Monday, 30 August 2010

On the Run!!

Just a quick note while I have a moment!

Yesterday was  a looong day!

Out of bed at 6 a.m. UK time - check in at Heathrow at 9 to be told the flight is delayed one hour.

It ended up being 2 hours late which meant we missed our connection in Toronto and so were booked on the next flight - due to leave at 7pm (Canada time = midnight UK time!) That eventually left at about 20 to 9 and so we got here at gone 10 pm (3 a.m. Sunday UK) instead of 5:15 pm (Canadian)

After being met at the airport and grabbing a quick burger, I eventually got into bed at just about 12:30 Canadian which meant I'd been about 23 hours "on the road"

Today we meet at the customers plant here in Sudbury then head back down to Toronto for meetings tomorrow with our biggest client.

Wednesday will be interesting but I'll tell you more later - I gotta go cos my ride is here. (BTW - temperature yesterday in Toronto was 33 degrees C and temperatures in the range 28 to 35 are forecast for the rest of our trip..... so glad I packed a sweater!)

Friday, 27 August 2010

Not had time to blog this week....

Getting ready for a business trip to Canada and USA has taken up most of my time. My colleague and I leave tomorrow evening - drive down to Heathrow, stay overnight and on Sunday, we fly to Toronto and on to Sudbury Ontario to start a hectic 5 days.

In summary this week:

Monday - the Duchess was one of four candidates to be interviewed for the post of Vice-Chair of The Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League. Needless to say - she didn't get the job. Just as she didn't get the Secretary's job when she applied for that some months ago.... despite being one of the most experienced members of the Junior League Committee. Still, as I said to her - do you really want to be closely associated with the despotic set-up that is apparently the League's structure just now?! Anyway - it's their loss but to cheer her up,  we went to the Orange shop in Meadowhall and upgraded her mobile to an iPhone (not an iPhone 4 mind - couldn't have that cos I can't have one yet!)

Tuesday night we were at Christchurch Meadow to watch Belper Town and Carlton Town draw 0-0. We dined at George's Fish & Chip Cafe again before the game. I took a lot of pictures but haven't had a chance to create an album yet but here's a few to be going on with:

Simon Harrison  - on season long loan from Harrogate FC

Love this shot - I call it "Determination!"

It was a grand night for watching football with a full, bright moon

There's something about an empty stadium after a game!

This was a much better performance than last Saturday against Sutton Coldfield. After the game, Manager Andy Carney explained that he felt Belper could not afford to lose their first home game and so the plan was to keep it tight at the back and in midfield and then, towards the end when tired legs started to take effect, introduce Federenko and Jenkins as "fresh legs" to harrass tired defenders. It almost worked. We absolutely battered them last 20 minutes and were very unlucky not to snatch a win.

Wednesday evening - I got bogged down at work and didn't get home until gone six so we didn't stray from the house.

Thursday - the Duchess met me at Meadowhall after work and we ate at Harry Ramsdens (Yeah - I know - fish and chips again!) before shopping for new shoes for me for the trip.

Friday - up at 5:15, in the office for 6:15, left work at 2:45 pm rather than the usual 1:30 "Friday Finish". This afternoon - cleaned the car and now need to start getting ready for tomorrow. Plan is - Supermarket, early - pack bags for trip - head down to Belper for FA Cup Preliminary Round v Holbrook - shoot back to Sheffield, pick up bags and then collect my colleague from his home in Aston (Sheffield, not Birmingham!) on the way to Heathrow.

I'll try to blog from the road next week but we're on a very tight and hectic schedule so if I don't get a chance, I'll tell you all about it when I get back (Saturday 4th September, about 4pm at home in  Sheffield!)

Sunday, 22 August 2010

'Allo Jon, Got A New Motor?

Picked the new car up on Friday afternoon.....

Isn't she lovely!!
Well,  I think so...

For the first "run out" on Friday evening, after tea, we went to one of our favourite spots - "The Dams" (Ladybower/Derwent). It was not the brightest of evenings  but there is always a certain "something" about this place. I love it mainly for the quietness and tranquility we always find there.

