Sunday, 23 October 2011

Another Win for Belper!

Just a quick note!

Belper Town progressed through another round of the FA Trophy with a 1-0 win at Barton Rovers.

Not a great game by all accounts but a win is a win as they say and the reward is a further £2,200 to be added to the £2,000 which was the payout for winning the Prelim round.

We didn't go - we were wandering around Chesterfield getting some last bits and pieces for my trip but the ever-reliable Mr Harrison was there and recorded the action:

Have a look - they are well worth viewing!

Belper's next fixture is an away game on Tuesday evening at Loughborough. The Duchess doesn't fancy making the trip while I'm away but I'm sure someone will keep her informed!

Nowt else to tell you just now. We're hoping to find time to nip out this afternoon, perhaps to Carburton Lakes, just for an hour, if packing and getting my stuff together allows time!

See yer in a week or so!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Another Good Week..

....Footy-wise anyway.

As indicated in the last blog entry, on Tuesday evening we made the short trip to Sheffield FC to watch Belper Town in the League Cup. Both sides made changes and rested "key" players but Belper came away with a very good 2-1 win. Some of the Nailers football was absolutely tremendous - pass and move stuff, one touch, played at pace and we were 2-0 up inside 20 minutes!

The Sheffield FC web site has comment from theirr manager who suggests they aren't bothered by the defeat in what was, to them, a "nothing" game. Whatever...... Here's Tim's pics:

Excellent as ever Tim!  I took my camera and got some decent shots but simply haven't had the time to make an album and post it on t'net! However - here's a few - just to prove I did take my cameras!

"OK lads, Here's the plan!"

Lee Whittington's diving header....

...hits the back of the net for 1-0 to Belper

Rushy pops in the 2nd (too quick for me - but he's obviously delighted!!)

Sheffield had just pulled one back and Mozza wants to know how long left.

That was certainly the highlight of the week. We've nipped out after tea a couple of evenings looking at possible vinyl flooring and paint for the bathroom but it's proving a bit difficult to find what's "just right." The search wil be suspended for a week anyway since I'm off on my travels again on Monday. Maybe inspiration will strike during the journey - we'll see.

As for Belper Town - they are away today at Barton Rovers in the 2nd Round of the FA Trophy. Need to win that one because there's decent money on offer for the winners. Barton are at the same level as Belper but they are based down near Luton so it's a fair old trek.  Too far for us actually. According to various route finders and sat navs, it's about 125 miles from Nortoner Towers and a 2 hour 15 minute journey at least. That's not really so bad I guess it's just that it's another 125 mile and 2.1/4 hours to get back after the match! A bit too much when I'm getting ready for a trip!

That's about it really - pretty mundane I guess but what can I say - that's how it is sometimes.

I'm not taking the laptop to Brazil - we're travelling light with just carry on bags but I hope to have the little Ixus camera with me and will post anything worth looking at when I get back.

For now... "COME ON YOU NAILERS!!!!"

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Sunday Already! Where'd The Weekend go?

and also - where did the last week and a half go!

Anyway - with time whizzing by - here's what's been happening in my world since I last updated the blog from the USA.

Got back in one piece although the flights from Pittsburgh to Toronto and Toronto to Heathrow were both an hour late which meant we missed the 8 a.m. Saturday morning shuttle flight up to Manchester. "No problem" they said - "We'll put you on the next one! At 5:15 this afternoon!"

We didn't fancy sitting around Heathrow all day so after exploring options, we managed to catch a National Express bus to Sheffield. Due at Meadowhall at 2:25 pm, it actually got there around 2:40 pm. The Duchess picked us up and after dropping my colleague off at his home in Stocksbridge, we got back to Nortoner Towers at around 3:30 pm.

Belper Town were in action at Carlton (again!) and as we were driving home, I sent a text to Snapper Harrison to ask for an update on the score. We were losing 2-1 but there followed an avalanche of messages advising it's 2-2. No - 3-2 to Carlton. Hang on. It's 3-3! Scrub that - it's 4-3 to Carlton. It isn't - we've equalised again. 4-4! Then the best news - Belper made it 5-4 which was the final score eventually. How Snapper managed to keep texting and snapping I still don't know but his album from the game is here:

Who says blokes can't multitask??!!!

