Sunday, 30 December 2012

An interesting week!

We had a very nice (but all too brief) visit over Christmas from our son and his wife. They went home on 27th December.
After the cup defeat at Ossett Town and a postponed league game at Market Drayton, Belper Town returned to action against Sheffield FC at their ground in Dronfield on Boxing Day.
The game ended in a well deserved 5-1 victory for Belper in the pouring rain on a pitch which cut up very badly as the game progressed. It's always satisfying to put one across Sheffield FC who have some of the most arrogant fans I have ever come across. As in all such cases, a handful of bad apples spoil the whole barrel but the banter is generally verbal - until Tuesday that is!
Belper were winning 3-0 but Sheffield pulled a goal back. The game became end to end as Sheffield tried to increase the pressure in an attempt to get back into it.
Then Belper made a break and sub Shaun Tuton raced a defender across the penalty box looking for a shooting opportunity. The defender slid in a tackle - probably not the smartest idea on a wet and muddy pitch - and took the ball and Shaun in one movement. The ref awarded a dubious penalty which Belper gratefully accepted of course!
I turned to Snapper Harrison and said "I don't think that's a penalty." and then felt an almighty shove in the back from an enraged Sheffield FC fan who was screaming "That's NOT a F**king penalty."
Fortunately, I didn't drop 3 grands worth of camera I was holding at the time and I turned to ask this idiot what he thought he was doing. His face contorted with rage, he shouted again "That's NOT a f**king penalty." I calmly pointed out that I agreed with him and repeated what I had actually said - "I don't think that's a penalty."
With hands thrust deep in his pockets, he replied "Well, he's a f**king awful referee." as if that justified it.
To my eternal regret, I did nothing about it at the time although I have since e-mailed Sheffield FC to warn them that they have a maniac in their midst. I should have called a steward but wanted to carry on taking pictures. (There's dedication for you!)
After the game, as I was packing away the camera gear a guy approached me and said "I thought that was totally out of order mate - what he did to you." He added that he was a Stocksbridge fan first and a non-league fan second and he was there because Steels were away at Buxton (getting a 7-0 hammering as it happens!) "Don't need that sort of idiot at any game and certainly not at non-league level!" he added.
The good thing is that we don't play the First Club In The World again this season! And their manager - Curtis Woodhouse - resigned on the Friday because his boxing commitments were clashing with the football and he'd decided he could no longer manage both.
The football pictures are here:
Think between us we got that covered!!
That's about that for now. Looking forward to Mickleover Sports at the Meadow on New Year's Day. Hoping  a nice win for the Nailers will set me up for the return to work on January 2nd!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Are you superstitious?

Some months ago, I managed to break the mirror on the Duchess' dressing table.
Since then, we were without broadband and a landline for around 2 weeks.
Then the PC broke down.
Then the car broke down - Engine Management System fault which required a software download! (And what a long story THAT is!)
And last week.... The remote (wireless) thermostat on the central heating system failed and needs replacing (fortunately under warranty) so currently our heating is either on or off. Manufacturers coming to sort it New Years Eve.
Wonder what breaks next!?
And by the way, I haven't posted in about a month because Google is telling me once again that I can't load any more pictures into the blog. So sod 'em. I'll have to link you to Flickr where I am now storing online albums (cos JAlbum upset me as well so I've kicked them into touch too.)
Here's last Tuesday's Cup defeat at Ossett Town - more good news - NOT!
More might follow when Christmas is over - but then again, It might not!
Anyway - hope you have a Super Christmas, and "All The Best" for the New Year - whoever and wherever you are.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Computer Mended!

Thanks big time to my mate Andy who found a DIMM (memory chip) had come loose from its mountings!
He's re-seated it and also given the machine a good owd tidy up, removing 3 years accumulation of dust. My only defence is I couldn't figure how to get the casing off the PC so couldn't clean it! Not only DIY I'm scared of!
(And the thought just occurred - why does "DIMM" seem somehow strangely appropriate?!)
Anyway - The Duchess bought him a big tin of Roses toffees as a "Thank You" because as I said - PC World wanted £50 just to have a look!
Sorting out back ups, restoring some settings and generally getting back into the swing of things so I'll try to update this nonsense more regularly in future.
More follows when I can think of summat else to say.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A Dead Computer Is A Right Pain In The Bum!

My PC has totally died - this comes to you from an old laptop (running Windows XP) which I set up so I could at least try to catch up with my Sheffield Junior Football League duties!

Fortunately, I had backed up my photo files  (all 59,000 of 'em!) to an external, portable hard drive last weekend, before the machine gave up the ghost. I am to take the box to work tomorrow and a colleague who is a bit handy with computers is going to have a look to see if he can revive it.

There's lots to tell you about as far as  footy goes - particularly in the last week! Having lost 2 games in a row to late penalty kicks, Belper hammered Romulus 9 - 0 on Tuesday and beat Kings Lynn 2-1 at their ground yesterday.

The Tuesday win was Belper's biggest victory in the Northern Premier League and the win yesterday probably had even more significance. Kings Lynn hadn't lost at home in 2 years until the mighty Nailers came a-calling!

We watched the 9 - 0 and I took some nice photos but with a dead PC, editing and uploading options have been limited so I think the best plan is to link you to Snapper Harrison's Flickr page and you can see all of the action, not just from the last week, but from the season and before. Have a look - he's not only consistent but bloody good an all! (And explore the site - there's more than excellent footy pics there.)

