Monday, 28 June 2010

I Didn't Bother Watching the Game....

...decided to cut the privet hedge instead. (All 130ft of it - and it's not really "my" hedge but if we wait for the neighbours to cut it, it'll be 30ft tall!) As an accompaniment, I listened to the One Day International cricket match on Radio 4 between England and Australia. Good choice by the sound of things! We beat the Aussies to take a 3-0 lead with 2 games to play in the series.

The England cricket team currently knows how to win - something the footy team needs to learn. I have to say that I had "bad vibes" about the football team - having seen the way they struggled to get to this stage.

Today, Capello says our boys were tired!! So that's why they performed as they did! Tiredness! From what I have seen of the performances, it looked like a distinct lack of passion, commitment or pride to me! Anyway - again - my mate Mossley Smiffy's blog "Six Tame Sides" expresses it perfectly. Quote:

... but would it have REALLY made any difference ? I believe not ... sooner (hopefully) rather than later we will finally realise that we are JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH. The Premier League may well be (to some - certainly not me) one of the best in the world - but when you realise that 80% of the stars are actually ineligible to play for England ... it's time for a rethink. In the meantime Sky TV will continue to assist in paying the obscene wages to what have been shown up this tournament to be extremely average footballers - and if people continue to buy their Sky subscriptions and pay stupid prices for Premier League season tickets - and stupid prices for premier League "merchandise", and all branded goods (where many "players" will be taking a tidy 'rake-off') this whole sorry tale will continue.

And I've not even started on words like "effort" or "passion" - look at teams like New Zealand or South Korea - any limitations these players have are more than offset by their passion and their effort. I could name names - someone said to me before the tournament started that Rooney was not 100% fit - case proved I think ... the guy has done absolutely zilch in four games (apart from slagging off the fans after the Algeria game !) - people moaned when Heskey was brought on, but isn't Rooney meant to be a goalscorer ? And are the others really the best we have to offer ?? I could find many many others that would have sweated blood and given 200% effort to have the chance to wear that shirt - unfortunately most - if not all - of them are not in the Premier League

end quote..... As I said - well put Smiffy - my feelings entirely.
Anyway - Sunday concluded by washing the windows on the kitchen bay, inside and out, then I cleaned the car. I was absolutely banjaxed and must have sweated off about a half a stone but still didn't sleep worth a sh*t last night! Combination of hot sticky weather and a sore back!
We're off on holiday on Saturday and so we went to the fishing tackle shop (interestingly named "Climax Tackle" which draws some strange looks until you know the store is on the site of the old Climax nightclub!) We needed some bits and pieces but I ended up with a new fishing rod. First one I've bought in years and I can't wait to try it out. There's 3.1/2 days of work left this week yet though - let's see if I can get through it with as little hassle as possible!
I really need this holiday!! I'l try to post again before we go but I make no promises!!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Sunday Morning.....

.....listening to the Archers as usual and after "brunch" - get stuck into the hedge trimming. Needs doing before we go on  hols next weekend and it looks like (as usual) the weather's going to change. Does this every year - gets all of the good stuff out the way before we go away!

Highlight of the week was Wednesday evening. Last minute decision to go to Bakewell for fish and chips by the river. Really enjoyed it - it's a lovely spot..

and there's more pictures here.

England v Germany this afternoon - dunno if I'll bother - hedges to cut and various other "before we go on hols" tasks and we'll probably lose on pens anyway!

Next week is going to be busy.....

Friday, 25 June 2010

Car serviced yesterday....

... and when I dropped it off at the garage, this was parked outside....

The Mechanic said "Tell him it'll be ready Tuesday." (Well I thought it was funny......I'll get me coat.....)

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

There's a Football Match on this afternoon, apparently.

The shopfloor here work 6 a.m. until 2 pm and the staff were given the option of coming on at 6 so they could leave at 2 pm and watch the England match. I declined...... What I've seen so far (and I admit I only saw highlights of the USA game and then watched 60 minutes of the Algeria match before I decided to go and do something more interesting) doesn't make me anything like confident about progression to the last 16.

Hope I'm wrong but in any case, this World Cup hasn't really "grabbed me" like previous competitions. Don't know if it's the standard of football (which has been generally poor) or the terrible commentaries, punditry and general coverage of the games but I just can't seem to work up any enthusiasm.

Anyway - I'm working normal hours so better gerron wi it!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

The garden when we bought the house (1998)

Pretty much the same view as on the earlier post.... I'd forgotten I'd taken this until the latest photos reminded me!

