Sunday, 28 March 2010

An enjoyable Saturday!

Belper Town 3-2 Witton Albion.....

1st goal scored on 45 minutes - we had the relevant Golden Goal ticket and won £25!

Pics are here:

with an alternative (and maybe better) view from "The Gaffer" Tim Harrison here:

Good game this - Belper coasting it at 3-0 until 75 mins or so when our keeper made his only mistake of the day and  let a mis-hit "bobble" shot go under him. Witton added another with 6 mins left so it was edge of seat time!

The right result in the end but the game was almost spoiled by a very inept referee who seemed to make booking Ant Wilson (Belper striker) his priority for the day.  The other results from the day mostly went Belper's way and so the team is now back up to 3rd place but we've played more than most teams around us so a play off place remains only a possibility.

Good chat in the clubhouse afterwards with Danny and others and fish finger sandwiches for tea when we got home rounded our Saturday off very nicely.

First "Summer Time Sunday"  has been quiet - I sorted out the above album and after a light lunch, listened to Sheffield Utd v Scunthorpe on Radio Sheffield. In fact - it's just finished and United have lost 0-1! There'll be some unhappy Blades at work tomorrow morning!

Right - finished my cuppa - going to have a wander on to the end of the street to get a Green 'Un (The local Weekend Sporting Paper for those of you who may not know) and plan a relaxing Sunday afternoon to match the quiet Sunday morning!!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Frogs have been busy....

...(Croak-type frogs, not our cousins across the channel!)

Took this pic yesterday:

Frogspawn in the "Wildlife Pond" in the back garden.

Actually - the "pond" is an old Belfast Sink which was in the very overgrown garden when we bought Norton Towers 12 years or so ago. We found it after cutting down grass and weeds which had grown to about 2ft tall!

We get frogs, toads and if this lot all "hatches", thousands of tadpoles by the look of it!

Anyway - gotta go and get ready for the big game this afternoon. Belper Town v Witton Albion. (6th - them v 7th - us, both on same points and only separated by a goal difference of 1 goal.)

Not sure whether to take the camera... it's a beautiful day for taking pictures but I really enjoyed just watching the game on Tuesday evening. We'll see. Right now it's time for the "Full English" so I'll see yer later!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

NHS (No Hope Service)

I sometimes despair.....

Yesterday, the Duchess called in at our local surgery to collect some paperwork I need for a pre-op assessment interview at the hospital next week. (that's ANOTHER story!)

Standing in front of the receptionist, she asked, since she was there, if she could make an appointment to see Dr Wood (because the Duchess is suffering from some pain in the hip, knee and ankle. It's making it difficult to walk.)

She was told that an appointment could not be made there and then but if she rang the surgery the next morning, after 8:00 a.m., then the receptionist would book her in to see Dr Wood on Thursday April 8th.

Why the hell couldn't the appointment be confirmed there and then!!??

When the Duchess told me about this farce, I said she should have told them she can't ring cos she doesn't have a phone. This apparently is no barrier to the system. If you don't have a phone, you present yourself at the surgery, after 8:00 a.m. and wait in the queue for an appointment date.

Yet there she was, standing in front of the receptionist, albeit in the middle of the afternoon and not at 8 the next morning, who obviously knows when the appointment can be made for, but it can't be confirmed.

At the start of this I said "Sometimes" ........... I should have said "Always"......... we are talking NHS after all.
(PS - this is not a dig at nurses or doctors, just the shit business managers who devise and insist on implemenattion of their ridiculous rules.)

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A fantastic win!!

Last night, Belper Town entertained Mickleover Sports who were on a league record run of 16 straight wins and are top of the league by a street.
This was a local derby so a lot hinged on the match. After Belper's recent poor run of form, (2 points from the last 18 - not won in 6 games) a win was an absolute necessity.