Other matters? Nothing to report really. My pretty ordinary life continues to pass with seemingly increasing rapidity as I hurtle toward retirement. The kitchen is now plastered and ready for installation of the cooker hood. Then paint, tiles and flooring to complete - as is the case with the bathroom. (By the way - the tasks listed are mostly outside my scope - I just need to agree with the Duchess in which order they need doing so I can telephone the people I need to do them! Certainly no DIY-er me!)

It's a short blog entry tonight (for which I guess you're grateful!) but if/when the PC is fixed, there'll be no stopping me - promise!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

OK - So I Lied.....

.... an update didn't follow last weekend.
But it ain't my fault!
Having finally got the landline and broadband restored - we even got our old phone number back - my PC at home has died!
Refuses to start, various blue screens reporting all sorts of errors if it does manage to look as if it's OK and if we're lucky enough to get a desktop and start running a programme - it randomly "freezes", the blue screen appears again and a "Your computer has been stopped to prevent damage - try restarting." message appears.

Error codes suggest it's either a new piece of software or a new piece of hardware or the NVidia graphics card causing the problem.
Nipped in to PC World last night and asked about repairs. Basically - it's a minimum £50 inspection fee and if they diagnose a new graphics card, or hard drive, or whatever - they add that to the £50 already spent. And it's not done "in-store" any more - they's send it away with a14 to 28 day return estimate
I was considering moving to Windows 7 from Vista (don't fancy Windows 8 just yet) and PC World could do that at the same time as the repair but that would add £83 for the software plus (guess what - yes you're right!) £50 to install it.
I just need to get the machine through the next 18 months or so because on retirement - I am investing in a new iMac - paid for from the "Lump Sum" part of my pension!
Just SO glad I backed up the 59,000 odd photos and video clips on the machine to my external had drive last weekend!
I'll keep you advised of progress......

Friday, 9 November 2012

This should link to a Set of Photos..

..taken last Friday (2nd November) at Ladybower & Howden Dams.

(I've been playing with the new Flickr account and created a set of 6 pics - just wanna see if it links OK!)

Coming Soon - to A Blog Near You!

An update is being prepared.
Now that the USA trip is done and we have a broadband connection and telephone line at home, I'm working on an update to this blog.
It's been a hectic couple of weeks and I've just not had the time (or the facility with no internet connection at home) to write anything at all.
Footy progresses - the games come thick and fast and I'll brief you on results later although it hasn't been that bad a couple of weeks for Belper Town. With a couple of wins under their belt, the team climbed to 9th a week or so ago (although we've slipped to 10th now!)
Another frustration has been a problem with Jalbum (where I post albums of pics for your delectation!). Turns out I have 2 accounts with them and one, containing all the previous albums I've done, has expired. I renewed it but they somehow renewed the other one and so all my albums would need re-uploading and re-linking.
As I ain't prepared to upload and relink 2 years worth of albums, I've been given a refund of the upgrade fee and switched my allegiance to Flickr "pro"!
Right - brief note done (just to let you know I'm still here basically!) and I'll do a proper entry this weekend but I'll leave you with a pic.....

Sunrise from  Nortoner Towers on Tuesday this week. (And I submitted this to "Yorkshire Calendar Weather Photos" and they used it Tuesday evening! Although it was credited to Keith and not Ken Allsebrook!)

For now - Ah'll sithee

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Almost Time to Head for Home

Currently in a Holiday Inn Expresss hotel in Bentleyville Pennsylvania having driven here from Bellefontaine Ohio earlier today.
The trip is almost over and it has been an eventful and frustrating one but I'll tell you about that in a bit. Right now we need a footy update.
We went to the Carlton game and guess what - another draw! Belper went behind to a great free-kick but pulled it back to 1-1 with an equally great strike from Simon Harrison. I took the camera and got some good shots but there wasn't time to process them and build an album before I set off on this trip. I'll organise that and put the pics on here when I get home. (Snapper was ill and missed the game so for now, there are no pics to show.)
The next game was last Tuesday - I was away and the Duchess decided not to go on her own. A reasonably comfortable 3-0 win for Belper was the outcome and Snapper returned to duty with an excellent album - look here -
Then today - yet another draw!! The game was away at Chasetown and from the match report, it is a bit of a mystery why 3 more points were not secured by BTFC! Rapid work by the main man - Snapper Harrison - saw his match album posted on the Fans Forum within a couple of hours of the final whistle. Yet another cracking set is here:
So footy update complete. Now for the trip.....
Sunday - flew Manchester/Heathrow/Toronto/Sudbury, Ontario but sadly, our bags didn't make it to Toronto with us. Anyway - since we were flying back down to Toronto on the Monday afternoon, we had them delivered to the hotel we would be staying at Monday night.
Monday - flew back to Toronto, dinner with client.
Tuesday - after meeting client and lunch, flew Toronto/Chicago/Springdale, Arkansas for meetings at corporate office on Wednesday.
Wednesday - afternoon/evening - should have flown Springdale/Chicago/Grand Rapids, Michigan but when we got to the airport we were told the flight had been oversold and we were not going to Chicago that evening. Instead, they stuck us in a hotel for the night and booked us on a flight to Chicago at 5:48 a.m. on Thursday.
Thursday - out of bed at 3:30 a.m.for a 4:15 pick up to take us back to the airport. Flew to Chicago on time (arrived 7:30 a.m.) but then had to sit on Chicago airport for 12 hours before flying to Grand Rapids at 7:30 pm. This meant we had to cancel the planned meeting with our client - we had already deferred hotel rooms and car rental by 24 hours.
Friday - set off at 7:30 a.m. to drive five hours south into Ohio. Met with the client, took them to dinner and then I went to bed. Fell asleep around 9:30 pm
Saturday - woke  at 5 a.m. Thought "sod that" and rolled over, waking again at 7 a.m. Made a coffee and stayed in bed until around 9 a.m. watching TV.
Drove to this location (Bentleyville) - taking our time - and have just had dinner - Burger King - (because a salesman's life on the road is all cordon bleu and champagne of course!) The drive down was easy and the trees are just starting to put on a spectacular show of autumn colour. I have the little Ixus camera with me and got one or two nice shots. Here's one:
Tomorrow - we are invited to a barbecue at the home of our client. The plan is to get there about 2pm, watch American football on TV, beer and a barbecue. Looking forward to it!
Monday - see the client and then head for Pittsburgh airport for flights to Manchester via Chicago (again!). We get back to Manny airport at 7:50 a.m. Tuesday so it'll be home about noon, having dropped my colleague off at his house.
Back in the office Wednesday cos there's no rest for the wicked!
Belper have an away game at Newcastle Town Tuesday evening but I don't plan to go to that!
Right - a long catch up and if you are still with me - I'll say goodnight. More follows - after I get past the jet lag!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Another draw - oh hang on - its not!

