Thursday, 29 July 2010

Oh - there is one other thing.....

Yesterday, I got my copy of the monthly Sky TV magazines. (A complete waste of time actually, they just go straight in the blue "recycled paper" bin.)

Ths month's package contained a covering letter, telling me that my monthly subscription would rise by £2.50 per month!!

Then, today - I saw this on the BBC Business News website:

"BSkyB profits from high definition services
Satellite TV group BSkyB has reported a sharp jump in annual profits, driven by new subscriptions, particularly for high definition (HD) services.Pre-tax profit for the year to the end of June came in at £878m, up more than threefold on the £259m the broadcaster made in the previous 12 months.

Revenue also rose to £5.9bn, up more than 10% on the £5.4bn recorded a year earlier.

The company said it had doubled the number of HD customers over the year.

Between April and June, it added 429,000 HD customers, most of which were already Sky subscribers.

The group added 90,000 new customers over the quarter, to reach 9.86 million in total."

"Robbing bastards" is the expression which springs to mind.

Why don't they forget the magazines and knock £2.50 off everyone's subscription. I've never yet met anyone who actually reads them!

Slow days but busy evenings.... first chance to post this week!

Football first.

Tuesday evening, we went to watch Shirebrook v Belper Town FC in another pre-season friendly. Belper won 2-1 but it should perhaps have been more. The 2nd half performance was much better than the first with "Woody" and Jon Froggatt scoring within minutes of each other to bring Belper the win.

"Woody" slams in the equaliser
A good work out for the team and you can see Andy is starting to get the basis of a very good team together.

The rest of my photographic effort is here:

On Saturday it's the first pre-season game at home and will be a much tougher test - v Boston United. A Derby County XI visit the Meadow on Tuesday next week.

Last night we went out to dinner - eventually. Our favourite Carvery, just down the road, was full to overflowing and as it was to be a 25 minute wait for a table - we tried a different one, just across town, at Parkhead. Eventually sat down to eat at about 7:45 but enjoyed it anyway (probably because we were starving by then!)

Work has been quieter this week but today has seen a bit of an influx of enquiries and orders. We're still very busy in terms of plant loading so a couple of weeks of slower intake might actually help!

Still working on the holiday snaps but here's a couple more to be going on with....

"Wright's of Louth" Upside down sign has been there for years!! Dunno why it's upside down!

This luverly motor was parked up in Woodhall Spa

Near the memorial to 617 Squadron which included my relative R.A.P. Allsebrook

Anyway - gonna get back to photo-editing - the jAlbum "St Botolph's Church, Boston" is nearing completion and hopefully will be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

A hectic week.... the first week back from vacation usually is.  I'm still editing holiday pics and promise I'll make a couple of albums sometime this week.

Big news of the week - for us anyway - is the resignation of our mate Danny Hudson as joint manager of Belper Town FC. We were told of this development by Andy Carney - the other joint manager - when we went to the pre-season game at Armthorpe yesterday. It's since been confirmed on the Belper Town website. Danny has qualified as a prison officer and so the time he has for football over the next 12 months will be limited. The plan is to dual-register with both BTFC and a team in Pontefract, nearer to where he works, and so he can play for BTFC in emergencies.

Andy also told us that the Club need a new physio! The lovely Katie Pilgrim had intended to carry in the post for next season but has been given a promotion at work which means she won't be able to make mid-week games and so thought it best to withdraw from the role.

It really is all change down at the Meadow - there are perhaps only 4 or 5 players left from last season's squad and the process of re-building a team is in hand. I must say it's good to see 4 young players from last season's highly successful reserve team being given a chance to stake a claim for a place in the squad.

This week we've seen two pre-season friendlies - one last Thursday v Sutton Town AFC (we won 2-1) and the other yesterday at Armthorpe FC (we lost 2-0.) Pictures are here:

and here:

The 1st half on Thursday evening (v Sutton) was hugely encouraging although 2nd half changes altered the game and Sutton got back into it. However, yesterday, the team came up against a very good side in Armthorpe who, although from a  league below Belper, played the better football and deserved their win.

