Congeries- pardon?: Monmouth to a Tea: Footy Futures.

In a past blog, I mentioned  Mark Forsyth's book " The Elements Of Eloquence";  a study into rhetoric in the English Language, kindly given to me by my friend K.

I am working my way through it and have reached ' Congeries. '

This is another word for lists. But these are rather special forms of lists.  Congeries  is Latin for a heap and they are a disorderly pile of nouns and adjectives; carefully put together to gain an effect.

Consider this list from 1953 of words approved by the East Germany for describing the British:

"Paralytic sycophants, effete betrayers of humanity, carrion-eating servile imitators, arch-cowards and collaborators, gang of woman-murderers, degenerate rabble, parasitic traditionalists, playboy soldiers, conceited dandies. " P. 189

Pretty strong stuff. A splendid sentence with no verb. Do you recognise anybody ?


This is Monmouth gateway to Wales. We are crossing the River Monnow over the medieval bridge. Through the gate we join the main street of the town. Last Saturday (25 / 7 ) when D. and I visited,  it was a thriving busy place, full of shops and noise; which came mainly from the numerous groups of buskers plying their wares. It was the start of the Monmouth Music Festival and the town was alive with music.

Part of the reason for coming to Monmouth, was to visit, situated just a  short way passed the gate   MonTeas, a  shop which sells fine loose leaf teas and tea paraphernalia, under the ever obliging eye of proprietor David J.  Tovey.

Since I drink alcohol very rarely these days, I  am becoming an enthusiast for real tea, infused in water, which I find efficacious for all parts of the system.

In my experience these tea shops are few and far between and when found should be treasured .

MonTeas sets the standard.

MonTeas  : check out the link and see for yourself.

Monmouth being just in Wales, naturally is excited about the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
This tea shirt caught my eye in one of the shops.

48 minutes away from where I live, Monmouth is an enjoyable place to  shop and view. One tip though, take a shopping bag with you, as all bags, including those in  supermarkets are charged in Wales.


The Charity Shield, the curtain raiser to the football season ahead takes place this Sunday (2 / 8 ).

This year Arsenal ( FA Cup winners )  play Chelsea ( Premier League winners ).
With the footy in mind, here are my predictions for the leagues:

Premier League:
                          Man United.


These are my one, two , three.

Chelsea always do the needful and should retain their title.
I expect a stronger show from Manchester United this season. Manager Van Gaal has the team playing for him and will demand a big effort.
Arsenal, good for another cup, have been spending money and should be thereabouts .




are my relegation candidates.

Bournmouth, premier 'newbies ' must be favourite to drop.

Sunderland could escape with retained manager, but it will always be an uphill struggle.

Leicester doomed themselves by sacking their manager in the closed season, who had previously kept them up.




Bristol City

In choosing Middlesborough to win promotion, I must expect Sunderland to fall, because in my experience the Premier League cannot support three teams from the north east. 'Boro have a good pedigree and have the desire  to win, should make it.

Wolves   gave us a great  run for our money last season and  I expect them to carry on the good work.

Newly promoted Bristol City will be galvanised by manager Steve Cotterell and start well. If, by Christmas they are still in the top six, they will make a bold show.

My longshot ( 25/ 1 ) to win title is Nottingham Forest. Surely it's time for a rebirth.

League One


Sheffield United


Wigan, former cup holders have fallen far enough. Could win comfortably.

The 'Steel City' is waking up and the 'Blades ' sense a return to glory.

In chasing Bristol City last year, Swindon showed a new fiery determination. They can go close again.

League Two


Leyton Orient


This will be Luton's second season back in league status. They should have got the hang of the game and must surely move upwards.

Leyton and Barnet are two  London teams that don't take prisoners. Always possible to get a run going.

My local team Cheltenham Town ( Robins) have, as you might remember, dropped out of the league last season and now reside in the Vanarama division. Their manager Gary Johnson exudes confidence and ' talks a good talk '. With his new signings and his ability to get the players to act as a team, having a family ethos, he can do well. I expect play-offs.

The winners of this league are probably between Eastleigh and Grimsby. The former because money has been thrown at this club and at this level money can buy promotion ;  (ask Crawley that question,! ) and the latter because ' The Shrimpers ' live upto their name Grim, but B. Determined. They play a televised match home against Cheltenham ( 30 / 10 ).


A big smile to the test team who did us proud and bounced back to win the third test match against the Australians in three days. Well done Lads.

The trouble about being a Sprinter , in the Tour de France is that, in order to get to the finishing sprint in Paris you have to achieve all the mountain stages. Poor old 'Cav' just didn't find the final kick this year and although in the top 10  failed to win the stage which he had previously won four times. However he did win one of the stages in the tour and therefore remains an elite sprinter.

A big tip of the hat to Chris Froome, who not only won the yellow jersey, but also claimed the polka dot 'King of the Mountains  ' shirt, the first time this feat was achieved since 1970.
 He behaved like a gentleman throughout, enduring unfortunate public abuse and scandal stories to win untarnished by it all. A true champion.

 Hats off and a big clap to celebrate the life of 'the voice of racing ' Sir Peter O' Sullevan , who died last Wednesday aged 97. He was absolutely peerless as a race reader and nobody knew more about race horses than Sir Peter. I believe he would have loved to have been involved with a dedicated racing channel; as often the BBC would abruptly cut off his commentary in order to televise another sport. But, I suspect, even if it were possible, the loyalty of the man would have kept him to his contract.

It seems impossible to believe that Sir Peter 'called ' fifty Grand Nationals, but that's what he did.
My favourite race memory was when his own horse " Attivo " won  the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Incredibly not a trace of excitement or emotion betrayed his commentary . Having given the usual jockey and trainer details, he added ' owned by Peter----- '. Amazing and it just shows the level of professionalism  that was his mark.

Here above is his inscription and signature when I bought his  autobiography " Calling The Horses " in 1989. As I spoke to Sir Peter, I mentioned my favouite horse was and is " The Dikler." Hardly pausing for thought, he included the message above. What a lovely gentleman.


Well, here we are in August, the holiday season is upon us. Relax and enjoy.

Cheerio for now,


Popular posts from this blog

Jimmy Uttley: God's Spring Blessing

Pen Friends: French Leave:

Tree-Saw: Willie-Tail: Winter Has Come: Snaps.