Thursday, 24 November 2011

Buddy Marvellous!!

Quick post to tell you about a new experience (for me anyway!)

Last night we went to Sheffield's Lyceum Theatre to see the Buddy Holly story - a musical, obviously.

Now, bear in mind that I have been to the theatre only twice in my life. Once as an "enforced" school trip (Macbeth - part of my English Literature O Level course) and once to see a pantomime (Oh yes I did!).

Never seen a musical or a play (I know - philistine!) except on telly and to be honest - I was a bit sceptical about what we might see. BUT - it was an absolutely fabulous evening. Thoroughly enjoyed it! It's only on in Sheffield for this week and it's really worth a look.

The cast are not household names and I half expected it to be a bit "Amateur Dramitics" but it was very well presented and I was surprised to see the cast actually playing the instruments. I'd half expected them to "mime" the guitar playing to backing tracks but they are all talented musicians in their own right.

Buddy Holly died in 1959 and as we left the theatre we were speculating on which of today's stars will still be having their music played in 60 years time.... not many, if any at all.

Oh - and Belper Town won away at Goole on Tuesday - 3-0 and according to the match report, deserved the win. Snapper Harrison didn't go and neither did I so there's no pictures to link. Good that the losing streak has ended but another tough game beckons on Saturday - Carlton Town at home. There'll be pictures of that one I promise you!

Finally for now - just to fetch me back down from the two "highs" detailed above, the Duchess called me to say I've got a letter from the tax man who says I owe him £309. Amazing innit. You can never seem to get a pound in front. We've just been awarded  a 3% pay rise, effective first of November and since today is pay day - that's hopefully gone in the bank - on the same day I get a bill for £309.

Better close this now - I'm at work waiting for some info to let me progress a job I'm doing - better gerron wi it then.

See yer!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Ups and Downs (the downs are mainly football!)

As ever - football first.

Went to see Belper v Stamford Saturday 12th and unfortunately, Belper were edged out 2-3 in a very entertaining game. The Duchess didn't make it due to the cold she picked up from somewhere or other? Snappers pics are here:

Then, on Tuesday - another defeat - this time in the league cup against Worksop Town, although 1-3 after extra time is a bit flattering to Worksop. A dodgy extra time penalty and an offside-looking goal sealed it. I didn't bother with the camera - but Tim Harrison did - and this is a cracking set:

Unfortunately, Belper were beaten again yesterday. This time 0-3 and to be honest, this one is a little more concerning because the opposition, Market Drayton, haven't had a great season and were close to the bottom of the league. Snapper couldn't make it so there are no pics but maybe that's just as well!

That's 4 defeats on the spin now and some folk are getting a bit twitchy!

Instead of making the trip to Market Drayton, the Duchess and I caught a bus into the centre of Sheffield, then another out to one of our old stomping grounds at Fulwood. The plan was to walk down from the Forge Dam through the Porter valley and get a bus back up to Norton from "somewhere."

Anyway - in the end, we walked all the way down through Endcliffe Park and down Ecclesall Road back into Sheffield and got on a bus at the bottom of London Road. When we got home, I used Google Earth to measure how far we'd walked . It turned out to be just around 4.1/2 miles! Not bad for a couple of couch potatoes! And it does explain why my legs don't seem to want to work this morning! Enjoyed it though - but I don't think we'll repeat the feat this afternoon!

It was a really beautiful day and I got some more nice "Autumn Colours" shots. It's the first time I've used the camera since last Sunday when I messed around for an hour in the garden, looking at dew on spiders webs.

It's been a busy week at work. My right hand man has been selected for jury service and our third team member was on vacation until Wednesday morning. She's back now of course but our juror colleague has been selected to hear a murder trial which will probably last for 2 weeks or so!

Anyway - there's not a lot else to tell so here's a couple of yesterday's shots - I like these!
Wire Mill Dam

The River Porter


And there's an album here:

If you wanna look.
Right -  gotta go - lunchtime - see yer later!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

What IS The World Coming To?

Just a quick note....

This baffles and saddens me.....

