Friday, December 29, 2006

One and only chances

I returned from Newcastle this afternoon, after a pretty much good Christmas - My mother tried to feed me up as much as she could, however, I held strong. Mainly because most of my friends have moved away from Newcastle, and those who still live in the area were working, it was nice to chill out. However, this wasnt enough for my mother, suggesting I just went up to the old town ( the night before, there was a death, of which I knew the lad - er nar [ old skool NR here ]). It was suggested I went in search of Doctor Peter Williams as per the Trauma Series on BBC1, an old best mate. We grew up together, from primary school, junior school into comp, and yes, we had fall outs, one of which will remain infamous, however I made the effort to get in touch and try to remain friends - which didnt happen. This could be because of his strange scouse/geordie accent that he appears to have adopts. I think the coming year will have alot of "one fault and out" rules - maybe I am becoming more machine than man, maybe I just cant be arsed.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Lastnight, was the final night of the FA Coaching Badge - level 1, where we had to present a drill to an assessor, get our folders marked and put on massive smiles. I was 2nd in the list, which was a little nerve wrecking, but I suppose it was best to get it out the way and done with. I'd pulled my hamstring a couple of weeks ago, which meant taking part was going to be hard, but felt that I needed to support the rest of the chaps, as rather than getting kids to do the session, it was up to the group to represent the kids.

You're given 10 minutes to introduce yourself, do health and safety checks, explain the drill, do the drill and do a debrief. I managed to get a good report back on my drill session, even tho it was a pretty simple one, stating I described the game well, gave good demo and approached the whole thing very well. From then on, 14 other people had to do their drill, where one of which (my practice drill from 3 weeks ago, dups) I got blasted in the bollocks - so not only a tight and straining hamstring, but had stinging balls - not good for a Monday night really.

Anyhoo, just before 9pm, we were all given the good news that we'd all passed and we are Qualified FA Coaches at Level 1. Was sad to see some of the people go, but more importantly, I have my Monday nights back to myself - yay!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Day out in the village

After a quiet night out with the Happy Friday gang, it was an early start on Saturday, for this was Leamington FC's visit to Croydon in the FA Vase. A decision was made to take an early train, and make a day of it, rather than watching a game, coming back - just a waste of a day. So, up at 7 it is then, and a knock on the door at 7.15 by Pete (not following instructions of leaving his gaff at 7:30) and me still in towel and with my KISS lookalike makeup on, then down to the train station for 7:50 - ready for depart at 07:58 - eek. We discussed this time the night before and came to the conclusion that there isnt such a time before 09:00 on a weekend. It was so early, it was dark, so early, my eye sockets were hurting. Meanwhile, John and Debbie were grinning at their decision to leave at 11am or something.

We got to Reading and then swapped onto a train into London - getting there for around 10am - we got the tube to Covent Garden, and in our early morning state, decided to walk up the stairs, rather than get the lift - 10 minutes later and out of breath, we decided Oxford street would be a great idea. We popped into the Apple Store, Nike Town and most importantly Hamleys - giving me a crackig idea for New Years party.

We ended up towards Victoria after a wander round, had a quick pint and caught the train over to Croydon. We met fellow Brake fans in the George Pub on the high street, then arranged to meet John and Debbie there after they got off the train. We then piled onto the Tram to the Stadium, which took around 20 mins, after finding its a one way system, and we double backed on ourselves - and this is from instructions by someone who lives in Croydon - dur.

The stadium was exactly that, a running track, a pitch in the middle and stands at either side - meaning you're not very close to the pitch - a little like Tipton Town. We dominated the first half, lucky in the 2nd, and grabbed a last minute goal, taking us through to the last 32. The match report can be found at

We left the majority at the Stadium, got a train into London, left John and Debbie to get some food, just after Pete wandered into a Cheese shop, asking if they sold Cheese. We used the Tube, because we could, and at one point loosing each other after us running towards a train, me getting on, Pete not, and us making everyone laugh on the train by shouting "NOOOOOOOOO" then people asking where we're heading towards, and me not knowing because Pete is directing. Luckily, I got off at the next station, waited 15 minutes and him turning up like nothing had happened. We then window shopped, grabbed a sandwich, and headed to a train, which was there ready to depart. Getting back into Leam around 9.30, I watched Match of the Day - went to bed and had the best night sleep I've had for years. A fantastic day, both for football, getting out the goldfish bowl of Leamington and laughing at random things.

Friday, December 08, 2006

In Love...