Tuesday night - Belper Town away at Gresley (The Duchess and I were at home getting text updates from a mate at the game.)

90 minutes - its 0-0, again, then the Belper keeper drops the ball and it rolls in for a 1-0 defeat in the 94 minute..... Dammit.

The consequence is that Belper Town are only kept off the bottom spot by goal difference and we are the only team in the division not to have won a game this season.
Next up is Carlton Town at home, tomorrow. We are hoping to go to the game but I head off for Canada on Sunday morning, collecting my colleague from his home at 6:30 ish. Don't think I'll take the camera if we go - I won't have time to process the pics on Saturday evening - too busy packing but I might blog a report from the road if I get a chance.
The only other event in the last week is a major cock up by Plusnet and Orange which has left us with no landline and no broadband connection at home.
I had decided to switch to Orange because the 10 Gb cap on internet use at Plusnet was becoming a pain in the bum. So - we upgraded the Duchess' mobile phone and signed up for Orange unlimited broadband and home phone package.
The new router duly arrived (1st October) I set it up (2nd October) and we began running an unlimited broadband connection at speeds which were 50% up on Plusnet.
Everything looked good then on Wednesday this week (10th October) the Duchess noticed at about 5 pm that we had no wifi to the iPhones and iPad. I reset the router and the PC but still no broadband. Anyway - we were going down to Meadowhall so decided to see what was happening when we got back, thinking it might be a local service issue.
On return, we still had no broadband and so I called Orange on 150, from my wifes phone, to see what they had to say. After the usual, "we can't speak to you cos you're not the account holder" (it's in the Duchess' name) we discovered that we had no landline at all because Plusnet had disconnected before Orange could take over so a "new line" order had to be placed and actioned.
We were told our landline would be restored on 15th October and broadband 10 days after that!
I exploded and asked how we are supposed to operate with no landline telephone until Monday and no broadband until 25th October, pointing out we had been using Orange broadband for over a week!!!!
No joy so I decided to call Orange the next day, when I'd calmed down. Got the usual - "we need to speak to your wife..... can't answer you" b*ll*x. So got the Duchess to call them. She got a different tale - a visit from an BT Openreach engineer is needed and has been booked for October 26th. So no landline until October 26th!!!!
(Why an engineers visit is necessary is totally unknown - the line has not been moved, the router is the same as we've been using for a week or more but hey - what do I know - I only used to work at BT some time ago!)
The Duchess blew her stack at the guy from Orange explaining that I head off on a trip to Canada and USA on Sunday, and our son lives in Holland so she will be totally isolated without the landline and broadband (for Skype etc). Nowt he could do apparently.
Later that day - would you believe the Duchess got a call from an Orange customer service guy. "Hello Mrs Allsebrook. Just calling to see how you are getting on with your new broadband and landline service? Hope you're enjoying using it!"
After she came down from the ceiling and explained our problem she got a very sympathetic "Oh that's awful, That can't be right. Must be something we can do" response. "Leave it with me" he added - "If I can't help I'll ring back." (Which to be honest - seems a strange response! You'd think he'd ring back if he COULD help!")
Anyway - absolute latest is no apparent change in the situation. Although we did call in at the Orange store at Meadowhall last night and the lady who signed us up suggested we wait to see if the line is restored on Monday 15th, as originally promised and if not, the Duchess is to pop back to Meadowhall on Tuesday to see if the staff can "gee up" the job - hoping that "in store pressure" might get some action.
We're not holding our breath but The Duchess will let me know via 3G and e-mail because I'll be in Toronto by then. 
Pain inthe 'arris - totally.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Three More Draws!