Maybe the effect of 2 games in 3 days showed. We'll be able to judge better when we get to Tuesday and another friendly - this time against Shirebrook. It's going to take time to rebuild of course and again, speaking to Andy - he is looking to get the basis of a team together and then maybe tweak it a bit in the early weeks of the proper season, depending how we go.

More follows after next Tuesday's match - and I promise again that I'll post some more holiday pics later (OK Dave?!)

Friday, 23 July 2010

Just a Quick one - (had to share this)

I've been tasked with finding a new phone system at work. I canvassed a couple of companies and then found a "Go Compare" type site where I entered brief details of what I was looking for. Naturally, I am now inundated with calls from telephone systems salesmen - but, hey - that's life.

However - I got this one pillock called me as I was leaving the office last night. He reviewed the summary details and actually said, "I see you're looking for an expensive system!"

I put him right, perhaps a little too sharply but it WAS hometime!

On arrival at work this morning, I found an e-mail requesting an appointment and again, perhaps a bit harshly, I responded:

I think you’d be wasting your time and mine….I certainly don’t want to buy a system from someone whose opening gambit is “You’re looking for an expensive system.” I could almost hear you rubbing your hands with glee at the possibility that someone might be prepared to part with plenty of cash.

To be frank (and it should be obvious to anyone) we are looking at as competitively priced and practical system as we can get . Something to suit our needs but if that proves to be expensive then we won’t bother.

I have quotes/offers/meetings from and with several other companies so I don’t think we need pursue your approach any further.
Thanks anyway."

Think I must have hurt his feelings cos I got a mail back an hour later:

"I'm sorry that you are so upset and thought I was rubbing my hands with glee at the thought of you spending lots
of money. That certainly isn't the case I assure you. All I wished to do was meet and provide you with was a specification for a telephone system and at no point following this do I put any form of pressure on a customer to purchase. My job is to help not hinder and I certainly am not in this business to rip off any business.

I wish you good luck in your purchase, sorry in this instance that you think that my intentions were wrong but once again I assure that this is not the case.

Kind Regards"

I began to feel a little bit sorry for him - maybe I was just a tad too harsh - but 20 minutes later I got this:

"Sorry to email you again but I have just spoken to my colleague who was listening to my conversation with you and they confirmed that the words I used were extensive system not expensive system. I'm sorry you misheard me and took it in the wrong way.
Good luck in the future"

Now - if the 2nd message had been his initial comeback then maybe I might have felt a bit of a pratt and given him a second chance. Gotta say the second response was clever, slow, but clever. (And if I misheard him, why didn't he point it out on the phone! He had the chance when we talked because my immediate action was to tell him we DIDN'T want an expensive system!. Anyway.)

It's Friday, it's payday, it's early finish day and the Duchess is cooking steak and chips for tea.....  so I'm in  a good mood and the correspondence will therefore end here but the "Friday smile" is broadened when I think of one of my gaffer's maxims:

"Every day you come across some individual who confirms that 'Tosser' is spelled with a double 's'."

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

STILL editing holiday photos....

.... but here's a few to be going on with.

Our holiday accommodation. Officially, Lodge No. 2 - to us - "the hut" or "the shed" - but it has all mod cons, Shower, WC, colour telly, 2 bedrooms, kitchen with full sized cooker and a microwave. We've been going there so long it's like a 2nd home!

We love this place! No kids, pets or "day ticket" fishers allowed! Quiet, peaceful, safe. Ideal.

However- aliens are admitted it seems! Beware, they are among us!!!!

Loads of big fish. But you try catching 'em!

Inside St Botolph's Church! Stunning! We've been going to Boston for 17 years and I've never been inside the "Boston Stump". I was massively impressed and plan to make a "Jalbum" of pictures I took in there. Absoutely beautiful.

Avocet & chicks at Freiston Shore RSPB reserve. The mother bird was very anxious because these chicks were literally right beneath the viewing hatches on the hide. We were no more than 15ft away from the family and as you might imagine, I took lotsa pics!
Freiston is a great place. Totally free with an excellent car park and the hide is a short walk of maybe 250 yards. The more energetic can walk right around the reserve - a distance of about 1.8 kilometres (not sure what that is in miles!)

