Sunday, 31 January 2010

At least it's football to watch!

Belper Town 1st team lost 1 - 0 at Spalding United yesterday. Me and the Duchess decided not to go - didn't fancy a 5 hour round trip. Glad we didn't make it!!

Reserves were also away - at Spondon - which would add a further 20 miles or so to the round trip to Belper so we gave that a miss too.

So - after various machinations, we are off to watch at least part of Dronfield Town Ladies v Belper Town Ladies. Kick off 4 pm under the lights at Gosforth Playing fields (about 15 mins from here!)

The game was originally scheduled for 2 pm at Dronfield's home ground but that was called off last night and the fixture transfered to Belper's home ground. That was called off this morning and therefore it's being played on the all-weather surface at Gosforth!

Looks like they were determined to get a game on don't it??!! And "Good on 'em!" I say.

Anyway - in the absence of any other "live" footy, we've decided to have a wander over there with the camera to see what we can see!

Friday, 29 January 2010

A Late Birthday present......

....from my son and his wife. And what a belter it is too!

It comprises a replica Sheffield Wednesday shirt from the 1940's (although I wasn't born until 1950 - cheeky git - and the size is XXL! Wonder what he's trying to say??!!) and a book called  "A History of Sheffield Wednesday since 1907." This comprises scans of pages from the "Daily" and "Sunday Mirror" and the "Sunday Pictorial" (ask yer dad!) recording some of the Owls highlights from 1907 to 2009 - like beating Man Utd in the 1991 League Cup final (you know - the last time either the Owls or Blades actually won a trophy!)

It's brilliant - and the pics don't really do it justice:

The Owls shirt will make it's "wearing debut" at a Belper Town game sometime in the near future!

Thanks guys - I'm well chuffed!!!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Football Returns... at last!

Saturday afternoon football - Belper Town 2 - 1 Quorn in the Unibond League Division One South. First game we've been to since 15th December and it has seemed like forever.

Wasn't a classic by any means but that is back to back wins for the team (see previous post - we beat Lincoln Utd on Tuesday evening although me and the Duchess didn't go to that one.)

Sad news was that Andy Rushbury suffered a badly broken arm in the first couple of minutes. I believe he spent Saturday night in Nottingham hospital and an operation to pin and plate the bones was scheduled for Sunday. Get well soon Andy. Big praise too for Katie Pilgrim - the Belper physio and also to the Quorn physio (another female) for the professional way they looked after him until the paramedics arrived.

Our Katie - not only a great Physio - we reckon she's also the prettiest!

I took the camera and there are one or two shots worth displaying but I'll leave it to the Master - the "Snapper Album" is here:

The referee was also a lady - and to be fair - she had a smashing game - one of the best officials we've seen at the Meadow I think. She stood no nonsense from the players or managers and could be heard, on more than one occasion, telling assorted  "moaners" on the pitch to "Shut your mouth and get on with the game!"

 "Well Done" Ms Massey.....

One of the best sights of the day for me was Mark Barnard (Barney to the fans) joining in the full pre-match warm up. He suffered a bad knee ligament injury toward the end of last season and has been recuperating for months. I had a quick chat with him and he says he had a full training session earlier in the week and hopes to be available for selection in  about 3 weeks. He has bags of league experience as a professional and was a key member of the promotion chasing squad last season. We certainly missed him in the run-in and the play-off final.

The rest of my "Birthday week" was fantastic. As I said - Mark and Dvora arrived last Sunday and we did a "bit of business" on Monday (He is redesigning the web site for our sister company in Dronfield so we went to meet my boss.)

I had booked Thursday and Friday off work so we could spend some time with them and it turned out really well. We dined at the Bowshaw Inn  on Wednesday evening before returning home to open Christmas presents which had been "on hold" since they had to abort their planned visit at the "real" Christmas.

Thursday evening (my actual 60th birthday) was a fantastic evening - Mark had organised a meal at TGI Friday with some close and very special friends. It was a great night - despite the fact I had to wear two "I am 60" badges - one a little flashing effort which declared that althougn I was 60 - I was still swinging! I forgave them all that though because we had a truly memorable time!

Friday was spent in recovery - from over-eating rather than from drink cos I only had 2 G&T's - and we're now back at Sunday evening and another Monday draws ever closer..... can't wait (NOT!)

