Sunday, 22 January 2012

Birthday Treat(s)!!

Had a great day on Saturday - my 62nd birthday. (And I repeat for Tim Harrisons benefit - 62 not 82!!)

Belper Town were at home to Newcastle Town and The Duchess and I decided that, as part of the celebration, we would sponsor the match ball. It's the third season in a row that we've sponsored the ball and so we have our third memento:

As Club Secretary David Laughlin was escorting us to the Boardroom for  pre-match coffee, we were introduced to Team manager Peter Duffield who wished me a "Happy Birthday" and suggested I should be receiving gifts on my birthday! I suggested 3 points would be the perfect present and he promised to see what he could do.

Boy! Did he deliver! Belper Town 3 - 1 Newcastle Town was the final score but it wasn't just the score, it was the nature of the overall performance which was the bonus. Belper had a "shaky" spell of about 20 minutes but stuck to the task and played some nice football.

I didn't take the cameras (I'm allowed a day off on my birthday aren't I?) but the ever reliable Mr Harrison published the following "bumper bundle!"

Coffee and a "finger buffet" in the boardroom at half time was excellent and having treated some of the regular fans/mates to a complimentary drink after the game, we headed to  George's Fish & Chip Cafe in Belper before driving back up to Sheffield.

Oh - and by the way -, The Duchess won the Goalden Goal prize of £25! That's the second game in a row that she has won it but "off stage" cries of "Fix!" were ignored!!

It's been a bit of an "eating week" actually. On Thursday and Friday, we had visitors to the plant at work and we fed them when they arrived at lunchtime, then dinner on Thursday evening. On Friday we had lunch at the Bowshaw (but only a sandwich - not the Carvery!) before our guests departed by train from the Midland Station. Then on Friday evening, The Duchess and I dined out at TGI Friday as my "official" birthday dinner." With all this eating out, I'll never manage to get some weight off!!

Monday and Tuesday was spent in training for our new computer system which it is hoped will be going "live" at the end of January. There's another day next week - we've spent the odd hour or two playing with the test system to familiarise ourelves - and then it's basically "New Systems Go!"

The week has certainly flown but another notable event occurred this week. We got our annual Mortgage Statement. It's a lovely feeling to know the mortgage has one year and 5 months to run and the balance is now down to a very manageable level. Nice to know we could pay it off as a lump sum if we really wanted to! 

There is also an important significance in the 62nd birthday landmark. Almost all of our long service employees at work (like me) are in a Final Salary pension scheme which has a stipulation that says if retirement is taken before the age of 62, the pension will be reduced by around 4% for every "pre-62" year. However, when the grand old age of 62 is reached, there is no loss of benefit. All that is forfeited could be a little bit of added pension due to any potential pay rises between 62 and 65. It's a nice feeling to know that if I really wanted to, I could retire within a month!

Anyway - the cameras have had very little use this week and with Belper Town having no game next Saturday, it might be a while before I have any pictures to post. Our son is coming over on Wednesday for business meetings with clients on Thursday and Friday, then a day with his best mate on Saturday before flying back home on Sunday. Which reminds me - I do have a pic to show you.....

He has to get back because they are buying another apartment in Rotterdam. There is work to be done on it but this is the view from the balcony  -

"Jealous" doesn't begin to describe it!!

;-)  See Y'All!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Best of Sunday

Pictures from our afternoon at Redmires.

Have to say I'm quite pleased with these, especially the three shot sequence of the two black-headed gulls apparently "shadowing" each other. Actually, there was a slice of bread on the grass by the edge of the dam. The gulls were interested but none had the courage to land and get at it because it was just too close to the people watching from the nearby fence!

Lovely afternoon. Really enjoyed it.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

My Weekend....

As already advised, Saturday we went to Ford for a wander by the small fishing pond. Twas nice!
The half frozen pond (Note - nobody fishing!!)

 "Lunch by the Lake!"

"Wish that flippin' blackbird would clear off. I'm hungry!"

 "If I get behind this branch, that bloke with the camera can't see me."

And this afternoon, we nipped up to what has become one of our favourite spots - Redmires Dam, on the outskirts of Sheffield. I've never seen the top dam so full. We had bit of a wander and although it was very cold, it was really relaxing.

I took the cameras of course and got some nice shots of seagulls in flight. Those are the next editing job. We also saw a couple of water voles and a grouse (besides me!) but I couldn't get a really good shot of him as he was a bit too far away. Anyway, I'll show you the landscape, birds and voles when I get a minute!

I did forget to mention that in the last week, I have offered my services as Registrar for the Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League, Under-10 section. The previous Registrar resigned and I volunteered (with some encouragement from the Duchess - but don't worry, the arm she twisted up my back is almost healed now!)

It was something of a baptism of fire! Two nights of heavy frost resulted in a flood of e-mails from the various teams telling me that games were postponed. All have to be updated on the Junior League website and although that's no major task, it got to the point where I was only very reluctantly checking e-mails in case another pile had arrived! Actually, I'm very fortunate in that The Duchess has been involved with the Junior League for years (and years) and so I have the very best teacher.

Next week will be very busy. Monday and Tuesday I'll be in training sessions on the new sales order processing and invoicing system we're introducing at work. Two days a week for the next three weeks actually. Thursday and Friday, we have visitors from India at the plant and I will be hosting, chauffering and (hopefully) selling them summat!

Next Saturday is my 62nd birthday. The Duchess and I are also sponsoring the match ball at the Belper home game v Newcastle Town and the best birthday present would be three points please! Incidentally, did you know that January 21st was also Benny Hill's birthday? Many people believe there's a certain serendipity in that fact!

So - time to post might be limited but we'll see. For now.

See Yer!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

I Spoke Too Soon!

