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Moving mountains

Preston’s Turns of Phrase


(a combination of the famous song from Mary Poppins and bad breath)

Preston’s Turns of Phrase

I’ll be introducing a new, funny section to my blog called Preston’s Turns of Phrase.

Now what is a turn of phrase, you ask?

Well, simply put, it is an expression which is worded in a distinctive way, especially one which is particularly memorable or artful.

And this is exactly what I’ll be doing, only these will be my own original ideas, and I’ll also explain briefly where the idea originated from. Just a heads up, some may be better than others, of course, so I apologise in advance for any lame ones which I may come up with.

– Preston Carbonaro

Words of the Day

doffing” (verb) – Removing (an item of clothing)

Example: “Yes, your excellency,” answered Daniel, quickly doffing his cap.

faux pas” (noun) – A social blunder or mistake that is quite embarrassing

Example: Cathy committed a huge faux pas when she licked the spoon and put it back in the cake batter.


Words of the Day

insouciant” (adjective) – Not concerned about anything; nonchalant, unworried, carefree

Example: Because Lily was well prepared for the test, she was insouciant about earning a passing grade.

kerfuffle” (noun) – A commotion, uproar, or fuss; disorder

Example: When rival football fans got in a kerfuffle in the pub, the police were called.

Words of the Day

petulant” (adjective) – (of a person or their manner) Childishly sulky or bad-tempered

Example: Although Margaret had a valid complaint, there was no reason for her to act petulant and call the waiter names.

ravings” (noun) – Irrational or incoherent talk

Example: He dismissed her words as the ravings of a hysterical woman.

Partisanship of the Highest Order

So, the latest “wise words” coming from the so-called Maltese police commissioner is that he sees nothing wrong with the deputy commissioner being married to government minister Justyne Caruana.

Nothing wrong, right? Nah, of course not.

… And what ever happened to being and seeming impartial when you’re in such a high position, I ask? Ethics? All that stuff?

Now, deputy Silvio Valletta could be the most unbiased and neutral guy on the planet, but something like this still looks awkward and unprofessional in my eyes. Others choose to remain oblivious.

But who the fuck cares about all that, right, Mr. Lawrence “Fenek” Cutajar?

L-aqwa żmien (“the best times”), eh?

This country just keeps on getting worse and worse by the day 😣

– Preston Carbonaro

Words of the Day

cloying” (adjective) – Disgusting or distasteful due to excessive sweetness, richness, or sentiment

Example: As a comedy, the film had too many cloying scenes that made it seem like a poorly written drama.

prosaic” (adjective) – Commonplace or dull; unimaginative

Example: Students were yawning during the prosaic graduation speech.

My English Teacher

This 1979 video clip of Sir Ian McKellen analysing my favourite soliloquy from The Scottish Play,  is very reminiscent of my English Literature lessons, back during my college days, with Mr. Engwall.

One of the lessons I always used to look forward to, apart from art class.

Mr. Engwall isn’t your typical teacher, who just sits down and reads text as if reading instructions from a cookbook. Which is why I am still impressed to this very day by his method of teaching. Mr. Engwall is very “active”, in the sense that it always seemed he was acting the whole thing out whenever he read something to us. He’d make the poetry or prose come to life, making the lesson interactive, and all the more entertaining for us students. When reading Macbeth, for instance, he’d assign a few pupils to play the part of a specific character, and have them read out their respective lines, once again trying to involve all of us and make it seem as if we’re actually acting the play out.

Also, when it came to assignments, he wasn’t the type who’d give you four ridiculous essay titles to choose one from, and write about. No “A Day by the Beach”, “The Family Picnic”, or “A Day With My Friends”. The title choices he gave us were always thought-provoking, which would then prompt a mini-discussion between all of us in class.  And, in order for us to expand our vocabulary, he used to give us a set of around eleven words per week, where we’d have to look up their definition, and then write a sentence using each word.

Does that remind you of anything, dear reader? 😉

… You got it. That’s where I got the idea to start “Words of the Day”! I wanted to continue that exercise, just for old time’s sake.

If I ever had to teach someday, I know where I’d have gotten my influence and inspiration from.

So, if you’re reading my post, Mr. Engwall, this one’s for you! Thanks for the great memories!

– Preston Carbonaro


The Gothia Experience

My colleagues and I are back from Sweden, following our wonderful experience in the 43rd edition of the Gothia Cup! And boy oh boy what an eventful week it was!

Without any further ado, as promised, I will now proceed to tell you all about our week.

Saturday 15th July:

Aerial shot of Sweden during our descent


Arrival at Göteborg Landvetter Airport. Met David (who we later found out is the main organiser’s son), then taken to Västerbergsskolan, which was our residence for that week.


Day 1 – Sunday 16th July:

A gloomy, rainy day in Gothenburg. We had a short meeting in the morning with the head organiser of Gothia Cup – Mr. Niklas Nord – and we were also introduced to our colleague Adriana Nadolska, a female referee from Poland who would be working along with us Maltese officials for the week. Despite the bad weather, we still decided to explore the city for a while, and visited the Universeum.