Thursday, 21 January 2010

60 years old today......

... and I now qualify for a bus pass - and I believe - free prescriptions - so it ain't all bad!!

The last week and a half has passed so quickly with all sorts of things happening.

On the football front, Belper Town got back into action. Their first game since the "on pens" win at Glapwell in the cup on December 15th saw a 2-1 away win at Lincoln United. Sweet revenge because Lincoln's 1 - 0 win at our ground, in the last league game we played before the weather intervened, ended Belper's unbeaten home record. That was also the first time Belper hadn't scored in a league game all season.

What else to tell? Well, I haven't got around to making a new photo album yet.The files show I've taken around 600 photos since midnight on New Year's Eve! Still sorting, editing, rejecting and debating any of the above actions on some! I might get something published in a couple of days perhaps.

The snow has pretty much gone now and the great news is that the weather cleared in time to allow my son Mark and his wife to drive over from Holland last weekend. They arrived on Sunday afternoon and head back on Saturday morning. To have them here for my birthday is a real bonus.

I'm not looking forward to them leaving us but the "cheer-up" side is a chance to watch Belper Town in action at home against Quorn on Saturday afternoon. And hopefully another 3 points!

Anyway - I'll keep this brief - concentration span diminishes as one gets older I believe so - ermmmm - oh yeah - see yer later!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Snow Joke!!!!

I am now heartily sick of the snow. I don't "do" winter anyway but this is ridiculous!

Snow depth on our back garden today - and it is even deeper further up the garden. The ruler reads 6 inches in "old money" and although there seems to have been a bit of a thaw today, there's more snow falling as I type this.

Anyway - as a result of the heavy snow falls and freezing temperatures this week, I left the car on the drive on Wednesday,Thursday (mainly cos it was iced up and I couldn't get into it) and Friday, caught a bus into the city and then walked down to work (a distance of about a mile and a quarter) so I've had plenty of exercise but hopefully, tomorrow morning I'll be able to get the car down the drive and off the estate because I now have a severe head cold and there is no way I could walk that distance in my present state!
Our street yesterday....

The other disadvantage to public transport is the fact that it has cost me just short of £5 per day to get to and from work!

We're particularly busy just now, which is great but this also brings it's own problems. The weather and the dramatically increased order book have combined to make it hard to get steel out of the plant on time so we're taking on a few extra bodies to help out in the short term.

I guess the only real benefit of the snow is the photo opportunities it presents. I'm putting together an album and will provide a link soon but in the meantime - here's a taster to give you an idea of what I've been up to:

The tree by our front door

Icicle on the tree

A passing plane...

St James Church, Norton (Xmas Card effect)

Snow Detail

That's it for now - going to watch Barcelona on Sky Sports and then take my head cold to bed!

As I said - an album will follow - probably tomorrow evening.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year!

A little belated but nonetheless very sincere greeting to you!

My last post - on Christmas Day - pretty much updated you with my particular sphere and the only thing omitted was, really, football news. You haven't missed much - the last time Belper Town took to the pitch was on 15th December when they beat Glapwell in the President's Cup after a penalty shoot out.

Every fixture since then has been cancelled because of the weather.

As for work - I had booked 3 additional days off pre-Christmas and so haven't been in to the office since December 18th. That all changes on Monday of course but what can you do?! I do know that we will start the New Year with a much healthier order book than we had in the Autumn. Hopefully, the corner has been turned and we can start rebuilding the workload.

The New Year - well, we enjoyed a very pleasant New Years Eve at the home of my son's best friend - Darren. A relaxing run up to midnight with just Darren, his sister Kerry, his wife and young son and his in-laws.

Midnight meant fireworks:

My son called us at Darren's place - at midnight Dutch time - and we were able to exchange verbal greetings. After their long delay in New York, they made it back home by about midday on Christmas Day. I guess it all worked out for the best because even if they could have got back to Rotterdam as planned, it would have been virtually impossible for them to drive to Sheffield because of the awful weather which almost all of Western Europe has suffered over Christmas.

Plan now is for them to come over for my birthday in late January 2010 - when I shall reach the unwanted landmark of 60 years old. The only good thing about that particular birthday is that I will qualify for free travel on public transport!

Anyway - nothing else really to report so I'll go and do something else....... more follows when I can think of something to say!