Actually, during my absence, the Nailers had won another game, beating Goole FC 2-0 at the Meadows. Snapper captured that one too......

Yesterday we decided to make the short trip to Brigg Town to watch Belper in action. Because of my USA trip and other assorted reasons, I hadn't seen the previous 4 games (all won incidentally) and was really missing the footy. In fact, the only game I'd seen under the new management team was at Carlton when we lost 3-2! Some of my friends at Belper reminded me of this fact on arrival at Brigg and I was categorically warned that if the team went 2 goals down, I was to be ejected from the ground.

I was therefore concerned when Brigg scored on 7 minutes! But it was fine in the end. Belper scored twice to make it 2-1 and five wins on the bounce! I took my camera but put it away part way through the first half as I was busy chatting away with other fans. Snapper stuck to the task and the game is recorded here......

So you're up to date on the footy front. It's Sheffield FC next in the League Cup on Tuesday night and we'll be there. It's only a mile down the road from Nortoner Towers. It'll be tough. They made some good signings in the summer and have been in the top two pretty much all season. We'll see.

Other matters - last week, as soon as I got back from the trip, workmen arrived to rip out our bath and replace it with a large shower cubicle. It'll mean no more hour long Radox soaks but it's more practical all round and something we perhaps should have looked at a while ago. Anyway - the work is now done and we just need to decorate and that's that. (Although this morning, we found a small leak from the side of the cubicle so I'll call them tomorrow.)

The remainder of the last week has been spent in catching up with paperwork and putting the finishing touches to the next business trip. A week on Monday (24th) we're off to Brazil. It's another hectic one and the schedule is.....

Monday - National Express bus to Heathrow to catch a 9:15 pm flight to Rio de Janeiro. It's a 12 hour direct flight and we arrive early Tuesday morning. The client is sending a driver to meet us and take us to a hotel to rest up, having flown all night. Wednesday morning the driver will collect us and take us to the clients plant, 3 hours drive from Rio. He will then bring us back to the hotel in the evening. We have to be at the airpoort at 10 pm Rio time on Thursday night  to check in for the flight home which leaves at 1:35 in the morning, Friday! Again - the driver will collect us and take us to the airport. (They are really looking after us!)

We get back to Heathrow at 4 pm Friday afternoon and have booked on the 7 pm shuttle up to Manchester where the Duchess will be waiting to bring us home. It's going to be tiring, especially at my age but there is a consolation of sorts. The hotel in Rio overlooks Copacabana beach. It's a dirty job etc., etc............

To close - a few shots from the USA trip:

Four Points Hotel, Toronto - Coronation Street on the telly!

Holiday Inn Express, Toronto - those planes land mighty close to the hotel next door!

The River side Suite, Radisson Grand Rapids - the bedroom....

 .....the lounge/dining area from the kitchen.....

... and again...

...and an iPhone dock so the phone could be charged whilst listening to my tunes (It's Lorrie Morgan, singing "Dear Me" if you're interested.)....

 ... they even provided a spectacular sunrise over the Grand River..

 The colours were just starting to show. The USA in the autumn really is spectacular.

Rented Toyota Camry - nice motor!

Right - really gotta go. Grab a sandwich then down to Pyramid Carpets to try and select a floor covering for the bathroom. We're going with vinyl rather than carpet but we've already had a quick look and there's hundreds to choose from so it won't be easy.

After that - hacking and chopping in the garden while the weather is behaving itself. Before I know where I am - it'll be Monday and back to work. Ho Hum!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Greetings from Grand Rapids Michigan

Where it's just coming up to 10:30 a.m. and we're preparing for our next appointment. It's a 15 minute drive from the hotel.

We'll meet the client, take him to lunch then drive 5 hours south into Ohio for tomorrow's appointment.

It's a nice rental car. Toyota Camry with all the bells and whistles. Should be good driving that 500 to 600 miles over the next couple of days!

It's a glorious day here. Sunny and pleasantly warm. The sunrise was spectacular and since I'm in a room on the 7th floor facing due east, I managed to get a few good shots which I'll post when I next get time.

