woensdag 13 juni 2012

Euro 2012 Prediction: Holland vs Germany

After losing their opening game to Denmark, the Dutch desperately need a win (and hope that Denmark doesn't beat the Portuguese). But against the Germans it will be no easy task.

We bet that the game will be dramatic, with lots of goals on both sides.
Our prediction? A draw: Holland 2 - Germany 2

zaterdag 9 juni 2012

Euro 2012 Prediction: Ukraine vs Sweden

On paper Sweden and Ukraine are the weaker teams, and most experts don't see them progress to the next round. A draw will probably mean elimination, so both teams should do their best to win this game.

We predict a hard-fought game: Ukraine 1 - Sweden 2

vrijdag 8 juni 2012

Euro 2012 Prediction: France vs Engeland

France against Engeland is a classic game of rivalry. However, this time both teams are not as glamorous as they once were. France has had a very bad tournament in South Africa, and England can't seem to convince the rest of the world that they can still shine on the highest level. They haven't had a major trophy since 1966, and even that one was controversial.

So it's time for revenge for both teams, and it will show on the pitch.

We predict: France 2 - England 2

Euro 2012: Prediction Republic of Ireland vs Croatia

Don't we all love the Irish? They give everything, they play with heart and soul but unfortunatly rarely make it past the second round. In a group with Spain and Italy it might be very difficult to do a lot of damage, but against Croatia they could get their moment to shine.

We predict a good game with lots of action and Republic of Ireland 2 - Croatia 1

Euro 2012 Prediction: Spain vs Italy

Let's be honest: not many people give Italy a chance of winning against Spain. Not only have they had a weak preparation, but recently Italian football was shocked by (yet again) a corruption affair.
And Spain are the favourites to win the title (and thus taking 3 in a row after winning Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010).

But...imagine that Italy want to show the world they can be just as good as at the end of last century. And imagine that they play their Catenaccio game perfectly... then Spain could well face embarrassement.

We predict an unexpected result: Spain 2 - Italy 2

Euro 2012 Prediction: Germany vs Portugal

Yes,we know Group B is the Group of Death. No need to repeat it. With the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal in one group, you already have part of a tremendous quarter-final filled in. But unfortunately for them (and us) they meet at this early stage.

Germany are in the top 3 of the favourites (with Spain and The Netherlands) and they need to show their form on this game. Losing to Portugal could well mean the end of their campaign. Portugal on the other had will need at least a point to have a chance of reaching the final 16.

Our prediction: a very nice game with lots of goals and drama. Germany 3 - Portugal 2 with Ronaldo and Özil in the limelight

Euro 2012 Prediction: Netherlands vs Denmark

On Saturday 9 June 2012 Holland face the Danish Dynamite again. Unfortunately the Danes are not so strong as they were at the end of last century. But who knows, maybe it's time for the Danes to sneak past the Orange Army.

We predict a narrow victory for the Dutch : The Netherlands 2 - Denmark 1

Euro 2012 Prediction: Russia vs Czech Republic

We are looking forward to seeing the Russians play the Czech Republic today. Russia have shown in recent matches that they like to attack (winning 3-0 against Italy for example) and the Czech team are also quite ambitious.

In the end, we predict two goals from Arshavin and one from Pilar, making it Russia 2 - Czech Republic 1

Euro 2012 Prediction: Poland vs Greece

Today sees the first game of the Euro 2012 competition. On July 1 2012 we will know who will follow Spain as European Champion, but first 31 games need to be played.

The first one will be against the co-organizer, POLAND, and the 2004 winner GREECE. Expect a tight, closed match with lots of defensive power and not a lot of goals.

Our prediction: POLAND  1  -  GREECE 0

maandag 28 mei 2012

DFDS Seaways, a valid alternative to Eurotunnel?

If you want to cross the Channel (that little Straight of Dover that measures 34 kilometers) you have a number of options.

Swimming is the cheapest, and apparently not impossible as more than 1000 people already did it before you.