Day 2 – Monday 17th July:

Our first day refereeing in Sweden, on a very nice, clear day. Matches were held at the Kortedalavallen pitch (approximately an hour-long journey by public transport from where we were staying), and were the following:

  1. Girls 14 Group Stages – Lillehammer K.F.K. 1 (🇳🇴) vs. Triangelns I.K. (🇸🇪)
  2. Boys 18 Group Stages – Torslanda I.K. 2 (🇸🇪) vs. VfL Westercelle 2 (🇩🇪)
  3. Girls 16 Group Stages – Hipica Campinas (🇧🇷) vs. I.F.K. Kalmar (🇸🇪)
  4. Girls 16 Group Stages – Tölö I.F. (🇸🇪) vs. Club España (🇲🇽)
  5. Boys 18 Group Stages – University of Pretoria 1 (🇿🇦) vs. F.K. Lillehammer (🇳🇴)
  6. Boys 14 Group Stages – Stars ‘n Stripes (🇺🇸) vs. F.K. Karlskrona 1 (🇸🇪)
  7. Boys 18 Group Stages – Samaya F.A. (🇱🇧) vs. Eskilstuna Södra F.F. (🇸🇪)
  8. Boys 15 Group Stages – Backatorp I.F. (🇸🇪) vs. F.C. International Leipzig e.V. (🇩🇪)
  9. Boys 15 Group Stages – Reading Rage (🇺🇸) vs. Enskede I.K. (🇸🇪)

Following our football matches, we made our way to Ullevi Stadium for the magnificent Gothia Cup 2017 opening ceremony, which had a record attendance this year of 50, 800 spectators! I will never forget the sight of thousands of players from all sorts of clubs walking beside us to the stadium, some players even singing and chanting songs along the way. During the ceremony itself, there were several local bands and singers that gave an amazing performance, singing (among other well-known numbers by different artists) popular songs by Swedish DJ duo Icona Pop such as Emergency and I Love It, as the teams from all around the world were being presented. There was also a surprise guest appearance from Swedish football legend himself Kim Källström. At the end, we were treated to the traditional spectacular fireworks show for the grand finale, with everyone at the stadium cheering, waving, and throwing balloons. Ullevi was a sea of yellow and blue.



Day 3 – Tuesday 18th July:

Our matches for the day were at the Frejaplan pitch, which, thankfully, was much closer to the school we were staying in (around 15 minutes on foot). Refereed one of the toughest games I’ve had to date, the one between Werther and Lidköpings. Games were as follows:

  1. Girls 18 Group Stages – Rödeby A.I.F. (🇸🇪) vs. Arentorp Helås F.K. (🇸🇪)
  2. Girls 18 Group Stages – S.G. Borken e.V. (🇩🇪) vs. Vålerenga Fotboll (🇳🇴)
  3. Boys 13 Group Stages – S.G. Borken e.V. (🇩🇪) vs. Coerver Michigan Performance Academy (🇺🇸)
  4. Girls 15 Group Stages – St. Paul Blackhawks 2 (🇺🇸) vs. K.F.V. Segeberg (🇩🇪)
  5. Boys 14 Group Stages – Hødd I.L. (🇳🇴) vs. Coerver Michigan Performance Academy (🇺🇸)
  6. Boys 14 Group Stages – B.V. Werther (🇩🇪) vs. Lørenskog I.F. (🇳🇴)
  7. Girls 15 Group Stages – Sandvikens I.F. (🇸🇪) vs. St. Paul Blackhawks 1 (🇺🇸)
  8. Boys 15 Group Stages – Furulunds I.K. (🇸🇪) vs. Ljungby I.F. (🇸🇪)
  9. Boys 16 Group Stages – B.V. Werther (🇩🇪) vs. Lidköpings F.K. (🇸🇪)
  10. Boys 14 Group Stages – Ystads I.F. F.F. (🇸🇪) vs. Thai Spirit F.C. (🇹🇭)


Day 4 – Wednesday 19th July:

Back at Frejaplan pitch for the day. Twelve matches in all; the most we had in a day.

