Monday, 28 February 2011

The Barbarellas...

... one of the support acts at the Boyzone concert last night....

I rest my case!

Taken with the Duchess' Canon Ixus 95 IS (They wouldn't have let me in with the DSLRs!!)

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Another Week Whizzes By........

..and the main  events were:

Tuesday - Belper Town 1-2 Rushall Olympic. Good game and Belper played well enough but as someone said afterwards - "They are a top 6 side and we aren't. Simple as that."

Man of the match and scorer of Belper's goal Ruben Wiggins-Thomas (RWT to his friends)

Snappers pics are here:

and mine are here:

Wednesday - The Duchess took her car to Autoworld to sort out the warning light on the dash. After plugging in their computer and updating software, they found the lambda sensor is fine and since we've had the car less than 6 months, they only charged half price for the check and update. Autoworld studiously avoided any offer/discussion about the fact that the cam belt needs changing, having originally promised to review their £350 charge! Anyway - we'll get our mate at Volkstek to sort it - for about a half what Autoworld will charge!

Thursday - Our son celebrated his 37th birthday but since he lives in Holland , we went to the Bowshaw Carvery for a meal and a drink on his behalf. (Toasting him pre-meal of course!) By the way - if you wanna feel old - get yourself a 37 year old son!)

Saturday - BTFC game at Barwell called off - waterlogged pitch - but we hadn't intended to go anyway. Too far really and to be honest, Barwell are runaway league leaders and we suspected Belper would find it tough going.

Plan B was a drive to Forge Dam, in the Porter Valley in Sheffield, and have a little walk. Turned out to be a two-mile yomp down the valley to the Endcliffe Park entrance where we caught a bus back up to Fulwood and back to the car. 

Took the camera of course.... 
Forge Dam
Wiremill Dam
.......and there are more here:

This evening, the Duchess and I will be at Sheffield Arena to see......... Boyzone. I bought the tickets just about 12 months ago as a late Christmas present or early birthday present - can't remember which. And I don't care what you might think - they are excellent "live" and anyway - they always have some of the best looking, long-legged dancing girls you could wish to see!

 I'll report ASAP! but for now - Ciao!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

A Very Quiet Week.

Monday - work

Tuesday - work (but Belper beat Newcastle Town 3-2 away in the evening!)

Wednesday - meeting at our sister company re new computer system took most of the day.

Thursday - work

Friday - Sales Forecast and Budget meeting at work took most of the morning, then after lunch, we took the Duchess' car down to Autoworld Chesterfield to get info about some apparent defects.  A couple of months after we bought it, we got a letter from Seat saying a new cam belt should be fitted since the car was now 4 years old. The dealer special offer price is £350!! Thing is - although 4 years old, the car has only done 12,000 miles but apparently, 4 years or 40,000 whichever's sooner is the recommendation.

Anyway - we know a private garage called Volkstek, at Dronfield, who had been looking after her old motor so we went to see Tim down there and asked him what he'd charge. He reckoned a half that price would do it. He said there was no urgency so we left it a while.

A couple of weeks ago, a light came on the dash. Reference to a manual said something about exhaust emissions were not being measured properly. Back to Volkstek where Tim attached the car to his computer and revealed it needed a software update and a lambda sensor (or probe). He advised us to go to a main dealer because although he could fit the sensor - it might not be the total problem and he can't do a software update.

The car's booked in for examination  on 23rd Feb and Autoworld are having a look at the cost of fitting a new cambelt after I said I thought it was a a bit naughty that no one had mentioned the cam belt would need to be changed within 2 months of us buying the car. (The fact I told them Volkstek would do it for half the Autoworld price might also have had something to do with it! Or am I just an old cynic!?)

So we wait and see if the Autoworld test means an outlay of £40 or £140 (plus the cambelt!)

Saturday - we woke to this:
The view of our street from the front window - and it was still snowing! A quick look at the Belper Town web page showed a pitch inspection was planned for noon so the game was in doubt.

Anyway - the news at 12 was good and so we set off to pick up our mate Joe and head on down to Belper to see the Nailers take on local rivals Rainworth.

It wasn't a bad game at all but the result was disappointing in that Belper let a 2-goal lead slip and the points were shared. Ex-Nailer Rob Paling played at right back for Rainworth and had a good game - I still reckon it might have been worth Belper hanging on to him but he wanted first team games and is now getting them at Rainworth. Good luck to the lad.