I've thought long and hard about this over the last week and a bit, but I am in love. Its not one of these fads, not one of these impossible "I love a model" style comments, I'm in love. She might not know, but she has everything, class, looks, talent and sexy smile. Unfortunately, she's Angela from the Magic numbers. Fortunately (for me - due to the lack of interest on the internet) I managed to get the "best" photo I could find on the internet (due to lack of interest) - which basically means no ones stalking the poor lass. She's in the right, looking vr foxy and a little kinda pixel-ated, like the rest of her band member chums.

Meh, a little interwebd up, and I wouldnt even mind if she had to go on tour for 6 months a year - phwar!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

oh oh oh new job

OK, so I wasnt doing very well this morning, when I accidently slept in for the first day of my new job, but you know, thats what first days are for. Its not like I had to be in the office (I hope I didnt anyhow) and I am still doing quite alot of my old job, so, I think I owed it to myself. I'm not kidding myself that the new job is going to be vr easy, I know its going to be hard, and I know for a fact its going to be stressful, but a different kind of stress. I've been flogging myself for the last 2 years, with not very many people to support me, nor even talk too. I think you could quite safetly say, that if you know me pretty well, my mood and persona over the last couple of years has changed for the worst.

I'm hoping this new job is going to be a different kind of stress, and actually allow me to learn things, unlike the previous job where I was fire fighting all the time and looking after the team, rather than my own needs.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Some photos from the magic numbers...

Good Books - Crazy Man shaking lemon and orange in the name of music.

Magic Numbers sign on the way out of Academy

Magic Numbers

I've been waiting a while for this gig to turn up, and I have to say, I wasnt disappointed at all. I'd asked Nomes, Palin, Bellis and Headworth if they fancied coming up with me, the latter deciding it wasnt his scene, so at 18 quid a ticket, you cant grumble much. We'd arranged to gather in Brum before the doors opened (7pm) to grab some grub and we done just that, where we ordered the smallest pizzas in pizza hut. When someone says individual, it really suggests that and after sniffing mine, it was gone - oh well.
We got to the Carling Acadamy where Nomes was checked for her tissues, looking rather suspect, we gathered around the bar ordered pints (at £3.30 each) and looked at the official tshirts and thingymebobs. I bought a nice navy blue tshirt with Magic Numbers written over it. I also purchased a set of "action" figures - because I could - and technically they do look vr funky.

Soon after, the first support act came on, they looked rather young and the lead singer looked like Max from Hollyoaks - although we all denied knowing what Max from Hollyoaks looks like - being pretty old and not wishing to embarress ourselves. They were called the Good Books, they were young, funky tho, myself and Bellis decided they were a little like The Cure / Paul Weller. Thanks to the magic of MySpace, you can actually listen to a couple of their tracks - they only had a 30 minute track, but you get the feeling they actually enjoyed it, rather than a band being asked to tour and being in the background - if you see what I mean ..? At one point, the drummer was shaking a Lemon and an Orange - all very strange.

The last support act was Dave Kitt, he started the set off good, and sounded a little like old REM with a mixture of the Cranberries (you must not let it linger). Again, magic of MySpace, you can click on there and listen to a couple of his tracks.

After the 4th pint and a visit to the loo, The Magic Numbers came on, with a nice funky track to open with and get the crowd going. As mentioned earlier, they looked like they enjoyed doing the gig, rather than being forced to do it by fat cats with cigars. One of the songs, merged into "rulling up the hill" by kate bush, which kind of blew my mind but made me chuckle at the same time. At the end, it was announced that this was the Good Books lastnight with the Magic Numbers, and had some kind of on stage party with all support acts and the magic numbers doing some kinda barn dance fest.

Has to be THE best gig I've ever been too, dont know if its because of the mix of music & song, or the fact it wasnt that packed and you could actually breathe (and maybe its because we werent the oldest people there for a change). All that was left now was the last train back to Leam, via all the stations in the world. Still smiling - will update with photos once I get my sham together.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Magic Mr Ben

Football is a strange thing, it brings people together in different ways, it gives you confidence being around people you like (John, Debbie, Pete, Vince etc) and its like being part of a massive family which you never knew you had.

Lets all sing together, "Ben Mackey is Magic, he wears a magic hat, he used to play for racing, he left them coz they're crap"

Management Round Up

The U11 Colts just completed their 9th game today, in some respects, the results dont look impressive, well not as impressive as after match day #1. We've Won 0, Drawn 1, lost the rest - but there are positive signs with each week, and most importantly, signs of improvements. I too the decision to take the kids up to Newbold Comyn on Saturday mornings for an extra couple of hours training, to get to know them a little better, spend more time and to show that we're in this for the long ride. We're exactly that, committed, want them to improve, and the game today showed that.