Pity Belper Town aren't on the  football pools coupons (do they still have Littlewoods Pools btw?!)
Anyway - since my last post and the horror of the 5-1 mauling by Ilkeston, Belper have played three more games. All draws (although one was won on a penalty shoot out!)
First - FA Trophy v Leamington. Saturday September 29th. Drew 2-2 so a replay was needed. Belper had gone 2 goals behind (again!) but fought back to draw 2-2 and take the tie to a replay at Belper on the Tuesday.
The Duchess and I couldn't go because our son's mate was coming to Nortoner Towers to strip the old plaster off the kitchen. He did a cracking job and on Sunday, plaster boarded it ready for skimming.
Snapper was there of course and his pictures are here:
We didn't go to the replay either. A drive of about 2.1/2 hours on a Tuesday evening just wasn't on. We missed an exciting game by all accounts. This time, Belper went 2 goals up but were dragged back to 2-2 and extra time then penalties meant a very late night. (Glad we didn't go - it would have been well past midnight when we got back.)
Snapper couldn't make it either so there are no snaps of the match.
Then yesterday it was back to league action with a trip to Loughborough Dynamo, who we had beaten 4-3 about 3 weeks ago in the FA Trophy to get through to the game v Leamington.
Another draw! But this time 0-0 although how Belper didn't score in the last 20 minutes I don't know. The ball hit the woodwork at least 3 times and we missed two absolute sitters in the first half but it wasn't to be.
A disappointing outcome and I know manager Peter Duffield wasn't happy. We could hear him giving the team a verbal lashing after the game - and we were a good 30 feet from the dressing rooms!
I confess I didn't totally understand why, when we have one of the best midfield players at this level in Steve Warne, a lot of the time we played long balls over the top of midfield for Ash Longstaff and new guy Andy Siribour to chase or flick on. Anyway - as I've said before, it's the easiest game in the world to play when you're sitting in the stand.
My record of the game is here:
Probably my best ever "soccer set" this and the new camera worked a treat again. However, as I said on the Fans Forum, if I can't manage a half decent set on a bright, sunny day it's probably time to pack it in!
Aside from footy - my next trip is almost set up. Off to Canada and USA on Sunday 14th October. Back in the UK on Tuesday 23rd and the office Wednesday 24th. This might actually be my last trip "stateside." My colleague who is destined to take over my duties will do the next one, in the spring, on his own and then there should be one more in autumn 2013 before I finally retire on 28th March 2014. I am hoping I'll be allowed to do a "Farewell Tour". I've been visiting the majority of the clients  since 1985 and have made some good friends on my travels. It'd be nice to say "See Ya!" properly!
Today - I couldn't really be arsed to get out in the garden so me and The Duchess had a little drive out to Carburton to sit by the lake and watch/snap the birds. Right now she's cooking roast beef and Yorkshire pud so as the smell wafts up from the kitchen, I'm going to close this now and get ready to eat.
See yer in a bit!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Not a Bad First Outing for the New Camera

Weather could have been better and the result could have been a damn sight better but the pics didn't turn out too badly (although Photoshop Elements got some bash before I submitted them to the Belper Town Forum!)
They are here:
A disappointing evening to say the least. Having taken a 1-0 lead, Belper were absolutey battered by a much more effective Ilkeston side and the final score could have been a lot worse then the 1-5 defeat which was the eventual outcome.
Snapper, like me, was hiding in the stand to avoid the, at times, torrential rain. His record is here:
Not a lot else has happened since the previous post. The next footy is on Saturday - an FA Trophy game against Leamington who are from "dahn Sarf" and are a useful side by all accounts. They have just had a 20 game unbeaten sequence broken with a defeat by Corby Town but are sitting top of the Premier Divison of the Southern equivalent of the league Belper play in.
We might not make the game - we have a tentative arrangement for a friend of my sons (and of ours too of course) to come and strip our kitchen back to basics so he can replaster it. The forecast is good so I'll probably get some garden tidying done.
Besides which, our season tickets don't cover cup game and that means I've already paid for us to get into the last 5 games we've been to! Might have to sell the new camera if that carries on!
Right - lunch over - so that's all for now. See Yer!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Another interesting week... which I "blew the budget" and upgraded my "snapper kit!"

Here's the new gear....

Pic taken with my trusty Canon EOS 300D with 18-55mm "kit" lens!
I traded in my Canon EOS 50D with 18-200mm lens and the EOS 1D Mk II body which I bought off Snapper Harrison a while ago and invested in the EOS 5D Mark III with 24-105mm IS lens and I added the 70-200mm f2.8 lens (killer kit of the pros for under floodlight footy snapping it appears!) Not the IS version - I'm not made of money!!
I had intended it would make it's debut at the Ilkeston FC v Belper Town FA Cup game last Saturday but I was told in no uncertain terms by a steward that the taking of photographs inside the stadium was not allowed. I asked if he was sure because as I understood it, the FA positively encourage people to bring cameras to the early rounds of the FA Cup because it's good publicity. He consulted someone (who must have been REALLY important because he had a different coloured reflective jacket on) and the decision was confirmed.
Maybe I should have dug in my heels (or grovelled as my mate Mossley Smiffy apparently did!) and perhaps could have taken a few pictures but anyway - as I said - Smiffy persisted and managed a few. His record of an excellent 2-2 draw is here:
Have a look at Smiffys blog an all while you're at it - link on the right under "Smiffy's Blog" funnily enough!
It was a hard fought and exciting game and either side could have nicked it. Belper went 1-0 up but were pegged back and with about 15 minutes left, were 1 - 2 down when substitute Ash Longstaff powered in a header. The replay is tonight and if it's not absolutely pouring, the new camera kit will make it's debut at the game. 
On the way home, we diverted via Bakewell (for a bag of chips by the river of course!) and drove back over Froggatt Edge to the Fox House area where I had a chance to test the new camera on an amazing sunset. Here's just one of a lovely set from which I might yet create an album.

