Sunday, 31 May 2009

Bempton & Filey

On a glorious Friday, we went to the RSPB Reserve at Bempton Cliffs. We had a great day - even though the traffic on the way there was fairly heavy - everyone seemed to be heading for Bridlington and Scarborough! We found a parking spot immediately on arrival at the reserve (which is highly unusual - it's a busy place!!) and enjoyed a good walk along the clifftops looking at the seabirds and taking lotsa pictures!


The Reserve is famous for it's population of Gannets and Puffins. There are almost 7,000 pairs of Gannets in the biggest onshore colony in the UK. May/June is the best time to see them, along with the Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Guillemots - all nesting on the cliffs. It's noisy, sometimes smelly but always a magnificent sight!

Anyway - after a pleasant couple of hours getting sunburnt - unintentionally, there was a very strong breeze which masked the power of the sun - we headed for Filey and Fish & Chips for tea! Then a stroll along the front and a few minutes sitting watching the tide come in before we headed for home about 6 pm.

The beach at Filey

Even when we arrived at Filey, things "fell into place". Again, we found a car parking space immediately but discovered the ticket machine wasn't working. I left a note on the windscreen but as we were leaving, an engineer was trying to fix the machines. I asked him if we should hang on til he'd fixed it but he told us not to bother - the note on the windscreen would be OK! So - 3 hours free parking as a nice little bonus!

A grand day all round!!

Does anyone agree with me that it's a bit odd.....

....that a woman who allegedly lied about her address to try and get her child into a better school is to appear in court whilst MP's like Jacqui Smith (didn't she also lie about her address?) apparently won't be going to court even though they gained financially but the poor woman doesn't?

Isn't it bloody ridiculous?!!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Enjoying a week off.....

A quick summary of happenings this week:

Saturday - glorious day - spent several hours getting the grass and hedges at Nortoner Towers into some sort of shape.

Sunday - another cracking day - again, spent most of it in the garden - hacking down some more of the jungle!

Monday - Bank Holiday so naturally - the weather turned and we were pretty much confined to the house.

Tuesday - took a drive down to Elmhirst Lakes, Horncastle, to pay off the balance of our holiday cost. We'll be off down there on July 4th for our annual holiday - main purpose - 2 weeks fishing! We drove back via Sleaford and Newark - where we stopped for a quick look around and I took a few pics:

The River Trent

Newark Castle
It's a Dog's Life!

Wednesday - A brief excursion to Meadowhall - cut short because we had forgotten it was half-term and the place was heaving with kids and their assorted families, running riot!

Then another highlight in what's turning out to be not such a bad week - watched Barcelona beat Man United in the European Cup Final (or whatever it's called these days!) A great game and a cracking result but doesn't Andy Gray get on yer nerves?! Pre-match pearls of wisdom such as "Manchester United have come here to win this." and "One of these two teams will be crowned the best team in Europe tonight." In the early days of Sky Sports, you used to be able to press a button to "kill" the commentary and just watch the match with only crowd noise as a background - pity they ever stopped that!

Anyway - today (Thursday) the Duchess is sorting out some Junior Football paperwork and needs to nip down to the FA Offices in Sheffield this afternoon so we're not straying far. Tomorrow - we plan a trip to the RSPB Reserve at Bempton Cliffs, near Flamborough and I hope to get some nice pics of seabirds and stuff. I'll update you later!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

David Lloyd - Master Cricket Commentator!

I know this blog only attracts a small audience, but I had to share this......

I was watching England v W. Indies 2nd Test on Sky Sports. England coasting along at 500-odd for 6 and the commentators are speculating on a possible declaration.

England's 12th man brings out a pair of gloves for one of the players and the commentators are deciding the real reason is to get a message to the batsmen about when England will declare.

Lloyd joins in the debate with the comment:-

The captain sent a message from the front - 'Send reinforcements, we're going to advance.' but the message arrived at HQ as 'Send three and fourpence, we're going to a dance.'

At which point commentary ceased as Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton tried to control their laughter and regain a modicum of composure.

Lloyd really is my hero!!

Monday, 18 May 2009

A busy week ahead.

The Duchess is out tonight and tomorrow - at Sheffield Junior League Presentation evenings.

Wednesday night - we're both out for dinner cos it's our 37th Wedding Anniversary.

Friday morning we have to go to a funeral. One of my uncles passed away last Tuesday and I have to go and pay my respects. Uncle Godfrey was my Dad's youngest brother. Dad was one of 9 kids and Mum was one of 11 so I have a big family (and cousins I've never met!)

My father died in 1992 and of the 9 kids, I think there are only three left. We've never been a close family (probably just as well, think of the cost of birthday cards, anniversary cards etc etc!) but we do get together at weddings and funerals. Sadly, there have been more funerals than anything else over the last few years.

I then have a week to recover - our company has a shutdown week at the end of May to do all the plant maintenance and so on. I, along with all but one of the other staff, take the week off and I "potter" around wherever the mood takes me. Hopefully the weather will be good and some "photo opportunities" will present themselves.

We'll see.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

I promised you a picture from the new camera..

.. the view from Bedford Steels' sales office window in sunny downtown Attercliffe, Sheffield!
(It's a Canon Powershot A470 - not A460 as previously reported!)

Monday, 11 May 2009

Another week slips by...