I've been busy.. OK??

It's been another hectic week. My right hand man at work went on holiday to Mallorca on Tuesday and so I've been pretty much "on me own" and the paper shuffling has been intense because the incoming workload continues to almost overwhelm us.

The only real event of the week was a visit to see the Urology Consultant on Thursday. The X-ray shows they got all of the stone when they operated but the less good news is it shows another stone in my right kidney. It's apparently "of no significance right now" but the doc said he wanted to "keep an eye on it." This means another X-ray in 12 months and we'll continue on an annual basis unless I get pain or discomfort.

Advice is to monitor intake and output! (He reckons I could measure how much I pee out if I want to. Might give that a miss actually!) Output is as important as input apparently - 2 litres in and 2 litres out is the aim. Finally on the subject of taking a (the) piss - "healthy" urine should be, and I quote, "The colour of good champagne or cheap lager, depending on your preference!"

Other topics of (minor) note... we went to the Bowshaw Carvery again on Thursday. Cracking grub as usual.

Saw the England game on Friday and fear for our last 16 aspirations. It really was a dire performance. No pride, passion or, seemingly, any idea of what they were supposed to be doing. Where's a Stuart Pearce when you need one? I reckon he could have come off the bench and showed them how it's done.

For Rooney to come off the pitch after that performance and take a sarcastic dig at the fans as he did was totally unacceptable. His apology (via FA statement) is too little, too late. My mate Mossley Smiffy summarises my particular feelings on this point far better than I can - read his blog "Six Tame Sides" - link on the right.

Anyway - spent yesterday in the garden, cutting hedges and grass and generally "tidying up". The result -

Well - that's about half the garden anyway. I'm not showing you the other side, on the right, behind the garage. That needs a lot of work and something of a longer term project!

The roses are in bloom....

as well as other stuff (dunno what this is called but it's pretty).............

..... and so are the Ox-eye Daisies in my (ahem) wildlife area (or rather the part of the garden I ain't got around to sorting yet!)

OK - listening to the Archers as usual just now and later, more cutting and hacking this afternoon - it's a beautful day so I'd better make the most of it. Laters!

Oh - and - "Great News on the job Mike!" Hope it works out for you!

Monday, 14 June 2010

I swear it's true!!

From the "Non-League Daily" website:
"Northern League chairman Mike Amos has condemned the FA for refusing to act on swearing in managers’ technical areas.

The league has been a strong advocate of initiatives to reduce or even eradicate swearing from technical areas during games, and has on many occasions received complaints from offended fans. In turn it has urged match officials to take stronger action on foul mouths in the dug-out, but for one reason or another, the pleas largely fall on deaf ears.

Frustrated by the lack of strong action from local officialdom, Amos approached the FA and pointed out that the FA’s Respect campaign didn’t appear to be working, and suggested that the league should launch its own campaign.

“Right from the moment of that barmy, empty, meaningless hand shaking pantomime before the match the swearing begins – with very few exceptions – both in the so-called technical area and on the pitch. Especially this season the league management committee has become concerned about some of the appalling goings on in the technical area itself and about the sometimes pathetic response by County FAs on the rare occasions when the referee does something about it. We wrote to the County FAs, with a response that was less than encouraging.

“I personally also wrote to the FA nationally, so great my despair at the level of offensive, insulting and abusive language, and the wretched and manifest ineffectiveness of the Respect campaign so far to make any impression upon it at our level.

“I pointed out that in my view the match officials needed to be drinking from a bottle labelled “Bottle” – because so many of them appear to lack it – but also asked if, even now, the Northern League might be allowed to launch another initiative of its own. The FA’s top man in those areas promised in writing to run it past the relevant committee and then to come north to meet the league.

“Almost a month after the meeting, he wrote again. No, he wouldn’t be venturing beyond Wembley’s blinkered confines – surprise, surprise – because they didn’t really see or hear a problem. So long as the referee took action against what was aimed directly at him and his team – and we all know that many of them don’t even do that – then things could be managed.

“The FA is effectively saying that you can swear your silly heads off that if anyone other than the referee is offended by obscenities yelled the length of the pitch that it doesn’t really matter a fig and that the practice of ignoring what remains a law of the game will not only continue but implicitly be supported from the top. That’s not opinion, that’s fact.

