Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Wednesday 30 th November 2022…..agony of defeat!!

 Mexico defeated Saudi Arabia 2-1 but agonisingly went out of the World Cup on goal difference on a night of incredible drama in Doha.

With Argentina beating Poland 2-0 in Group C at Stadium 974 and Mexico leading by the same scoreline at Lusail Stadium in the 94th minute, Gerardo Martino's side needed one more goal to prevent them from going out according to Fifa's fair play rule.

But Salem Al Dawsari's injury-time consolation goal for Saudi Arabia sent the distraught Mexicans home anyway, leaving the Polish players to celebrate across the city.

After a stop-start first half with little rhythm to it, the match burst into life two minutes after the break as Henry Martin reacted quickest to finish Cesar Montes' flick on.

Mexico fans had barely calmed their celebrations before Luis Chavez curled a glorious 30-yard free-kick into the top corner to send their supporters into pandemonium.

They thought they had another but Hirving Lozano's low strike was chalked off for offside and Martin should have had a second but volleyed over from 12 yards out.

It was all Mexico as they pushed for further goals. Chavez nearly struck another stunning free-kick but Mohammed Al Owais palmed it out, then Orbelín Pineda curled narrowly wide.

Mexico thought they had sealed progression when Uriel Antuna stroked in late on, but that too was flagged for offside and they went out in the most excruciating manner.

Agony for Mexico

The first half was one to forget, the drama in the second will live long in the memory.

It was absolute chaos before the game, with thousands of Saudi fans making the trip across the border for a game in which victory would have secured a place in the knockout stage.

But they never really managed to put Mexico under pressure and ultimately both sides went out of the competition.

At one stage, Mexico were set to be knocked out because they had collected more yellow cards (seven) than Poland (five), with the two teams level on points and goal difference.

While Al Dawsari's late goal changed little, Mexico fans were still left dejected at full-time, with some staying long after the final whistle with their head in their hands.

Martin's opener from close range and Chavez's peach of a free-kick gave them hope, but two disallowed goals crushed any optimism of advancing out of the group.

The result ends a sequence of progression to the round of 16, having done so at the previous eight World Cups, a run stretching back to 1978.

For Saudi Arabia, the tournament ends in disappointment by finishing bottom of the group despite an opening game victory over Argentina that will go down as one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.

Mohamed Kanno had his chances, shanking wide from the angle and curling a free-kick narrowly over, while Ali Al Hassan almost headed in on the stroke of half-time.

The stadium was filled mostly with raucous Saudi supporters and they went home with one final cheer as Al Dawsari coolly converted late on.

Stay safe and healthy!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tuesday 29th November 2022….give thanks!!


Today is national give thanks day!!!

I had a wonderful two hours on the tennis courts and then came home and watched England advance to the next stage of the a World Cup….

I like this article..

The 'psychic' animals predicting who will win the World Cup

LONDON -- No FIFA World Cup would be complete without "psychic" animals predicting the winners, and Qatar 2022 has been no exception.

From "clairvoyant" camels to "mystic" elephants and "cryptic" rats, a range of animals -- big and small -- have tried their paws, hooves and tentacles at predicting the score line.

It all started with Paul, the "psychic" octopus. The eight-tentacled icon put TV pundits to shame with an incredible string of correct World Cup winner predictions from his glass tank at the Aquarium Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany. The tentacled tipster had an incredible success rate: he correctly predicted eight world cup matches at South Africa's tournament in 2010, including Spain beating the Netherlands in the World Cup final.

All did not end well for Paul’s successor, Rubio the octopus, who became an icon in Japan for his 100% success rate in predicting group stage matches, including Japan’s win against Columbia in the 2018 World Cup held in Russia. Rubio did not get the chance to make his prediction for the Round-of-16 after he was chopped up and turned into seafood, according to one local news outlet.


Qatari Pandas choose England to win the World Cup game on Nov. 25, 2022.

Taiyo the otter had good news for Japanese fans at this year’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar, correctly predicting Japan’s group stage win over Germany on Wednesday. From his home at the Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa in Japan, the Taiyo was given three buckets to choose from -- Japan (blue), draw (yellow) and Germany (Red) -- and did not hesitate in picking up his tiny football and placing his bets on Japan. He was widely praised online for his exploits.