Saturday brought the car's first "long run" when we went down to Sutton Coldfield to see Belper Town's first game of the new season.

The home side won 3-1 and probably deserved it.

Jon  Froggatt's penalty was only a consolation.
I appreciate this is a new Belper squad with only 4 maybe 5 players left from last season so it'll take time to gel but the main consensus of opinion amongst Belper fans was that the team needs a leader. Someone who can make himself heard and will encourage or bully the players to get the best from them.

My album from the game is here:

and as ever, Tim Harrison, The Master, was there. His pictures are here:

Anyway - not  a great start and the next challenge comes very quickly with the first home game of the season on Tuesday evening when Carlton Town are the visitors to Christchurch Meadow. Carlton are off to a flyer with a 3-0 home win in their first fixture and their confidence will be sky high.

We'll see.

Right - gotta go do somethig else - probably outside in the garden whilst it's still dry and sunny.

See Yer!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Nowt on t'Telly....

....translated as - "Nothing worth watching on Television" (for those among you who do not speak Yorkshire.) So - I'll tell you what's been happening since my last post.

On Saturday, we went to watch Belper Town's last pre-season friendly game at Ossett Albion.  Unfortunately, after about 85 minutes of competitive and often exciting football, trouble flared and the Belper manager has ended up with 2 stitches in a cut right eye which has now turned completely black. He was allegedly hit by one of the Ossett players. I say allegedly because Andy (our manager) called me on Sunday to tell me that the linesman was also allegedly assaulted and the police are now involved. Charges may follow.

Shouldn't therefore say too much more but here's what Andy's face looked like after the alleged attack:

The really sad part is that Ossett Albion is a well set up club with a nice ground and excellent facilities.

When we arrived, we were greeted with a friendly smile along with a brief summary of what was where within the ground and so on. Although the official attendance was only 59 people, they were welcoming and friendly.

After everything calmed down and as we were about to leave, a couple of the Ossett officials came and had a word, explaining their embarrassment and adding apologies. They also wished us well for the new season. It is such a pity that the actions of one idiot marred a good day out.

Anyway - Sunday was spent cutting bloody hedges (again!!) and "back to work Monday" came around as quickly as ever. Monday evening meant mowing the grass at the back of the house. The weather forecast on Sunday said there would be little chance of getting it done during the rest of the week because of almost incessant rain varying between showers and monsoons apparently. (Hasn't happened yet of course!)

The other news this week is that my new company car should be available within the next couple of days! It's been delivered to the local VW dealers so I popped in for a quick look on Sunday. It's still got the "packing tape" around it but I saw enough to see it's a beaut. Pictures follow at the earliest opportuniity.

I've also pretty much sorted out my next trip. We (me and our QC Manager) set off for Canada on August 29th and get back to the UK on September 4th. It's a whistle-stop with calls in Sudbury and Toronto (Ontario) and 3 "one-night stands" in the USA. It'll be hectic but I prefer that - time passes more quickly and you don't have a minute to think about getting back home until it's time to head back.

The new footy season starts on Saturday. Belper Town are away at Sutton Coldfield Town and even though it's 70 miles there and 70 miles back - we're seriously thinking about it!

Report follows (if we decide to go.)

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Another busy week...

.. the main event of which was Belper Town 1-1 Matlock Town in a pre-season friendly last Saturday. A local derby with Matlock playing in a divison above Belper Town and so some serious bragging rights were at stake here!

Unfortunately, not the greatest game I've ever seen. it was a bit scrappy with only occasional glimpses of good football. The major plus for me was the excellent defensive display from the Belper side - the back four looked very good and coped well with pretty much everything. In the end,  a draw was a fair result as they say.

A packed Belper bench!