The first half was more or less rubbish in terms of skill and once again we conceded a couple of goals by corners. The number of corners we're giving away has dropped, mainly down to the left back and right back (the set of twins) are starting to understand, you can get rid of it a little more easier. The 2nd half, after a "Fergie" style chat, got them going, we had the opposition pegged back into their own half for the majority of the half, with the one chance they did have, they scored - but you cant fault the lads.

Looking back, would I have changed getting involved in kids football - no, never, each day presents different challenges, and I wouldnt give that up for anything. The one thing we are missing, foxy women watching the games, not giving Pete and I a chance to use our tapping skills and impress the ladies.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Old Chestnut

It was the usual story of boy meets girl, girl meets boy, boy keeps in touch with girl, girl moves to China for a year, etc etc etc. I've kept in touch with her now and again, thinking even if she came back, she wouldnt even remember me, so why bother - but I did. Anyhoo, due to the wind blowing in the right direction, some small child in Chile buying a KFC and most importantly, being logged in at that very time, Sarah (nice smile) MSN'd me, asking how I was etc etc.

While she was in China, I done her a couple of favs and she promised to take me out for a coffee, true to her word, she asked me if I fancied a coffee. Being a little flirty, I asked that if she offered alcohomol, it would be a massive deal and she did. She asked when I was free, and I said that the only day I was free this week would be Tuesday, forgetting I'd already promised to attend the new James Bond movie. Of course, I only remembered this 3 nanoseconds after she'd logged out to finish one of her essays. Once I managed to get hold of her on MSN again, I dropped her an IM asking if I could get a spare ticket, would she like to come with us (half expecting a no, go bugger off, drink, thats it - nothing else) but she sent a reply saying that it was good and to drop her a text.

I spoke to Jim the next morning to find out how he booked the tickets and if he could help me get a spare one, with that wind in the same direction, that small child getting finger licking good in Chile, Jim replied saying that Troy had dropped out and I could have the spare ticket - Wahhoo!

Half of me didnt really recall what Sarah looked like fully - we were both boozed up, but remember she had a fantastic smile and lush body. Thanks to that child getting slightly fatter in Chile, she looked absolutely stunning. We got to the seats and there was only room for 1 extra, rather than 2, so it allowed us to go talk on another area of cinema seating and catch up. We got on pretty well, I offered to look at her laptop that was broken and we settled down to the film.

After the film, we walked in our directions and she said that she was turning off, of course, I offered to walk her home, but she politely declined (dont know what that means in terms of interested/not interested), said it would be nice to go out for a drink with me sometime. I once again offered to look at her laptop if she dropped it around.

Nice to smile again, thats all I would say, nice to smile.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I've been attending the FA Coaching Level 1 Course for the last couple of weeks and to be honest, its interesting, very interesting and filled with common sense which you do automatically, and dont really appreciate. Part of the assessment is presenting a "drill" using the rest of the people on the course as the kids. You have to do nice things like introduce yourself, do health and safety checks and then demonstrate, encourage and provide support if required. Lastnight was a preparation for the final assessment, and we were marked accordingly in pairs, I had the opportunity to work with a fine fellow called Keith.

We have 3 weeks left, 2 of which consist of theory work, homework and preparing for the final assessment. I was given "Duos" as my final assessment, luckily, Pete had that in his preparation session, so hopefully can help each other out. The assessment criteria is split into different sections, and you dont even have to deliver the drill has its explained in the manual / DVD - as long as the "kids" are having a good laugh and you do the H&S section. Each section is marked with a tick, or an action plan, myself and the other chap (Keith) got all ticks apart from one action plan, which consisted of us not standing in the designated "safety" area - even tho we stood well away from the danger areas on the pitch.

Fingers crossed, by 11th December, all of the Leamington Brakes Coaches who are involved should have passed and deserve a nice drink. Also nice to make new friends and contacts around the world of football. Something that I certainly want to progress (all being well and I actually pass this one)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

1-2-3-4-5,6-7-8-9-10, 11-12

Old?? Meh Space!

If anyone really knows me, then they'll know that I dont often approach women for numbers, chitchat etc etc, so last saturday when myself and Rich were out was a little bit of a strange night. I'd rushed down from Coalville back to Leamington to catch the 2nd half of NUFC v Charlton - a relegation 6 pointer and agreed to meet Rich for a couple of beers. There is a number of barmaids that are pretty foxy at the Well, and there is one that caught my eye, mainly because of a foxy smile and good sense of humour. After the shambles of the game, we took out spot at the bar and spoke to her, Rich doing me the fav of being completely crap at music, to allow me to correct him and look good. For example, we played our usual game of "what band is playing in the background?" which to be fair to Rich, anything in the last 12 months he's bad, go back to the 80's and he'll beat me hands down.