I've actually been upgraded - at no extra cost - to the Riverside Suite which consists of two rooms - a "lounge" with a kitchen area and dining table and a 42" Samsung TV and DVD player. In the bedroom there's another 42" telly and by the (huge) bed is an iPod dock where I can recharge the iPhone and listen to my tunes as I do this.

Pity it's only for one night!

I'll post the pics later - when I've downloaded them from the Ixus but I've been busy enjoying the decadence of this fantastic room and so haven't had a chance to sort them out!

Right - time to pack away the laptop, head downstairs to check out and on to the next stop. It's all leading toward coming home Friday night - thats the thought to keep in your head on trips like this!

See yer later!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Sunset at 17,000 ft

Flying down from Sudbury to Toronto last evening on a Dash 8 aircraft with only a dozen people on board, I managed to get this shot of the sun going down....

Not the greatest shot I've ever taken but not bad if you ignore the engine at the top of the shot!

Taken with the Duchess' Canon Ixus. The more I use that little camera the more impressed I am!

Anyway - it's 8:15 a.m. Canadian time. Breakfast now then the client collects us from the hotel at 10:30. Meeting at theirs, take them to lunch then fly to Grand Rapids Michigan for the US leg of the trip.

More follows if possible.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Day 2 of the trip..

Only the 2nd full day but its been interesting so far!

Left Sheffield on the 11:27 train with 1st Class rail tickets though to Heathrow Terminal 3. Sounds brilliant and the ride down to London was great but what no one told us is that leg two of the journey involved a one hour ride on a packed London Underground to get to the airport. Not a great experience when you're lugging a suitcase!

Anyway - got to check in and we were told the flight to Toronto had a 2-hour delay so we'd fly at 8 pm not 6pm. Terrific! So we bummed around the Duty Free area and grabbed a sandwich. The Duchess was keeping me updated with the score from Belper's away fixture at Rainworth (Belper won 2-0 incidentally.)

Eventually boarded the plane and away we went.The flight was pretty good - packed but they served reasonable food and only 7 hours 50 minutes to Toronto!

Arrived in Toronto at around 11:20 pm (4:20 a.m. Sunday morning UK time) and by the time we'd cleared immigration and got the bags, it was close to 11:45 pm. Called the hotel to ask for the shuttle bus to pick us up. "Certainly sir. He's actually just left the airport but if you stand at bus stop S5 outside, we'll send him straight back to collect you."

Now, bear in mind the temperature was around 28 or 29 C when we left the UK but only around 6 or 7 with wind chill making it feel about 2 or 3 C outside the airport here. Anyway - when we'd been standing outside the airport for 40 minutes, freezing our wotsits off, I called the hotel again. "He's just left sir. Be with you any minute!" By now we'd been joined by 4 other people who said they'd been given the "He's just left the airport. When he gets to the hotel, we'll send him to collect you" story too.

I should tell you at this point that the bus ride to the hotel is no longer than 5 to 10 minutes depending on traffic and the 3 traffic lights that have to be negotiated. I reckon the desk clerk had forgotten to send him to collect us. So - by the time we'd checked in, I'd set up the laptop and sorted myself out, it was gone 1:30 a.m. Canadian time.

Slept well enough but woke early. A 5-hour time difference doen't half mess with your head and the body clock! Caught up with the football results and reports from Saturday and also the Fans Forum after the Belper win at Rainworth. Also had a good look at Snapper Harrison's album from the game before breakfast. They're here if you wanna look too. (It's worth the effort - good pics as ever!)

The Duchess skyped me at around 8:30, then shower, breakfast and you're totally up to date.

Check out is at noon and it's back to the airport for a short flight to Sudbury Ontario and dinner with our client there. The customer is actually a bloke from Sheffield who moved out here about 15 or 16 years ago. He's never lost his Sheffield accent and it's a nice relaxed visit and a good way to start a tour.

At the moment, the telly is on and would you believe - they're showing Coronation Street! Its apparently from about a year and a half ago but its just cool to listen to the English accents - and unusually for telly over here, there isn't an ad break every 5 minutes!

Right - gonna see if I can download a podcast of the Archers Omnibus (can't access BBC iPlayer here) so I can keep up to date with the every day story of country folk.

So - see yer later. Oh - and I've brought the Duchess Ixus camera and will post pics at the first opportunity.