Thursday, 24 December 2009
I've been on holiday from work since 18th December and don't go back until 4th January 2010 and, inspired by my mate Mossley Smiffy (see Six Tames Sides" blog link on right) - I've been out and about in the snow with the camera.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
Wednesday: arranged an appointment for Wednesday 16th December to go for a lithotripsy (I've had just about all the "oscopys" and am now starting on the "ipsys") They will blast the stone with ultrasound to try to break it into small fragments which may be "peed out." The leaflet with the confirmation letter says I will feel discomfort rather than pain but suggests I get someone to drive me home because of the likely "discomfort" and, by the way, they will have painkillers on hand should I need them. (Oh! I see-- THAT sort of discomfort!)
Sunday, 6 December 2009
And what a game we saw. On a heavy, greasy pitch more suited to cattle grazing than football, Sheffield were taken apart in the first 20 minutes as Belper scored 3 times and could (should?) have had at least 2 more.
Sheffield pulled one back before half time and nerves were jangling when they scored a second early in the 2nd half. However, with Sheffield pressing forward for the equaliser - Belper hit them twice on the break to make it 5 - 2 with 10 minutes or so left. Andy Rushbury then added a 6th in the last few minutes as a totally demoralised Sheffield side were left chasing shadows.
There's a"Bumper Bundle" of pictures (courtesy of the master - Tim Harrison) - here:
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Sunday, 29 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Pity my perfomance with the camera didn't match that of the team but there were a couple of shots that aren't too bad......
I've been for my CT scan this afternoon - results will be mailed to me (not to my GP which I find a bit odd.... anyway...) within a week to 10 days. I also got a letter from the hospital this morning. It tells me that one of the several urine samples I've submitted since this whole episode started about 5 weeks ago shows evidence of a urinary tract infection. I therefore need to call my GP to get a course of antibiotics. (They've written to the doc separately so I guess she's eagerly awaiting my call.)
I'll just be glad when (maybe if) they get to the bottom of this and sort it out once and for all. Sorry to bang on about it but I'm a bit teed off with it now!
Work is still "on the up" with orders coming in right, left and centre. Problem now is we don't really have enough men on the shopfloor to cope in the short term. But what do you do? Hire half a dozen blokes then, maybe in a month or two's time, fire them again? There are no guarantees that the orders will continue to flow in.
One of my tasks for next week is a sales forecast for 2010.... anybody got any suggestions?!
Sunday, 22 November 2009
As promised - some pretty pics - "Autumn Berries" taken last weekend in Graves Park, just around the corner from Norton Towers.
Belper Town 7 - 1 Loughborough was the final result and the 2nd half produced some amazing one-touch "pass-and-move" football and a thoroughly deserved win. Loughborough were not as bad a side as the final score suggests and they kept going up until their striker missed a golden chance with the score at 4 - 1. It was actually a stunning save by Adam Ogden, the Belper keeper, and you could almost see the oppositions heads go down. Anyway - a great result and Tim Harrison's excellent album of the game is here:
Next up is Chasetown in the Unibond President's Cup on Tuesday evening. Haven't decided if we'll go yet - depends on the weather - if this wet and windy stuff continues we might give it a miss.
Andy kindly did this for us last season and as I said - it's really nice of him to think of us. He says it's a small "Thanks" for taking the trouble to regularly support the 1st team and reserves despite most matches involving a minimum 60 mile round trip!. We, of course, do it because we enjoy the whole experience - the game, the company and the banter.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
A quick summary of the last couple of weeks.......
The scan (eventually) confirmed the presence of a kidney stone and then I got a very severe urine infection (sweats then shakes then sweats again - the full monty!) so strong antibiotics were prescribed. These had some side effects (like the trots!) but the course is now finished.
This afternoon - I've an appointment at the Hallamshire hospital for a cystoscopy (look it up) - I had one of these several years ago and so I'm not looking forward to it.... then we see what happens next!
Footy? Well - Belper Town have lost a couple, drawn a couple and won a couple! They've also signed a couple of new players and you can see all of the details on the new, improved website.. link on the right - it's well worth a look.
The reserve side has just lost it's first game in 10 - a 2 -3 reverse against Teversal and again - pictures and comment are on the Belper Town forum.
Sunday, 1 November 2009
Late substitition in semi-darkness.
That brief description doesn't do the game any justice! It was "end-to-end" for a lot of the 90 minutes but what made it so great, to my mind, was the fact that both sides tried to play good, passing, attacking football. Belper won because of their excellent all-round team performance.
Click the link below for more pix:
I'm still trying to get an appointment to see the doc about my scan results but given the fact that there are spasmodic postal strikes at the minute, the mail is more unreliable than ever so she probably hasn't got the results yet anyway!
Weather was fine yesterday but absolutely lousy today and we're promised more temperatures in the 10 to 12 C range rather than the 16 to 18 we've been enjoying during the last week.
Not much else to tell really although we bought a new printer today - another HP "all-in-one" printer-scanner-copier, because the current one is starting to show it's age. The new one has a wireless facility so that will allow the Duchess to effortlessly print from her laptop and will, hopefully, give better results on the odd photo I print now and then.
Thursday, 29 October 2009
.....and what was almost as good was the fact that for the first time in days - I had slept through from around 10:30 last night until the alarm woke me at 6 a.m., without getting up to "take a leak."
The crazy thing is - I was still absolutely knackered for the bulk of the day!
