Well hello! January is finally over! Was it just me, or was that month about 6 weeks long? Spring is on the way now, though; my sister in law already has daffodils out in her garden! Prepare for a heatwave folks, it’s just around the corner; I can feel it!
So what’s going on this week?
Tuesday 3rd: Manchester United vs Cambridge United
Yeah, I know. But it’s a big thing for some people, this ball-kicking lark. This match is a replay of their FA Cup 4th round nil-nil draw. Manchester United have been criticised by many for refusing to lower the ticket price, meaning the standard ticket price is around £50. They’re giving 42.5% of the gate to the visiting team, which I’m sure will be a bit of a windfall for Cambridge, but still – £50 is a lot of money. It’s also worth noting that Manchester United season ticket holders will have the charge for FA Cup ties automatically taken from their bank accounts… and that since dear old Man-U didn’t qualify for the Europeans this year, they won’t be getting revenue from those ticket sales – for the first time in a long while.
I don’t really follow football, but you’d have to live in a hole to not know that Manchester United have dominated the league tables for a long while, excluding last season. Cambridge United are a tiny team from League Two who managed to hold these football giants to a no score draw. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the replay.
Friday 6th: Rugby Six Nations Begins
I promise, this week is not all about sport – but this one’s a pretty big one. The first match is Wales vs England at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. England have won all of their last three matches… but Wales have won two out of three as well and both teams have a similar record for this tournament. The people to look out for in this match are Jonny Wilkinson for England (even I know who that is – he does that ad on the telly), and Stephen Jones for Wales.
Saturday 7th: Brownsea Island Winter Weekends
For the last month, and until next weekend, Brownsea Island has only been open only to pre-booked groups. From next weekend until March 15th, the island is open for Winter Weekends… what does that mean? It means the boats from Poole and Sandbanks are back on, running hourly to the island. And back again, obviously… hopefully. Brownsea Island has not always been a nature reserve though; Henry VIII saw it as strategically important in protecting the port at Poole, so built a fort there that became Brownsea Castle. In 1848 the then owner of the castle Sir Augustus John Foster slit his throat in the castle and died. Then in the Second World War, large flares were put on the western end of the island to try and mislead the Luftwaffe away from Poole harbour – and it worked!
Sunday 8th: Chichester Priory 10k Road Race
If you have trouble sleeping in on the weekends, and you like to be outside in the freezing cold, this is the event for you! The race is organised by the Rotary Club, and sets off from the Festival Theatre car park at 10am. The race is now full, so there will be no late entries on the day – but it’s a great event to go along and support if you’re not taking part. I can tell you from experience that when you’re running in a road race it can make a massive difference to have people along the way cheering you along – especially if you’re towards the back of the race, as I usually was when I took part in such things.
The great thing about this race is that it’s raising funds for Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice, a fantastic cause. And also, if you’re feeling particularly quick on your toes, there’s a £250 cash prize to the person who sets a new course record – for men, 29.02, and for women 32.07.
Sunday 8th: the British Academy Film Awards
Still commonly known as the BAFTAs, even though the T for television has its own ceremony later in the year, this will be the 68th ceremony, and the tenth time Stephen Fry has hosted them. It will be held at the Royal Opera House for the eighth year in a row. The big award of the night is, as always, Best Film – will it go to Boyhood after its Golden Globes success, or perhaps The Theory of Everything which Eddie Redmayne won a SAG award last week? Looking at the nominations, I think those two movies have the ceremony sewn up, with one or both of them nominated in every category they’re eligible for. Another one to look out for is The Grand Budapest Hotel which has a whopping 11 nominations.
Also, I’m glad to see the Lego Movie up for best animated film because it’s blummin amazing and one of those films that’s probably technically for kids, that parents enjoy just as much.
Since 2002 the awards have been held in February in order to be before the Oscars, and they’re often seen as a precursor to the American awards – but the BAFTAs have specific awards for Outstanding British Film, Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, British Short Film and British Short Animation
That’s us done for another week. Thanks for reading/listening and I’ll be back again next week with another 5 things.