Not a lot else to report and since I'm at work, s'pose I'd better gerron wi it as they say.
Report (and hopefully pictures!) follow tonights game - although to be fair, we've had that much rain in the last 24 hours (58mm up here in Sheffield) some fans are asking if it will go ahead!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Quick Catch Up (I've been busy OK??!)

A great week for Belper Town FC last week with two wins in two cup competitions and close on £5,000 in prize money banked.
My "deja vu" fears proved groundless as Belper easily beat Matlock Town in the FA Cup replay on Tuesday 11th September. A comfortable 3-0 win was recorded by Snapper Harrison:
Matlock look to have problems and have had a very poor start to the season although I see they've made a couple of good quality signings in the last few days, including Matt Hamshaw - ex Sheffield Wednesday, Mansfield, Notts County and Macclesfield (among others). Good pro is Matt and he should do well there.
The other name we know is Glynn Cotton who up until about a month ago, was a Belper Town player. He had moved on to Frickley Athletic for more cash and a guarantee of games but has now been signed by Matlock. Good player Glynn  and a nice bloke. I had a long chat with him at the replay on Tuesday night. What was said is interesting, but confidential!
Anyway - Belper followed up that win with a trip to Loughborough Dynamo in the FA Trophy last Saturday. Another win - this time a lot tougher 4-3 victory. The problem at the moment is that although we're scoring goals, we're conceding them too which is hard to understand given that in pre season, we looked very solid at the back. I honestly thought that our problem would be scoring, especially with top goalscorer Jon Froggatt injured.
Anyway -  my album from Saturday's 4-3 win is here:
(I'm quite pleased with this set actually - one of my better attempts although - as i've said before - if I can't take good pics when it's bright and sunny, it really would be time to consider packing it in!)
Next up is a trip to Ilkeston in the FA Cup on Saturday - another local derby and another tough game although Ilkeston haven't made a great start to the season.
Other than footy - not a lot to tell apart from growing frustration with some of the numpties running Under-10 teams in the Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League. Reporting results etc is not rocket science (although it is all now "online") but honestly - some of 'em shouldn't be let out on their own!
Also - still got hundreds of photos to edit and I promise I'll get some up on here as soon as.
For now - that'll do - although keep an eye on the World Singles Tenpin Bowling Championships takling place in Cyprus this week - my niece Joanne is looking for a medal!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

A momentous week!

In which I pretty much decided when I plan to retire!
It looks like February/March 2014 is the target unless something equally momentous happens between now and then.
February because that will mean my present stint (or perhaps that should be sentence!) at the company I work for will be 34 years. March because that would be at the end of a tax year. All of the details need sorting of course but the general plan is now in  place.
The pension plan is a Final Salary scheme which has been (and is!) extremely well managed so that although my monthly income will obviously fall,  the Duchess and I should still be able to manage I reckon! At least (hopefully!) until my State Pension kicks in about a year later.
I originally started work at the company I'm with in 1970 as a mere child of 20 years..
I left in 1978 to go "on the road" as  a sales representative for a steel stockholder in Barnsley. I even had the obligatory Ford Cortina - a 2 litre GL with vinyl roof. My first car in fact. Unfortunately, that job didn't work out and I went back to my present employer as Sales Office Manager in 1980 (2 weeks after I'd left the steel stockholders and as I was just about to "sign on the dole." Very fortunate!)
Anyway - I've obviously seen lots of changes in that time - and not all of them good to be honest but the ship has generally been steered in the right direction. Must have been actually, because from it's original founding in 1792(!!) - the company still exists - in vastly changed form of course.
So - deep breath - fingers crossed.... 18 months will go very quickly if the last 18 is anything to go by!
Football? Well - Belper Town's long unbeaten run in the League came to an end at Market Drayton last weekend where once again, the team pulled back a 2-goal deficit but the difference this time was the opposition grabbed a third to win 3-2. Unfortunately, neither Snapper Harrison or I went so there are no pictures to link to.
Next up was a 1-1 draw with Leek Town at home - I didn't take the camera but Snapper did and here's the record of yet another draw:
The games come thick and fast at this time  of year and the next event was the FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie at near neighbours and fierce rivals Matlock Town. That took place yesterday and what a fantastic game it was!
Another draw - this time 2-2 but this has to be one of the best performances I've seen from a Belper side. From 1-0 down early on, the lads went to 2-1 up with goals from Simon Harrison and Aaron Pride. Matlock nicked a goal to make it 2-2 at half time. How the score stayed at 2-2 through the second half is beyond me! But it did - and the replay is on Tuesday evening at Belper Town.
A really tremendous set of photos by Snapper Harrison complements a terrific game (He had one of his best games an all!!)
I hope we haven't missed our chance to progress in the competition though. I remember a couple of years back we played away at Droylesden in a later round than this and could have nicked it at their place. However, they had sussed us out for the replay and we went out of the Cup that night. Really don't need deja vu on Tuesday! But - we shall see - as they say!
Right - Sunday afternoon and there's Sheffield Junior Sunday League stuff to do - so - laters peeps!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

T'neets are drawing in.....

