Sunday, 30 January 2011

Another busy week.....

.. and first of all - the promised album of our "York Day Out" is here - have a look if you like - no obligation or charge. (But they are all copyrighted so look but don't pinch please!)

sorry it took so long - as I said it's been a busy week.

Monday - Busy as usual. Work in the morning - docs in the afternoon. He doesn't know exactly what was causing the pain in my side but he's sure it's not another kidney stone. Would you believe that apparently, a very bad dose of indigestion or constipation can cause pain which lingers after the symptoms clear? Anyway since we didn't get my "birthday meal" in York on Friday - we went to the Bowshaw Carvery for dinner after I got back from the surgery.

Tuesday - Cracking game of footy at Belper Town. President's Cup. Losing 2-0 after 60 minutes but a remarkable comback - three goals in the last 30 minutes - brought a 3-2 win. Pity there were only 83 people there to see it!

I took the camera and got some nice shots but as ever, Snapper Harrison's are better! And they are here:

Wednesday - morning in the office then flew with a colleague to Dusseldorf for a Thursday meeting with our best European client. Wiener Schnitzel for dinner - lovely grub!

Thursday - In Germany and a constructive meeting then lunch at a 13th Century "Schloss" just around the corner. Cracking Rump Steak!! Then caught an early evening flight back to Manchester and drove home over the Snake Pass. A frustrating drive - stuck behind a 25 mph merchant who braked before every bend on the climb up from Glossop and practically stopped if something came the other way! I eventuallly got past him but then, a bit nearer to Ladybower, we came around a bend and there was a dead badger in the middle of the road. I had no choice but to brake and steer the wheels either side of the corpse. (Swerving wasn't an option - we'd have gone off the road into the trees.) There was a "bump-bump-bump" noise from under the car as we drove over the body but (it seems anyway) no serious damage resulted. The car is booked into the garage next week for checks (and to scrape badger blood and fur off the underside!)

Friday - busy morning at work then in the afternoon - The Duchess let me rest whilst she did the supermarket run on her own (she's a star you know!!) But it's a bit worrying that I seem to need an afternoon nap more often these days!

Saturday - up as usual about 6:30 and it was great to realise there was no need to go and pay homage to Saint Morrison (thanks again Duchess!) Took an hour out to do the RSPB "Big Garden Birdwatch". This takes place every year and involves sitting by the bedroom window with a cup of tea and recording how many of each individual species of wild birds visit the back garden in one hour. (I am extremely good at sitting by the window with a cuppa incidentally!) The results are submitted on the RSPB website and since it's a nationwide thing, the survey is a massive one!

After a full English "Brunch" we picked up my mate Joe and headed off to see Belper Town v Kidsgrove. We lost 0-1 but there is often no justice in football! Kidsgrove are a good side but we matched them for enough of the game to deserve a point I thought. Disappointing result but an encouraging performance, particulary from two new signings - centre back Matt McKenzie and left back Liam Davies. The Belper Man-of-the Match was goalkeeeper Ali Barcherini. As well as saving a penalty, he pulled off at least 3 other terrific saves too.

I got one or two reasonable shots - here's a couple showing Ali saving the pen:

......but for the proper story - you need to see to Mr. Harrison's record of the game:

OK  that'll do for now. I'm going to do what I should do more often and back up the PC to my external hard drive. I'll post again soon but next week is another busy one when inconveniences like work will limit my time!

See Yer!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

We knew her before she was famous.......

Ms Sian Massey - centre of a hoo-haa because of sexist comments made by those two idiots Andy Gray and Richard Keys - actually reffed a game at Belper Town back in January 2010:

My blog comment at the time:

The referee was also a lady - and to be fair - she had a smashing game - one of the best officials we've seen at the Meadow I think. She stood no nonsense from the players or managers and could be heard, on more than one occasion, telling assorted "moaners" on the pitch to "Shut your mouth and get on with the game!"

A comment endorsed by Snapper Harrison in his photo album from the game and by several others at the match as I recall.

I admit that I'm not the biggest fan of women's football per se but female involvement in the game is a fact of life and to be fair, without the female administrators like the Duchess, physios (how many male physios do you see at Evo-Stik League level) and an increasing number of referees - we'd be struggling to get games on I reckon. 

