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September 27, 2010


Richard J

"Great Wall" also makes it sound more interesting than 'A higgledy-piggledy collection of futile fortifications that make the Maginot line look like a good idea, and that apart from a short-ish spell near Beijing, are now gradually subsiding into the loamy mud from which they were made".


Great Town? As in, The Thousand-Mile Ribbon Development of China? The man is sadly misguided. The reality of the Great Wall may not be much more cop than the reality of Hadrian's ditto, but the image of the Wall (which is Visible from Space!!1!) is fine as it is. I can't imagine who wouldn't want to see it, apart from professional footballers who have had a bit of a rough week and fancy a lie-in.


West Brom visited it once, didn't they?


They didn't quite, as I anecdoted upon in the piece. But what I'm very pleased with is the headline use of the word "punter" in its acceptable colloquial British sense in a headline in Chinese state media. Well done, that editor.


Ah, sorry about that. That'll teach me to click on the links. I think you might be wrong though: I think some went and looked at it, some stayed on the coach and played cards. John "Newcastle's record signing for many years" Trewick is certainly supposed to have seen it.


Mind you my memory is also telling me Martin Amis was on that trip. That can't be right, can it?


No, that was Watford (it's in one of his essay collections). I'm pretty sure the WBA story is on point, at least as far as Ally Brown's comments are concerned.


Oh, talking of sports teams and attitudes to China, did you ever do this? (I came across it in an insomnia-driven surf the other morning.)


I didn't: I mean, what can you actually say?


Well, perhaps interestingly, Pau Gasol apparently says "the sponsor made us do it" (scroll down a lot) which may bring forth a range of responses including "if the sponsor told you to put your hand in the fire..."

(English readers may not have heard of Pau Gasol, by the way: in the same way, Spanish people may not have heard of Andrew Flintoff.)

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