So after having a laugh at Rich's "is it the magic letters?". "Surely its slimboy fat" and "its the Cooks isnt it?", it turns out that me and this lass have a couple of things in common. It also appears that the bloke behind the bar working with her is after some "fun" because he's bored with his stunningly sexy girlfriend and wants to ruin my chance with this lass. So, I asked if she fancied coming out the next day to come watch the kids play football, just for a couple of hours, or fancies a drink. This was looking positive as she was asking what time, when would we back etc, so I suggested that because she's working til 3am, that she sends me a text if I give her my number if she cant meet me.

Turns out, that she lives around the corner from me, so I suggest that if she's interested, I meet her outside the supermarket. Insert a couple of days of no communication, and Rich working away in the background to make things nice and rosey, but sheepishly said that she's said that I'm too old for her. Fair play you know, a little shallow in a way, and sure if she's actually given it ago, it would be fun.

To counter this, and after having a midweek drink with Rich, I appear to have got a little drunk and registered myself to myspace to make myself feel hip and street. Rich feels pretty bad, to which I cant really understand, I got over one of my self confessed problems by actually asking someone out, and giving someone my number. Its all about ratios, some you win, most you lose by all accounts.

Anyhow, back to

Easy Lover!

No, not a reference to me - I dont think you could get any further from the truth! The introduction to Grand Theft Auto : Vice City Stories has a fantastic advert (yes, back to my purchases again) with action packed footage from the game, with 80s style backing tracks. The one advert I've seen, features Phil Collin's Easy Lover, then cars being blown up, guns being used and people being beaten up.

As you can probably tell, I've not got the YouTube bug, so just to make Rich laugh a little more, and allow other people to appreciate the weekly joke ;

Toot Toot!!!

I've never really been massively interested in computer games. Yeah, I buy them, yeah I play them, and then they get added to that pile of games on the shelf. Rich maybe many things, but has got very good taste in strategy games and after getting my ass thrashed at Civ4 on his recommendation, he suggested a purchase of Sid Meier's Railroads. I did buy this, mainly because of reviews of real time multiplayer network games and also getting my brain working.

Idea is that you manage a train company, you link towns and cities together, and move items between these based on demands and production. The bigger the spread, the more difficult it gets to manage, and the more you have to ensure that trains arnt stuck at stations or idle on the track. Time costs money, n' all that jive. There are a number of objectives you also have to meet within a specific time scale, and you can make more money by buying the industries you're supplying.


Having owned a PSP from the day of release, I tend to keep an eye out for new games coming out. The recent spurt of adverts that they have come up with are fantastic, and makes me laugh with strange mexican style voices. I'm the kind of person who would buy something if there is a funky funny advert, and I was almost tempted to purchase another PSP based on these adverts. I invite you and challenge you not to smile!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

World of Warburton

Well, what has happened since the last time I blogged. Saturday marked John's magical mystical birthday beer related all day session - this year around the town of Warwick. Due to a home game on, and it being top of the table clashing, I decided to take in the game, and meet up with the rest of them later on. One of the lads from footie gave me a lift over to Warwick after the final whistle and found John, SuperGary, Jim and Debbie a little on the merry side, well Debbie was drinking halves of course. We moved from the Simple Simon (my first time in there) to the Greyhound (again, first time in there) and had a couple of games of pool - of which I was paired with Super Gary, and John paired with Jim. We took the compo to 1-1, before we decided to move on up to the Star and Garter.

We met MC and Laura up at the pub and we finished the pool compo - with myself and Gary winning - go us! Yay! We had loads of Speckled Hen, which I like LOADS, and we rolled back home, only for Super Gary to be recognised by the people who work in the BigCup - much to his delight.

Today, I managed to get a release date for my new job. IBM being IBM, if you transfer internally, your manager has to give you a set about of time to hand your work over to someone else. I had been offered the job, the day before I flew out to Bali, but because of vacation, other gumph and huge work loads, its only been decided today. 6th December, I'll be joining my new team. Part of me is excited, part of me is nervous as funk - after all, this is my first new job for over 8 years and yes, probably stuck in a rutt. Just in time for Christmas - of which, we had invites to the work xmas party for this year - with 70s/80s theme - we're unsure at the moment if its fancy dress - but hey, should be a larf

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Kooks

Lastnight was the long awaited Kooks gig up at the Carling Academy in Brum. Myself and Captain Rich were shamming around on ebay, as this was a complete sell out, and we managed to get tickets at an inflated price. Meanwhile, Rich then cross referenced the gig date, with a trip in Germany - Doing well. I try doing at least one big gig every year, and last year was Duran Duran at the NEC when we went with Nomes, Andy P, Rich and Shamster thats Bellis - this was big gig #1 of the year (Magic Numbers end of next month)

Naive - no!