The rest of my album from the game is here:

and you may contrast and compare with the"Official" album here (created of course by the Main Man, Tim Harrison:)

The rest of the week has been pretty much taken up with organising (and then re-organising cos a customer changed his mind!) a short trip to Canada and the USA, scheduled now for week-commencing 30th August and including calls in Sudbury and Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; Grand Rapids Michigan; Belle Center Ohio and Monongahela, Pennsylvania before heading back home Friday evening 3rd September. Hectic but typical of the type of trip I make these days!

Oh Yeah! And once again, my Sunday was spent cutting privet hedges (6 hours in total - it's a jungle out there!) and trying to get my garden into some sort of respectable shape. Trouble is - it's a bloody big garden and stuff will insist on growing dammit! (That's' the only redeeming feature of winter as far as I am concerned - stuff doesn't grow and the grass doesn't need cutting!)

Right - gonna watch the 2nd half of the England v Hungary game - or maybe Yorkshire cricket on Sky Sports 3. Hmmmm! Decisions, decisions! (How can you tell the Duchess is out and so I have the remote.... Mwahahahah!!!)


Thursday, 5 August 2010

Belper Town 1-1 Derby County XI

Tuesday - good day all round really. Got through the work day without too much hassle then drove straight down to Belper for tea at George's Fish & Chip Cafe. Haddock, chips, peas, cuppa tea and bread & butter £7.10 all in. Bargain! (And excellent food BTW!)

Then watched Belper draw with a good Derby County side. A great work out for the lads who were absolutely banjaxed at the end. They worked their socks off and special mention must go to young goalkeeper Danny Hancock. This lad is only 17 and is from the Rotherham United youth squad. He's helping us out for a week whilst our regular keeper is doing a Level 1 Coaching Course.

The Belper manager, Andy Carney, made Danny the captain for the game - even though it was only a friendly, it was the biggest game the lad has ever played in and Andy thought it would be a nice gesture.

Talking to Danny's dad before the game - he said the kid was very nervous but he actually played an absolute blinder! He made 4 or 5 outstanding saves and one in particular in a "one-on-one, point-blank" with Rob Hulse was top class.

Anyway - super game of footy. I had an absolute mare with the camera and so if you want to see some pictures from the game, click this link:-

Photos courtesy of Tim Harrison - "official" Belper photographer and top man!

Yesterday passed without too much incident except that I went home 40 minutes early with a stonking headache. Seem to have recovered now tho so getting stuck into the paper pile.... better "gerron wi it!"


Monday, 2 August 2010

Saturday football at The Meadow! It's been a while!

Last Saturday, Belper Town FC took on Boston United, from 2 leagues above us, in a pre-season friendly game

Result was a 3-1 win to Boston but that was maybe to be expected. However, the Belper side put on a very good show and the signs for the new season are a lot more encouraging.

My picture album is here - if you want a look -

Next test is on Tuesday when a Derby County XI visit the Meadow. Should be a good crowd and a welcome few bob in gate money for the Club!

Not sure if I'm taking the camera - we'll see. Whether I do take it or not, I'll let you know how we fared  and give a link to the official club photographer's pics. (I'm sure he'll be there!)

(Oh - and to complete the weekend, I spent nigh on 6 hours cutting hedges and grass yesterday and am now officially knackered!)

Laters - as they say!

St Botolphs Church, Boston Lincolnshire

I've been promising for a couple of weeks now that I would show you some pictures of the inside of the famous "Boston Stump".

St Botolph's Church Tower can be seen for miles around the town because (a) the area is so flat and (b) it's the tallest structure around there!
I've never been inside the church until this year and I was absolutely stunned by it's beauty. I am not overly religious but I have to admit there is a sense of.. well, almost tranquility inside the old place and it won't be my last visit.

The pics are here:

They don't really do it justice but I hope they give you a taste of what it is like. I snapped a couple of other churches whilst we were tootling around. There's plenty of 'em!

This one is at Sausthorpe and has a magnificent steeple

And this one is at Freiston, near the RSPB Reserve

More pictures follow - my next planned album is "Lincolnshire Skies!" (Bet you can't wait!!)