Friday, 27 February 2009


Friday at last! (Yes - I know I was moaning about time flying but at times this week, it seemed Friday would never get here!)

I went home early yesterday - having been in the office long enough to infect everyone with the head cold. It's good to share!

The work situation hasn't improved dramatically. The only two things of any note which have happened this week are the drains from the toilets in the office block "backing up" resulting in a major operation to dig up the car park and clear the blockage. Toilets were out of bounds for periods during two days which is an "inconvenience" of course! (DOH!)

Secondly, during Wednesday night, thieves broke into one of the electricity substations on the perimeter of the premises and nicked some copper cable so technically, for a period of a couple of hours, none of our machinery in the plant was earthed! I never thought I'd find myself singing the praises of the YEB but they were on site quickly, replacing the cable and are now in process of making and fitting steel doors to try to prevent a recurrence.

We'll see what next week brings but the signs of a massive increase in orders are non-existent. For now I'm going to concentrate on getting through today relatively unscathed and looking forward to Belper Town v Lincoln Utd tomorrow.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

It's Thursday already....

...and next week we'll be into March. I'm sure time is flying by more quickly each year.

I also have a stinking head cold and no idea where it came from and I am in a foul temper thanks to that tinpot outfit called the Halifax Bank!

Since switching from Yorkshire Bank about 5.1/2 years ago (admittedly, to get a way better interest rate on my current account - the £-signs were flashing in my eyes) the Halifax has screwed up my Council Tax standing order twice, managed to get my telephone cut off and caused chaos with a monthly Direct Debit payment to an Insurance company. Not a great record.

Long story short - they have just paid Sheffield City Council £126 more than they should have and since the chances of getting money back from the council are slightly slimmer than a snowball's chance in hell, I began a debate with the "bank" about it. ("Bank!!" - haha - sorry - only joking!)

They have an online "Help Assistant" - use that I thought. I detailed my problem in the box provided and submitted my message. Their instant response was "You will have an answer within 48 hours." They were true to their word and within 40 hours I got a message saying "Call this 0845 number or pop in to your branch." I don't wanna be picky but that ain't really a help is it? So - I wrote to the branch.

Last night I popped into the branch at Meadowhall and was met by "an advisor". I showed her my letter but did not expect the response I got; "What would you like me to do about it?" I said I want my 126 quid back but she said - "Can't do that but it's OK because your next Council Tax Bill should have a £126 credit on it."

Whilst I was in a complaining mood, I asked her what she thought of the "Online Help Assistant". She said that she didn't know they had one! I showed her the e-mail advice and she said - I promise - "What do you want me to do about it?" Honestly, it was like that Nationwide Bank ad on TV where the fat guy with glasses takes the mick until the customer clears off elsewhere.

I followed that example, took my paperwork from her and told her I'd be on Uswitch as soon as I got home to see what alternatives there are for my current account business. She looked shocked and I honestly believe she couldn't understand why I was annoyed!

There's little wonder thay had to be bailed out by the government!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Stocksbridge 1 - 0 Belper Town

Came away from the game very disappointed having seen the team lose to a 92nd minute goal which came from a free-kick that never was. Makes it worse because it was Stocksbridge, not my favourite team.

A poor referee allowed himself to be intimidated by pressure from the Stocksbridge players and manager. In the first half, he was inept with a mix of bad decisions for both teams but as half time approached and as the teams left the field, the Stocksbridge players were in his face and in the second half, nothing was given Belper's way.

So - we slip to 3rd but our destiny is still in our own hands, We have four games in hand on Retford at the top and one in hand on Stocksbridge in 2nd place. My main concern is that we have more games left to play than any other team in the top 6 and they all have to be crammed in over the next 8 weeks or so.

Jasper was limping badly at the end of the game and Jon Hobson told me he has a small ligament tear so is not going to be fit for a short while. I think Mick Harcourt will now be suspended for 1 game after his 5th booking of the season so we are a bit light on defenders.

Now it's on to to Lincoln Utd at home on Saturday. Let's see if the team "bounce back" from this disappointment.

Snapper's take on the game is here (great pics again Tim!);

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Belper Reserves 2 - 6 Shirebrook Reserves.

The 1st Team were away at Retford in a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday but we didn't fancy the trip. Belper won 3-2 incidentally with a last minute penalty (another "last minute" event this weekend!) by Lee Stevenson - Snapper Harrisons excellent pics are here - )

We decided to go to watch the Belper Reserve team at home instead.

The scoreline in the Reserves game was a bit harsh when you consider the team had played 3 games in 7 days including a hard-fought cup tie against unbeaten Carlton on Thursday night. As the Duchess commented - "Even the pros don't play twice in under 48 hours. No wonder they look tired."

Anyway - I took the camera and when I figure out how to get some pics "on the net" I'll link you to them. In the meantime, here's a couple.....

...and here's some more:

"Last Minute" Friday.

You know when you have one of those "last-minute" days? I decided, at the last minute on Thursday, to book a day's holiday on Friday.

We decided, at the last minute, to revisit the RSPB Reserve at Old Moor near Wath-on-Dearne.

Had a grand day! Took lotsa pictures of our feathered friends. It wasn't exactly warm but at least it was dry and we enjoyed ourselves.

It's a good day out if you enjoy just wandering around with a camera or a pair of binoculars. There are plenty of hides from where you get good views of the birds and admission to the reserve is only £2.50 or £2.00 for concessions. And there's an excellent cafe and shop on site too.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Sheffield FC 1 - 1 Belper Town

Good game Tuesday night despite the state of the pitch! It was so bad that when two players came running toward the touchline close to where we were standing, we could actually hear a squelching noise as they tried to run through the mud.