I'd originally invited Geordie Mike in Rich's place, however, due to having to work late, Gigantor Pete was invited along and kindly drove up, as it was, quite litterally, raining cats and dogs. We grabbed Maccy D's just across the corner from the venue, and bumped into one of the lads from the Football, then made our way in the venue, with touts offering massive prices. Speaking of massive prices, £3.10 a pint of carling - but it was soo soo lovely. The place was covered with attractive women, mostly with chav boyfriends, and after our beer related purchases made ourway to the "dance floor" and heard the support acts which were pretty good too.

The Kooks came on and done the bulk of their album, and some "old B side" material, along with some new tracks they must be close to releasing. A good mixture of sing-a-long tracks and rock tracks made the line up as the temperature started to rise - and wearing two tshirts was probably not a wise act.

With Pete driving, we managed to get back onto the Motorway and back into Leam for around 11:30 ish, so ended up having a quick swifty in The Well, and god knows what state I looked like with two soaking wet tshirts on and hair all over the place. Anyhooo, a fantastic night out, just nice to get out of the goldfish bowl that is Leamington Spa and do something different.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Return of the Mac

With the kids swapping training sessions to Friday nights, I decided to return to my 6 til 7 slot for 5aside football. Yes, I've played football since my ankle broke way back when, however I think it was more of a mental thing to return to the same place, same time, same people and continue as life goes on. Yes, my chest was still sore from being elbowed in the ribs, and I think deep down, I shouldnt have really played, but just wanted to get out there. I decided, it would probably be wise just picking my fav position - ie, up front, and without the ability to track back - stay up front.

It did feel good, people were asking if I was ok, and to be honest, my leg was holding out pretty well, even when someone decided to hack my leg to shit to get the ball, I even had a couple of snap shots on goal, and touch wood, meaning my leg is back to full fitness. The chest really impacted my game, and I dont like to be known as the "one who goal hangs" and like to feel I put my effort in within midfield - today just didnt happen. I managed to set up 3 people with a goal and should have scored about 3 within 20 minutes myself - but its one of them days.

I managed to get in on goal and slot the ball between the keepers legs, just as I felt something twang in my muscle. I did warm up properly, but it happens, it was a very cold and damp day and it can happen.

Oh, how I missed the banter, how I missed the laughing. I was talking to my mum and she reckons since I turned 31, I've become a rebel, having never broken anything and in the space of 6 months doing my ankle in and potentially cracking a rib too. Its good to be back.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Sunday was a fun day .. well actually, no it wasnt. After being woken by my mobile (cell phone to the yanks) at 09:20 and being asked to collect rainjackets for the kids at 10:45 ready for the afternoon, actually getting soaked while collecting the rainjackets and being told "shame none of them fit you, oh, dont you look wet". I got home, managed to get a shower (of all things) and then dry, myself and head coach Pete headed over to Coventry, having our usual team line up discussion in the car, we get to this nice little pokey village where its starting to slowly rain.

Under one tree was the "home" players, under another a group of "away" parents and under a safe umbrella, 16 kids huddling to keep warm - in the distance, a pylon and a railway track. Needless to say, 2 minutes later, thunder and lightening kicks off and no one really knows where to move too - I took the option and stood in the middle of the pitch. I was in a real twat of a mood and decided to only give those kids who didnt have a jacket, a rain jacket - with every intention of giving the rest out after the game. The rain got heavier so got our lads out training, trying to get that pyschological edge over the "home" team who were cowering and praying to someone that they wouldnt end up in Coventry's worse electrical storm. To conclude, the game got called off, I got soaked for a 2nd time.

With not running around like a headless chicken telling 10 year olds to "wake up", "get a grip" and "sort your sham out" I decided to play 5aside football with Captain Pete - it was about time I got some football playing into me - so on the 3rd attempt, I got drenched to the skin, and to make matters even worse - got a swift elbow to the ribs by an opposition player, and felt my rib go inwards. Very strange feeling and completely knocked me for 6 - not only in the mind, but also in speed. We ended up loosing 12-9 or something, but still managed to get a goal - scrappy though it was - decided if ribs are better by Wednesday, I'll play my old stomping ground of 6pm KO as the kids now train on Friday - huzzar!