But let's say you are not adventurous and want to use a more conventional type of transport. You could fly of course, but the price would be high and the time lost quite substantial. First you need to go to the airport, then arrive 2 hours in advance. Once you touch down in any of the English airports you would have a long custom control to go through and spend at least an hour on the Tube (that is the London Metro/Subway).

No, by train is more logical. You can take the Eurostar if you are traveling on foot, or the Eurotunnel if you want to put your car in a cattle wagon-style vehicle. Both options will only take 30 minutes, but you need to check in on time and in the case of the Eurostar you'll need to get to the train station. Big advantage is that you will be dropped in the middle of London (Waterloo Station) or in the case of the Eurotunnel in Ashford.

A last alternative (and one I tried this month) is taking a ferry from Dunkirk or Calais to Dover. There are a number of companies that organise 90-minute ferry services and we opted for DFDS Seaways. They had a great offer at only 54 euro return for one car and up to 9 passengers (not sure how I could fit 9 passengers in a small Renault Scenic). The advertise with the promise that you will get a premium service at a low price, but only part of that promise is true. They are cheap, yes, but the service is not special and the condition of their ships are not so good. Lots of broken chairs, stained carpets, several decks that were closed and an overpriced shop and cafetaria.

But beggars can't be choosers and it's still great value for money. No hassle, just order online, fill in some details and before you know it you'll have your booking reference which is the only thing you'll need on the day of sailing. If you want to check them out: DFDS Seaways

zondag 27 mei 2012

England - Wales 2012

This year we went to England and Wales with our two children. A perfect family location, and a great way to test www.bewelcome.org

Our itinerary:

Day 1: Brussels - Calais - Dover - West Wycombe - Oxford

Day 2: Oxford - Stoke-on-Trent - Newcastle under Lyme - Leek

Day 3: Leek - Eyam - Leek

Day 4: Leek - Tissington - Ilam - Alstonefield -

Day 5: Leek - Warrington

Day 6: Warrington - Liverpool - Warrington

Day 7: Warrington - Liverpool - Warrington

Day 8: Warrington - Lymm - St.Clears

Day 9: Llangynin - Laugharne - Pendine - Tenby - Llangynin

Day 10: Llangynin - Fishguard - St. Davids - Llangynin

Day 11: Llangynin - Caerleon - Huffington - Maidstone

Day 12: Maidstone - Dover - Calais - Brussels

vrijdag 11 mei 2012

Llanfair P.G.

Pretty soon we will travel to the land of Dylan Thomas, Richard Burton, Siân Phillips, Inigo Jones, Laura Ashley, Mary Quant, Henry Morton Stanley, Griff Rhys Jones, T. E. Lawrence, John Cale and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci! We will mingle with Druids, visit the home town of the wizard Myrddin, try to pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch without stuttering and say 'diolch yn fawr' and 'noswaith dda' like a good boy should. Because one language is never enough (Dyw un iaith byth yn ddigon) and Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn llyswennod

dinsdag 14 februari 2012

Llangynin, Wales

The first time I visited Wales, I stayed in a farm house where a gruesome murder had taken place. Luckily not while I was there, and hopefully not in the room where I was staying, but a murder all the same! I remember Alison (then my landlady, now a good friend) showing me a book about famous murders in South Wales. The book has gone out of print unfortunately, but a bit of research on the internet dug up the whole story.

Apparently the murder took place in 1953 when 63-year-old John Harries and his 54-year-old wife Phoebe mysteriously disappeared from Derlwyn Farm, Llangynin (near St. Clears, carmartenshire). According to their nephew Ronnie Harries they were staying at his parents’ place, Cadno Farm, but later he told the police they had moved to London.

The police treated their disappearance with suspicion, especially after finding Derlwyn farm in a mess and uncooked food in the stove. They searched Cadno Farm (where Ronnie Harries lived) and found the resting place of John and Phoebe Harries who had been beaten to death with a hammer, a hammer that Harries had borrowed from a neighbour only two days earlier.

Despite Ronnie protesting his innocence till the end, he was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to death in Swansea Prison.