MORE: Why the Qatar soccer World Cup is so controversial

And let’s not forget another iconic star -- Marcus, the "mystic" pig. In the 2018 World Cup, "Mystic Marcus" predicted a World Cup victory for England in the after selecting apples with the England flag on British morning television. However, Mystic Marcus’ fortune-telling record was shattered when England were knocked out in the semi-finals.

Nelly the elephant from Serengeti Park in Hodengagen, Germany, also meant business when she had a streak of 30 out of 33 matches correct for her predictions in the 2006 World Cup, the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Euros, according to The Atlantic.

Camilla the "mystic" camel from Melton Mowbray in England did have good news for England, however. She correctly predicted the Three Lion’s group-stage win over Iran at the Qatar World Cup. Her owners told the Sun newspaper in the U.K. that their clairvoyant camel is “never wrong."

Walked Frida in centro this afternoon and the decorations are going up….

I had a lovely friend donate to me many wonderful books in both English and Spanish….I took them to Vanessa’s class last week and these are the photos she sent… the smiles on the kids faces!!

Tonight took Paula and Jerry to my fave restaurant almost next door for country fried chicken mmmmmmmmmmm

Stay safe and healthy!!

Yashi Kochi!

Monday, November 28, 2022

Monday 28 th November 2022…Kleenex!!


From the internet you may require Kleenex!!

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

‘Hello Barry, how are you today?’

‘H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them peas. They sure look good.’

‘They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?’

‘Fine.. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.’

‘Good. Anything I can help you with?’

‘No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.’

‘Would you like to take some home?’ asked Mr. Miller.

‘No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.’

‘Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?’

‘All I got’s my prize marble here.’ ‘Is that right?

Let me see it’ said Miller.

‘Here ’tis.. She’s a dandy.’

‘I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?’ the store owner asked.

‘Not zackley but almost.’

‘Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble’. Mr. Miller told the boy.

‘Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller:

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.

With a smile she said, ‘There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.

When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.’

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts…all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband’s casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband’s bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

‘Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim ‘traded’ them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size….they came to pay their debt.’

‘We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,’ she confided, ‘but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho..’

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived. - Helen Walton

Stay safe and healthy!!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Sunday 27 th November 2022….a bit of this and a bit of that!!!

 Well this is a mishmash of stuff……That is Daniela with Frida she works at Paparika restaurant……

.Paola and Dani are the two girls I sponsored for years from Casa Hogar…I met them when they were seven years old……both have had a difficult time of growing up and I have lost touch with Paola but Daniela is doing really well and I am very proud of the young, caring and wonderful young lady she has turned into!!!.. The photos of them growing up and you will notice the one in the show shoe my friend Jerry is there..he is the one also in the thanksgiving dinner last night with his adorable wife Paula!!

Now on to football the info tells what Mexico has to do in their next game in order to move on to the next round…

. Sadly Canada have a been eliminated even though I have more game to play!!

The photos from the amazing dinner I was invited to last night….so thankful and blessed!!

Those three funny people at the beach are my Auntie Rita, who passed away four years ago and my Uncle Bram who will be 96 next month….

The photo with Janet and Malc and Bram with his daughter Jill was taken three days ago he is an amazing man!!

Stay safe and healthy!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Saturday 26 th November 2022…thanks again!!

 My long time friends Paula and Jerry, from Nova Scotia arrived in SMA this afternoon with another couple Nancy and Terry…it was wonderful to see them all again.

This evening the we were all invited to an amazing Thanksgiving dinner at another friends home, Barbara who is a good friend of my other friends Chris and Juan who are also here in town, so a great reunion, lots of stories and delicious food.

Did I confuse you with all the friends I have, lucky me!!

Some photos taken from the rooftop and the sunset and views..

More photos mañana!!

A great start to the weekend!!

stay safe and healthy!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Friday, November 25, 2022

Friday 25 th November 2022…a chuckle!!

 The World Cup soccer game between USA and England not worth mentioning a stale 0 - 0 draw…so here is a chuckle for you!!

I have been in many places, but I've never been in Kahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone.  You have to be in Kahoots with someone.

I've also never been in Cognito.  I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane.  They don't have an airport; you have to be

driven there.  I have made several trips there, thanks to my children, friends,

family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt.  That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit

there too often. 