Anyway - hope for a repeat performance tonight and then - Friday is a half day - then it's the weekend and Belper Reserves away at Staveley. The first team have no game and Staveley is only about 20 minutes from Nortoner Towers, it makes sense!
Watch this space!
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
To be honest, I haven't had the "kidney stone pain" for several days but I admit I'm a bit bothered by the "night pees."
Anyway - a lighter note.... Since the scan was at 4:45 pm and there is absolutely nowhere to park around the Hallamshire Hospital (it's usually choc-a-bloc with poor, unfunded students cars) the Duchess dropped me off, parked a little way away and waited for my call.
Of course, that meant it was not possible for her to cook my evening meal (or tea if you're from round here!) so that was all the excuse we needed to go to the Bowshaw Inn and indulge in the wonderful Carvery Dinners they do. Get there before 7 pm and it's a fiver - for choice of Roast Gammon, Roast Turkey or Roast Beef (or a bit of all 3 if you like) and all the veggies and as many Yorkshire puddings as you can pile on your plate. Bargain!! We had a drink a meal and dessert (OK, it was only ice cream) and the bill, including a tip, was £17!! Can't go wrong!
Naturally, the place is generally packed before 7 pm but we only had to wait 10 minutes for a table. What annoys me about the place though (there HAD to be something didn't there?) is the greedy slobs who pile the plate high with veggies and then leave almost a full plate when they're done eating. Senseless waste isn't it?
After 7 pm - the deal is £7.50 and there is a slightly wider choice of dishes, usually themed - for instance, Wednesday evening, after 7 is "Curry Evening". You still get the option of the 3 roasts but the extra choices are curries.
We go about once per month or so and really enjoy it.
What else is happening? Not a lot really so I'll let you get on with whatever and I'll let you know more when I know more.....
Sunday, 25 October 2009
My last post said I'd had no pain since visiting the docs on the previous Friday - well - I spoke too soon! Woke with the pain on Wednesday and Friday mornings, although a pee and a pill seemed to sort it out.
However, I've generally felt "crap" with sometimes a temperature but mostly just plain tired. Don't know if it's the medication or, more likely, the fact that following the docs advice, I'm drinking "gallons" of fluid every day and so have made a couple of "wee hours" visits to the loo (sorry about the unintentional pun!!) Yesterday, I also developed a pain in my left shouder, around the area of the shoulder blade and so Saturday late afternoon was spent generally trying to find a comfortable position to sit, stand or lie down. I actually went for a kip on Saturday afternoon and the pain came on after that so I think I've "slept funny" as my ma used to say!
Codeine seems to be sorting it and I think I'm a bit better this morning.
This is why I haven't posted before now - I was/am poorly!!!
It's been another busy week at work and in terms of new orders, October is now the best month we've had since September 2008 and there is still a week to go. The plant is still on short time but the time is not as short as it was a month ago if you get my drift.
There's not much else to say just now - no football yesterday - the 1st team were at Kidsgrove which we decided is a bit of a trek - and the reserves were away at Little Eaton. The weather was wet and windy and cos I'm not well, we didn't bother with that either.
The 1st team lost 1-2 and the Reserves won 5-4 after extra time in a Divisonal cup tie. Reports will appear on the Belper web site and Forum as usual if you wanna look.
Anyway - I'm going to get another cuppa and listen to the Archers Omnibus on Radio 4 so - see yer later!
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
The camera might get left at home - I'm not great at "after dark" pics anyway and if this weather continues, we might opt for a seat in the stand rather than standing in the open, behind the goal as we normally do!
We shall see - this is England after all and it could be a balmy October evening, although I doubt it very much!
I'll do a match report later. (BTW - no more pain since Friday so I'm hoping the Ultrasound scan next week shows "all clear!")
Sunday, 18 October 2009
The Belper lads put on a very good show and deserved the win - another 3 points in what's becoming a very successful season for manager Jon and his assistant Darren.
The rest of my photographic effort is here:
I've not been well this week and at the risk of boring you with my problems......
Tuesday evening, I got a pain in my right side, like the worst "stitch" you've ever had, After 2 Ibuprofen pills and an evening at Belper Town FC, the pain had gone but it returned at various times on Wednesday and Thursday, each time getting a little more intense. I was popping 6 Ibuprofen a day and so thought perhaps I'd better find out what was wrong.
I managed to get to see the lovely Dr Wood at our local surgery around 5 pm on Friday and she diagnosed from a urine sample that I probably have a kidney stone which was "on the move." So - it was off down the chemists to get a prescription filled.
One of the pills is an antibiotic (because she thinks I might also have a renal infection), one is a very strong painkiller and the third is to stop the painkiller damaging my stomach. I've also got to go for an Ultrasound scan a week on Monday. She wants me to drink "gallons" of water and keep "peeing for England!" Apparently, I could well "pee out" the stone (if it is one) but the pain level during it's passing will depend on how big the thing is!
Touch wood - since I took the first pills on Friday evening, the pain has not returned at all and up to now, I've only needed one dose of the painkiller. I'm hoping the scan reveals a small stone or none at all. Can't wait!
Anyway - Monday tomorrow and it's back to work. Last week was the best we've had since August 2008 in terms of new orders booked but the trick is to repeat that feat next week (not highly likely) or continue to struggle through to the end of the year and hope for an upturn in 2010.
We'll see..... the next exciting instalment follows......
