Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Black Tie got another airing this week..... my Auntie Pat's funeral on Thursday. Pat was the youngest of 12 kids, including my mother, and now there are only three left - Ruth, Betsy and Eileen.

Dad was one of nine so, as you can see, I come from a very big family! I have cousins I've never met, including Pat's two kids, essentially because we've never really been a close family. Scary thing is Pat was only 71 - I'm 60 now and 71 suddenly seems so much closer!

Anyway - Friday - I treated myself to an iPhone 3GS, to replace the Blackberry I've been using for 18 months. Frankly - I wasted 18 months! The iPhone is a cracking piece of kit and is way better than the Blackberry....

Magic piece of technology (crap photo tho!)

It's not often that I "drop lucky" but the Orange Store in Meadowhall were doing a "Bank Holiday Weekend" promotion and were offering the 32Gb version at the same price as the 16Gb version. Although - Apple are bringing out a new phone this summer so maybe they are getting rid of stock before the launch.

The Apple Store was absolutely packed. The iPad was launched that day of course and the store was "cordoned off" with dozens of people getting set up instruction and handing over their cash. Report follows later because my daughter-in-law has bought one. It was delivered here Thursday (UK pricing works better than Euro pricing for her) and I'm organising getting it delivered to Rotterdam next week.

Saturday - it rained all day so we didn't stray far - just nipped down to B&Q in search of a new watering can (I know, I know - peeing it down and he looks for a watering can....) and some new cords for the strimmer. As it happened, B&Q had nothing that we wanted so it was a wasted journey.

Saturday evening - the Duchess flicked channels between the Eurovision Song Contest and Britains Got Talent while I hooked the iPhone up to the PC and sync'd my iTunes playlists and Internet shortcuts. It was amazing to watch BBC iPlayer on the phone - stunning.

Next week's plans include a visit to Bempton. It's the Duchess' birthday on  Wednesday so the plan is a day out at Bempton then Filey for fish & chips as her birthday treat.

Right now - listening to the Omnibus edition of the Archers and then, later today, if the garden dries out after yesterday's rain, more grass and hedge cutting (Oh deep joy!)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

And another quiet evening

The Duchess is at the last of the Presentation Nights tonight so I'm on me Jacks again!

The choice on TV is rubbish or more rubbish. The Sports Channels in particular....
Sky Sports 1 - Rugby Union; Sky Sports 2 - Rugby League; Sky Sports 3 - International Pro Judo; Sky Sports 4 - International Pro Surfing.... so.... iTunes and photo-editing again.

I KNOW how to have fun!

It's raining so I can't get out in  the garden (phew!) I will try to stay focused but will probably vegitate in the chair again...

I'll let you know when something interesting happens.....

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A quiet evening in...

...cos the Duchess is at a Junior Football League Presentation Night. There's nothing on TV so I have iTunes random tracks on and am playing with my photo collection and Photoshop Elements!

Sunday was a good day. We decided to take off to Horncastle to our holiday destination and pay the balance of our holiday cost. We're off on 3rd July so the balance was due and rather than post it, we took a drive out. I'd worked very hard in the garden on Friday and Saturday so decided I'd earned a "Sunday off".

We then went on to Hagworthingham (see Google Maps) and stopped at "Rachel's Cafe" for a cuppa and a scone. Great cafe, very reasonably priced and real value for money!

Next stop? "I know" sez I "Let's go to the car terrace at Huttoft and just watch the sea for an hour." Now, we always pay at least one visit to Huttoft during our 2-week vacation. It's a quiet spot and basically, there's nothing there. Until Sunday that is.... the place was packed!

Huttoft as we normally see it....
Huttoft on Sunday...
We didn't stay there long - just long enough to have an ice cream!

Then drove up the coast a while before cutting back inland and home via Market Rasen, Gainsborough and Ollerton. Now those of you who know their Geography might think Gainsorough to Ollerton a pointless "loop" but.... there's an excellent fish restaurant at Ollerton - The Big Fish Restaurant funnily enough - and although Haddock and Chips is not a usual "Sunday Tea" - we really enjoyed it!

Back home in time for Britains Got Talent  - worth watching only because every week it proves that Britain HASN'T got Talent!

Monday flew by as Mondays do and today has passed almost as quickly. I spent some time this afternoon photographing the unloading of a new machine at work - not bad shots and something diferent as a subject

I have a whole week off next week - the plant closes every Spring Bank Holiday so plant maintenance work can be completed. The plan at the minute is a visit to Bempton Cliffs (RSPB Reserve) for the Duchess' birthday treat - her birthday is June 2nd. And we'l also try to fit in the Old Moor Reserve at Wath-on-Dearne - another RSPB place. Not as spectacular as Bempton but still a grand day out..... if the weather behaves itself!