I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense!  It really gets the adrenalin

flowing and pumps up the old heart!  At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

I may have been in Continent, but I don't remember what country I was in.  It's an age thing.  They tell me it is very wet and damp there.

Stay safe and healthy!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thursday 24 th November cup of soccer!!

 I am enjoying watching games every day sometimes two games a day…lots of excitement and of course huge upsets one of them being Germany getting beat by Japan…..

I was thrilled to see this photo appear on the internet….

Which typifies what these games should be about…Japanese fans after the game getting bags and picking up the garbage!!

I like this quote…

Stay safe and healthy!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Wednesday 23 rd November 2022…a bit of all sorts!!!

 Canada lost a close game to Belgium this morning……..

I love this photo taken today at a Festival of Lights in England……

Left to right my adorable sister in law Janet 

Jill my cousin….

Then my Uncle Bram who is Jill’s Dad….Uncle Bram will be 96 years young next month….

Malc my brother!!!!

Wishing a great day mañana to all my wonderful American friends!!

Stay safe and healthy

Yashi Kochi!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Tuesday 22 nd November 2022….Mexico tie!!!

 Robert Lewandowski had a penalty saved as Poland and Mexico played out a goalless World Cup draw at a fervent Stadium 974.

Captain Lewandowski has never scored in the tournament and his wait continues after a tame effort was kept out by Mexico's veteran goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

The 40,000-capacity venue was filled largely by raucous Mexico supporters and deafening cheers rung round when Lewandowski's shot stayed out.

A forgettable first half saw Alexis Vega head narrowly wide and the only effort on target came when Jorge Sanchez's shot from the angle was pushed away by Wojciech Szczesny.

Hirving Lozano's curling effort from range was straight at the Poland goalkeeper, before the game finally sparked into life in the second half.

But both sides had to settle for a draw after Ochoa, 37, dived the right way to keep out Barcelona striker Lewandowski's penalty, awarded after the referee watched a replay on the pitchside monitor.

Earlier in the day in Group C, Saudi Arabia caused one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history by coming from behind to beat heavily fancied

A wide open group

With Saudi Arabia creating a seismic World Cup moment with their stunning victory, it leaves this group wide open and all four sides will now harbour hopes of reaching the last 16

A tremendous atmosphere at Stadium 974, built using that number of shipping containers, was let down by a poor spectacle on the pitch.

Lewandowski, who has 18 goals in 19 games for Barcelona this season, was jeered by the Mexican supporters throughout the game and had a huge opportunity to silence the opposition supporters.

The striker was brought down in the box by Hector Moreno and after advice from the video assistant referee to review to incident, Australian referee Chris Beath awarded a penalty.

Poland's last five World Cup goals - dating back to 1998 - have all been via set-pieces so you would have banked on the usually reliable Lewandowski to hit the net.

But the 34-year-old extended his goalless run in the competition to 360 minutes by missing the penalty, having also failed to score in the three games four years ago.

The draw means Poland have won just one of their last nine opening World Cup games and the miss could prove crucial as they aim to make it out of the group for the first time since 1986.

Mexico, meanwhile, have made it to the knockout stage at the last eight World Cups but may see this as a missed opportunity against a Poland side that offered very little in attack.

Napoli forward Lozano had their best chances, but a strike from range and flicked header were both kept out by Szczesny, while Uriel Antuna cut in from the right but strangled a shot straight at the goalkeeper late on.

Stay safe and healthy!!

Yashi Koshi!!

Monday, November 21, 2022

Monday 21 st November we go!,

 Just a regular day walked Frida and watched how many soccer games??.  I am not telling!!!

Stay safe and healthy!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Saturday 19 th November 2022. and so it begins!!!

 After 12 years of questions, criticisms and conjecture, the Fifa World Cup in Qatar will finally get under way on Sunday.

The build-up to the first tournament to be held in a Muslim country in the Middle East has been overshadowed by a number of controversies.

But Fifa has asked all 32 competing nations to "focus on the football" and hosts Qatar will kick off the tournament against Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium (16:00 GMT).

The home nations that have qualified are in the same group and in action the following day, with England up against Iran (13:00), before Wales play USA (19:00).

BBC Sport looks at the list of controversies, the excitement building on the ground in Qatar, and who could win the World Cup.

Qatar 2022 will go down as one of the most talked about and controversial World Cups in history.

The Gulf country defeated bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States to host the tournament, but there were allegations of widespread corruption in the process, which Qatar have always denied.