Another favourite spot - Donna Nook, where I got this shot of a kestrel taking off after just missing his prey.

Lincolnshire specialises in Big Skies! This at Anderby Creek.

And there are some spectacular sunsets!

A really good, relaxing holiday and as usual, we've booked for next year. Can't wait but in the meantime, I'll have to be content with editing and viewing the pictures.

As I said - links to Jalbums will follow - I just need more time please!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Back from Holiday........

.....and 710 photos to edit so this will be a short one!

Holiday was a good one - in summary -

First week - temperatures up to 30 C and blue skies. Second week - temperatures low 20's and some rain. Very strong winds last 2 days prevented any fishing.

Got some fishing done though - but not as much as in previous years, had a few days and meals out and lunch out just about every day.

One highlight for me was a visit to St Botolphs Church in Boston (locally known as "Boston Stump"). We've been going to Horncastle/Boston for 17 years and I'd never previously been inside. It is very impressive and photos will follow.

Also got a new "rucksack-type" bag fior all my camera gear. That's impressive too!

It seems like  months since we went away - no doubt tomorrow at work it'll feel like I've never been away!

Right - going to concentrate on the Archers Omnibus so I'll do more (with pics hopefully) later.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Fishing all day

Because those clowns at the Met Office couldn't tip rubbish.

My last post reported they'd promised heavy rain for Wednesday. Based on that info, we decided to spend the day driving around the local area. Of course - the rain never came!

We had lunch at Woodhall Spa - where one of my ancestors is remembered on the War Memorial which commemorates the aircrew of 617 Squadron - The Dambusters. Flight Lieutenant Ralph A.P. Allsebrook was awarded the DSO and DFC but was unfortunately killed in 1943 when, over the Dutch/German border, their aircraft was brought down. The plane crashed into a house and a canal side crane when, sadly, all crew members were decapitated by the crane. Brave blokes and an horrific way to die.

To lighten the mood, we had a lovely meal last night at the local pub and toasted the fallen heroes.

We've fished all day today. Totally relaxing way to spend a day but it's time for some kip!


Wednesday, 7 July 2010

It's late...

And I can't sleep. My mother used to describe my present condition as "over-tired." All I know is it's almost 1:00 a.m and it's humid.
Anyway - looks like I am able to post from the iPhone so might do some more tomorrow cos we're promised heavy rain! If it hammers it down like they say it will, there'll not be much fishing done! Mind you, they said today would be dry and bright.Yeah. Right. That's why we got wet whilst we were fishing this afternoon!

OK - gonna try this sleep malarky again.


Saturday, 3 July 2010

New Shoes

Realised at almost the last minute, I had no alternative to wellies as footwear when fishing over the next 2 weeks. Surely the weather isn't going to dictate wellies every day.

Anyway - the lads at work advised me to go to Sports Direct in Meadowhall where bargain trainer-type shoes were on offer.

Long story short - came away with a  pair of "Karrimoor Senior" walking shoes. Bargain at £24.99 marked down from £69.99 and - the box includes a combined keyring/torch/compass/whistle so I'm sorted if I can't find my way from my fishing spot to the chalet (a max distance of 250 yards generally!)

Also saw T-shirts for sale at Sports Direct - £2 each!! Mind you the motif was a cartoon caricature of Fabio Capello...... so £2 may be an overcharge.

Right really going this time - see yer!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Friday comes around again....

...only this time it's different! We go on holiday tomorrow!

Gotta say I've never looked forward to a holiday as much as I have to this one. Mind you - that probably means it'll be crap - when you look forward to something too hard/long, it's usually a disappointment when it gets here innit?

(My motto is "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" as you've probably gathered!)

Anyway - stuff to do so I can leave my desk clear (aren't I the conscientious one!). I tried blogging from my iPhone this morning but failed miserably so you might have to wait until I get back in 2 weeks for the next instalment of "This Wonderful Life".

The withdrawal symptoms will be tough I know but try to keep your chins up..... I promise a holiday report as soon as poss after we get back.

I can hear the collective groan from here.......