Lots to tell you since my last post but most of it is boring so I'll make this brief!!
The weather has been at the forefront of most people's minds and it has caused us an unusual problem. My son Mark and his wife Dvora went to New York for a short break about two weeks ago. The plan was to get back to Holland on the 20th December and drive over here for Christmas with us on the 22nd.
On the weekend they were due to leave the USA, they should have flown from NYC to Washington but Washington had 2ft of snow and NYC had 18" or so! They've been "stranded" in New York since Sunday! As we speak, they should be on a plane heading for Philadelphia and from there they should fly to Amsterdam this evening (Christmas Eve) They'll be home in Rotterdam by noon on Christmas Day.
They now plan to have "Christmas" with us around the end of January and the celebration will be combined with my 60th birthday.
Anyway - other updates..... I have to have another lithotripsy (kidney stone treatment) on 13th January.
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.
Hope you enjoy these and as I said - Have a Great Christmas!
.. but I'm afraid that's how it's turning out! So - the last week -
Tuesday (Mondays should be ignored wherever possible): evening - dinner with my niece and family and friends. A really good night although I missed Belper 4--0 Grantham in the Unibond President's Cup 1/4-final. Another excellent performance by all accounts. The indefatigable Mr Harrison's pictures from the game are here.
Also received confirmation from the hospital that the CT scan shows a kidney stone, about 7mm in diameter is wedged in the bottom of the pipe that drains my right kidney. There are also very small stones in both kidneys but they are of little significance, apparently.
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!)
Thursday/Friday - unexceptional days really - only real highlight was a call from my son and daughter-in-law who rang on Friday evening for a chat before they set off for New York on Saturday morning.
Saturday: A poor day all round! Belper Town lost their unbeaten home record to a 90th minute goal scored by Lincoln Utd, the team in 3rd bottom place in the division. What made it worse was the manner of the defeat. Belper just were not at the races at all (or maybe they WERE at the races, that's why the performance was so poor - their minds were somewhere else.) If you really wannna see the debacle - Tim was there as ever and his pictures are here:
It may have something to do with the fact that Eastwood Town, a team from 2 divisions above Belper, have made a bid for our star midfield man Lee Stevenson. Lee has already scored 21 goals this season, on top of 29 last year and is obviously attracting much interest. Maybe the speculation unsettled the team. I don't know.
I didn't take my camera again - to be honest - I've lost a bit of confidence when it comes to photographing football and I must confess I've been enjoying watching the games "naturally" rather than through the lens. Besides, I've been using the camera for other things, like taking pictures of plant and machinery at work for inclusion in a presentation they are doing and for an exhibition in Paris next April.
My dismal Saturday was finally completed when Leicester City hammered my other favourite team - Sheffield Wednesday - who as a result, dropped into the relegation places.
Sunday: Listened to the Archers Omnibus edition on Radio 4, had a sandwich, then me and the Duchess popped into Sheffield to pick up a couple of Christmas presents. A cuppa on our return then get the decorations down from the loft before settling down at the PC to get the blog up to date.... and that's where you now are - up-to-date (Oh - and Sheffield Wednesday fired the manager this morning - wonder what happens next.)
(Just re-read this lot - What a rich tapestry my life is!!)
Really enjoyed the game yesterday! Belper were in league action at table-toppers Sheffield FC. This was really cool because Sheffield play about a mile and a half from Nortoner Towers so, for once, we didn't have to drive 30 miles there and back to see the Nailers!
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.
The best performance I've seen from the Belper team this season. Everybody contributed to the win and how they managed to play some of the neat passing football they did on a pitch as bad as this one, I still have no idea!
There's a"Bumper Bundle" of pictures (courtesy of the master - Tim Harrison) - here:
The win feels all the better because the team had drawn 1-1 on Tuesday evening in a game they really ought to have won. Against Leek Town, Belper scored on 2 minutes and conceded an equaliser in the 2nd minute of injury time. It really felt like a defeat and there were some who were concerned about how the team would react against high-flying Sheffield FC. Well.... now we know.
Next Tuesday night is the President's Cup game against Grantham but the Duchess and I can't make it. We have my niece's birthday bash at Mama Mia Pepe's Italian Restaurant in Sheffield that night and so will miss what should be an interesting game. After yesterday, the lads should be full of confidence but that is what keeps fans coming back to games of football - you never really know!!
On the health front - I feel OK and have finished the course of antibiotics prescribed by the hospital/my GP and now await results of the CT scan I had last week. I guess I'll have to ring the docs next week to see if they've heard anything back from the hospital.
Work continues as work does - orders have slowed a little but with an almost 2-week closure at Christmas, the production schedules are pretty much full now until we resume normal operation on 4th January.
Nothing else to report and since the rain has finally stopped and the sun is out, I am going to venture outside to check the squirrel trap and bird feeders etc. The last chance before next weekend!
I really hate this going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark malarky.... it's really depressing! Still - only 15 days to the "shortest day" and then the nights start to lighten - keep that thought alive!!
An appearance on a "Reality" (reality my arse!) TV Show by an overpaid Z-list celebrity become a "Journey"?
It become necessary for TV presenters to "beat out" their every syllable with a hand gesture. It used to be every word but now it's every blessed syllable. Cut off their arms and they wouldn't be able to speak.