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Soup of This Day #191: I’d Step Out In Style With My Sincere Smile

June 8, 2012

Looe Island
Looe Island, a mile off the southern Cornish coast in the United Kingdom. This mild climate nature reserve was once a medieval monastic settlement and then in later times a smuggler’s haunt. As such it could well double for the fictional Kirrin Island of Famous Five renown – Photo: Pyrotek, 2009. Pyrotek is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

This is the 1st Soup of This Day written with the aid of spectacles.

Well at least I think it is – Such is my visionary confusion that I might be giving the laminating machine a shiatsu massage instead of typing on the laptop. My rhythmic tapping could make the laminator just melt inside…

Sorry – The glasses don’t improve the jokes.

Regardless of what I’m typing on I reckon I’ll take a shot at getting this post out – Mostly because it contains a childhood memory and a tribute to a Liverpool FC stalwart…

The childhood memory 1st and it’s 1 that I can share with people from around my age who grew up in Australia or the UK. If that’s you then you’ll understand when I talk about The Famous Five. If that’s not you then stick around anyway for my potted guide to a bunch of young detectives with a knack for solving mysteries:

The Famous Five were the creation of noted children’s author Enid Blyton. She penned 21 full-length books featuring a group of 4 children and a dog who sleuthed their way through some difficult larks, all while being respectful and ever so nice. This formula has struck a chord with generations of kids since the 1st story was published in 1943 – Even now, an average of 2m copies are sold each year, taking the number purchased to date to over 100m books featuring siblings Julian, Dick and Anne, along with their tomboy cousin George and her gypsy dog, Timmy.

The way each book played out was formulaic – The kids would be at George’s place in seaside Kirrin for the hols, often spending time at the beach or over on the family’s private Kirrin Island. While relaxing from the travails of the English boarding school system they would be faced by a mystery of sorts, often linked to George’s dad, Quentin, a world-famous scientist or her mum, Fanny, who made lots of nice lemonade and sandwiches.

It wasn’t a liberating time to be a woman.

Anyway, fuelled by Fanny’s culinary goodness the gang would use some ingenuity, some pluck and a forged driver’s licence to get the bad guys rounded up and the adults murmuring with appreciation.

I may have made up the forged driver’s licence bit.

To be honest The Famous Five were a little too wholesome to even consider such a falsehood – Born of a time when a war ranged across the world and good old fashioned British spirit was needed to see off the evil these children epitomised not so much how kids wanted to be, but how parents wished they were. They were respectful, faithful and they tried ever so hard at doing the right thing.

Which is where we segue to Liverpool FC and their Dutch striker/midfielder/winger Dirk Kuyt.

Kuyt began his professional career at Dutch side FC Utrecht, scoring 51 goals in 160 games across 5 years from 1998. The blond Dutchman then moved to Rotterdam’s Feyenoord in 2003, upping his scoring rate to an impressive 71 goals in 101 games. That kind of form caught the eye of Liverpool’s then-manager Rafael Benítez and Kuyt headed to the Merseyside giants propelled by expectations of a truckload of goals.

He may also have been slightly propelled by the £10m that Liverpool gave Feyenoord.

Whatever drove the move it didn’t quite pan out for Dirk the way it should have – For a start he didn’t score at anywhere near the same rate as he had in his homeland. He notched just 51 goals in 208 games across 6 years and that’s a rate of return that doesn’t suggest an out-and-out striker has been as productive as you’d like. Which I guess begs the question as to why Liverpool persisted with him for so long?

Because he was respectful, faithful and tried ever so hard at doing the right thing.

Regardless of the position or the situation that Liverpool dumped him into, Dirk Kuyt would be there, endlessly throwing himself whole-heartedly after lost causes that better paid players would turn their backs on. So often did you see Kuyt lumbering after a long-ball that he had no hope of getting to that someone once likened him to a golden retriever happily chasing after a frisbee. The description stuck, in part because of his straggly golden hair but mostly because that was just him – running from defender to defender as they lazily played keepy-off – You could imagine him panting:

‘Gonna get the ball, gonna get the ball, gonna get the ball…’

Yep, Dirk is Timmy the dog.

And much like the canine crime fighter, Kuyt has not got a lot of medals to reward his service – In fact the Dutch forward has only collected 1 piece of silverware in his time on Merseyside – Scoring a goal in extra time and weighing in successfully during a penalty shoot-out as Liverpool won the 2012 Football League Cup.

Sadly though that trophy was a rare highlight as Dirk found himself warming the bench too much last season under a seemingly unappreciative Kenny Dalglish – Timmy the dog would not have sat out an adventure and neither really can Dirk Kuyt. So even though there has been a change of manager to Brendan Rodgers, the faithful golden retriever has opted for somewhere a little more exotic than the English idyll of Kirrin:


1 last Famous Five memory – Around the time Dirk Kuyt was born in 1980, an English adaptation of The Famous Five made it on to Australian TV. There’s not much of a sporting connection to that – I just wanted to mention it because it’s time I confessed to having a bit of a 5 year old crush on Anne – She was 10 (The actress, Jenny Thanisch, was actually around 13 at the time of filming) which was twice my age but man was I hooked.

It didn’t last.

By the time I was 10 I’d moved on in much the same way that Kuyt needs to move on from Liverpool FC to Fenerbahçe Spor Kulübü, who have secured his services for the 2012/2013 Turkish Süper Lig.

I hope they have plenty of frisbees…

Have a great weekend folks.

I’d Step Out In Style With My Sincere Smile

  1. I just purchased a larger screen TV and it is amazing how my eyesight has “improved.”

    • It’s a great plan – Genius even. Unfortunately I just ran it by the wife and her response was something along the lines of, ‘You can move to Philadelphia with SportsAttitude then…’ – She’s a tough crowd.

      • Plenty of room here for you. Plenty of viewing image also. Try again with the wife first though…”honey, think how much this will save all of our eyes from straining so much. Reduced vision bills AND a greater quality of life in our golden years!”

      • I’ll go with that. Might wait a while – She’s going into labour now and I reckon any requests will have to be on hold.

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