Not sure what we'll do with the rest of the week but I'm sure the bloody grass will need cutting again by then.....

Saturday, 22 May 2010

A Gardening Weekend

So far anyway.

The early finish on Fridays came in useful as I got all of the grass cut at the back yesterday. No mean feat - the back garden is 100ft long and 35 ft wide narrowing to 25ft wide at the bottom (although not all of that is lawn - there's still a sizeable chunk of grass to cut!) Today I've done the front grass and the hedge - but had to come in doors at 3:45 pm cos it's a bit warm!

After cutting the grass yesterday I took the camera out into the garden to look for macro shots of flowers and, hopefully, the frogs which occupy our very small pond. Here's the result (or rather- a few of the 30-odd shots I got)

"A stranger in our midst!"

Aubretia (I think!)

Dunno what this is but it grows through the privet hedge.

"Wot you lookin' at?!"

Other events this week included our 38th Wedding Anniversary on Thursday May 20th. They say time flies when you're having fun and the last 38 years have certainly done that so we must be having fun eh? We celebrated with dinner at the carvery at the Bowshaw Inn. (I've mentioned this place before. It's one of our regular haunts. Great food and cracking value for money!)

We're still very busy at work and there are no signs of any slowdown which brings it's own problems of course but we continue to just try to get on with it. It's exhausting but better than last year when things were really slow.

I seem to be getting over the operation and now await a letter to tell me when I have to go back for a review of my progress.

Not much else to report - I've not been to a football match for absolutely ages and although in some ways it's nice to have Saturdays "free" (like today) I'm missing the "action shots" with the camera. Might have to go find a cricket match to "snap."  We'll see.

For Now Dear Reader...... I'll sithee! 

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Just a Quick Note.... let you know (if you're interested) that my recovery is coming along slowly. Still tired after almost a full shift in the office but I was warned to expect that.

Since Friday - spent a weekend doing very little and on Monday went to Jack Hobson's funeral. A very well-attended affair with a pint and a sandwich in the Earl Marshall pub afterwards.

It's the first time I've met Jack's daughter Janet but she is a lovely lady who seemed to be coping with the trauma of her dad's sudden death. The thing I find hard to shift from my mind is the news that Jack had been dead for at least 2 weeks when his body was found. The massive heart attack would have apparently killed him almost instantly but that is little consolation.

Anyway - nothing we can do about it now except remember that a good friend and real gentleman touched our lives.

My son and daughter in law set off back to Holland this morning so that's a bit of a downer but it was really good to see them and if I can get the Duchess to join me on the cross channel ferry (there is absolutely zero chance of her going through the tunnel!), it might be our turn to go see them next.

We need to see when she will have her replacement hip operation of course but I doubt that will be in the near future. She has an appointment at the hospital for "assessment" on 7th June so nothing can happen before then.

Right now - cuppa time and since the Duchess is out at a Junior League Presentation Evening, I guess I'll have to go make it myself - *sigh*-

Friday, 14 May 2010

Glad That's Over!

Just about getting over my operation yesterday. Got to the hospital at 7 a.m. and the Duchess picked me up at 7:30 p.m. so it was a long day!

It seemed to go well although a general anaesthetic meant I was asleep for a good chunk of the day. Last night, I woke around every half hour or so to take a pee and consequently, I'm tired today - had a nap this afternoon tho and feel better for it.

I'm not allowed to drive for 24 to 48 hours and although the op didn't involve any stitches, I have to take it a bit easy for 3 to 4 days when bending or stretching. Lifting anything heavier than a cuppa is also not recommended!

It's a busy weekend - my son and daughter-in-law are here until Tuesday morning. The Duchess has to attend the Sheffield & Hallamshire Junior Sunday League Cup Finals on Sunday morning and on Monday - I am determined to got to the funeral of my old friend Jack Hobson. The cause of his death was established as a massive heart attack and he was 93 years old not 92 as I reported earlier.

Anyway - I now have to continue my programme of rest and relaxation so I'll get back to yez all! Laters! 

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

A little bit of excitement on a working day!

Mid-morning, I went upstairs to the Sales department and from the window I could see what looked like a Reliant Robin Rally in the empty yard across the street.

About an hour later, some of the cars had been turned on their sides and police cars were in attendance. Then I spotted a boom microphone and other film paraphenalia so wandered down for a look.

Anyway - turned out to be Jeremy Clarkson and a film crew playing with a bunch of Reliant Robins! (What's the collective noun for "Robins?" A "Delboy of Robins?, A "Rodney" of Robins? A "Trotter of Robins?......)