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Don't normally bother too much with cup ties - partly because my season ticket doesn't cover them and I have to pay to get in! (Only joking - we like to support BTFC as much as possible and get to as many games as we can.)
Anyway - we saw a cracking game of football! Belper, with some youngsters from the reserves in the squad, began slowly but built some pressure after about 10 minutes. Then, as on Saturday, a good goal (this time a header from Asa Ingall) followed fairly rapidly by a penalty kick gave us a 2 - 0 lead and things were looking good.
Sheffield pulled one back before half time and then very quickly got another from a penalty early in the 2nd half. Sheffield got their noses in front and it looked like another cup exit for the Nailers.
You've heard of "inspired" substitutions? Well Carnes and Danny made one last night, bringing one of the rising stars of the reserve side into the game. Oliver Warren is a young lad who has been fully "signed up" because this lad is a real prospect. I'd seen him a couple of weeks ago when the reserves played Staveley and before getting a head injury, he was the star of that show.
"Ollie" came on late in the piece and almost immediately made an impact. He scored to make it 3 -3 and what a goal. Receiving the ball in the penalty box, he didn't panic, showed some lovely close control and left 2 defenders on their backsides before slotting the ball home from 10 yards.
In fact, all of the youngsters had good games. Aaron Pride has been out of action with a broken foot for several weeks but he played the full 120 minutes last night and Sam "Shaggy" Johnson came on late on and acquitted himself very well, proving again that Belper have a strong "2nd tier".
Warren's goal meant extra time and eventually, penalties. Now, since I've never ever watched a Belper penalty being taken and being a highly superstitious sod when it comes to footy, I didn't watch the shoot out but Belper won it 3 - 1.
There's a much more professional report by Nigel Oldrini ("Scribbler" to his friends) on the Belper website (click on the link on the right as usual)
A brief chat with the players in the clubhouse afterwards and then an hour's drive back to Sheffield meant it was getting on for midnight when we got home!
On Monday evening I had felt rough and went to bed at 8:45 pm and I didn't wake until the alarms went off at 6:00 a.m. Nine hours sleep! - but last night, obviously, less than 6 hours sleep! So - I'm shattered and will now go downstairs and watch England v Belarus. The Duchess is at a football meeting and I'll have to see if I can stay awake until she's back!
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Ben Walker's header makes it 3 - 0:
We were a bit concerned when first of all, Danny Hudson limped off after 5 minutes and then, after 20 minutes of almost incessant pressure on the Spalding goal, it was still 0-0. But Andy Rushbury, (who rejoined us a couple of weeks ago after a spell in Australia) smashed home a volley to make it 1 - 0 and we were on our way.
Almost immediately, Ant Wilson was pushed over in the penalty area and Adam Burley converted the kick to make it 2-0 and to all intents and purposes, game over.
Second half - again after a lot of pressure, Ben Walker popped up to head home a cross from the right and it was 3 - 0. Final goal was scored by substitute Luke Fedorenko who struck an excellent cross- shot into the bottom corner.
My photo-album of the game is here:
Next up is Sheffield FC, at home on Tuesday evening, in the Unibond Presidents Cup competition. That will be a much tougher contest but if we play as we did on Saturday - it shouldn't be a major problem.
And an interesting look back at the past.....
The days since my 150th post have been busy! Most important event of the week though was my more or less monthly evening spent with my friend Jack Hobson.
I'm sure I've mentioned Jack before - he was my boss when I joined the company I work for and although he retired in 1978, we've kept in touch. He's 93 years old and still independent. Living alone, he makes 2 or 3 trips per year to see his daughter in Canada. He travels alone with the only assistance coming from a nephew who drives him to Manchester airport and back.
We are both heavily into family history but Jack has done way more research than me. Part of our chat on Thursday evening centred on an e-mail I'd had from a young man who was researching his family tree and had an old photograph which he believed had been taken at John Bedford & Sons Ltd, on Mowbray Street in Sheffield (where I started my time with the company.)
John Bedford & Sons became Bedford Steels in 1972 but the company has existed since 1792 and the young man wanted to know if we could confirm the location of the photograph and if we knew anyone in it. After Jack had studied the picture he was able to say for sure that it was taken in the works at Bedfords and seemed to be of the staff and workforce of the Engineers File Manufacturing Department.
I sent the info I had to the young fella and he was delighted. He sent a further copy of the picture showing which man was his great grandad and was very pleased to get confirmation of the picture's locartion.
Nothing else to report - except that it is now 3 pm on Sunday afternoon and since I have been sitting in front of the PC since about 9:30 a.m., I think I'd better go and say "hello" to the Duchess!!!
See Yer Later!
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Belper Town lost 1 - 4 in the FA Trophy replay last night.
I didn't go - but followed the game on a website run by "Non League News 24" which has a vidiprinter with goals, red cards etc "as they happen" (well near enough anyway - seems to be only 5 minutes or so behind the action.) It's an excellent service.
Later reports on the Belper Forum say the score was a little flattering to Clitheroe - Belper had opportunities to score and didn't take them. Clitheroe had four shots and scored four goals. That's the way it goes sometimes and unfortunately, it seems to have been going that way for Belper Town for a few weeks now!
Reports and pictures will appear on the Belper website - as usual - link on the right.
For now - here's to the next 150!!
