Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

England fumes as snow & ice -and jack-knifed lorries- ruin sports, shopping and travel plans days before Christmas. Why so many lorries on roads now?

Channel 4 News: U.K. snow strands air travellers Correspondent Victoria Macdonald at Heathrow Airport

Story at: http://www.channel4.com/news/uk-snow-strands-air-travellers

Despite knowing that it was highly likely that the
Chelsea-Manchester United football game would not go on today as planned in West London (at 11 a.m. my time in Miami) due to, supposedly, the treacherous road conditions caused by the unrelenting snow and ice -or as one website put it, "ran afoul of snow"- I'm still disappointed NOT to be able to see the game on Fox Soccer Channel, which has substituted a game in Switzerland between teams I've never heard of for the canceled game at Stamford Bridge.

Especially disappointing when I am hearing differing stories today on what the actual road conditions around Fulham Road, SW 6 are like.

But then I have many viewing choices in the U.S., and was, of course, planning on watching the NFL games this afternoon, including the Dolphins game here against the Buffalo Bills and
C.J. Spiller, whom I wanted the Dolphins to draft back in May.

Those choices I have put in rather stark perspective a strong sentiment I heard often yesterday and today on BBC Radio's 5 live about the much-discussed idea of the Premier League following the Bundesliga in Germany and taking a winter break, so that games are not scheduled when you know in advance that the conditions could be quite problematic weather-wise. http://www.bbc.co.uk/5live/

After the jaw-dropping World Cup debacle in South Africa, where the English National Team performed perfectly miserably and looked old, slow, unenthusiastic and not-so-talented in their last game against Germany, there were many knowledgeable callers to live 5 in the immediate hours afterward who said that one of the many things that needed to be done to make ENT relevant again, was to finally end the idea of playing games at times of the year that don't make sense weather-wise. http://www.thefa.com/England

It was said often that this continuous playing of league matches, daily practice plus games in various UEFA tourneys and the FA Cup that pay big money and have much prestige, leads to players being worn out in ways that even vacations to the sunny climes of South Beach can not mend.
My own experience is that you tend NOT to get 'fresh legs' in South Beach.

Just saying...

Well, yesterday, the opposing sentiment to this notion of a winter break came in fast and furious and I must admit, it's self-evident nature caught me a little short.
"Then what are we going to do in the winter?"

Hmm-m...I hadn't actually thought of that!

On this show and many others I've heard since this summer, one caller after another has volunteered how much their own childhood memories of Christmas had to some degree been shaped by the Boxing Day fixtures on Dec. 26th, big games that I have watched for years from afar, but read about and followed in newspapers, magazines and books, and now online, for years, since they tend to get more mention historically.

They're NOT just regular season games because people's memories of this year's holiday will be shaped in some part based on how their own team does, regardless of what division they're playing in.

For some fans of more modest means, this may be the one home game they go to all year, or the only one they attend with their family and not their friends from work or the neighborhood.

That's not insignificant.

In some ways, though it's far from an exact comparison, those
Boxing Day football fixtures are England's version of the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys always playing on Thanksgiving Day, and those NFL games becoming part of the national consciousness in ways that other NFL regular season games don't. If you're a sports fan, esp. a devout one, they become almost a subconscious part of your memory.

Real American sports fans of a certain age can even recall great games or foul-ups from years gone by that happened in Turkey Day games, even when they didn't involve their own favorite teams.

The 1993 Dolphins at Cowboys game, featuring Leon Lett, comes immediately to mind, though that is of a different sort, owing to my being a Dolphin fan for 40 years, since I still recall games I was at from 1971 and the Perfect Season of '72.

The idea that English sports fans would have little to choose from for their spectator or TV-viewing satisfaction is something that can't be underestimated.

There's no NBA or NHL or NCAA college basketball, men or women, plus the lack of the corresponding youth and High School teams in these sports to the extent that is true in the U.S. and Canada.
It's simply a different sporting culture.

I'll have more to say on this issue of a winter break for Premier League teams in the future, just wanted to share a few thoughts now since it seemed a propos.

Earlier today, just before Noon my time, I received my daily Channel 4 Snowmail, with Chief Correspondent Alex Thompson penning his pithy overview of stories that'd be appearing later in the night on the Channel 4 newscast, with weather being an integral part of that.

He asks a very reasonable question that nearly everyone seems to be asking,
"It is almost invariably lorries which stop [U.K.] motorways in snow...
Why is this state of affairs allowed to continue?"

On the roads there is still serious disruption. It is time to tell a simple truth here: it is almost invariably lorries which stop our motorways in snow. They cannot handle the hills, they drive too fast too close (as every motorway-user will testify) and they jack-knife. As I write an LPG tanker's gone over on the M25, closing the motorway that is rarely far from crisis on a balmy June afternoon. Why is this state of affairs allowed to continue? Why cannot the haulage industry - including their heavy clients like the supermarkets - be instructed to take their fleets off the road for the six to 12 hours needed, once or twice a year?

We will not starve. We will not run short of fuel. Life will continue. And most of all the motorways will function far better because the gritters and ploughs can get through. In any case - since when was a very expensive truck, static for eight hours on a motorway, good for anybody's haulage bottom line?
You can read more and comment on Alex Thomson's blog at

Video of jack-knifed lorries:

At the end of the Snowmail it grimly reads:

There are several weather warnings being issued by the Met Office, see them in full:

TONIGHT Snow showers will continue in northeast Scotland overnight and outbreaks of snow will spread into the far southwest. It'll feel bitterly cold everywhere, with severe frost, ice and freezing fog patches.


The snow in the southwest will spread to most of Wales, the south Midlands and southeast England during the day. It will be another very cold day with many places staying below freezing.


There's no sign of a break in the bitterly cold weather. Snow and ice will continue to be a problem throughout the week.


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#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016

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Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. �� In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue looks like, up close, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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View of Rio De Janeiro from my room.

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When you leave but bring the spare key because it is yours to keep.

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2 0 1 7. I made new mistakes and old ones again. I learned things I didn't know and I things I had already learned the hard way but needed to repeat either way. I fell in love again and again, with the same man, and realized that is the way to do it. I stopped thinking life happened to me and started enjoying taking control of what tomorrow would entail. I wrote even when it hurt and I apologized even when they didn't. I almost gave up but woke up and stood up and spoke up and didn't budge and moved on and forgave myself for not always knowing what to do. I decided the most important thing is to be proud of who I become and to make sure she is someone to be proud of. All I truly have is the opportunity to be whoever I want to be, and knowing that is everything.

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I'm not the only poet in this relationship ❥

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The boyfriend of Mikaela -Malin and Jennifer's sister- wrote above: "Honey, you are my everything, my dream, my imagination, my reality, my future. Sounds like something that I would write to someone special -and have!
FYI: There are 10 photos below, including a rare one of yours truly!