“The FA has made it abundantly and aggressively clear in the past that the league will not be allowed to act unilaterally on offensive language. Nor, to be fair, have most clubs shown any great enthusiasm themselves to address the issue. Even now, however, when our governing body does a very passable impression of Pontius Pilate washing its hands of a pernicious problem, there is room for a club to declare that it is going to make a stand. A club has every right to discipline, or simply not to play, those of its people both in the technical area and on the pitch who continue wantonly to use offensive language or abusive behaviour. Is there, even now, just one Northern League club prepared to take that stand, prepared for all the accompanying publicity and prepared to work with us for the greater good of the game, both here and nationally, at this level? I would be delighted to hear from them, and to support them.”

FA referees’ official John Jones, who spoke at the AGM after Amos said: “Match officials have been told to clamp down on bad language from technical areas. If a club reports that match officials haven’t taken any action, then it isn’t brushed under the table. We go back to the officials and ask for their comments.”

However, as the league has pointed out on many times in the past, the officials’ get out clause is always that they have never heard the bad language – even though in some cases the words are shouted just a few yards away from them.

'Fraid he's right - nowt will be done about it. At the same time - I have to say that I've only been to one game where the swearing was really offensive and that was at Stocksbridge a couple of seasons ago. I actually moved the Duchess from the stand and we watched from behind the goal so she didn't have to listen to it.
I did actually mention it on the BTFC Fans Forum and suggested a certain Mr Gary Marrow should "tone it down" since there were some ladies and youngsters present in the stand. Mr Marrow responded by suggesting that women should be at home doing the ironing and not watching football.
Now, this greatly angered the Duchess who has been involved in football administration for more than 20 years and has been watching footy at all levels for a good deal longer than that!She may not hold any coaching badges but she can almost recite the FA Rule Book "verbatim."
Sadly, while dinosaurs like GM are still involved, things definitely won't change!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

World Cup BBQ..

As I said - it was a bit boisterous - water pistols and bombs were much in evidence:
(Richard - my nephew - in red, Adam, my niece's fiance and BBQ host - in grey)

A week and a half....

Well there's been so much going on it FEELS like a week and a half since my last post. Summary:

Monday - morning - to the Claremont Hospital with the Duchess to see her Consultant re her dodgy hip. Lovely bloke explained everything and put her at her ease - well, pretty much - she is still terrified of hospitals and doctors. The op is scheduled for some time in Mid-September, actual date to be confirmed.

Rest of day spent at work, catching up on the previous weeks activity. The plant had been closed for a week but the work continued to flow in.

Tuesday - passed remarkably quickly with no crises or major events. A "head down, get stuck in" sort of day. In the evening, the Duchess had her Monthly Football League Meeting so I configured the new portable hard drive and  backed up the precious photos and docs.

Wednesday - early start. Drive to Manchester Airport to pick up a visitor who had stayed at the airport Hilton overnight. Full day with a plant tour and lunch, then further discussion before I drove him back to Manchester to the Hilton on Deansgate. Now - if you want an interesting experience, consider being on Deansgate, at 5:10 pm, in a car - and then try to drive back to Sheffield! The traffic was horrendous and it was just about 7:15 pm when I got home!

Thursday - got stuck into paperwork but didn't seem make a lot of progress. That's a facet of my job that I've increasingly noticed over the years. I can work my socks off - phone calls, e-mails, keyboard clobbering, travelling etc., but at the end of it, there's no tangible sign of the effort I've put in. Maybe that's why I enjoy gardening. A couple of hours of trimming and hacking and at the end of it, you can see I've made a difference.

Friday - morning, repeat of Thursday largely but the early finish at 1:30 lifted the mood (as always!) After a quick cuppa at home we went to B&Q to pick up a new light fitting. When we moved to Nortoner Towers, we installed 2 new wall lights in the alcoves either side of the fireplace and a central light which all matched of course. A couple of weeks ago, one of the alcove lights failed. A neighbour/mate - Paul - who is a qualified electrician, had a look and declared it "dead." I must admit I thought our chances of getting a match after 12 years were slim but we succeeded!

Saturday - morning - Supermarket run then after lunch, I cut the grass at the back and made a start on the hedges but had to abort that at about 2:45 because we were off to a World Cup BBQ at my niece's house where beer, burgers and bangers were much in evidence. A good "do" although we only stayed until half time in the England v USA game. The mood was more than a little boisterous, shall we say, and I have to admit, if I was a neighbour, I would have been a bit miffed by the noise and (on occasion) the language!

Nothing else to report. I have noticed this blog is getting a little boring. Promise I will try to "spice it up" over the next couple of weeks but you will have gathered by now that I lead a very mundane life!