At a packed Christchurch Meadow, (gate was 430 - the average attendance this season is just on 200) the team showed their true colours and although it was only a 1-0 win, it could have been 4 or 5 but the bounce of the ball didn't always favour Belper.

Anyway - who cares - the result was right in the end and hopefully, this will lift the team for the remainder of the season. A play off place is still a possibility but it's going to take a massive effort.

I didn't take the camera - it was peeing it down and in any case, we had decided to stand behind the goal with the "Belper Massive" and try to "sing" the team to victory. Didn't need the distraction of trying to capture the game through the lens. I will link to Tim Harrisons pictures as soon as he gets them on the Belper forum.

Another big game on Saturday - at home again to Witton Albion who are one place ahead of us in 6th - same points and a goal difference only 1 goal better than ours. Hope the throat is fit for the game - lost my voice last night and drove home with a thumping headache but I don't care!!!!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Since my last post - here's my week.....

Tuesday evening - watched a very good game of football when Belper Town and Glapwell drew 1-1.

My pics of the game are here:

Quite pleased with this set actually. It was the first serious use of my new lens. (Canon 100mm fixed telephoto f2.8 with macro facility.) I also learned how to use "Unsharp Mask" in the photo-editing software "Photoshop Elements 8.0" which I use to "tidy up" my photos. I think it worked quite well!!

Wednesday and Thursday passed in a blur (first 2 days back in the office after a trip and 2 days holiday).

Friday - I was asked to photograph some tools at our sister company. We're both exhibiting at a major show in April and the boss asked if I'd take some shots which are to be "blown up" to about a metre square and used on the stand at the Bauma show in Munich next month.

After that - it was a visit to the opticians to see if I need new reading glasses. It's up to me apparently - there is a slight increase in  my prescription but the optician reckons I can leave it a while if I wish. The really good news is that the Macular Degeneration appears to have been halted and so it looks like the VisionAce vitamin supplement tablets I've been taking for about 3 years now are working!

Saturday morning supermarket run was followed by a full English breakfast as usual and a trip down to Belper to watch the reserve side take on Dunkirk (no - not the French Dunkirk - the Nottinghamshire Dunkirk!!) We decided a 2.1/4 hour drive down the A1 to Stamford to watch the first team in the pouring rain was not on and so we saw an entertaining 3-3 draw at the Meadow.

Photos are here:

All that marred the day really (aside from the first team losing 2-1) was the attitude of some of the Dunkirk players. For the second time in a month, I was actually threatened by one of the opposition's players. OK - I know I'm a gobby sod and with attendances at these games almost in single figures, every comment can be heard on the pitch but when a particularly bad tackle chopped down a Belper player, I shouted "That's a red card ref" and was told in no uncertain terms by the Dunkirk No. 18 to "Shut your mouth." I refused and he then threatened to come into the stand and "sort me."

The guy in question was the Dunkirk Physio and had a bigger mouth than me. He later came on as a sub and that is when the threat was made - whilst he was playing! Mind you - he had a run-in with Harry Pride - father of the Belper full back and captain Aaron Pride. Full of bluff and bluster he mouthed off at Harry - who was standing behind the goal. The verbals continued until Harry asked if he wished to carry on the discussion off the pitch at which point, the guy stopped in his tracks - 10 yards from  the boundary boards - and turned around to find someone else to argue with. Wise decision cos  Harry is a mate but I wouldn't mess with him!

Anyway - today was a slow day but after a light lunch, we headed out for a wander around Wards Garden Centre at Coal Aston. They have a very nice restaurant/cafe there so we had a cuppa and a piece of "Dorset Apple Cake" (try it - it's very good!) before heading back home via a place called Ford - near Eckington. I took a few pictures of the small dam there -

It's a private fishing venue but no one was dipping a line today! Pretty place though. And there's the Bridge Inn right next door if you are in need of refreshment.

Oh - and the crocus are out in the garden with the daffodils not far behind.....

.....but I guess this might be getting boring now so I'll say "Tarra!"  for now.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Back from my travels....