In her capacity as a Junior Sunday League Registrar, the Duchess has just received notice of an FA Disciplinary case in which a young player from the Junior League (and not a player from one of the older age groups) is charged with assaulting a referee! No details can be repeated here of course but if it's true, how can that be allowed to happen?

D'you blame parents, team manager, the kid?

I dunno - as I said - just makes me feel very sad.

I'll update you with footy action since my last post in a bit. For some reason, I don't particularly feel like it right now!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Promised Whirlow/Redmires Album..... here:

It really was a super day.

Before this awful cold broke, I had booked Thursday and Friday of this week off work as "floating day" holidays.

This morning, in  my first venture outside since Monday, I accompanied the Duchess to the optician's for a check up. Good news is that her eyes are "healthy" and there is no prescription change from her last examination.

After that, we went down to the Meadowhall Retail Park (not the Mall), specifically to Hobbycraft, because she needed some bits and pieces to start making christmas cards. We actually bumped into some old friends and me and Mr. B had a good owd natter while the ladies compared notes on card-making. Before we knew it, we'd been in there nearly two hours. (The only time I've ever really enjoyed Hobbycraft to be honest!!!! Just joking Duchess!)

We decided to have lunch at the big Morrisons supermarket by the Parkway and when we were through, drove the short distance to Catcliffe Flash, a small dam near Brinsworth. There's a lay-by where you can sit and watch the waterfowl. (And there's always a pair of binoculars and a "bird book" in the car!)

It wasn't the greatest of days weather-wise but we enjoyed an hour and saw Shovellers, Pochard, Wigeon and three Herons as well as the more usual Mallard, Coot and Black Headed Gulls. A family of 5 swans was there too.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera with me but the visit made our minds up about what to do with tomorrow's day off! No matter what the weather - it's up early, get the supermarket run done, then drive to Potteric Carr, just off the A1, for a spot more bird watching and photography!

We are now waiting for a bloke to call with a new iPhone for me. I have a 3GS and the case has cracked. I reported it to Orange yesterday (I pay Orange Care Insurance) and they'll bring me a replacement this evening between 6 and 10 pm!

I'm feeling better generally - still got a hacking chesty cough (it wasn't this bad when I smoked for Gawd's sake!) but it's easing. Another good nights sleep tonight and that should see it sorted - although the Duchess isn't showing any major signs of having caught it but I think she will - don't you?!

Right steak is cooking so I'll go and tuck in for the benefit of my health. (They say you should feed a cold don't they?)

See Yer Later!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Poorly sick - and suffering!

Started with what seemed just a bit of a head cold on Friday mid-morning but it's developed into something really nasty. Coughing, Sneezing, sore throat, headache - probably man flu.

So - gave work a miss today because I only got about an hours sleep last night and feel really shocking. I plan to try to get into see the doctor tomorrow cos I think I've pulled a muscle in my rib area with the coughing and stuff.

Anyway - on Saturday, Belper's trip to Curzon Ashton proved as difficult as expected and the lads came away having lost 2-1 to a good Curzon side. Tim was there and recorded the action:

and there's another good set from Mossley Smiffy - his firsat sight of Belper this season:

On Sunday - before this pig of a cold really kicked in - we made the short trip to Whirlow Park in Sheffield. This was where we held our wedding reception many moons ago (in fact, it will be 40 years ago on May 20th 2012!) and it was interesting to have a look all these years later. It's changed a lot of course but a couple of locations in the gardens brought back memories!!

1972 - and a mere slip of a lad! (need a haircut tho!)
 2011 - and it's a different bench!

There's a lovely walk down through the woods (and as it's downhill - I loved it!) Got some nice shots of the autumn colours, saw a flock of Mandarin ducks and generally enjoyed the warm sunshine.

I like this sort of shot   - light through leaves

 Mandarins - getting frisky!

Then on to Redmires Dam where we saw another "first" for us. There were Crossbills in the conifer tree tops. An unusual visitor for our part of the world. I managed to sneak a couple of shots the best of which is this one - edited and cropped of course - pushing the 500mm telephoto to the limit!
Also got some nice pics of gulls in flight - in fact - I think I'll knock up an album of the day. I'll post it ASAP.