There were at least 3 photographers in a crowd of 261 - the bigger than usual gate probably down to the fact that most other local games had been called off because of heavy rain or wet snow. So non-league fans being what they generally are, the Belper game was the only option for their Saturday afternoon  football "fix!"

The Gaffer - Tim Harrison - record of the match is here:

Then there's Mossley Smiffy, in town for the first time this season:

(Incidentally - see Smiffy's blog - Six Tame Sides - for all things non-league footy "Manchester way" and other assorted stuff - link on the right.)

And finally, the Owd Giffer's effort (me - although I reckon you'd guessed that!)

Sunday - done very little apart from restock the bird feeders in the garden and reset the squirrel trap.

OK - that's the latest chapter in my hectic life - don't know how I keep up - being the age I am an all......

Any road up - I'm off to do some crosswords - while the Duchess watches "Dancing on Ice!"

The car needs cleaning if anyone feels like.... thought not!

See yer in a bit!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

This Can't Wait Until Sunday....

Tuesday 15th February 2011, Newcastle Town (4th in the League and only lost 2 games all season) 2-3 Belper Town. 

Didn't go - on a wet and windy Tuesday after a long day at work, it was just too far.

This means Belper Town have played 4 successive away games and won 3 of them. Nine points from 12 is an excellent return.

The ever reliable Mr Harrison was there and his album is here and well worth a look.

(Pictures taken with his brand spanking new Canon EOS 1D Mark IV. Grrr - sometimes Harrison.... just sometimes...)

Rainworth at home Saturday is next and the rest of this week's meanderings will follow Sunday as usual!


Sunday, 13 February 2011

Generally Good News in a Busy Week.

Lots happened in the last week, so - I'll keep it as brief as possible:

Monday - Main event - BT complete installation of ISDN30 lines to accomodate new phone system at work.

Tuesday - New phones fitted at work. Then, in the evening - Belper Town went to Leek Town and got a great 2-0 win! We couldn't go - too far after a day at work - but Snapper Harrison's pics are here:

and here's a pic of my new phone by the way!

I now have Voicemail - and a "DDI" number (Direct Dial In) so certain special people who I give the number to can call me direct to my desk!

I can divert calls to my mobile if I want to and store 50 numbers (If I had 50 numbers to call that is!) Nice to have a new toy now and then innit?

Wednesday - evening - called in at Halifax Bank, Meadowhall branch, to ask why they have cocked up my Council Tax Standing Order for the 3rd time in 4 years! The SO said make the last payment on 5th January 2011. They did that, then made another payment on 7th Feb and planned another on 3rd March until I stopped it! Sheffield Council therefore has £131 of my cash it's not entitled to.

Demanding explanations brought nothing but frustration. It appears that since it's a Standing Order and not a Direct Debit - the Bank can do nothing and it is up to me to ask the Council for my money back! I suggested that the Council hadn't made the error and neither had I. Since it's the Halifax's mistake it's up to them to sort it. Oh No It Isn't!!!

Anyway - after arguing for about 20 minutes - during which time the member of staff I saw told me that she was a single parent and when her husband left her, the bank duplicated a payment from her account (Sorry - not interested btw) I terminated the interview when she suggested that the up side is that I will be in front on next year's Council Tax!! The best she could offer was to fill in a Complaint Form but by this time I'd had enough!

Thursday - day off. Morning spent generally loafing around.  After lunch - we went to see "The King's Speech" - our first visit to "the pictures" in about 25 years!

Cracking Movie. Highly recommended! We really enjoyed it and it is easy to see why Firth has been nominated for Oscars and Baftas and so on.

Have to say - we enjoyed the whole experience. "The Pictures" has changed dramatically in the last 25 years! Comfortable seats with a clear view of the screen - excellent surround sound - although I refused to pay about £2.50 for a bottle of Coca-Cola

It was also a help that we went to the afternoon showing so the place wasn't packed. In my day - most films had an evening showing with only the odd afternoon matinee!

Afterwards, we dined at TGI Friday in Meadowhall and had a leisurely wander around the shops before heading back to Nortoner Towers for about 8 pm - just in time for the Duchess to see the repeat of Neighbours and to watch American Idol - the auditions. I got stuck into some crosswords!!