Thing is - Ms Massey got the big "offside?" call in the game she lined at the weekend exactly right as she got all of her decisions right at the Meadows in January last year.

Blokes like Gray and Keys - and to some extent - certain people at our level - who think women should be at home doing the ironing are way off line.

Finally, I like the comment by Toby Foster on BBC Radio Sheffield this morning when he said "What does Keys know anyway - he just does good chimpanzee impressions."

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Another tenner - courtesy National Lottery

Lightening strikes twice - won another tenner last night!

Besides that - lots to tell you this week but I'll try to keep it brief to stop boredom from creeping in!

Starting with football. Belper lost 2-0 to Buxton in the Derbyshire Senior Cup on Tuesday evening. Although this is another defeat, the performance was apparently much improved on recent games and Buxton are from the division above Belper so I guess it wasn't too bad. Snapper Harrison's pictures are here:

Then yesterday (Saturday) Belper won away at Spalding. Only 1-0 against the side who are bottom of our division but a win's a win - and 3 points is most welcome after recent weeks!Again - the "Main Man" Harrison got the action:

We missed both games but Tim's pictures are so good it makes it seem like we were there!!

The other news to come from Christchurch Meadow this week is that our Chairman for the last 23 years, Phil Varney, is to step down at the end of the season. He will remain as a director and plans to continue as Head Groundsman but he'll be a hard act to follow.

Aside from football:

Monday & Tuesday:- Wake, work, home, eat, sleep..... and... repeat. Main event was the ISO Certificate Renewal inspection at work and although I was involved in the opening meeting, I was surplus to requirements for the rest of the assessment. Still, this allowed me to get on with some proper work!!

Wednesday - enjoyed meeting up with one of our Canadian clients - in the UK for  a few days to sort a couple of problems. He's from  Sheffield originally, moving to Canada 16 years ago but he retains his Sheffield accent and nature. "Good Bloke" all round.

Thursday - work as usual although I managed to get half an hour in the stock yard to take a few pictures in the sunshine. Using the 100mm Macro lens, I got a couple of nice images.... (I thought so anyway!)

Fern on the Canal Bank
 Barbed Wire detail
 Silver Birch - Canal Bank
On Reflection
 Cyclamen "rescued" by my green-fingered colleague and now flourishing!
In  the evening, the Duchess and I treated my two colleagues from the Sales Department to dinner at TGI Fridays. This was supposed to happen before Christmas - the Sales Team "Christmas Do" if you like - but the weather put paid to that. The event also counted as a birthday party since my birthday was actually on the following day.

Friday - My birthday so I'd booked the day off and the plan was to take a train to York. It's years since we've been there and the weather forecast was good so we set it up earlier in the week. The train fare structure was a little puzzling - 2 singles to York and 2 singles back from York - total £30. To buy 2 return tickets Sheffield/York/Sheffield - price £35.80?. Anyway - we had a super day and I took loads of pictures Here's a few to be going on with:

Before we set off - managed to "snap" the fox in our garden again!
 The Minster as we walked up from the station - it was a "busy" day
 A clear blue sky meant interesting reflections
 And again
 The Minster - how did they manage to build something that big way back then?!
Sunset as we headed back to the station
I plan an abum of the best of the rest  and will post a link ASAP!

If you're ever in York and in need of a cuppa or a decent meal - visit Baileys Cafe - just across the Lendal Bridge - on the right as you head toward the Minster. We had a cream tea there and it was superb. Before we went to York - everyone said "You must try Betty's Tea Shop - it's the best in York." However - it's also the most expensive in York (and maybe the country for all I know.) We decided against paying around £15 each for a cuppa and a piece of cake! Baileys Cafe cost us just about £7 for excellent tea for two and lovely scones! (Incidentally - if you want a very good Hot Roast Pork Sandwich - try the Hog Roast on Silver St. That was lunch and it was terrific!)

The original plan was to have a birthday meal in York before catching a train back to Sheffield around 6:30 p.m. but by 4:15 or so, and after close to 5 hours of wandering around, we'd seen most of the sights and the old feet were starting to burn a little (and since we hadn't seen a decent chippy!) we decided to cut the day a little short and get the 4:45 train instead. Big mistake!