Monday, 5 October 2009
Belper Town were away at Clitheroe in the FA Trophy. They drew 1-1 by the way - with a perfectly good goal disallowed and two certain penalties denied according to reports. (Link to Belper Town website on the right - you know the drill by now!)
We decided a 150 mile round trip was a bit much on a cold, windy afternoon and so stayed at home. In any case, we had some "family stuff" to sort out and it seemed the perfect opportunity to do that.
With the first team not an option, we'd normally go to see the Reserve side but decided we could give that a miss for once. They won 8 - 0 and could have scored 20 apparently! (Pictures from both games can be found on the Belper Forum - link to the Belper Town website - click on Forum etc etc.)
On Sunday - the winds had calmed and so I decided to get the back garden grass cut for, hopefully, the last time this season. After a good 3.1/2 hours (including a change of blade on the lawnmower), I got the camera out (withdrawal symptons were setting in - I hadn't snapped anything in nearly a week!) and took some pics of the flowers. It's October and we still have roses in bloom!
The final "act" in the garden was to set the squirrel trap again and yes, we managed to catch another one of the little varmints this morning so a run out to Ringinglow was called for this evening after we'd eaten. The Duchess has seen at least 2 more in the trees at the end of the garden so I'll be setting the trap again in the not too distant future.
Nothing much else to add - work carries on as work does - a glimmer of hope that the order load might be improving is rapidly followed by a kick in the wotsits when you realise it isn't - well - not as dramatically as when the backside fell out of it about 12 months ago. But we struggle on and try to get through this year with the hatches battened as tightly as possible.
In the next few weeks, I have to do my 2010 Sales Forecast. All of our budgets and profit margin projections are generally based on this document and it is never an easy exercise to undertake. This year I reckon it's going to be tougher than ever. There's always a certain amount of guesswork involved but with the current instability - I think I'll be basing most of my assumptions on the toss of a coin (which I honestly believe is the practice adopted by those two lame-brains at 10 and 11 Downing Street anyway.)
Tomorrow is the FA Trophy replay - at Belper this time of course. Don't know yet if I'm going. The Duchess has a Junior Football Meeting and it all probably depends on whether my mate Joey Winson wants to go. If Joey would like to go - I'll take him but I don't know if I can be arsed to go on my own..... besides - the weather forecast isn't great. Another consideration of course is that cup games aren't covered by my season ticket so I'd have to pay to get in!!!
Friday, 2 October 2009
The first half display was one of the worst I've seen from Belper Town - Shepshed were quicker to the ball, worked harder and well deserved their 1 - 0 lead at half time. The second half was much better as Belper stepped up the pace and after the equaliser, Shepshed suffered a period of very heavy pressure with Belper hitting the cross bar twice. Their keeper made a couple of very good saves late on too. Still - wasn't to be and the spoils were shared.
There was some moaning during the game (a bit from me too I admit) but - in the cold light of day - Belper Town are 7th in the league, 6 points behind the leaders with 3 games in hand, have only lost 1 league game this season and they have the best defensive record in the division. No team has conceded fewer goals. That's at least comparable to the start last season and I suspect that had this situation been offered before the start, we'd have "snatched their hands off!"
The game was blighted to some degree by another very poor performance from the referee. He seemed to make his prime objective the booking of Anthony Wilson. He achieved his ambition when Willo jumped for a ball, the defender jumped into him and they landed in a heap on the ground. Result - free-kick against Willo and a yellow card.
In the clubhouse afterwards, we set up this photo to sum up the fans feelings about the match officials' display
Apart from this shot, I had an absolute "mare" with the camera and there are perhaps 5 or 6 pictures worth saving from around 100 I took during the course of the game. My excuse is I'm still getting used to the new camera but I've had a couple of thoughts (and sneaked a look at the properties on some of Snappers pictures to see what settings he used - have a look for yourself here:
and so we'll see what the next "night match" brings.
Nothing much to report from the rest of the week - The Duchess had a Girls Junior League Meeting last night and her car got through the MOT on Wednesday, but aside from that - another week has slipped by with a marked lack of excitement.
No footy for us this weekend. Belper Town are in an FA Trophy game at Clitheroe, 75 miles from here and just too far to contemplate and although the reserves are at home, the weather forecast is "wet and windy" with gusts to 60 mph so I think Nortoner and The Duchess will be "at home" this weekend!
Last Saturday, as I said, we watched Belper Town Reserves v Staveley.
Whilst I was happily wandering around, "snapping away" looking for the best angles. I was approached by a gent who asked me if I could do him a special favour and try to get a couple of action shots of the Staveley Number 9. He explained that he had no action shots of the lad in question and so wanted me to take some and e-mail his secretary with them so they could get prints.
Being the kindly soul I am, I made it my mission to get said pictures and, I thought I did a good job.
Anyway, long story short, I spent part of Sunday morning "Photoshopping" and tarting up 4 images and sent them, as 4 separate e-mails, to the address I'd been given.
Monday, 28 September 2009
Wasn't a classic but enjoyable all the same. The Belper team included 5 players from the 1st team squad and some good football was played, particularly in the 2nd half as the players, I guess, "got used" to one another.
My photo album from the game is here:
Andy Fretwell was his understudy and played very well. I don't think the reserve team management crew have anything to worry about but I wonder how many other clubs have lost both 1st and 2nd choice keepers in the space of about a week!
It was a fine day, sunny but cool, and once again, we stopped at Bakewell for fish & chips. Didn't hang around long after we'd eaten them though - it "dropped cold" very quickly as the sun went down.