  1. Boys 15 Group Stages – Sandvikens I.F. Röd (🇸🇪) vs. I.F. Skarp (🇳🇴)
  2. Boys 16 Group Stages – Ljungby I.F. (🇸🇪) vs. Coerver Michigan Performance Academy (🇺🇸)
  3. Boys 14 Group Stages – Thai Spirit F.C. (🇹🇭) vs. 1. F.C. Schöneiche e.V. (🇩🇪)
  4. Boys 15 Group Stages – Emmaboda I.S. (🇸🇪) vs. Figgjo I.L. (🇳🇴)
  5. Girls 14 Group Stages – K.F.V. Segeberg (🇩🇪) vs. T.S.V. Weyhe-Lahausen (🇩🇪)
  6. Boys 13 Group Stages – Segeltorps I.F. (🇸🇪) vs. Coerver Michigan Performance Academy (🇺🇸)
  7. Girls 18 Group Stages – Bergnäsets A.I.K. (🇸🇪) vs. S.G. Borken e.V. (🇩🇪)
  8. Girls 15 Group Stages – Piteå I.F. D.F.F. (🇸🇪) vs. Remsle U.I.F. (🇸🇪)
  9. Boys 16 Play-Off B – Reine I.L./Ballstad U.I.L. (🇳🇴) vs. Maryland United F.C. (🇺🇸)
  10. Boys 15 Play-Off B – Figgjo I.L. (🇳🇴) vs. Lørenskog I.F. (🇳🇴)
  11. Boys 15 Play-Off B – Segeltorps I.F. (🇸🇪) vs. Högsby I.K. (🇸🇪)
  12. Boys 15 Play-Off B – Bodens B.K. F.F. (🇸🇪) vs. I.B.F.F. (🇸🇪)


Day 5 – Thursday 20th July:

Quite a hot day in Gothenburg. Games were held at the Överåsvallen pitch, and this is where stuff started to get serious. Each match from Thursday onwards was being streamed live on the Gothia Cup website. All matches were play-offs.

  1. Boys 14 Play-Off A – Cajamar Esporte (🇧🇷) vs. Pequeninos do Jockey (🇧🇷)
  2. Girls 18 Play-Off A – Landvetter I.F. 1 (🇸🇪) vs. Bossekop U.L. (🇳🇴)
  3. Girls 16 Play-Off B – Storfors A.I.K. (🇸🇪) vs. Malmslätts A.I.K. (🇸🇪)
  4. Boys 15 Play-Off A – Högbo A.I.K. (🇸🇪) vs. Florø S.K. (🇳🇴)
  5. Boys 13 Play-Off A – J.S.C. Pitray-Olier Paris (🇫🇷) vs. C.A. Intercups Mexico (🇲🇽)
  6. Boys 15 Play-Off B – Sollefteå G.I.F. F.F. (🇸🇪) vs. Gimonäs Umeå I.F. (🇸🇪)
  7. Girls 15 Play-Off B – S.K.K. (🇳🇴) vs. J.K. Tabasalu (🇪🇪)
  8. Boys 14 Play-Off B – European Football Academy (🇬🇧) vs. Bollstanäs S.K. 2 (🇸🇪)
  9. Girls 13 Play-Off B – Åsa I.F. (🇸🇪) vs. Mossens B.K. (🇸🇪)
  10. Girls 14 Play-Off A – B.K. Höllviken (🇸🇪) vs. S.K. Haugar (🇳🇴)
  11. Girls 16 Play-Off A 1/4 Final – F.C. Staffanstorp (🇸🇪) vs. S.K. Haugar (🇳🇴)

That same evening, when we were finished, we received our next slate of matches for Friday and Saturday. Much to our surprise, we were so happy and excited after having been chosen to officiate in the Girls 18 Play-Off B Final on Saturday.


Day 6 – Friday 21st July:

Four play-off matches today, at Kviberg pitch 13. Why pitch 13, you ask? Well, this place is truly incredible. There’s such a huge space of greenery that during the Gothia Cup, they transform the area into over 20 separate football grounds!

  1. Boys 13 Play-Off B – Enebybergs I.F. 1 (🇸🇪) vs. Sävedalens I.F. 2 (🇸🇪)
  2. Girls 13 Play-Off B 1/4 Final – Ylämyllyn Yllätys (🇫🇮) vs. Ploërmel F.C. (🇫🇷)
  3. Girls 16 Play-Off B 1/4 Final – Greve Fodbold (🇩🇰) vs. Mankato United (🇺🇸)
  4. Boys 15 Play-Off B 1/4 Final – Onsala B.K. (🇸🇪) vs. Gerdskens B.K. (🇸🇪)

Later in the day, we had the referees’ party at Strike & Co. We had a taco buffet there, then after headed down to the bowling alley and played two rounds of bowling, where I earned bragging rights for finishing with the highest amount of points.


Day 7 – Saturday 22nd July:

D-Day. Assistant referee in the women’s play-off final match between German team Alemannia Aachen, and Swedish side Enskede I.K. Played at the SKF Arena, in Heden Centre. The match ended 1 – 3 in favour of the Swedes.
Flags of all participating countries, in Heden Centre
The refereeing team, and players from both teams
Medals for officiating in the final


Since the game was in the morning, we had the rest of the day off where we could finally enjoy some time together and do some more sightseeing. We first went to Liseberg Amusement Park and tried out some of the rides and games there.

Liseberg entrance


Last but not least, we went for a late lunch at the nearby Hard Rock Cafe, located on Kungsportsavenyen street. Great food, and good company. A perfect way to spend our last evening in Sweden!

– Preston Carbonaro

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