Welcome to the nut house

As weeks go, the last couple of weeks have been that crazy rollercoaster that you dream about now and again. I ended up meeting up with someone I managed to get a number for a couple of fridays, had a couple of beers, and more beers, then some wine, then some spirits. Of all things I ended up in the local cheesy nightclub (Rios) and accompanied by more alcomohol - next thing I know, I'm getting kissed and told that she quite likes me and would like to go out some other time if I fancied. Well, you know, I'm one of these new men and welcome opportunities such as that and nodded and agreed as she shoved her tongue into my mouth (nice image I know). I have to say, I was a bit suspicious, but thats the kind of person I am - why would anyone like me - I'm just me ... you know

Anyhoo, 4 days later, I was in bed, having a special steve sleep - well trying too - and while hugging onto my special teddybear, my phone went off (time 23:34) to someone in tears asking why I havent been in touch and why I havent asked them out on a date, then a hung up tone. I smile, and rollover and fall asleep. 2 minutes later, the phone goes, and the same thing, at this point, insert the same routine 3 times, til the next time, I get a threat that they're going to "cut" themselves. Now, I'm not a trained specialist in the art of attention seeking, "cutting" or people who need that "special" help, but you obviously do the best you can to calm them down, and convince them, a) I'm really not worth it b) maybe they need some help and c) who would actually clean up the mess. Harsh I know, but my Cubs badge didnt really cover this kind of training, and I really needed sleep. So after 30 minutes of calming someone down, the phone goes dead again - then, as you know that at 18:00 the BBC 6 O'Clock news is about to start, the phone rings again, still to tears. I told her how it was and that she should go to bed, without any blades and everyones happy.


I was busy the following week, so didnt have a chance to spend time on my own, nevermind entertain, so recieved a text from her and a phone call, with promises that it was a one off - so, like small shrew, I saw the best in somsone again. However this time, questions of where it was "all going" arose, small panic attacks, fist clenching and dragging nails into her own arms - I was ready to tell "Steve's Whitelie" of "Oh, I have to go meet my mate Rich down the pub, he's not very well you know". All of a sudden, her fist connected with my face - needless to say, after counting to 5, I politely asked her to leave, 18 pounds later of Chinese takeaway, I was still receiving text messages of "I've messed up, havent i?"

I know this is a little long, but my point is, where do you go from here - this seriously funks your head up and confidence with women and now can only think I attract a) crazies, b) people who deny they are crazy, but actually are and c) I really cant efford to spend 18 quids worth of chinese takeaway, everytime it happens.

From now ... crazy free town please!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Day off #1

The last time I had a day off, was the Bali trip, since then, I've returned to work and not stopped, so a couple of days off to chill, relax and continue improving the flat isnt too much to ask, is it ? You would think not, however waking up around 10.30 to monsoon style rain over the canal, I decided to turn over and fall back asleep.

After deciding that I needed to do something with the day, I replied to a couple of football related emails, made myself a cup of tea and decided to get ready for a trip to Ikea. Normally a 35/40 minute trip on a good day, why not ?! Well, I knew it was going to be a bad day, when the shower wouldnt run hot, so checking the boiler and 20 minutes later, getting the water temperature I desired.

20 minutes into the car journey up the M6 - I was stuck in tailbacks of around 10 mile, knowing Newcastle United were kicking off around 15:55, I wanted to get back with enough time to get at least a couple of beers inside me. I reached my destination after 2 hours, scooted around Ikea, and returned (via a diversion) at 18:05 - finding out NUFC had win 1-0. In that process, spending around 100 quid on nice funky things for the flat, when in reality, I went for a pair of curtains I could dye! Needless to say, I also managed to pick up norwegian style chocolate, pastry and alcohol - alls not lost then!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Different levels of desperation!

OK, I admit it, mainly before someone else spots it and takes the piss, I joined a dating website. Most of it was because I wanted to see who was out there on the market, and another part of me is fed up with being labelled as tapping people who, then going away feeling guilty about it. Why shouldnt I be "tapping" people up, I'm youngish, I'm alright looking, I'm single, and dont want to spend the rest of my life regretting things.

So, I've done it, I'm not convinced I'll do anything about it, nor am I convinced I'll spend money so I can "talk" to other people looking. But again, thats how I've always been, wait for other people to make the move.

Annoying this is, you can do a search by postcode, ie, who's single and local, and I dont know where the hell these people drink and/or socialise - if I did, I dont think I would be single. However, thats also assuming that they would be interested in such a shambles like myself.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

U11 Colts - Match Day #1

You may or may not be aware that I've taken up the management of Leamington Brakes U11 Colts. This is the first season that I've done any type of football management, and also the first time the lads have played 11aside. An interesting combination.