Sunday - in the morning, sorted out the pictures from Saturdays game and published the album above then after lunch, went out in the garden for a couple of hours "tidying up." The Duchess cooked Roast Pork with Yorkshire pud and all the trimmings which as usual at Nortoner Towers, was eaten around 6 pm (A relic from the days when our son played Sunday football, we always ate "Sunday Dinner" in the early evening after all the "football business" was sorted during the rest of the day.)
So - Monday rushes around before you know it but..... "Squirrel Trapper" strikes again!
My post before last reported the "trap and release" programme (with regard to squirrels), currently in operation on the Nortoner Towers Estate - well today - late afternoon, we trapped another of the little blighters! After eating our evening meal, we drove out to Porter Clough, near Ringinglow and let the thing loose up there. The trap will be reset tomorrow evening and hopefully, we'll get rid of another one of the vermin. (There are at least 2 more roaming around.)
Tomorrow evening it's Belper Town v Shepshed Dynamo in a league game and we'll be off down there to hopefully see a Belper win. Ther are no guarantees because the team's form has been a little inconsistent although last time out, against Sheffield FC, Belper played some of their best football of the season.
We'll see (and I will report as usual.)
Sunday, 27 September 2009
One of his latest entries explains why Accrington Stanley find themselves £308,000 in debt to the tax man.
Read it here:
My mate Mossley Smiffy made mention on his blog (Six Tame sides - link on right) recently that Hyde United look like folding because they can't pay a bill of around £120,000 - or the equivalent of one week's wages for some Premier League footballers.
Now you know why I watch and support Unibond league One football as much as I can.
Friday, 25 September 2009
Knocked out of the League Cup on Tuesday evening (2 -1 , away at Mickleover) - match report through the Belper Town link as always and pics by Tim Harrison are here:
Now I'm not one to pass comment as you know but the phrase "Glory Hunter" initially sprang to my mind! Interesting too that last Saturday Leigh had what I thought was one of his best ever games for Belper Town. Our opposition that day? Sheffield FC. Hmmmmm..... as they say!
Anyway - he's gone and we've signed a guy called Martin Kearney whose former clubs include Alfreton, Hucknall and, rather ironically, Sheffield FC. The management duo have also served a "7-day" notice on Adam Ogden, who was our goalkeeper a couple of seasons ago. Andy Carney reckons he wants two strong goalkeepers (he's correct again of course) and that's why we've signed Martin and put in an approach for Adam.
So as I said - it's all 'appening on the footie front. Work has picked up a little too this last couple of days and although we are way off being out of the mire yet, there are encouraging signs that the market for our hollow steel might just be picking up a bit. We'll see.
Plans for the weekend? Belper Town Reserves v Staveley MW tomorrow (the first team have no game) and gardening again Sunday. Got several areas of the Norton Towers Estate to sort out.
By the way - can't recall if I mentioned it but we have been plagued by squirrels this last 2 years and the little swines have been gnawing away at the lead on the flat roof of my kitchen bay window. I only had the thing re-leaded last year and it cost me the guts of £1500 so I am more than a little dischuffed.
Strange thing is this week we found dead squirrels in the garden, on 2 consecutive days. Not a mark on 'em but 2 rigid corpses required disposal. Don't know if it's lead poisoning or if a neighbour has been putting down poison.
Anyway - some months back, I bought a "squirrel trap" but up until this week, I haven't bothered to try it out. Set it up Wednesday evening though and it worked a treat - I'd left the trap by the garden hedge with a few peanuts inside and this morning, there was a squirrel trapped in there! (Think it's the "Big Old Daddy" who's been causing most of the damage.)
So - this afternoon, after I finished work (did I tell you we finish early on Fridays now - It's ACE!!) me and the Duchess took a drive to the outskirts of Sheffield and released the little blighter in a wooded area on the edge of the city! (I had planned to shoot it with my BB gun but bottled out at the last minute.) That means we've seen the back of three of the little sods in one week - and the trap will be reset over the weekend!
I know some people think they're all fluffy and cute but they ain't, I promise you. Vicious little b*st*rds who cause damage to house and garden. "Tree rats" is all they are and this is confirmed by the fact that they can be legally killed because they're officially classed as vermin.
Right - steak and chips for tea again - the Duchess is preparing it as I type and there are some mouth-watering aromas drifting up the stairs.... See Yer!
Tuesday, 22 September 2009
We went to Belper on Saturday to see Belper draw 2 - 2 with Sheffield FC. It wasn't a bad game and a draw was probably a fair result, although Belper did have what seemed to me a "legal" goal disallowed and Sheffield scored in the 6th of 5 extra minutes to draw the game. (The ref indicated 5 mins added time but played nearly 7!)
Danny Hudson scored a lovely headed goal to make it 1 - 1:
And I went a little bit "mad" with the camera, finishing up,with about 230 photos of the game. The best of them (about 49) are here:
Sunday was spent editing the photos, creating and publishing the album above and then I was out in the garden, cutting the hedge which runs down the side of the drive. I don't really mind cutting the hedge - it's all the tidying up afterwards that's a pain in the bum and technically, it's not my hedge anyway.
The young fella who lives next door is supposed to be responsible for it but I can't leave it to him. It's already twice the height it was when he moved in and it's hard to cut it properly without the use of stepladders.