Right - Archers Omnnibus on Radio 4 soon...... so I gotta go - see - told you it was mundane.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

As Promised - Old Moor pictures

On Thursday we went to another RSPB Reserve - this time Old Moor, which is only 30 minutes away.
(One of The Duchess' pictures)

Some shots from the visit are here:

It was a lovely day and we enjoyed a pleasant lunch in the cafe and later had a cuppa and a cake! Tea was from the chippy to complete a good "day off."

Friday - nipped down to work to collect my office keys from my oppo Dean who will be missing on Monday. Then home via ASDA where we did the weekend shop (usually a Saturday morning chore but whilst we were out and about....)

Saturday morning we walked down through Graves Park to the local shopping area at Woodseats where we picked up a couple of things missed from the previous days supermarket visit. The walk was probably a bit ambitious, given the Duchess' dodgy hip and a temperature somewhere in the upper 20's C! Since we both have bus passes - we hopped a bus back to the top of the hill.

Did absolutely nothing for the rest of the day - it was just too hot to go out in the garden and to be honest - I just couldn't be bothered. So I did something I haven't done for ages and simply sat in the armchair watching every ball of the 2nd Test Match - England v Bangladesh.

Back to work in the morning but I'll be late in because the Duchess has a hospital appointment at 9:15 a.m. to meet a consultant about her "hip situation." I'm going with her of course.

So - the blog is up to date - (What a very mundane life I lead!) and since the Archers Omnibus edition is finished - I'm off to do something more constructive.... perhaps!

Friday, 4 June 2010

A busy couple of days.

For the Duchess' birthday treat - we went to Bempton & Filey on Wednesday. It really was a glorious day.
The place was packed - as busy as I've ever seen it - but we enjoyed a long wander around the various viewing points on  the clifftops. There are more pictures of things various here:

It was the first time in a long time that we've seen chicks at Bempton - although the total number of birds seemed fewer than on previous visits.

After a good couple of hours, we went back to the car and drove up the coast to Filey for Fish & Chips at Inghams -

An excellent Fish Restaurant and Takeaway recommended by a couple of my "Tweeter" friends.

After eating we sat for a half hour looking out over the sea before taking a good 2.1/2 hours to drive home. An excellent day all round!

Thursday - we decided to go to another RSPB reserve - this time much nearer home at Wath-on-Dearne. The place is called Old Moor and I've mentioned it before. I'm working on an album of pics from this visit and will post ASAP.

In the meantime - hope you enjoy the Bempton/Filey album!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Been Spending Again.....

Me and The Duchess have been out this morning (did I mention I'm on holiday all week? Think I did!) - organising despatch of my daughter-in-laws iPad and then we popped into Meadowhall to get a picture taken for her new driving licence.

After a hot Roast Pork sandwich and a cuppa (nice but expensive - £11.60 for 2 sandwiches, 2 teas and a side order of chips!) we stopped off at the Meadowhall Retail Park where Hobbycraft, Homebase and PC World are located. The Duchess makes all the greetings cards she sends to friends various so Hobbycraft was the main reason for stopping but you can't NOT go in PC World can you? Not when it's right next door?

Anyway - I came out with a portable hard drive - needed to back up my photo and document files. Last count, there were 22,500 pictures on my PC (ncluding scanned slides and films from 30 to 40 years ago) and although I already have an external hard drive - I wanted the extra security of a 2nd back up which I can keep away from the PC.

Another neat piece of kit:

750 Gb of storage on a device not much bigger than my mouse! Fantastic!! (Picture was taken with the new iPhone BTW - not that I'm showing off of course!)

Nothing much else to report since my last post. Monday was spent in the garden, cutting grass and strimming weeds whilst listening to Test Match Special on Radio 4. Hard work but the garden looks a bit better for it.

Today's promised rain has now set in and so I resort to the PC and the blog. I'm sorting out some of  my photo files - particularly the older ones.

Whilst I think of it, something else HAS happened this week....Belper Town FC  announced  several new signings including some very experienced players at our level. Manager Andy Carney has been working hard on a reduced budget to replace about half dozen of last season's squad who have decided to try their luck elsewhere (and in a lot of cases - for more money.)

I was beginning to worry a bit about next season but now I can't wait. Mind you - the Duchess is complaining - she says she only definitely figured out who is who as the season was drawing to a close - now she has to start all over again!
Bempton and Filey tomorrow - and I'm going to set the Duchess up with my old DSLR - the 350D - and my 300mm zoom lens to see what sort of "bird" pictures she can get. I'll report back of course. (Unless her pics are better than mine - there's every chance!)