The Colts were the only team playing away from home today against Coundon Cockerels with a 1.30 kick off. This is the first season that the U11 Colts have played 11 aside, and indeed the first time myself, Pete and JJ have been involved in training and coaching kids.

Following the destruction of the one and only friendly that the colts were involved with (9-1 against emscott colts) we played a 5-3-2 formation, with Dan Dyson, David Fairbairn and Matthew Robertson in the centre of defence. Left and Right back were the twins (Gabriel and Isaac Saxton-Knight). Running midfield were Rory Barber (Cpt), Harry Gane and Aidan Bradbury, while Charlie Smith and Wilf Dove played up front and supported by the midfield. Richard "the stopper" Cure was ever present between the sticks.

Playing for the first time on a full sized pitch didnt phase the lads as the back 5 kept strong throughout the first half, with the Brakes going into the first half with a commanding effort with around 3 close chances and the opposition hardly getting a sniff on target. Making subs in the 2nd half (including Julian Loscombe, Nilun Dubay, Zack Wilkins and Thomas Henderson) the Brakes were playing into the sun, however after a number of counter attacks, the lads broke through the Cockerels defence, and Bradbury taking in a strong shot on target and the keeping making a hash of it.

The remaining of the game was 50-50 with it looking like the Brakes were about to get a good away 3 points. However, disaster struck with 2 minutes left and the Cockerels itching through our defence and putting it inches wide of Richard who had a blinding game. Refreshing to see a referee (who was their assistant) having a good game - and being awarded full marks by Leamington Brakes FC.

Final Score :-
Coundon Cockerels 1 - Brakes U11 (Colts) 1 (0-0 HT)

MOM :-
Rory Barber

Summary :-
60 minutes of 120% commitment from the lads and more importantly, playing as a Team.

Man Stroking Cock

Man stroking his cock :- does what it says on the tin

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Magic Number?

Not happy with getting tickets for the Kooks this year, I found that the Magic Numbers were also touring the UK - and playing in Brum at the end of Nov. After doing a quick round of who's in and who's out, I ordered 4 tickets for myself, Andy, Nomes and the lyrical shamster, Bellis. This is something I've been looking forward too for a while, and a band that I certainly watch out for new tracks on itunes and on t'internet. Hopefully they'll play some new material on the tour, and give us the chance to purchase some fantastic stylish tshirts.

4 - the magic number?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wot No Posting - Update I

After returning from Bali, I had a long weekend up in Newcastle, mainly to see the folks and sister, after all I hadnt been up since breaking my ankle all those months ago. Another reason was Abigail's Christening (Een and Sarah's new baby) back in my home down of Winlaton, and I'd arranged to take Philippa, as she cant drive yet - dur.

Normally when I go up, its all stressful and pressured, I think mainly because I dont go up that often, then I spend the whole time running around, trying to keep everyone happy, but not this time - it was pretty relaxed. I think it was due to still being in Holiday mode, but hey, it was still 5 oC cooler than in Leamington. One thing that didnt change, was my mum harping on about how me and Philippa are perfect for each other and oh, "blah blah blah".

I picked up Philippa as arranged and she looked stunning, she normally does, but this was drop dead stunning. The christening was nice, as far as churches go, and Abigail didnt cry at the ceremony, which is always nice. I bumped into Harry (Een's dad) at the party afterwards, where he harped on about me and Pippa getting it together, then Pippa decided to rate ties in order of niceness, mine coming bottom. I came to the conclusion, doesnt matter what it was, regardless if she does like me like that, I'd always rank bottom - but such as life you know.

We'd arrange to go watch Newcastle play Villareal that afternoon, then go for some beers and relax, however, when we got back to Pip's place, ordered a Pizza, she decided to go for a Powernap and I had to wake her when the football was about to start on channel5. We had a couple of beers, and decided that maybe we should just stay in and watch a movie instead - which we done.

A good long weekend, might actually go back up vr shortly.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Keep on running :: Nike +

I purhcased a ipod nano before I went away on vacation in Bali, and a couple of days later, Apple and Nike released a joint partnership called Nike+. Effectively, its a small device that slides into the base of the ipod nano, the same slot that you dock with your PC, which communicates wirelessly to a small device which slips into the bottom of your Nike+ trainer. The device itself is pretty cheap, at 15 quid, however the expense comes when you have to buy the trainers, which to be fair, I've been after a new pair for a while, so its a small excuse, isnt it ?