Settling back into work yesterday after a long weekend was always going to be difficult but you get through it don't you? No choice if I wanna keep enjoying long weekends and day trips out!
Oh well - better go and see if I can sell some steel......
Friday, 18 September 2009
Anyway, the purpose of this message is to update you on the 2 days off work which I warned you of in my last post.
Thursday - set off at about 10 a.m., headed for Accrington to find the craft shop the Duchess wanted to see. It's certainly well-stocked and we spent a good 30 minutes looking around (Well - Sheila was looking - I was around!) On the way, and about 3 miles outside Accrington, we decided we needed a bite and a cuppa and ended up in a Little Chef. Nice food but expensive!! The Duchess had the Early Starter breakfast and I had a Bacon Burger. With two teas the bill was £17.50!! Still, we were on a "day out" so who cares!
Our next stop was the RSPB reserve at Marshside near Southport. It's an "open site" with no charge and, basically, roadside parking. The hides we visited weren't bad but we saw nothing unusual. Enjoyed it all the same! Took some pictures of course - here's a couple -
View from Nel's hide:
We then drove into Southport - somewhere else we've never been and to be honest - we were a little surprised at the size of the place. I checked later and found the population is around 100,000 so as I said - bigger than I thought.
We parked the car up on the Promenade and then, after paying 20 pence for a pee (!!!), we wandered into the town centre for a look around.
There is a fabulous "shopping street" called Lord St: and after a stroll down there, we headed back toward the prom On the way we passed by the smallest pub in Britain: I'd been in touch with a good mate of mine who lives in Southport and we'd arranged to meet up with him after he'd finished work. Dave (or Penfold as he is known amongst Belper Town faithful) had tipped me off about parking and the best fish & chip shops - y'know - all the important stuff!
The three of us enjoyed a fish & chip supper and then Dave headed back to the gym (where he'd been going before we waylaid him! Mind you - he didn't take much persuading that a fish supper was a more attractive option than the gym!) and we set off back to Sheffield, arriving home about 9 pm - tired but having enjoyed a smashing day.
Today - taking it relatively easy. Took Sheila's car to the garage to arrange MOT and servicing (week after next) then hopped a bus into Sheffield city centre to get meat and veg for the weekend from Sheffield Castle Market. Back home - lounged around, Sheila cooked steak and chips for tea and now you're up to date (Oh BTW - Blades won 3-2 in what I understand was a cracking game. I recorded it and will watch it later.)
Tomorrow - Belper v Sheffield FC. Should be a good game and the Sheffield side should include former Belper Town captain Jon Hobson who I guess will be "up for it" to say the least!
I'll tell you all about it on Sunday! (Right now I'm going "incommunicado" before my Sheffield United mates start texting/e-mailing/facebooking me!) See Yer!
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
So - tomorrow and Friday are the allotted days and I shall complete my working week at 4:30 this afternoon! Can't wait!
The basic plan is a visit to Accrington tomorrow and depending on the weather, somewhere else photogenically worthwhile on the way back home. Not that I'm saying Accrington is not photogenic - I wouldn't know - I've never been. It's just that there is a shop there called Topaz Crafts which the Duchess wouldn't mind having a look at so as it's "somewhere to go" on a day off, we'll do it tomorrow and then work our way back to Sheffield as the mood takes us. I LOVE unplanned days!
Friday - who knows - that may yet be another "unplanned" day out but we'll see. I'll report back later.
Not much of note has happeened since Sunday. Work is still slow but we have seen something of an upturn I guess. (When you start from zero, one is an improvement though innit!)
We have a server based network here and all of last week and most of this, the "system" has been down. We've been having back-up problems for a while and as the plant was closed all of last week, it seemed a good time to thoroughly investigate so our IT guy has uninstalled all the files and software and done a complete "start from scratch" reinstallation job. We'll see if the problem recurs!
Anyway - lunchtime over - time for all of us to get back on our heads......
Sunday, 13 September 2009
Anyway - it's been a good week and weekend on the whole although it was a bit of a downer when my son and his wife set off back home to Holland on Saturday morning - doesn't seem like they've been here a whole week but they're planning to come over again during the Christmas holiday so there's that to look forward to.
They spent Sunday to Wednesday in the Lake District and Scarborough and we went out to dinner at the Bowshaw Inn Carvery on Wednesday evening. Then had a great time watching the 2nd half of England 5 - 1 Croatia!
On Friday evening we went to Bakewell for fish & chips. It's such a lovely place to sit and relax and enjoy the River Wye although I have to say the goose and duck cr*p all over the path by the river is NOT attractive! On the way home we stopped at a point overlooking Fox House and watched the sun go down:
Yesterday, the Duchess and I went to Goole to watch Belper Town in League action against a team who've just had their manager/centre half resign. You wouldn't have thought it to see them play, especially 1st half when they probably just shaded the game, even though the score was 0 - 0 at half time.
In the end, Belper won 2 - 1 with a tremendous 35-yard strike by full back Adam Burley. It could have been more but for a missed penalty and two excellent saves by the Goole keeper late on. You can read a complete report by clicking the "Belper Town" link on the right.
A "random" picture from the game:.......and the rest of my photo album from the game is here:
So - back to work tomorrow morning (that thought is the part of Sunday I really don't like!) Things might be a bit hectic because the plant has been on a planned maintenance shutdown for a week so there'll be some paperwork "catching up" to do. I've been into the office for 4 mornings so it won't be as much of a shock to my system as it will to that of some of my colleagues!