Belper's game was postponed due to a frozen pitch so we went to Wards Garden Centre at Coal Aston for a cuppa and a bun then drove down to Ford, near Eckington and I took a few pics of the frozen pond - and a couple of birds of course.

I'll post the best tomorrow maybe.

Oh - and by the way - before any smart Alec thinks of it - the pictures posted earlier today truly are of my respective grandfathers - they are not actually pictures of me when I was younger! (OK Tim?!)

Among My Souvenirs

Looking through some old photos I inherited from my mum, I came across these pictures of my respective grandfathers.

This is my Grandad Joe Powell. (My mum's dad.) Not sure what the uniform is but I don't think it's military or there would probably have been a cap or some sort of badges on his jacket. Maybe a doorman or porter at a hotel or something?

And this is my dad's father Harold (2nd from right.) A very old picture showing the process of melting and pouring steel into small ingots. I don't know where it was taken but it's a little piece of history!

So - some investigation is needed, as well as restoration of the images - although that might be a job for somone more skilled than me in the dark arts of Photoshop! Hmmm. Wonder if my son is reading this?

Not a lot else to say about my week. It's been one of those "sleep, work, eat, sleep" weeks generally.

Football today and we're at home to Kidsgrove. They have a similar record to Belper Town so far this season - both teams on the same number of points but their far superior goal difference puts them two places ahead of us in the table. It'll be a tough one. Kidsgrove hammered Brigg Town 4-0 on Tuesday this week so their confidence will be sky high. That, unfortunately, is not true of the Belper team who seem to have lost almost all of their confidence, especially at home. Anxiety among the fans seems to lead to anxiety on the pitch and it seems it's a bit of a vicious circle.

Anyway - we'll see what happens. Right now, it's a beautiful morning and the garden is full of birds so I'm going to see if I can get some halfway decent shots of them.


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Lens Cup

Just thought I'd show you one of my Christmas presents. It's a thermos cup in the form of a 70 - 200mm Canon lens.

Novelty! (keeps the tea warm as well!)

On Sunday we decided to have a drive out to Rowsley (between Bakewell and Matlock and pronounced Rowsley - as in "row your boat", or Rowsley as in "row = argument" depending on your preference). We've passed through the place many times on our way to Belper and back so thought it would be a good idea to park up and have a little "explore."

There's the "Peak Outlet Park" (or whatever it's called) just on the outskirts of course but we gave that a miss and looked at the village itself.

It's only a small village but well worth a look. There is a working flour mill where you can actually buy bags of their flour. There's also a cafe, craft shop, very well stocked gift/toy/book shop and toilets, we spent a good hour and a half having a wander around. I took the camera of course and might post a couple of pics if I get the time.

Right now - lunchtime is coming to an end so it's back to the grind.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

A Week of Two Halves.

The week started on a great note - a Monday off work and a 1-0 win at Ilkeston. That really made Tuesday's return to work much more bearable.
You've seen my pictures of the goal - here's Snapper Harrison's album of the whole game....

It was a real team effort - and in some ways a classic "smash and grab". Ilkeston pressing for a goal when Belper hit them on the break with a breakaway goal in the 89th minute. Best time to score that!!

However.... we were all brought down to earth again yesterday when Coalville visited Christchurch Meadows and inflicted a 0-2 defeat on the Nailers. Hard to take when you consider Coalville have won 1, drawn 1 and lost 6 of the last 8 games.

Belper applied all the pressure in the first 20 minutes but when they couldn't score, you could see the Coalville players growing in confidence. Second half was fairly even until two late but very good long range strikes took the game away from the home side. In the end, in my opinion, Coalville worked harder than Belper Town and probably deserved the win.

Tim Harrisons album is here.....

I put the camera away with about 15 minutes to go so missed the goals but the nearest Belper came to a goal was in the first 20 minutes when a miscued clearance from a Coalville defender came back off the crossbar.

Yesterday games was the first of 5 consecutive home fixtures for the Nailers and the worry is that the home form this season is poor! We'll have to wait and see.

Not much else happened this week - busy with work most of the time. By the way - don't think I told you I have a new work laptop:
Toshiba Portege. Nice machine! The old Sony Vaio finally gave up the ghost. This new one is very light and is ideal for use on my travels.

Nowt else to tell you really. So I'll concentrate on The Archers.

More follows ASAP.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

All You Need To See!!!

Ilkeston Town 0-1 Belper Town!!!

Jordan Turner chases a through ball

It's neck and neck

Jordan edges ahead

 Defender makes a last ditch attempt to stop him

But Jordan stays on his feet

Then dummies the keeper

Skips around him

ands slots the ball

into the empty net

right in front

of the Belper fans

Think he enjoyed that!

I'll do a better description of a fantastic day later but for now....

Monday, 2 January 2012

Oh Well - That's About That Then.

One more day before it's back to work.

Belper Town away at Ilkeston this afternoon. A 45 minute run according to various routefinders. Doubt we'll get much there but you never know. (Although I think, deep down, I do!)

Not a lot happened since my last post although we had a run out into Derbyshire t'other day (Burbage Moor, Ladybower, High Peak Garden Centre, Calver) and then went to Carbuton Lakes for an hour yesterday. Birdwatching and stuff as usual.

I said before - dunno where the last two weeks have gone. Most depressing thing is that apart from a few lovely days out, I've spent the majority of the break sitting on my backside trying to find something worth watching on telly. Didn't get any of the tasks I'd planned sorted. Slacker!!

Anyway - here's one of the best pictures (in my opinion of course) from the last couple of days. Still working on the rest.

Dunno yet if I'll bother taking the cameras to footy today. Might enjoy just watching a  game although when I look at my recent "football image" efforts, I could probably do with the practice!

Right - that'll do for now. Going to sort a couple of things out for work tomorrow. More follows ASAP.