Friday - lie in and then Duchess went to Sheffield Market. Had a brief chat via Skype with my son and then after lunch, the plan was to nip down to the local branch of Yorkshire Bank to make arrangements to switch our current account from the Halifax. We spent about a half hour waiting to be told that the earliest appointment we could have for the interview to organise transfer was 1st March at 10:30.a.m.!!! Three weeks away!! So - we did the supermarket thing on the way back home and decided we'd try the Nationwide on Saturday morning. My son  banks with them and has had no problems at all.

Saturday - nipped down to Chesterfield (there's a Nationwide branch in Sheffield but parking is a lot cheaper in Chessy) and called at the bank at 9:15 a.m. By 10:30, we were heading back to the car with a new joint account set up - operable from Tuesday Feb 15th - and Nationwide "Gold" Visa Credit card.

After the usual "Full English" - we set off to watch Lincoln Utd v Belper Town. An excursion of about an hour and a half. The 100 mile round trip was well worth it - Belper won 2-1 and earned the 3 points with a performance as good as I've seen in recent weeks.

RWT (Ruben Wiggins- Thomas) scores the winner

Two away wins in a row and the confidence seems to be returning to the team.

Tim Harrison's record of the game is here:

whilst my modest effort is here:

Sunday morning - Archers Omnibus as usual whilst making the above album then nipped out to Ringinglow to release another trapped squirrel. (Yep - we're still trying to rid the estate of the little blighters!)

Nothing else to report - been raining all day so spent some time backing up my photo files to my external drive and doing this blog.

The Duchess needs the PC shortly to get her Junior League stuff up to date so I'll end it here for now - more follows when I've something to tell you.

Adios Muchachos!!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

A pretty good read...

A day off today so before I get into some serious relaxing - found this on t'internet.

It's a digital, monthly, version of Non-League Daily. My first view but I'm well impressed!

Have a look:

Sunday, 6 February 2011

My New (well, actually, Used) Toy

Tim Harrison (Photographer To The Stars) has upgraded to a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and sold me his Mark II. Pictured above. I met him at the Shepshed v Belper Town game yesterday and the deal was done!

Used it for the first time at that game and there are some very essential differences between that and my 50D. A couple of my lenses - the 18 to 55mm and my 18 to 200mm zoom - don't fit the 1D so I will have to look around for something with 18mm to 70mm range or similar. I have 70 to 300mm covered with another telephoto lens and my 100mm f2.8 macro works with it so there's no real urgent need! (And of course - everything works with the 50D.)

A couple of my better pics from the game:

RWT battles for the ball (not enough of this happened sadly!)

Belper lost 1-0 to a very dubious hand ball penalty

I've no idea why this didn't finish in the back of the net!

We hadn't intended to go the match and it was certainly not the best I've ever seen. It looks like the Belper team have lost all confidence and belief. Shepshed are next to bottom of the league (although their form has improved in recent weeks) but this was only their third win of the season. They naturally celebrated like they'd won the league.

"Moneybags" Harrisons pictures are here:

We weren't helped by another incompetent ref who gave us nothing. Shepshed's goal came from a penalty when the ball bounced up and hit Nick Darker's forearm as he stretched to clear the ball. Nick got a second yellow and was dismissed on 64 minutes for a high tackle - although both players were committed to a 50-50 challenge and feet were raised on both sides! Then 10 minutes later, Andy Rushbury was brought down by a similar raised-foot tackle and although he got a free kick, there was no further action.

Anyway - it's been like that most of the season and I don't know exactly where we go from here. Well - I do -  Leek Town away on Tuesday evening followed by a trip to Lincoln Utd next Saturday but you know what I mean. We won't make the Leek game but hope to be at Lincoln - we'll see.

Nothing else to report this week really - life goes on pretty much as normal. The routine of work, sleep, work continues although I have booked next Thursday and Friday off and the Duchess and I are going to the pictures!! (Or cinema, movies or whatever it's called these days!) She wants to see "The Kings Speech" so we'll do the 2:50 pm showing on Thursday and then have something to eat at Meadowhall. We figured out the last film we saw at "the flicks" was one of the Raiders of the Lost Ark series - the one with Sean Connery as Harrison Fords dad. So it's been a while!