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
The result was Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool but the thing that struck me as I watched the whole of the 2nd half was the differences between football then and now.
For a start, they were playing on a pitch which had a huge area around the centre circle which resembled something between a beach and a swamp. The goalmouths were in a similar state. As the Duchess said - even Juniors in the park don't play on that sort of pitch these days.
It was really strange to see players passing back to the keeper from the halfway line just to waste a bit of time but it dawned on me as the game was drawing to a close that in the whole 45 minutes I saw, not one shirt was pulled, not one player dived and in fact, although there were plenty of tackles, there were only 4 or 5 free-kicks for foul challenges and 2 more for offside!
Even when challenges were penalised, the fouled player got up and got on with it - no physios on the pitch at all, no mass protests from players encircling the ref. And no-one wearing gloves or bloody tights either!
Different game altogether now innit? And with the exception of the introduction of the "back pass rule" it's not totally changed for the better.
Sunday, 6 September 2009
And Tim Harrison shot off on his hols directly after the game so I can't link you to his album until he gets back so you'll have to bear with me!
It's been a great weekend - my son and his wife are over in the UK for the week and arrived at ours about an hour before we got back from the match. It was great to catch up last evening and we'll do more of that later in the week because this morning, they set off for a couple of days in the Lake District (my daughter-in-law, coming from Holland, just loves hills because she doesn't get to see many in Rotterdam!!)
They are back in Sheffield on Wednesday evening having returned via Scarborough and Otley (I know - Otley - don't ask - it's a long tale which I'll tell you about later!)
It's a "Maintenance Shutdown Week" at work next week so there are only a couple of us in the office and only a small maintenance crew in the plant. I've organised to work Monday to Thursday (8 til noon - mornings only) so it shouldn't be too hard a week. I'm there simply to acknowledge any faxes or e-mails from customers/suppliers who haven't read the circular "We're Shut Next Week" notices we sent out.
Anyway - it's "mashing time" or "brewing time" depending where you come from so I'll go and make the Duchess a cup of tea and see if there's anything remotely worth watching on TV (although I'm not holding my breath!)
Friday, 4 September 2009
As I said - Belper Town were dumped out of the FA Cup by Holbrook MW on Tuesday evening but the replay was apparently badly tarnished by scenes of violence at the end of the game. Reportedly (and I wasn't there so I have to rely on reports) a Holbrook "reserve" ran on to the pitch at the end of the game to "get at" Ben Walker, the Belper striker. In this guy's opinion, apparently, Ben had got one of their players dismissed for a head butt. Belper coach Gary Middleton intervened to stop the attempted assault and got a head butt in the face for his trouble, (again - apparently.)
The Holbrook manager, "didn't see it" but it is reported elsewhere that the guy involved is suspended pending an enquiry by the club.
Snapper Harrison's pictures (including shots of the scuffles at the end) are here....
Anyway - that's gone now and the next game is tomorrow - Carlton Town at home - and that won't be easy. Carlton have just been awarded "Team of the Month" for August and so will be flying I would expect. In contrast, the Belper players seem to be lacking in confidence at the minute but we just hope they're fired up after the cup exit and can get off to the good start they'll need. We'll see.
Rest of the week? Only a couple of things to report. The Duchess was at a Junior League Meeting on Tuesday evening and a Girls League Meeting Thursday night . I had a mild dose of the trots earlier in the week (which is why I missed the cup replay) and whilst Sheila was in her meeting on Thursday, I wandered around Meadowhall and with my usual keen eye, picked up a Logitech webcam and "free bonus headset" for £9.97 at WH Smith. RRP? £39.99!! Bargain or Wot!!
For some reason, my old webcam and microphone don't work with the new PC and since the Duchess and I use these items (and Skype) to keep in touch when I'm travelling, we needed a replacement. Anyway - got my bargain home and found the "free bonus headset" is a single "iPod-type" earpiece with a small microphone on the same cable. Really "fiddly" and the connection to the PC is a "dual wire" which means we'd have to unplug the speakers everytime we wanted to use the mike.
So - the "bargain" goes on eBay next week (might get £15 for it d'you think?) and I will revert to plan A which was to get a Microsoft webcam with built in mike for £19.99.
Being creatures of habit - it's off to the chippy in about half an hour then a relaxing Friday evening spent allowing the beef & onion pie and chips to slowly digest whilst not having to fret about work tomorrow. I think Friday evening is probably the highlight of my week. (Sad, I know, but generally, I'm a simple soul who is easily pleased!)
Report on tomorrow's game follows ASAP!
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
A concern is the comment that Belper missed a penalty at the death and there was "...trouble on and off the pitch."
Doesn't sound good at all!
Sunday, 30 August 2009
We went to watch Belper Town v Holbrook MW in the FA Cup Preliminary round yesterday, expecting an easy win over a team who are 2 or 3 leagues below Belper. As is so often the case in the FA Cup - it didn't happen and the game finished at 1 - 1. Not a classic by any means and Belper will need to up their performance in the replay on Tuesday evening.
The Holbrook keeper makes a good save to deny Belper late in the game.
The rest of my album from this game is here:
...... and Snapper Harrison's pictures are here:
After 24 hours to reflect on the game, I guess that whilst this wasn't the greatest performance I've ever seen from a Belper side, the only thing which was really missing was the finishing. Improve that and the replay should be no problem.