The train we caught goes from Edinburgh to Plymouth and was busy when we got on at York but when it arrived in Leeds, there was absolute chaos! People had to stand in the aisles all the way to Sheffield (via Wakefield)

An old mate (who some of you non-league footy fans will know) got on the train at Leeds. Ryan "Massive" Hindley (ex-Belper Town, now at Retford FC) spent the trip back to Sheffield wedged into a corner near the luggage racks and when we got off the train, he said it's pretty much like that every day of the week although Friday was particularly bad. After a brief chat, we caught a bus up to Nortoner Towers and a fish and chip supper in front of the telly completed my birthday.

Saturday - didn't go to Spalding - too far - so supermarket a.m. and a walk down to Woodseats shopping area p.m. All part of the grand plan to get the Duchess' leg working properly although to be fair - she's pretty much there now!

Next week - the plan is: Monday at the Docs - think  I may have another kidney stone! Watch Belper Town v Harrogate Railway Athletic in a cup game on Tuesday evening  and then Wednesday and Thursday, I'm in Germany visiting one of our major clients. So the week will be hectic.

I will report as usual ASAP.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Oh! And by the way.... My lotto numbers came up!

Well - three of em did so we won a tenner.

But hold off the begging letters cos we spent it this afternoon!

If You Wanna See Goals, Follow Belper Town

For the second Saturday in a row, Belper Town lost by the odd goal in nine yesterday when they visited Loughborough Dynamo. So - in the last three games 10 goals have been scored but 13 conceded and of course, no points collected. Didn't go yesterday - (it was blowing a gale with blustery showers and we just didn't fancy it) - but reports suggest another poor defensive display. One of the main problems for the Management team is the absence of key defender Matt Plant who we all hope will be fit again soon. Next game is against Premier League Buxton, away, on Wednesday night so that might be a bit tough! Anyway - Snapper Harrison was at the game yesterday. His excellent pictures are here:

Rest of the week? Not that much to report really......

Monday - work until mid-afternoon when the head cold got the better of me and so I went home.

Tuesday - Paracetomol and sleep mainly - to sort out the cold.

Wednesday - much better so back at work

Thursday - ditto but the Duchess met me at the office and we went to Meadowhall for something to eat and a wander around the shops. We ate at TGI Friday - they've opened a new place in the Oasis within Meadowhall. Good food but not cheap! Enjoyed it tho! Whilst there - the Duchess bought me an early birthday present (Friday 21st Jan if anyone wants to do similar!!) It's a "Move Controller" for my PS3. Still getting to grips with it but it's good fun!

Friday - work in the morning and supermarket in the afternoon.

Saturday - never strayed from the house - the wind was blowing an absolute gale and it wasn't at all pleasant outside so we stayed in and watched footy score updates on TV whilst listening to local radio commentary.

Sunday - listening to The Archers right now but fully intend to get out of the house one way or another after lunch - maybe a walk in the local park. We'll see.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

One week down - 51 more to go!

And here's where the week went.....

Monday - Belper Town were away at Carlton FC but since this was my last day off before going back to work we decided to do something different and made the short trip to Potteric Carr, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Reserve near Doncaster. Wasn't the best of days but the Duchess walked a good 2 miles around the place as her leg strengthens almost daily. There wasn't a lot happening. The site is mainly reed marsh and the water was still frozen. Got a couple of nice shots though....

Our first visit but probably not our last. And whilst we were there, Belper Town were inflicting a 3-0 defeat on a team who had only lost two league games all season. Carlton finished with 9 men and it sounds like an exciting game! Oh well - pity we missed it but Tim Harrison was there and, as ever - here's his record...

Tuesday - back to work but the good news is that the Duchess took her car for a drive. Her first outing (well, driving outing) and she really enjoyed it - but after 10 weeks without driving - who wouldn't?

Wednesday - same old, same old at work. We're busy and there's no sign of it slacking. Thank goodness! Oh - and the Duchess continued her rehabilitation with a good walk of some two miles or more down to the Woodseats shopping area. (She got the bus back up the hill though - mind you - she used to do that before the op! Neither of us do hills really!)

Thursday - Another busy day at work but the Duchess rested up - she was "feeling" her leg a bit - probably down to the  two separate 2 mile walks and the driving on Tuesday.