Again - doesn't time fly?

Been a mixed week - England beat West Indies handsomely in the First Test which was good but I spent a lot of Saturday and Sunday trying to get the jungle that is my garden under some sort of control which is not so good!

I also bought a new camera this weekend. My old "snapshot" camera - a Canon Powershot A85 which has travelled many thousands of miles with me - finally gave up the ghost. (At the supporters evening actually.) Every picture had a strange purple-pink cast on it and the images were "smeared" so badly as to be indecipherable.

I thought it might be the CF card I was using but that works fine in my Canon SLR. The camera has simply died!!

Anyway - having no footy to go to - we were in Sheffield on Saturday and popped into Argos on the Moor. They were offering a Powershot A460 for "half-price." It has 7.2 megapixels, a 3.4 optical zoom, 1.9 fps autoshoot and automatic and manual settings for ISO etc. It even has "face recognition" function which automatically picks out a human face as the focal point if it "finds" one while composing the image on the screen. Price was £49.98 all-in plus a tenner for a 4Gb card. The RSP was £99.99 so it was a bargain.

I'll shove a couple of pictures up on the blog when I've figured out how to get them off the SD Card (my computer and printer have card readers built in but neither "reads" SD!)

As well as that (I haven't been slacking you know!) - I've created a nice little "Jalbum" (well, I think it's nice) picking some of my favourite pictures from my "Belper Town season." Looks lovely but can I figure out how to get it linked to the blog or the Belper Forum? Can I 'eckas like (as we say in t'North!) Perseverance is the key so watch this space!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Reserves at Staveley

Since the Duchess had a Junior Football League meeting to attend, I got a "pass-out" and went to watch Staveley MW Reserves v Belper Town Reserves last night.

Despite the damp and gloomy conditions, it was a very entertaining game with Belper quickly going 2 goals behind before pulling back to level the scores by half time. They then took the lead early in the second half and looked like getting a good win until Staveley snatched an equaliser with minutes to go.

Belper included James Colliver - first team captain - and he encouraged and guided the younger lads through the game but apart from him and maybe one or two of the Staveley side, the rest of the players were all in their late teens/early 20s.

After the game, Staveley were presented with their league runners-up medals and the Belper lads stayed on the pitch to applaud their success.

It's a nice set-up at Staveley. A flat pitch (if a little "bobbly") and a very clean cafe on site serving hot and cold food and drinks. Only difference from Belper reserves games was I had to pay to get in!!! £2 entrance fee and 50p for a programme. At Christchurch Meadow, admission is free and so is the programme. Still - enjoyed the evening anyway!

With both Belper 1st team and reserves having completed their fixtures, not sure when my next football match will be. Good job there's cricket to look forward to!

Monday, 4 May 2009

A roller-coaster ride of a weekend.

Friday Night - The weekend started on a high! The Supporter's "Do" in the Nailers turned out to be a cracking evening. Tickets were a fiver each and for that we got a drink, food and a good laugh from the event. (And as it turned out - an extra surprise in the Auction.... more below.)

After watching a slideshow of 'Arrison's pictures (with witty captions and background music) there was a buffet (does anyone "do" better food than June and her crew at Belper?!) and then a Question and Answer session with Andy Carney and Danny Hudson, our joint managers.

As ever, they were totally honest and answered questions frankly and occasionally, very humourously too! (But they wouldn't reveal what the line-up would be for the next day's play off final!)

There was a quiz, conducted by Neil Laughlin, a raffle and Auction, conducted by Dave Laughlin. The auction had two "lots" - a signed Belper Town shirt and a season ticket for 2009/2010. The shirt went for £100 and so did the season ticket - but the difference was that the season ticket is now MINE! Bought for me by the Duchess as an early Christmas present!

Saturday - a tense and nervous morning.
We arrived at the ground early (we were one of the first cars on the car park at about 1 o'clock!) and bit our fingernails until 3 o'clock. Unfortunately, Belper lost 1 - 0 and so missed out on promotion to the Premier Division. The defeat is even harder to take when you remember Belper only missed out on automatic promotion on goal difference, having finished with the same points total as the champions Retford Utd. You can read a match report by clicking on the Belper Town FC link on the right.

Snapper Harrison's pictures are here:

The rest of Mossley Smiffy's are here (the pic above is one of his!):

Sunday - a 5-hour drive to Folkestone - taking our son to meet up with his wife who had crossed from Holland via France and the Channel Tunnel. He's been in Sheffield since Wednesday last week and was heading back to his home in Rotterdam. Since he had loads of "stuff" he wanted to take back with him, the best solution was for him to fly here initially, then drive down to Folkestone with us, transfer the things he was taking back from our car to theirs and then go back with his wife through the tunnel. Which is exactly what we did! And it worked a treat!

It made for a long day though!! We left Sheffield at around 6:30 a.m. and got back home at about 7 p.m. Mark and his wife had an even longer journey - we heard later that they got stuck in heavy traffic and didn't get back to Rotterdam until about 8:15 UK time - (plus an hour for Dutch time of course.) Still it was great to see them both again and it's a pity we didn't have that long together but we're looking at going over there for a few days later this year.

So - no more footy for a while - although I might make it to Belper Reserves game at Staveley tomorrow night - it's only about 30 mins from here - we'll see what the weather dictates!