Well, got back Saturday afternoon actually. Too late to go to Skelmersdale and see Belper Town win another cup semi-final. This time they came from 2-1 down with 10 minutes left to win 3-2 with a couple of goals from striker Ant Wilson. They are now in the final of the Derbyshire Senior Cup and the Unibond Presidents Cup.

Off tonight to see Belper Town v Glapwell - a local derby which should be quite feisty as Glapwell include some former Belper players! We're actually sponsoring the match ball so we have the car park pass, sponsors tickets, food at half-time etc etc. It's nice to feel we're putting something back into the club.

Yesterday and today have been spent watching the gas fitters install a new boiler. Grand job they've made of it and we're fortunate that because our original boiler was so old, we qualify for the "Boiler Scrappage Scheme" which encourages people to get rid of "G-rated" boilers and install new, fuel efficient "A-rated" ones. The incentive is a grant of £400 from the Energy Saving Trust which will come in very handy thank you!

Finally - I know I promised pictures but the internet connection has been decidely iffy for the last 2 days and I don't have time to do them right now (we're meeting our mate Joey Winson who is coming to the game with us) but I promise.... ASAP!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania

Just arrived at the Comfort Inn, had a quick shower and change - meeting client for dinner shortly.

The guy I'm waiting for is also called Ken and he and I have known each other for 15 years or more. Lovely bloke who has become  a good friend as well as customer.

He'll bring his daughter with him and it'll be good to see her again. I've watched her and her brother grow from young kids to late teens/young adults. They are two fine young people.

Been quite warm here today - driving down here was relatively easy - we split the five hours or so between us and got here about 6:45 pm US time.

Took a few pics of hotels and stuff which I'll hopefully share with you early next week. We're off home from Pittsburgh via Toronto and Heathrow tomorrow and I'll be back in God's County on Saturday afternoon.

Booked Monday and Tuesday off work - partly to allow recovery from jet lag but also because we're having a new combi boiler fitted on Monday and the Duchess wants me around to "supervise"(!)

Dunno if I'll be able to post again this trip so the weekend looks favourite for pictures and stuff....

Until then......

"Have a Nice Day!!!!!"

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Springdale Arkansas

Just a quick comment.

Waiting to meet up for breakfast with the boss. At a hotel called the Town Suites. Brand new - and absolutely brilliant.

Heading back north this afternoon - then home on Saturday.

Took a few shots with the Powershot camera (didn't bring the SLR - too risky on  a trip like this where it's a different town every night) and I'll post a couple when (if!) I get a mo.

Cheers for now.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Blog Resurrection....

I had decided to take a break from the blog because every post was starting to sound the same. "What a boring life!" it seemed to me.

Anyway - time to give it another go.....

Lotsa stuff hasn't changed - still got a kidney stone (although they're now planning to operate to remove it.) Still work at the same place (but we are 10 times busier than we were last year and so it's a bigger madhouse than before.) Me and the Duchess still support Belper Town (but the team has lost 3 in a row and last Saturday's first half performance was probably the worst I've seen them play)

Right now I'm sitting in a hotel room at Toronto airport waiting for a call from the Duchess (via Skype - ain't that a wonderful facility?) and then it's breakfast and off to an important meeting to discuss possible supply contracts for the rest of this year with a customer here in Toronto.

Airport and flights to Springdale Arkansas late afternoon and meetings at corporate headquarters tomorrow, then Pittsburgh and Boston Thursday and Friday - back home Saturday afternoon.... accompanied by my boss so it's not too bad a trip.

Still taking pictures and enjoying it. Hopefully getting better but consistency is sometimes a problem (like Belper Town FC to be honest!) I'll post some of my more recent stuff as soon as possible, but here's a "taster".............

Taken through the car winscreen at Carburton Lakes near Clumber Park

Right now - gotta go - let's see if my consistency of posting can be re-established!!