In February 2021, the Guardian said 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had died in Qatar since it won its World Cup bid.

The number is based on figures provided by the countries' embassies in Qatar.

However, the Qatar government said the total was misleading, because not all the deaths recorded were of people working on World Cup-related projects. The government said its accident records showed there were 37 deaths among labourers at World Cup stadium construction sites between 2014 and 2020, only three of which were "work-related".

However, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said that was an underestimate.

There have been fears over how LGBT fans can expect to be treated given the country's strict adherence to Sharia Law, with homosexuality illegal in Qatar.

Organisations engaging with Fifa over the tournament have said "progress has been slow" and "issues of concern" remain.

UK Pride organisations have called on bars and venues to not screen World Cup matches in a boycott of the tournament.

Players have been urged to use their influence to speak up about the issues in the country and at a news conference in Doha on Thursday, England defender Conor Coady said "we're not politicians".

The Everton defender added: "We'll never be politicians in terms of the way we look at things but, in terms of what the squad has done over the last few years and how much they've helped people, that comes with the territory."

Sepp Blatter, who was the president of Fifa and the man who announced the awarding of the tournament to Qatar in 2010, said last week that decision was a "mistake".

On the day before the tournament, Fifa president Gianni Infantino accused the West of "hypocrisy" in its reporting about Qatar's human rights record.

In an extraordinary monologue at a news conference in Doha, Infantino spoke for nearly an hour and made a passionate defence of Qatar and the tournament.

Temperatures in the summer often reach 50C here, which is why the tournament was moved for the first time to a 'winter' slot, though it is still a balmy 32C during the day and a pleasant 22C in the evening.

It has meant European leagues have been brought to a halt mid-season, with the opening game taking place just a week after the last Premier League match between Fulham and Manchester United.

Three months out from kick-off, the Fifa council approved a request from the South American confederation Conmebol to move the start of the tournament a day earlier than planned.

And just two days before the event, organisers announced fans would not be able to purchase or consume alcohol inside or within the perimeter area of any of the eight stadiums.

At 29 days from start to finish (20 November to 18 December), this will be the shortest World Cup since Argentina 1978.

That means organisers have had to schedule four games most days during the group stages and there is no turnaround time between the groups and the knockout stages, with the last 16 starting the day after the group stages end.

A country which has a population of less than three million, Qatar expects to see a total influx of about 1.2 million visitors from around the world over the next month.

At a briefing last month, Fifa said nearly three million tickets had been soldexternal-link for the tournament, with the host nation topping the list of countries with the highest number of tickets at 37% of sales.

Travelling around the capital of Doha in the days before the opening game, the buzz is palpable with bunting with flags from each competing country lining the streets.

Argentina shirts are by far the most popular choice of kit on show, mostly emblazoned with 'Messi 10' on the back. Lionel Messi - one of the tournament's star attractions - plays for Qatari-owned Paris St-Germain.

The country has spent billions on upgrading its infrastructure and the roads are already busy with locals and supporters from neighbouring Saudi Arabia expected to drive across the border. Fifa shuttle buses can be seen whizzing up and down the streets.

The metro carriages had been quiet early in the week but there was real congestion on the Friday and Saturday, the weekend days in Qatar. Questions remain as to how the system will cope with the arrival of tens of thousands of fans for each of the 64 games.

"It is going to be tough," an attendant at one of the stations told BBC Sport. "The smaller stops should be OK but it is going to be tough at the ones where stadiums are located. There are four matches a day so it will be extremely busy."

The Fan Festival at Al Bidda Park has bright, colourful lights illuminated overhead, with music pumping out at a nearby performance stage - though this is halted for a couple of minutes when the Adhan (call to prayer) is heard from nearby mosques.

Alcohol cannot be consumed in public in the Muslim country, but this rule has been relaxed a little for the tournament as fans can purchase a beverage in restricted areas such as the fan park, though a pint will set you back £12.50.

So with very mixed emotions I will be found most days for the next month in front of the TV set at various hours of the day because since I was 14 months old I have always kicked a soccer ball and had some dreams!!

Stay safe and healthy!!

Yashi Kochi!

Thursday 5 th January 2023…it was a great run!!!

 This was my first ever blog post back in November of 2006!!! With just a couple of days off I have written a blog every day since and I hav...