Or rather - the mornings are darker. That time of year when I get out of bed at 6 a.m. as usual, I now have to put the kitchen light on to make a cuppa. I hate that! Oh well - just hope next spring arrives as quickly as this autumn has appeared.
Been a bit(!) busy with Sheffield Junior League stuff this last week or more. The new season starts Sunday 2nd September and as ever, half the numpties out there haven't got their player registration forms in and the other half want to rearrange games because "My players are on holiday", "My manager is on holiday" "Our Club Secretary is on holiday" etc., etc., They've only had since 1st June to get organised so I suppose its understandable that on the eve of the season, they are not sorted. After all - 3 months isn't really that long is it?!?
Anyway - proper footy - and a bit to tell you.
The FA Cup "local derby" went smoothly - as far as Belper Town are concerned at least - as we eased through with a scoreline of Holbrook 1 - 6 Belper Town. The next round won't be half so comfortable - away at Matlock Town - Belper's fiercest rivals from a division higher so it will be a lot more difficult.   
Pictures from the Holbrook game are here:
Snapper couldn't make it but another good mate (and good photographer too come to that) was there. See Mossley Smiffy's album here: (With his fancy new lens an all!)

Next up was Bank Holiday Monday and a visit from Sheffield FC. - The pseudo-Yorkshire team had started the league campaign with a 6-1 win and the a 1-2 defeat.
A good game ended in Belper's third league draw in a row. For the second time in a week the lads fought back from 0-2 down to take a point and in the end, could (perhaps should?) have won it. A very good match report is on the Belper Town web site and it's well worth a read - go to:
My photo album from the game is here:
and Snapper Harrison decided to put in an appearance too:

So - draw number three and we're back to half empty or half full?

On Saturday - the Nailers travel to Market Drayton which the Duchess and I have decided is too long a trek so we're going to the RSPB Reserve at Blacktoft Sands (near Goole), for a spot of bird-watching and snapping instead. The forecast is for a nice, warm, late summer day so should be fun!
Tarra for now tho!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Half Full - or Half Empty?

Belper Town's League season got underway last Saturday with a 1-1 draw at home against Coalville Town.
We didn't wear the scarves by the way - and we sat in the stand 1st half and stood behind the goal 2nd half - a compromise if ever I heard (saw) one!
Didn't put the camera away tho and my pictures are here:
And of course, Snapper has a better set:
Not a great performance to be honest. Belper played some good football in patches but really had to thank goalkeeper Aaron Chapman for a good penalty save and a bit of good fortune when Coalville hit the post a couple of times. Disappointing really and it almost felt like a defeat. Just goes to prove that when the real stuff starts, pre season counts for nothing.
Anyway - Tuesday night, Belper came back from 2 - 0 down to draw 2 - 2 at Brigg Town. We didn't go - it's an awful place and in any case, I went home from work early because of a very heavy cold so wouldn't have ventured up there in any case.
Snapper didn't go either which is a pity because young Aaron Pride scored what has been described as a brilliant goal to equalise. Sadly - no photos tho!
Two games = 2 draws and so do we consider the glass half full or half empty - unbeaten this season or haven't won this season? You choose! It hasn't helped that top scorer Jon Frogatt has a knee injury which he can't seem to shake off but he was also missing from the last couple of pre-season games so that might not be the sole reason why 2 games = 2 draws! 
(And of course - BTFC are still unbeaten in league games for about 17 or 18 games I think - continuing on from last season.)

Next up is near neighbours Holbrook Sports in the FA Cup on Saturday (we beat them quite easily pre-season but as I said - when the real stuff starts..) then on Bank Holiday Monday, at home to Sheffield FC - our old friends from Dronfield.

Things can only get better?

Saturday, 18 August 2012

It's That Time of Year Again!

First day of the football season - and I'm full of anticipation, excitement and anxiety!

Yes - proper footy's back - Belper Town are at home to Coalville - apparently the last team to beat us in the league so we owe them one!

Understand the Premier League kicks off today too but ..... Meh!

Me and the Duchess have a decision to make. Do we wear the BTFC scarves or don't we? Haven't worn them all pre-season and Belper won every game (we missed the 0-1 at home to North Ferriby -we were coming back from hols)

Thinking about it - we sat in the stand last Saturday when the team played some of the best footy I've seen from them in a while and we beat Stocksbridge 2-0.

Then again - we stood behnd the goal when we beat Derby County 1-0 - and I put the camera away halfway through......

Oh 'eck!! What to do??!!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Isn't Photoshop Elements Brilliant?

Messing around with pictures taken at Old Moor RSPB Reserve last Friday... using one of the PSE "Sketch" Filters on a shot of a Lapwing .... (click on the pic to "biggerize" it)

Quite pleased with that!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Not A Bad Weekend At All, Thanks!

A summary:

Friday afternoon - Old Moor RSPB Reserve for 3 or 4 hours. Got some lovely shots of Green Sandpiper, Snipe (both never "shot" before), Lapwing and Greenshank. Home about 7:30 pm - bag o' chips and a cuppa. Photos follow when I get a minute.

Saturday afternoon - Belper Town 2-0 Stocksbridge in the last of the pre season friendly games. A well deserved win earned through some of the best footy I've seen the side play pre-season. My pics are here:

And Snapper Harrison's are here:

As Snapper said - looks like we got that one covered between us!

Sunday - Archers omnibus, quick sandwich, then a couple of hours in the front garden, trying to make it look a little more respectable! Think I managed it! Then a couple of hours photo editing before settling down to learn how to enter the new season's Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League Under-10s fixtures onto the internet! What a task that is but my teacher is The Duchess so thats a massive help.

Now back at work. An enjoyable weekend as I said but don't they fly by fast?

