo sucks (oh yes, my arguments are cultured) to over-opinionated, under-informed fools like Martin Samuel in The Times, who just took the easy option and stuck the boot into My Football Club without stopping to think that perhaps – just perhaps – these 29,000 souls who’ve invested real money into a real football team might be proper football supporters, not kids having a laugh.

The huge Ebbsfleet following at Wembley today was as real as it comes, and included many thousands of new supporters from all over the world joining the army from Kent. The powerful developments at this club which are being driven by the MyFC project are going to have a positive impact throughout football in the long run. So it might not change the game, but it’s another small and solid step away from the direction in which the game is being dragged.

Commiserations to Torquay, whose season has ended in such disappointment, but someone had to lose for those of us in red to have had such a good time. You may not believe in fate, but what were the chances of Ebbsfleet United getting to Wembley for the first time in the club’s long history (never mind winning), so soon after 29,000 real supporters took over? This thing is going to be really exciting, and today will go down as a remarkable start. Worth the £35 subscription fee on its own? You bet.

Some statistics about Ipswich Town’s season

Finding myself having to do some Excel work today, and looking for some more interesting stats to distract me, I pasted in the Championship tables since the new tiering began 16 seasons ago (1992), so I could have some fun with unusual ratios and the SORT function in general. Read More