Friday - Early finish day but we thought the day might end even earlier when it started snowing very heavily during the morning. Over an inch of snow was dumped very quickly on the Sheffield area. Fortunately, it was wet snow and although there was some disruption - it wasn't too bad. The view from the office - mid-morning:

It didn't stop the supermarket run in the afternoon though.

Saturday - overnight rain  had cleared the snow so we went to Belper to watch the Nailers play Stamford FC. I didn't bother with the camera. All of my footy pics are beginning to look the same. The only difference is the colour of the opposition's shirts! In an end-to-end game, Belper lost 5-4 but it should have been a win. A golden opportunity was missed just before half time when we were winning 2-1 and another sitter went begging early in  the second half. Take those two chances and it's 4-1 to Belper and might have been different. There is some excuse for what was basically a poor defensive display. Matt Plant, regular centre back, was missing with a knee injury and his "understudy" Craig Laight, was also injured. In effect we had one fit centre back. Anyway - Tim got the action as usual.....

Sunday - listened to the Archers Omnibus then took some pictures of birds in the garden. Amongst the more unusual visitors was a fieldfare:

And a sight I've never seen before - a huge flock of Waxwings descended on the trees opposite the house. Wish I'd managed some better shots of these birds but here's the best of the five I snapped

Waxwings are regular visitors to the UK between November and March but they don't often come as far into suburbia as we are! They live in Northern Scandinavia and the chances of seeing them here are enhanced if we have a good "berry Autumn." The flock numbered around 50 at a guess.

After lunch we went for a short drive down to Calver and Ashford-In-The-Water. I took pictures but am still editing them. In any case - I've posted pics of these spots before so I'll not bore you any further!

Home to Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding and the Duchess settled down to watch Dancing On Ice which is why you're getting this blog posting - and an extra long one at that!

Now - can't think of anything else to tell you so I'll go and mentally prepare myself for Monday morning - and - would you believe - I'm developing a head cold. Monday morning and  a head cold - Smashing! Can't wait!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year....

...after another fairly busy week.

Monday - My son and his wife went back to Holland - another 15 hour drive after delays and broken down trains at the Channel Tunnel!

Tuesday - Quick trip to Meadowhall Retail Park. One of the Duchess' Christmas gifts was some vouchers to be spent at Hobbycraft. The area around Meadowhall Shopping Centre was pretty busy so we didn't stay long.

Wednesday - Short drive to Redmires reservoir where we found mist, then fog - a spooky atmosphere. Then on to Fox House where the mist was closing in as the sun went down. Here's a few pictures which (I hope) give a feel for the conditions:

Thursday - another trip out - first of all to Porter Clough - on the edge of the Peak Park - to release a captured squirrel (we're stil trying to rid the garden of the little beggars - 3 or 4 caught and released in the last month or so!) I took some pictures of the fog which was sitting over the city - here's some examples:

Then on to Hathersage for a bacon sandwich at the Swimming Pool Cafe - I've said it before but it's worth repeating - highly recommended! Drove on through Chatsworth Park and down  the A6 to Matlock where we wandered around the town for a couple of hours. The Duchess' leg is getting stronger all the time and this was a good "work-out" for her - she came through with flying colours!! 

Friday - supermarket run in the morning then we spent the evening at the home of my son's best mate. We've known Darren since he was a child and since he lost both his mum  and dad in the space of about 12 months, some years ago - we are pretty much his "surrogate" parents. A cracking lad (although at 39 this year, married with a 4-year old son - he's not a lad any more!). Saw in the New Year together and got home about 2:15 a.m. Saturday morning!

Saturday - slept in until about 9:30 a.m. then later on, picked up our mate Joe and went to see Belper Town v Sheffield FC . A poor game between two very average sides. Belper lost 2-3 with Sheffield scoring at the death to nick it. I took the camera but like the teams - who haven't played for 5 or 6 weeks because of the bad weather- I'm out of practice so I'm still trying to sort some half decent pics. As usual Snapper Harrison got the action - his album's here - (nice one again Tim!)

Sunday - played around with three days worth of photos - sausage sandwich for lunch - out to Ringinglow to release another trapped squirrel - back home via the garden centre where we stocked up on bird food for the several feeders we have around the garden.

And that's that - you're up-to-date. I can smell the pork joint cooking in the kitchen downstairs so I'll finish this for now and get ready to eat!

One more day off work before it's back to the madness on Tuesday - wish me luck!