Football ⚽

Welcome home, Bale!

Daniel Levy and Mourinho are thought to be driving factors in securing Bale's return

I can’t believe that it has been 7 years since Bale left Spurs for Real Madrid… a move I didn’t want him to make in the first place. Under Zidane’s management, Bale was mistreated in a disgraceful way – just as Lionel Messi under Bartomeu, but that’s another story – and it was disheartening to see.

But I’m happy to see Bale back at Spurs where I know (I hope) he’ll get the respect he deserves.

Welcome back, welcome home, Bale. Here, is where you belong, even if it’s just for a season-long loan. 

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Books & Reviews 📚

Reading Daphne du Maurier books for the first time

Reading is kind of slow lately… but I’m glad I’m reading no matter how slow!

Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) was an English author and playwright. She was known for her moody, so-call romantic, and supernatural plots. Her books are said to be as timeless as Michael Jackson’s music, so here I am.

Daphne du Maurier - The British Library

However, English literature is not exactly right up my alley, so I randomly chose 5 of this author’s books and tried not to read the synopsis or reviews. Had I known what I was getting into!

Book #168: My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

I actually got to the end of this book, so yay! It was the first book I read from Du Maurier, but I was left wondering if she wrote a lot of stupid characters. Philip Ashley is probably the stupidest character I’ve ever met. He’s rich, spoiled, obsessive, and has no common sense… then the boring book ends. It just ends! But let’s play a game:

Me: Philip Ashley is so stupid.

Audience: How stupid is Philip Ashley?

Ashley is so stupid that when he discovers Rachel wastes money like tomorrow never comes, he actually gives her a great allowance to squander some more. When it gets out of hand, this numb skull gifts her his estate and inheritance. Also, all the clues were given to Stupid Ashley where it concerns the killing of his beloved uncle, but the fool ignored all the signs pertaining to the solving of the mystery. He’s so stupid!

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Rachel is quite the stupid character, too, and prettily stereotyped and all.

It was a dull classic with a meh predictable mystery for a highly acclaimed novel. I didn’t enjoy the writing style, the pacing is atrocious, the ending was rushed faster than Usain Bolt could claim gold, and I disliked the setting. Not my cup of coffee. Overall, I wasted time reading this book when I could’ve been reading…

Book #169: …Rebecca

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, Sally Beauman - 9781844080380 - Dymocks

Where do I start? I actually dislike books in which the character/s doesn’t have a name… especially the main one. It’s quite annoying. The main character is dull, boring, and stupid just as Philip Ashley. Perhaps, even stupider and more annoying. Ooh, look at me, I have no name, therefore, I am intriguing and mysterious. Wrong, Nameless! You married a man that treats you like a child. What’s so good about that?

As for Maxi, murder is never the answer. No matter how wrong someone did you, you don’t go around killing people. Books like these are so off-putting. Plus, the author thinks it’s okay to describe every single flower/tree that is encountered and that alone can take up to 4 pages. 

It was a snooze fest and I couldn’t stay for the end. Nameless had no name, and it’s good that her parents didn’t name her, for they quickly figured out that their baby girl would grow up to have no personality.

After reading this book, I didn’t know how to feel to continue with her work for I disliked everything from the writing to the characters in this one. Tell me, Antoine, how am I supposed to feel?

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The Others

Jamaica Inn - Kindle edition by du Maurier, Daphne. Romance Kindle ...Amazon.com: The House on the Strand eBook: du Maurier, Daphne ...Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier | Little, Brown and Company

Well, I didn’t really get anywhere with the other 3 books to be honest. I couldn’t get pass how horrible Joss Merlyn was in Jamaica Inn. I also couldn’t believe how stupid the protagonist Mary Yellan appeared. She witnessed at first-hand how terrible her uncle Joss is to her aunt Patience (The irony isn’t lost here regarding my patience with this author’s work) and still managed to stay. However, I didn’t stay for another second.

Giving this author a 4th chance, I turned to The House on the Strand, yawned and put it down as it suddenly dawned on me: Life is too short to read boring books.

As for Frenchman’s Creek, I chose it for two things: the beautiful cover and Frenchmen (duh!), but that was before I discovered how actually boring this author’s work was. I didn’t get anywhere with this book, but I put it down for two things: a grown married woman committing adultery with a pirate and the usage of the Lord’s Name in vain was overbearing. I don’t know if every 19th century spoiled aristocrat dreamt of escaping marriage to have affairs with dashing French pirates that read poetry (of course, of course, see how the Frenchman is typically, beautifully, and romantically stereotyped!), but this is not the adventurous trip I signed up for.

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Overall:

Daphne Du Maurier is not my cup of coffee. Her writing sometimes fell flat and I did not get a sense of that glowing sophistication that’s always associated with her writing. Most, if not all of her work were too wordy and descriptive. And ALL of her characters were stupid. They lacked common sense and book sense; they were all pumped full of nonsense. Du Maurier books are torturing devices and I’m glad this ride is over for I’m…

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Football ⚽

Welcome to the quarter-finals!

These teams are here for they played hard and fought even harder. Uruguay and France played with passion and joy. Brazil with attitude (and Neymar slipping one too many times for many fans liking!), Belgium with pride, Russia with determination, Croatia with heart, Sweden with focus and England with pleasure. 

