Thursday, 29 October 2009

It was a beautiful morning.....

Woke up to this today:

.....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

I've been scanned!

Well, I went for the Ultrasound scan yesterday and as ever - was told precisely nothing other than the results will be sent to my GP and I am to make an appointment to see her "in about a week" to discuss the findings. I was concerned but then the Duchess said - "If they had seen anything serious, I think you would still have been in there." So that calmed me down a bit.

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

Not the best week I've had.....

...apart from watching Belper Town beat Brigg 2 - 0 on Tuesday evening which was definitely the highlight. Tim Harrison's excellent photo album is here:
I didn't take my camera - just fancied watching a game "normally" for a change rather than through a lens.

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

Belper Town v Brigg tonight....

... and it is Peeing it down!

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

Belper Reserves 1 - 0 Shirebrook

Looks like we chose the right option yesterday! Whilst Belper Town's 1st team were losing 2 - 1 at Mickleover, we watched the reserves win an interesting game at the Meadow.

It was almost spoiled by the most inept referee I think I've seen this season. And here's another sight not often seen these days - a chain-smoking manager (of Shirebrook of course!)

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

A Long Night!

We went to watch Belper Town v Sheffield FC last night in the Unibond League President's Cup, 1st Round - this and the Derbyshire Senior Cup are the only 2 cup competitons Belper are still in this year having fallen at the first hurdle in the FA Cup, FA Trophy and Unibond League Cup!

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

Return to Winning Ways..

Belper 4 - 0 Spalding..... Saturday 10th October 2009.

Ben Walker's header makes it 3 - 0:

That's better! OK, so Spalding were no great shakes but this was a confidence-boosting win and just as importantly - a confidence-lifting performance.

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:

And if you click on the Belper Town link on the right you'll find a full match report and then, if you click on "Forum", you'll find Snapper Harrisons pics.

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.

He guessed the date was 1932 or 1933 - (he started work in 1930 when he was 14!) and although he recognised several faces, he couldn't name anybody except one guy sitting at the extreme end of the front row. The fellow's name was Booth and Jack was so sure of his identity because they lived in the same area and had gone to the same school together!

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.

My good deed for the week!

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

My 150th Post on "Norton Yer Life"....

... and it's not great news!

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

A football-less weekend (more or less)

We haven't seen any "live" football this weekend!

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!
(but some bad "blackspot on the one above!!)

And the hydrangeas (The Duchess's pride and joy!) are colourful and full of flower.

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!!!

We'll see

Friday, 2 October 2009

So, anyway... the rest of the week....

Tuesday evening - we went to watch Belper v Shepshed in a Unibond 1 South League game. The game finished 1-1 and it was a quite enthralling contest.

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!

There are some ungrateful gits in this world.....

I haven't had a good old moan in ages - so here's one.

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.
That was last Sunday - it's now Friday - I've not even had a note back saying "They were crap."

Ungrateful sod.