Monday morning and work are looming again but the atmosphere is a bit better after a couple of weeks where we've managed to pull in a few orders. The 2nd week of September is a scheduled plant shutdown week anyway so we've bought a bit of breathing space if nothing else.
During the shutdown, we usually carry out plant maintenance work and so forth but all of the office staff are off for the week - except me.... I will be working (well, actually, just popping into the office for a couple of hours) Monday to Thursday to check e-mails and faxes etc. Just in case any new work comes in!
It also looks like my son and his wife are coming over from Holland that week for a short holiday - they plan to spend a couple of days in Wales before popping up to Sheffield to visit us. Looking forward to that!!
Anyway - nothing else to update you with (we didn't win the Lotto last night.... not even a tenner) so I'll leave you in peace. Enjoy what's left of Sunday!
Thursday, 27 August 2009
However - even though I didn't take the camera, the reason I'm a bit pleased is actually photography related! On Saturday, I'd been to the reserves game and put an album of about 30 of the best pics on the Belper Forum. This one was included:
Anyway - at the match Tuesday, Will's parents showed me an 8 x 10 print they've had made of it because whilst they have several good pictures of Mick in action they have nothing really of Will! They asked if I minded and I said of course I didn't mind - in fact I take it as a massive compliment!
Apparently the photo will hang in the downstairs "loo" along with pictures of Mick. Then I thought about it - people like my pictures so much they hang them in the bog!!!!! Hahaha!!
FA Cup Prelim round on Saturday and a local derby against Holbrook MW - a team from 3 leagues below Belper. They are sure to be up for it as, I am sure, will Belper. Should be a good game.
Monday, 24 August 2009
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Had a good weekend though! Saturday afternoon - watched Belepr Reserves lose 1 - 2 to Carlton Town Reserves but it was a good performance from the lads against the side that won the League Title last year. The picture above is from that game and the rest of my "effort" is here:
Nigel Oldrini (Belper Towns match reporter) details events in a full report on the Belper website (see link on right) and from his account it seems it was a battling performance with goalkeeper Leigh Walker making a last-minute penalty save.
As well as the match report, you can look at Snapper Harrison's record of events here:
The early part of today (Sunday) was spent cutting grass and hedges before coming inside about 3:30 pm to watch the finale of the Ashes decider on Sky Sports. I'm really glad that England won but I wonder if the present squad is good enough to retain the trophy in December 2010 when they visit Australia. For now, though, enjoy the moment!
Now it's time for a relax, although the Duchess has just come upstairs and is reporting "nothing to watch!" on TV so I might go and have a long soak in a Radox bath - I know how to have fun tha nose!!
Thursday, 20 August 2009
So - if you wanna see more of the game, Tim Harrison's view is here.....
What else this week? - Well, work has picked up a little. Two weeks ago we were looking at running the plant 2 days last week, 2 days this week and then possibly shutting down for 3 weeks to wait for the order situation to improve.
As it happens, we've managed to pull in some orders over the last few days so the guys worked 3 days last week, 3.1/2 days this week and we'll work 3 days next week and 2 possibly 3 days the week after that. That takes us to our annual late summer shutdown (2nd week of September.) So we've bought some "breathing space", although it's still very much "hand-to-mouth."
Anyway - the next football we will see is on Saturday when we are going down to Belper to watch the reserve side play Carlton Town Reserves. The first team are at Witton Albion which is a bit of a trek for us so we decided to give that a miss and wander down to The Meadows instead. A full report will follow but for now it's time to relax with a cuppa and think about getting some kip!
Monday, 17 August 2009
It was a reasonably easy win. The Belper team played better as the game went on - partly due I guess, to the fact we had three new signings in the side and the players took a little time to settle and "get to know" each other.
The rest of my pictures from the game are here:
and Snapper Harrisons's pics are here:
compare and contrast if you wish but remember Tim is semi-pro (He does weddings - great service and very good rates - so if you're in the Belper area and thinking of getting wed - contact Tim. His website is linked on the right of the screen. Hmmmm - wonder if he be willing to pay commission on any new business?!!?)
Anyway - Saturday evening was spent trying to complete the set up (begun on Friday afternoon) of the new PC at home. Downloading programmes, installing software and generally getting the machine to the state I want it.
All appeared OK on Saturday and Sunday but hot off the press - something is wrong - the Duchess was using the PC this morning when it suddenly decided not to play any more. Now - it won't start up. It "locks" on the desktop with wallpaper as usual and all the icons in place but the mouse pointer is a spinning ring - and nothing can be clicked on. The general concensus is that it might be infected with malware - either that or the Norton Security software is cocking things up... so this evening I have to try starting in "safe mode" and restoring the system to a time when it did work.
Talk about "out of my depth!!" I'll let you know how I get on - probably via my laptop cos I am to PC problems what the England cricket selectors are to squad selection - neither of us has a clue!!
The plan was to spend the rest of the weekend attacking the garden once again but a slight change in the weather on Sunday lunchtime put paid to that. A few drops of rain brought me indoors and - well - you know what it's like - I got settled in front of the PC - editing photos and generally doing "computer stuff" - and then realised it was 5 pm and a little late to get back out there cos the Duchess was getting ready to put food on the table.
So - you are pretty much up to date - I'll report on the computer problems ASAP although I get the feeling a good mate of mine, who knows more about PCs than I do, (but then again - who doesn't?!) might be getting a call later!