The Ghost of Greenock Academy haunts this Google Street View mashup.
Part of the intent behind following Greenock Morton FC here at Plenty of Nothing has been to learn more about Greenock, Scotland. Though it's my father's home town I have only been there a couple of times and until starting this project I possessed only the vaguest notion of its topography or history. The 36-game league schedule has required me to learn something new about the place every couple of weeks, and has enhanced my geographical understanding of the rest of Scotland too, or at least the First Division part of it. No doubt the odd mixture of football and architecture is perplexing to anyone who has stopped here to read about one or the other. And oftentimes the connection between the football and the architecture is pretty tenuous.
Take today for instance. Hamilton Academical visit Cappielow this afternoon, the perfect opportunity to write something about Greenock Academy. Greenock seems to have had three old-school school buildings: Greenock Academy, Highlanders Academy (which I'll deal with next time Ross County come to town), and Greenock High School. The arch-Victorian Greenock Academy building no longer exists, but you can see it pasted into the present day above. That photographic mashup is the work of bradshaw at Inverclyde Old and New. If you found last year's post "Morton Terrace Then and Now" interesting you'll appreciate his site.
Who are at the top of the Academical honours list? Top scorers so far this year are Mark McLaughlin and Dougie Imrie. The latter transferred to St. Mirren in January. Mark McLaughlin was born in Greenock, but has never played for Morton. Among the all-time greatest Accies are David Wilson, and Colin Miller.
It's the preseason right now in Japan, where summer football is played. Today J2 club Mito Hollyhock met J1 Kashima Antlers in the Ibaraki Soccer Festival, a prefectural derby. Japan is twelve time zones ahead of Nova Scotia, so the game is done. Antlers 1, Hollyhock 0. In the 2008 season Kashima dressed like Brazilian club Flamengo, in honour of their manager Zico, and the uniform would have qualified both clubs for the Dennis the Menace Red and Black Hooped Group, but both have moved on to other kits.
[Hamilton win 2- 1. Morton goal by O'Brien. Morton are back in seventh. Ross County still hold first place but only by goal difference over Falkirk. Two thirds of the way through the season there are still only twenty points between top and bottom.]
While searching the web for information on Yatagarasu the three-legged crow (which you won't read about here until the Emperor's Cup begins in September) I stumbled across from Japan, a charming and informative blog about the life and culture of Osaka, where its author Miyuki (berry-raspberry) lives and teaches English. I follow a few blogs about Japan, notably the robot-obsessed Pink Tentacle and the rampantly pessimistic Spike Japan, but Miyuki steers between their opposing themes of innovation and decay to concentrate on the seasonal and the daily, writing about the annual cycle of festivals, the seasons of the plant world, and what's on the menu today. She's acquainting herself with the history of her region, and visits shrines, museums and old streets in and around Osaka, teaching you as she learns. Most posts are photographic, with short captions rather than essays. Some events recur year after year, like the Sumiyoshi rice-planting festival, and you get to know quite a bit about the train schedule, especially the Hankai line. The spirit of limitless curiosity exhibited by from Japan reminds me very much of the "Enjoy everything!" ethos of Kiyohiko Azuma's manga Yotsuba&! Douglas
This snap is from a blog we've had in the left-hand margin ever since Plenty of Nothing began, called writing as jo(e). Jo(e) lives in the northern part of the State So Nice They Named Its Largest City Twice, and applies the web etiquette rule of never naming any person or place by its real name very strictly. And Jo(e) is a very fine photographer, even if half the pictures are of the backs of people's heads.
The author of Spitalfields Life has accomplished something Heather has always wanted to do -- go to the textile department of the Victoria and Albert museum and root around in the design books. These drawings were made in the year 1741/2.
For my money Spitalfields Life is everything a weblog should aspire to be. The writing is original, humane, humble, curious and local. The author posts daily about some aspect of life in his neighbourhood, and has committed to do so for ten thousand posts, or until 2037. By returning constantly to the particular, he is building up a picture of the universal. And after only a year and a half it is already a feast.