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Quick Question before Saturday Brunch....

Is there ANYTHING more boring as a "sport" than diving on the telly? Even Olympic diving?

Thursday, 9 August 2012

This week's highlight so far

Tuesday evening Belper Town 1 - 0 Derby County XI.

What a good result and performance. Derby started with 5 or 6 with first team experience, including one of the best players I've ever seen in a Nailer's shirt - Tom Naylor.

The team sheets said Derby only had 3 subs, one of them a goalkeeper but the stadium announcer said Nigel Clough was on the bench and would make an appearance. That didn't happen - think he was maybe a bit wary when he saw the way the Belper players set about their exalted counterparts. (Nothing dirty mind - just  high tempo, pressing play which didn't allow the Derby side to settle.)

Mind you - I didn't like the disrespect Clough showed when, in the 2nd half, he changed goalkeepers then a few minutes later, sent the goalkeeper he had just subbed back onto the pitch as a striker, still wearing his green "goalie" shorts. I honestly thought "That's taking the p**s."

Still - we beat 'em fair and square considering that even if the majority of the Rams were not first team regulars, they still train every day and should be fitter and slicker than our lads.

OK - they missed a penalty (and what a miss - about 15ft over the angle of crossbar and post - now that is a difficult skill from 12 yards Ben Davies!), our keeper made at least three world class saves and they hit the crossbar. But Belper also had a couple of very near misses including a goalmouth scramble in the 1st minute and another attempt headed off the line late on.

Apparently, after the game, Clough left the ground in a huff (a Clough huff?) having had a pop at the ref because Belper were "all elbows." Sour loser!! No red or yellow cards were issued although I did notice that every time  a Derby player went down, it looked very serious with lots of "One hand on head whilst clutching seriously injured shin/ankle/knee/back" actions.

Also have to remember Belper were without 2 of our stars - Steve Warne and Jon Frogatt. Warney is on holiday and Jon is injured so we were really "understrength too Cloughy!"

Anyway - Tim Harrison's album is here:

I took the camera but only have a few shots. Too busy chatting to friends various - Darlo, Snapper, Steej, Alan, Ian etc, etc. Besides - knew I could rely on Maestro Harrison to get the action!

Stocksbridge Park Steels at home Saturday is the last pre-season friendly before the real stuff starts on August 18th. Can't wait!

Monday, 6 August 2012


OK - I know I said I'd had it with Google and their cash demands but in the last few weeks, I missed blogging and decided to try a new blog but this time in Wordpress.

The blog was entitled "Norton Other One" but to be truthful, I've found that Wordpress is very disappointing in comparison with

My beef with Google was that they allow 1 Gb of free space and Wordpress offers 3Gb. With 1Gb of Blogger space lasting four years or so, I figured Wordpress was the better option as I'd probably get about 12 years worth of "free blog!"

Technically, that is correct but after a few posts using Wordpress, I find it very restrictive compared to Blogger. Using a free Wordpress template (which doesn't look bad tbh) I then found that changes such as font size and text colour are very restricted, unless you pay extra! It seem that about the only thing that can be changed for free is the page backgound colour.

So - I am going to bite the bullet and pay my money for extra Blogger space. Norton Yer Life is therefore (hopefully) re-born!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Hi! How've Ya Been?

Sorry I haven't posted in 2 weeks. I intended to correct that today and I have just spent an hour and a half typing out some notes about my photo activity over the last 2 weeks.

Then - whilst uploading pictures to show the world, Google decided that I have exceeded my 1Gb free limit and if I want to continue adding pictures to my blog, I need to purchase more storage.

I have no intention of doing that so it looks as if this blog will pretty much end here!

Some 2 years ago, I bought an internet domain - - and with help from my son, I plan to build my own web pages with a photo archive to display my pictures and bore you with tales of a sinmple mind....

It's been fun!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

A Week of Mixed News!

Last weekend - all was really well with my world - at least as far as football was concerned!

Belper Town, Barcelona, Sheffield Wednesday and Liverpool (my 4 favourite teams at that point) all won.

The Belper win has already been reported and more good news came on Tuesday when we watched the Nailers play some stunning football when beating high-flyers Loughborough Dynamo 3-1.

I didn't take my camera - but here are Snappers pics - excellent as ever.....

I needn't have worried about the Owls as it happened. They beat Sheffield United 1-0 in the Steel City Derby. Although we went "out and about" and I avoided hearing anything  about the game until it was all over!

Barca and Liverpool winning were bonuses but I have to say that my list of favourite teams has been shortened to three by the sacking of Gary Megson at Sheffield Wednesday this week. The Chairman, Milan Mandaric, has a track record of chopping managers but I believe this time, he got it totally wrong. Like Huddersfield Town, who sacked Lee Clark a short while ago, the Chairman has said he had to make the change now before the season went too much further if the Owls are to get promotion.

Huddersfield had lost something like 4 games in their last 50 or so and were lying in third place in the division whilst Wednesday, admittedly after a run of four defeats, had just won the biggest game of the season so far and had taken back third place in the league. Anyway - the Owls do not interest me any more - in fact I couldn't tell you who they played or what the result was yesterday. Meh.

Yesterday, Belper carried on where they left off with a hard won 3-2 victory at home to Market Drayton. The performance wasn't as good as on Tuesday but the win makes it 6 from 7 games since the turn of the year. 18 points gained, with 15 goals scored and 7 against. Champions form and we'll have to watch it or Duffs will be getting a Manager of the Month award!

