O is for One Hundred Days

So Donald Trump may be trying to suggest that the one hundred day mark of his glorious administration is not a big thing (can’t imagine why!) but I am here to tell you that it is. My evidence? This…

This is Child 3’s creative way of marking her 100 days in first grade. Since she is in sixth grade now, it has been a while since she made it. And I know for a fact that this ‘assignment’ is common throughout schools here at some point in kid’s first or second full-time year in school. So where does the 100 day thing come from?

I’ve read a couple of different accounts – one citing the fact that it took Napoleon 100 days to return from exile, re-establish himself as the ruler of France and start the war against the Brits that would end at Waterloo – but the origin of this as a US phenomenon seems to lie firmly with FDR.

Ever since Franklin Roosevelt’s charge into office with the New Deal, among other achievements, the concept of the importance of 100 days as a marker of importance has become part of US culture. And that’s despite the fact that, “Presidents since Roosevelt have been held up to a standard that not even Roosevelt achieved,”

That said, the 100 day mark is arbitrary. It has a cultural significance but doesn’t define a school year or a presidency. It merits buttons and not much more.

But for those interested in what Trump has or has not achieved in his first 100 days (and yes, I did think about making a sheet just like Child 3’s buttons and putting a photo of Neil Gorsuch in the first box and leaving the rest blank!), here is a link to Fox News’ review. Since Fox loves Trump and Trump loves Fox, I think it makes interesting reading…

Trump’s first one hundred days in numbers



O is for Offsides

ppl_1Last night we went to PPL Park to see a football match. Child 3 was pretty disappointed. The ball was the wrong shape and no one was wearing helmets. Well, that’s just one of the tough things about being the child of immigrants I guess. We manage to call it soccer in public, but at home, football will always be football, no matter where we live.

Except of course it’s different over here. Going to a match is a different experience in many ways, but I’m only going to focus on three right now: offsides, beer and vanishing spray. Let’s start with offsides.

Offsides,¬†do you know how ridiculous that sounds? I am not generally one for criticising American English. I’m definitely in the celebrating the differences camp as a rule. But I draw a line (ho ho) with offsides. That is just wrong. A player cannot be offsides. He is either onside or offside. Where is this other side they are referring to? This is the worst example of unnecessary plurality I know. It could only be worse if it was written down with an apostrophe: offside’s. That’s a travesty. But with Child 1 and Child 2 both playing travel soccer, cries of offsides ring in our ears far more often than we want them to. Add to that Mr T.’s personal conviction that no one over here even really understands the rule anyway and our teeth-clenching reaction to the cry of offsides may be fully imagined!

On the upside of football in the US, however, drinking is allowed inside the stadium. Quite unimaginable in the UK. And I’m not talking about hooliganism here. I’m talking facilities. Last night at Philly Union after two lovely beers I was in the perfect position to appreciate the generous toilet facilities available. Lots of stalls. With toilet paper. A far cry from Tyncastle, Anfield or Selhurst Park, the three stadium I’ve been to most (in my yoof, of course).

vaish-blog480But the most remarkable thing I found out about last night has to be¬†vanishing spray. Hilarious! There we were, watching the match, soaking up the tepid atmosphere, ignoring the rain and the cries of “I’m hun-garee” from Children 1&3 (Child 2 was too busy strangling his friends with the free scarf (free scarf?!?) they gave us when we arrived to ask for food) when a free kick was given. The referee took ten paces, whipped a can of vanishing spray from his pocket and painted a temporary line on the pitch. Amazing. Apparently they use it in South America. Watch out Europe. Vanishing spray is surely on its way…