One more thing - I promised a link to Snapper Harrison's album on the Sutton Coldfield defeat last Tuesday - here it is - although it was really a game to forget!

Right - that's that for now - Monday is rapidly approaching and I need to psyche myself up. Actually - this consists of letting my mind go blank and trying to pretend it won't happen!!


Thursday, 3 February 2011

Don't you wish your Council's CEO was like ours???

Main headline in Tonight's local paper - "The Star"....

"270 Jobs Axed"

Alright - it's still bad news but The Star originally predicted  there would be 2,000 jobs lost. Hey - our local rag always looks on the bright side.

Any road up - the thing that really gets up my nose is that under the headline is a picture of Sheffield Council's CEO, John Mothersole with a footnote "Integrity: Council chief executive cuts his pay."

Isn't that good of him - showing solidarity, making a sacrifice..... until you read the detail.

This unelected individual is to cut his annual salary by 5%. What a gesture - and even more so when you remember his salary has been frozen for the last two years.

Mind you - he is paid £184,588 per annum!! ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY THOUSAND POUNDS FOR GOD'S SAKE!! That is truly obscene!

He's full of grand gestures is our Mr Arse.. sorry - Mother - sole. When the General Election was on - 100's of people didn't get to vote in Sheffield because of total disorganisation by our wonderful Council who were apparently caught out by the number of people who wanted to vote.

Still it was OK in the end because Mr Mothersole, in another grand gesture, declined his payment of £20,000 which he is entitled to when he has to organise an election!!

I wonder what exactly this bloke does for his exorbitant salary? I personally don't know but I would like HIS job please!?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Week Gets Worse!

After falling on my ass on Monday - last night we went to watch Belper Town v Sutton Coldfield.

Great start - goal from Paris Simmons on 2 minutes

(Unedited set of pics but I'm quite pleased with this little sequence!)

But it went downhill from there. A sloppy goal from a corner on 8 minutes made it 1-1 and from there on in - perhaps one of the poorest displays I've seen from Belper Town this season. We were beaten by a better organised and more determined team who pressed the play and dominated the game until the last 10 minutes when perhaps Belper were unlucky not to score at least once.

Tim Harrison's photos will be linked in as usual when he gets them on the Belper Fans Forum.

In addition - Sheffield Wednesday lost 5-3 away at Peterborough, having lead 3-2 with 20 minutes left before a Wednesday player was sent off.

Only good news from the evening was that we had the winning Golden Goal ticket, or rather, The Duchess did, and won £25!

Going to sulk now - hope the saying "Things Can Only Get Better" is true!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Go Ahead - Laugh Why Doncha?!

All weekend I was planning to get the car washed. Never got around to it - largely because on Saturday we were out and about at Belper and Sunday one local car wash was closed and the other two were very busy (too cold to hand wash it!)

So - Monday evening - get the car washed.

Morrisons - closed - due to ice in the machine we think.

BP garage about half a mile away - open - and they had a "Half Price Sale" on - £2.99 instead of £5.99! Not often I drop lucky like that! But wait - not so lucky - got in the car wash and the panel where the code number is entered was showing "can't accept codes." Long story short - no wash - £3 refund - move on.

Tesco - Abbeydale Rd - at last - no queue and straight in the car wash. Drove out the other side and as ever - stepped out to check the exterior of the car. Door open - right foot out - start to raise myself from the seat and the right foot slipped on sheet ice and I tumbled very slowly backward to finish with my backside on the ground, my left foot stuck under the brake pedal - my right leg under the car door, my right hand trying to grab the door handle to haul myself up and my left arm wedged tight against the door pillar.

I have a sore left bicep and a bruise on my right ankle and my right knee is giving me a bit of jip. I e-mailed Tesco when I got home and suggested they put warning signs and/or grit down in the area before someone gets badly hurt. Response was a call this morning from  a lovely Welsh lady called Terri who was very concerned, full of apologies and asked if I was OK. I promised not to sue and she promised to get something done about it.

About 9:30 last evening - the Duchess suddenly collapsed into fits of uncontrollable laughter - the reason - she'd been sat in the  passenger seat as I performed my acrobatics and after initially asking "What ARE you doing??!!" (as I slid gracefully out of the car to the floor), admitted she thought it was funny!!

Anyway - since we got home last night - I have developed a nasty little head cold which it is my intention to share with her! (Hee Hee!)