Monday - went in to the office but only managed until lunchtime when I had to come home (having infected everyone of course!). Spent the majority of the afternoon asleep and feeling sorry for myself.

Right - I'm tired again now - took some paracetomol an hour or so ago and think they are "kicking in". We'll see how I feel in the morning.

Must get fit for Saturday - Belper Town at home to Stamford. Looking forward to that.

Going to bed now - I'll work on the "Whirlow/Redmires" album tomorrow maybe. We'll see.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Time for a Catch Up I Think!

Been a busy couple of weeks - hence no time to post.

Football first. Belper have played three games since I last posted. Drawn one, lost one (and how!) and won one.

Loughborough 2 - 2 Belper Town - didn't go - was in Brazil - but here's Snapper's pictures:

Belper Town 1 - 5 Hucknall (First home game in ages!) Again here's Tims pictures:

and I took my camera to this one too:

and finally, last Tuesday night - Quorn 1 - 2 Belper Town. Tim's pictures are here:

Again, I took my camera but to be honest - had a bit of a 'mare and with only  a few half decent shots, didn't create an album so you'll have to be content with the Maestro Tim Harrison's effort. (That's no hardship mind - they're very good - again....)

Next round of the FA Trophy tomorrow - away at Curzon Ashton. That will be tough. They are riding high in the Northern Section of our league. The Duchess and I can't make it unfortunately but Snapper has promised text updates so we can keep up with what's happening. (Good mate is Tim - he also writes a very interesting blog - link on the right - "The Cycling Photographer." Have a look - it's as good as his pictures!)

The week before last, a colleague and I made our first trip to Brazil. We had been asked by a customer there if we could go to see them to talk about possible supply contracts for 2012. The visit went very well and will hopefully bring us US$1 million of new business next year.

Now, I've been dragging my bag around the world since 1985 but I've never experienced a customer visit like this one.

We flew Monday evening from Heathrow and arrived in Rio de Janeiro at 6:15 a.m. (12 hours later!) We were collected from the airport and taken to a hotel overlooking Copacabana beach where they left us to rest. "Pick you up 7:30 tomorrow morning." we were told. After a shower and breakfast, we had a stroll along the "promenade" - it got a bit warm (30 C at 11 in the morning!) so we went back to the hotel for a nap then another short stroll in the afternoon. Had dinner at a small restaurant about 100 yards from the hotel then went back to our rooms and I was in bed and asleep by 8:30 pm!

Wednesday morning we were collected (after the most spectacular sunrise I've ever seen)

 and driven to the plant in a small town called Sumidouro, up in the mountains. The drive took 3 hours and some of the scenery was spectacular.

Good discussions with this family firm and after showing us their factory, we were also shown around 2 of the 4 farms they own in the area. They told us that back in January 2011, Brazil suffered major flooding in which 1200 people were killed. Their factory had 8 feet of water in parts of it. They are recovering now and relocating a lot of their operation to drier places in the town!

On the way back to Rio, we were treated to a "Brazilian Barbecue." This takes place in a restaurant. Waiters bring 3 feet long skewers with various cuts of meat on them (beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausage etc etc) to the table and slice pieces off onto your plate depending what your preference is! It's the only meal I've ever eaten where the plate filled up as I ate rather than clearing!

Dropped back to the hotel at 10:15 pm and we were told "We'll collect you at 10 a.m. tomorrow to do the tourist thing!"

Thursday - we went to the world famous "Christ The Redeemer Statue"  (The Christ as its known locally) which towers over Rio de Janeiro and then took the cable car rides to the top of Sugarloaf mountain. Both were very busy but some of the views are truly breathtaking!

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped for something to eat - another Brazilian Barbecue would you believe - before being dropped at the hotel about 4:15 pm. We were told a driver would collect us at 8:30 pm to take us to the airport to check in for the flight home at 1:35 a.m. Friday morning.

One of the most amazing things about the trip was the fact that they paid for everything - the hotel, the touristy bits, dinner - the lot. Another first for me on my travels!

I didn't take the big camera -  we were travelling light with just carry on bags - but I had the Duchess Ixus in my pocket and I've made an album;

If I haven't bored the pants off you and you are still with me - have a look!

Obrigado muchachos