Anyway, a draw was the result -

and as usual, the rest of Tim Harrison's photos are here:-

A bit disappointing that we didn't get three points especially with matches against Retford (who are top of the division) on Saturday and Stocksbridge (third) next Tuesday. The Retford game will be very hard. Because of suspension and injury, we probably won't have the strongest team out on the day.

Still - an away point is better than nothing and Belper are still second in the division having only lost 2 league games all season. (Hope it isn't "lost 3" after Saturday!)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

I've got me angry 'at on again!!!!

I know that the Ronnie Biggs robbed a mail train in 1963 and with his gang, stole around £2 million and at the time it was the Crime of the Century but what kind of sense does it make to keep him locked up in jail when he is 79 years old and seriously ill.?

It's an even bigger joke when you read that some low life bitch who fed a 12-week old baby whilst her retard boyfriend raped the child has been let out after serving 14 months!! Both of them should never be free!

British Justice?! It was thrown out the window years ago!!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Belper 4 - 0 Gresley Rovers

Enjoyed another Belper win on Saturday!

There was some doubt about the match starting because of a frozen strip in front of the main stand but after a committee meeting with managers, coaches, referee and linesmen it was decided the game would start on time.
The opposition were a club in disarray to be honest. Having endured a difficult period financially, Gresley have reverted to totally amateur status. They have done well to keep going and gave Belper a good game, especially in the first half, but heads dropped when Belper scored the second in the last quarter of the match and then it became something of a stroll for the home side.

A good crowd of 316 (2nd biggest of the season at the Meadow) watched the performance and amongst us as ever was Snapper Harrison - see his pictures here:-
Next match is Sheffield FC away on Tuesday Feb 17th but a lot depends on if their pitch will be fit after all the snow melts. We'll have to wait and see!

My Week....

...has just flown by! (That's my excuse for not posting anyway!)

Monday afternoon - at the doc's because of a swollen and painful left knee. Had it for a couple of weeks but it isn't an emergency so appointment not urgent (apparently!) Diagnosis - "Fluid on the knee and there might also be a bit of grit floating round in there." Treatment - "Can't do anything really. It will probably get better on it's own. Take 3 Ibuprofen a day and one of these other tablets a day." "What's the other tablet for?" I asked. "Cos Ibuprofen, taken regularly, can make your stomach bleed. The 'other' pill will stop that." Well that's alright then!!

Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday - not sure where they went but a lot of time was spent trying to drum up some work for the company who employ me. Sad news is 4 guys from the shop floor were made redundant on Thursday and more might follow unless work picks up soon.

As a manufacturing company, making steel bar for mining and construction tools, we have been warning of the dangers of reducing the country's manufacturing base for some 10 or 15 years. Sadly, an economy based on service industries is bound to find itself in the mire at some point - surprised it's taken this long actually.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Sunday evening and it's snowing ... AGAIN!

The snow started about 4:30 pm -ish and we now (8:30 pm) have a new covering of about half an inch on top of the rest of the snow we've had this week..... and it's still coming.

Aside from the snow, it's been an interesting weekend. The Owls beat SUFC at Bramall Lane yesterday with a goal worthy of winning any game. Interesting to see Mr Blackwell came up with an excuse in time for the Sunday papers - "We were tired, having been stuck in Southampton not knowing if the game would be on, then the M1 was closed on the journey home! We didn't get back until 3:30 am." He makes it sound like they got back at 3:30 am Saturday morning when in fact the Southampton game took place last Tuesday night! Whatever Mr B!!

My other main passion is cricket and it was a massive disappointment to see the England team humbled by the West Indies. All out for 51 is not acceptable and the problems need sorting. This all began with a major disagreement between head coach Peter Moores and captain Kevin Pietersen resulting in both being relieved of their duties. I don't know the answers but the thought did occur that the team has a batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach and no doubt a wicketkeeping coach, so what exactly does a head coach do? Answers on a postcard to the ECCB!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

And we had some more this morning!!

View from the office window this morning - this lot started at about 7:15 and by 10, buses were cancelled or diverted, schools were closed etc etc!
Snow is now at a depth of about 8 or 10 inches on parts of my garden!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

We 'ad a bit o' snow Monday night....

Well, actually, we had a LOT of snow Monday night!!
My back garden at 8 a.m.;

(I hate the snow but have to accept that when it's covered like this - it's the only time my garden looks as good as next door's!)

The bins by our kitchen window - again at 8:00 a.m.

The street where I live - mid-morning,

My car stayed where it was onTuesday! Neighbours on either side damaged their cars trying to get them up the small slope onto their respective drives. I did some paperwork from home after calling work and finding only a couple of people had made it into the office.

Puts it into perspective though when I tell you I talked to a customer in Sudbury Ontario this afternoon (Wednesday) and he laughed when I told him we'd had around 6 inches of snow. They can get as much as 3 to 5 inches per day at this time of year and at Christmas he had about 2.1/2 to 3 feet of the stuff on his front garden. Oh - and the temperatures been well below minus 20 C (daytime!!)
for the last week or two!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Belper Won Again....

On Saturday, we decided the trip to watch the Nailers at Lincoln Utd was a bit of a trek so we missed another Belper win! Result was 2 - 3 to Belper with the winner coming in the last 10 minutes.

Reports and pictures are on the on the Belper forum (link on the right) and also - click on the "Snappers Sideways View" link on the right to get Tim Harrisons perspective on his "day out."

Bad news is that our goalkeeper, David Clarke, got injured and had to be replaced by joint manager Andy Carney for the last 20 minutes of the match. With a hectic February schedule ahead of the Belper lads, let's hope Clarkey is not too badly hurt. (With all due respect to Carns of course!)

Tuesday night - it's at home v Quorn, providing the blizzard promised for tonight and tomorrow night doesn't materialise!