This World Cup is the most entertaining I’ve witnessed since France 1998. It was mostly unpredictable from the first whistle, although I got all of mine right. Some teams stole my heart all over again (Japan, Nigeria, Senegal, and Mexico) and some teams played beautiful football but were unable to it make to the round of 16 (Morocco and Tunisia). Some teams still need improvement (Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Serbia) and some teams were present, but their mindset wasn’t (Argentina, Poland, and Germany).

And I still love you, Iceland!

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THE QUARTER-FINALISTS

Uruguay v France – July 06th @10 am

I love these two teams. Whichever one wins I’ll be happy, but I’m leaning more towards Les Bleus. They’ve played some of the best football during the tournament although they didn’t start off convincingly prompting the Danish coach to say that we’re nothing special. Well, we might not be anything special, but we’re giving it our all and we deserve to be here. The boys are not going home without a good fight. 

France is the youngest team in the quarter-finals and I know I’m always stressing on this, but I’m going to stress on it anyway: Room. For. Improvement. Despite playing our best game against Argentina and despite playing with beautiful passion, I still see room for improvement, especially at the back. We need to tighten defense and we need a stronger flowing rhythm in midfield. At the end of the day, we’re all about teamwork and it’s the reason why we’ve reached this far.

France vs. Argentina: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Uruguay also did a fine job at shutting the critics up and Edison Cavani finally stepped out of Luis Suárez’s shadow and lost his scapegoat status. Antoine Greizmann is looking forward to this match because of his Atlético teammate, good friend, and godfather to his daughter, Diego Godin. Because of Godin, Greizmann feels half Uruguayan as he has immersed himself in their culture, language, and tradition. However, Suárez thinks Greizmann should stop pretending to be Uruguayan. 🙄 Like, dude, todo bien! I love Uruguayan culture and know some Uruguayan-isms and I love listening to the gentle Uruguayan Spanish coming from El Matador’s mouth, but I have no claims to be an Uruguayan… not even if I can move to the rhythm like Cavani!

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It’s the same thing with French culture. I do consider myself a Francophile but at the end of the day, I do not feel or want to be French despite having French in my family.

Griezmann gave the country a beautiful compliment, so shut up, take it, and stop being so literal. At this time, we’re still unsure about the extent of Cavani’s injury, but it’s most likely he won’t start/face the French. I think Uruguay might make the mistake of focusing on Kylian Mbappé and this can cost them, so I hope that this won’t be the case. 

  

I won’t be able to talk about the other 6 teams like this, but I think nothing less of them.

Brazil v Belgium – July 06th @2 pm

This is going to be a good match! Brazil has a great team, but one of the reasons they’re turning fans off everywhere is due to Neymar’s unnecessary falling to the ground and then making a spectacle out of it by rolling around as if he got hit by Jack Reacher.

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Sometimes, he’s barely touched and down he goes, flopping on his back and then proceeds to imitate a rolling rock. This display is appalling. Even a bar in Rio de Janeiro had invented a new drinking game: free shots every time he falls down. And this was during Brazil’s crucial game during Serbia. Dude, leave the acting to Tom Cruise.

Although I’m not a fan of Brazil, I have nothing but love for Marcelo. 

Brazil vs. Switzerland: Group E - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Belgium is having an amazing time at this tournament! Their football makes me smile. They’ve produced exceptional players and this generation is crafting a name for themselves. I won’t underestimate them for they’re capable of springing surprises. I don’t know why, but I’m feeling a France-Belgium semi-final showdown, but like I said, I won’t take anything away from these teams for it can also be an Uruguay-Brazil/Belgium showdown. 

Belgium vs. Japan: Round Of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Sweden v England – July 07th @10 am

Sweden’s football might not be the most beautiful, but their focus is on another level. Many have said that they wouldn’t have strived without their talisman, but they’re proving that life without Zlatan is actually sweet.

Germany vs. Sweden: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

As for England, this is the best I’ve seen them and they’re giving their nation hope of winning it all. When Gareth Southgate came on, despite not getting the backing, I just knew that he was going to be the one to propel England to greatness and Harry Kane is simply a joy to watch even more so than David Beckham.

     

Russia v Croatia – July 07th @2 pm

Even before the tournament kicked off last month, Russia was written off. Although I chose Russia and Uruguay to advance from the group stage, the odds were expecting Egypt to advance with Uruguay. But even after advancing, the Russians were still written off, but when they beat Spain to remain in the tournament, many people started taking them seriously. And who would’ve thought it, eh? That the host nation was going to give a good fight? I am happy with their progress.

Spain vs. Russia: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

I’ve come to love Croatia a long time ago. I believe that’s when I saw them participate in France 1998 and… wait, today is the 4th of July! On this day, 20 years ago, Croatia handed Germany a 3-0 defeat in Lyon, France during the 1998 tournament! That was the first game I saw the Croatians play and they stole a piece of my heart. Just like that.

Although I didn’t get to watch most of their games this tournament, they played with heart and proved critics wrong. They deserve to be here. They can go on and win this thing and they know it.

     

All the best to everyone and don’t forget to check your local schedule for listings.

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