Snappers pics (I took my camera but haven't done editing yet - anyway - can't compete with these.....)

Away from footy, we went for a drive up to Catcliffe last Sunday afternoon and although there wasn't anything dramatically out of the ordinary, I managed a couple of good shots of a cormorant drying off it's wings.

I'm not a big fan of these prehistoric looking birds. Mainly because they have moved further inland from the coast and are decimating commercial fisheries and fish farms. A lot of river fishing in this country has been wiped out by these ravenous birds but since, like almost all bird species, they have protected status, licences have to be obtained before they may be culled

We then moved on to Ulley Reservoir which we didn't know is actually a Country Park. And a very nice one too which will be explored further when we get a chance.

The reservoir was in danger of collapse in 2007 when we had the floods in Sheffield and the situation was so serious that the M1 motorway was closed until the pressure on the embankmant was relieved by running off some water and shoring up the dam with limestone. According to the leaflet I picked up at the Reception Centre, the place was closed to the public for 3 years, reopening in 2010 with new footpaths, benches and so on.

A sailing club is based there and a regatta was going on last week so we sat and watched for a while, leaving the 3-mile walk around the whole dam for another day when we have a bit more time. (Another bonus - parking usually costs 60p but the ticket machine was broken and a notice allowed free parking until it's fixed!)

Here's a few pics.....

And finally - a swan - aren't they just majestic?!

OK - nowt else to report. We "switched on" the new software at work on Thursday and it went pretty smoothly. Still a couple of wrinkles to iron out but we'll get there. It's also a comfort to know the old software is being run "in parallel" for a month as a bit of a safety net. Next week's the big test when we start invoicing but we'll see!

So - Sunday again and we're pretty much confined to barracks by the awful weather. Lots of rain and sleet in Sheffield this morning and we're now getting "game abandoned" and "game postponed" calls and e-mails from Junior League clubs.

Better go and sort some paperwork then!


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Old News But Good News

On the football front anyway!
Belper Town beat Quorn FC 2-1 at the Meadow on February 18th to make it 3 wins out of 4 games since the turn of the year. I took the camera but by the time I'd got the pictures edited, it was a bit too late to put an album on the fans forum. Anyway, here's a couple of the better ones from my shoot.

Love the expression on the keeper's face!

 Chris Adam's late winner devastates the Quorn players who really thought they'd earned at least a point. (which to be fair - I thought they deserved.)

As ever - Tim Harrison was there and got it all.... have a look -

(It's a different type of link - taking you to the forum thread in question - then click on the link Tim has set up to view them. For some reason I can't fathom, copying Tim's shortcut and pasting it here results in a great long 6 or 7 line shortcut! Yes - even longer than this note!)

Anyway - we haven't been up to a lot else this week. Last Sunday afternoon, we wandered across to watch an Under-11 cup fixture on one of the local playing fields. Not allowed to take pictures of the kids of course but it was a beautiful afternoon and the crocus and snowdrops were in full bloom on the edge of a small wooded area near home.

The work week pretty much flew by and I've spent a fair bit of time on "Junior League paperwork." Cancelled fixtures, rearranged games because of cup ties and so on. As I've said before - there's a fair bit of work involved!

Thursday evening, we went to The Bowshaw Carvery to celebrate our son's 38th birthday. His birthday was on Friday and he couldn't join us because he was at home in Holland but it was a great excuse to eat out and we toasted his health in his absence!

Apart from taking some pictures at work, for an exhibition coming up in Paris in April, I've hardly used the cameras this week. However, if you want to see some incredible sunset pictures, click the link on the right marked "Cycling Photographer." Tim Harrison has posted some fantastic images on his blog. (Rest of it's worth a read an all!) Here's one to whet your appetite.....

Belper Town also played at Leek Town yesterday and scored an excellent 3-0 win. We didn't go because its a bit of a trek. Snapper did of course and here's an album (again - using the forum thread link rather than the direct link.)

With no footy to watch, we took advantage of the fine weather and went for a walk in the local "Bluebell Wood". No bluebells yet of course but it was a pleasant enough stride. (2.38 miles according to Google Earth. Might not seem much to some of you but for a couple of OAP's it ain't bad!)  Nothing much worth photographing although I took a couple of shots of Beauchief Abbey, more for record than any artistic reasons!

I have been messing around with the macro lens though. The subject is my pocket watch and chain.

The hallmarks on the watch case and chain show 1907 and 1898.

The reverse of the medallion. S&DDA is "Sheffield & District Draughts Association." Sadly, "Button Lane" has long gone

The front of the medallion - the inlaid shield is solid gold

 An "exploded" view

My in-laws (both long gone now of course God rest them) gave me the watch and medallion when The Duchess and I got married (40 years ago!) and The Duchess bought me the chain. It looked really fine slung across my waistcoat at our wedding! (Need a longer chain now tho - put on a lot of weight since then!)

Right that'll do for now. It's a glorious day so we plan a short trip to Catcliffe Flash this afternoon to see if we can spot any wildfowl. A drive on past Ulley reservoir will complete the afternoon. (Must admit, I thought about getting out into the garden cos it's fine but don't worry, I came to my senses quickly enough!)

And this afternoon, there's the little matter of the "Steel City Derby" - Sheffield Wednesday v Sheffield United. I am tempted to avoid the whole thing until it's over. As a Wednesdayite, and given current form, I think I'll be taking some stick at work tomorrow! We'll have to wait and see.