Here's the man himself:

and some more pics are here:!/

Made an interesting change to my working day - and also helped take my mind off the op tomorrow.

Report to the Hallamshire hospital at 7:00 a.m. and hopefully, back home by late afternoon with the kidney stone sorted! Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Not the Greatest Week I've ever had.

Culminating in the news on Friday that my oldest and dearest friend has passed away.

Jack Hobson was my boss when I joined my present company in 1970. He retired in 1979 but we've kept in touch and every month or so, I would pick Jack up and bring him to ours for tea and buns and a chat.

Yesterday, as we were preparing to go to the Belper Town FC Supporters Evening, I got a call from Jack's daughter to tell me she had just flown in from her home in Canada to the news that Jack had been found dead in his house on Thursday. She was naturally upset and told me he'd been there "a while."

They had planned to fly to Crete for a holiday together next week but of course,  that's been cancelled. Janet is an only child but has cousins and other relatives who are helping with the necessary arrangements.

Jack was 92 years old and will be very sorely missed.   RIP mate.

This follows on a week where I was getting increasingly sick of politics. - not just the election but in other areas of my life. I also learned on Thursday that I am to report to the Hallamshire hospital at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday 13th May (next week!) to have the kidney stone removed. I hate hospitals and operations so not looking forward to that.

That's also the day my son and daughter-in-law arrive in Sheffield for a few days so the timing isn't great (although I understand the op doesn't normally include an overnight stay but I'll still be an "invalid" for a short while.)

Last night was good tho. The Supporters Evening was very well organised and a good laugh - although again, I managed to spill three-quarters of a pint of shandy all over the table and then the lens fell from my glasses.....

As I said - not been a great week at all really and I'm glad to more or less close the curtain on it.

(And by the way - thought I'd mentioned but it looks like I haven't - the Duchess has been diagnosed with Degenerative Hip Disorder so she needs a hip replacement operation.....)

Monday, 3 May 2010

So the Owls are relegated

Disappointing result at Hillsboro' on Sunday and that means the bigger of the two Sheffield professional teams will be playing in League one next season.

As a mate of mine said - "Maybe we should try to sue someone because we got relegated - Oh No - hang on a minute - that's what the Blades do innit?!"

Anyway - here's to next season - and whatever the red half (sorry - amend that to one-third) of the city says - Wednesday are STILL the last Sheffield club to win anything of any signifiance!

It always amazes me how the Blades seem to find more joy in  a Wednesday defeat than they do in a United win!!??

A Facebook page recently asked me to name the 5 football clubs I hated the most. I came up with Leeds Utd, Man Utd, Chelsea, Matlock Town and Sheffield FC. Noting the absence of the Blades from the list, a friend expressed surprise that Sheffield Utd were not one of the five. I explained that I don't hate Sheffield United - I just couldn't give a sh*t about them!

Next event is the Belper Town Supporters Evening on Friday May 7th. Looking forward to that and also to some proper cricket on TV - not this over-hyped T20 stuff!

For now dear readers - back to work (Yes - I'm working on a Bank Holiday Monday but I do get the whole of the 1st week of June off so It ain't all bad!)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Another busy week

The peak of which was the Belper Town Reserves home game yesterday. Needing a win to secure the championship, they did it in style with a very emphatic 10 (ten!) - 0 win over Forest Town Res.

So the lads completed a league and cup double. And richly deserved it was too. "Well dones" all round, to manager Jon Boyle, his assistant Darren Johnson and of course, the lads in the team, average age 19!

The rest of my photos are here:

A really nice touch came after the game in the clubhouse when Jon & Darren presented the Duchess with a bunch of flowers as a "Thank You" for our support (and the photos) over the season. Thanks guys!

The remainder of the week, leading up to Saturday, was largely uneventful in terms of anything other than work - a topic which is recorded elsewhere!

It was good to see our son Mark for a few days even though it was a 03:45 a.m. "out of bed" last Wednesday morning to take him back to East Midlands airport for an early morning flight home!

He and his wife are planning a trip back here on 13th May, using the ferry and then the tunnel to get back to Holland the following week. Looking forward to that immensely. Really miss the lad to be honest.

Anyway - last I heard it was 1-1 at Hillsboro' which means Sheffield Wednesday are headed for relegation to League 1. They have to beat Crystal Palace today to stay up and send Palace down so a draw isn't good enough. Oh well - as I said to a "Blade" at the game yesterday - at least the Owls still have something to play for - unlike United whose season fizzled out about 6  or 8 weeks ago! (Always look on the bright side!) ;-)

More follows when I have time. for now - have a good week, bearing in mind the election means we are to be generally bombarded with "What If" crap on  TV. Can't wait