I also purchase a Nike+ top, which has an embedded little pocket on the arm that houses your ipod nano, and also includes cable holes, so you're not running around and also strangling yourself at the time.

To calibrate the device, I popped my trainers on and wandered into town a couple of weeks ago, managing about 400metres, however today, managed around 2.18 miles. How do I know this ? Well, when you dock your ipod into the PC, it automatically updates the runs up to T'interweb via iTunes, giving you graphical view of when you slowed down, when you speeded up and updates every mile (or Km if you're metric).

Nike+ :: faster than me, obviously.

The Nike+ application also allows you to setup goals, mine is to run 10 miles in 8 weeks (of which I've done 2.1 miles so far) and it also allows you to challenge other Nike+ users within the same area or same age or same sex.

The Leaderboard function gives you a list of people (per week, per month, or ever) which allows you to drill down per sex, per geo, per age. Currently, out of everyone, I'm 10125th, and in the UK, 786th, and finally, in the UK, between the age of 30 and 39 and male, I'm 268th - impressive.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Cor Blimey Guvnor

Strange that my life gets, lastnight just tipped it off nicely with a cherry. I got invited to play 5aside football with a couple of friends, and after 3 months out of injury and being away on vacation for 2.bit weeks - I thought perhaps it was a good idea to get fit once again. After arriving at the pitch, someone nudged me and said that no other than Ian Beale from Eastenders would be turning up. Of course, I laughed, then sure enough, he turned up, warmed up and was on the opposite team to me!

"Alright me ol' china!?" - Ian Beale, yesterday
Obviously being star struck, I managed to sandwich him between myself and one of his players on my first touch ... it felt good to be back. Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian, managed to score a couple and put his team well in front, however up to the whistle, we managed to get a couple goals back to make it something like 5-3.

Not making excuses, because I thought I done alright lastnight, and the fact it was hot, and we played for 90 minutes, rather than the 60, I managed to come away without breaking anything - although I think my little finger is out of joint thanks to our celeb friend when I was in goal.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Duff Man - oh yeah!

Well, I'm back from Bali, and within 90 minutes of returning to British soil, I discovered that Newcastle United had signed Damian Duff from Chelsea for 5 million quid. Fantastic news. Hopefully getting to the Villareal game next week with Miss Pippa to check him out and any new signings if we're lucky.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bad Karma!

Good! Not winking now, oh Boo Hoo Hoo! *

"I miss my best friend Wayne!" - A Cry baby (yesterday) - centre

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Fake Tiltshift

I was reading FNM a while back and noticed some guy had taken a number of photographs, and manipulated it so much that it looked they were minature models. With joining flickr, you get to see different types of photography and of course it inspires you to get involved, try different things and learn something new. I had a chat to John about it and he give me a couple of FAQ websites on how to do it, and was even so kind to provide a suggested item of free software that can recreate the perception.

I've never classed myself as an arty type person, I leave this up to the likes of John, Rich and of course, World respected Andy Palin. So I was quite suprised how good it appeared once you understood what the application was trying to do, what to highlight and what to bring into focus.

Bruge - not really that small

The original photo from the above was taken 4 years ago in Bruge, knowing what the buildings looked like anyhow, it was quite nice applying this technique to the photograph and make it appear to be a mininature town.

Ice formations around a fountain.

Not happy with just taking buildings and streets, I've attempted to apply it to objects too with strange but effective results.

The rest of my fake tiltshift online folder can be seen at :-

Monday, June 19, 2006

Gaffer - to you!

The meeting I had up at the football club was all a little hush hush, not many people knew what was going on, and even I only knew the basics. I got up there in decent time, said hello to the people I already knew, got introduced to those who I didnt. Thats what I like about the club, its all very friendly, all very family so if you dont know who you're dealing with, someone will introduce you anyhow.

Anyhow, the reason I was there, was they were discussing the junior squad that they were putting out this season, turns out that after speaking to a couple of people about getting involved, that they were looking for a manager and a number of coaches. I've always wanted to do football managent, even got to the level where I was looking at how to do coaching badges. Anyways, I'd been asked if I wanted to get involved in football management with an Under 11's squad, and the talk I had with the Junior board was very positive, appears everyone is in the right direction - and they sold it to me.

We had a little handover from the guy who was currently covering the kids, as he was moving on to a new position, so got a couple of names and ideas, and got asked to attend a training session on Wednesday evening. All very sudden, but all very exciting - so much so I'm pondering creating a new blog for my experience - what do you reckon ?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Driving me to .. er drive!

I've got a meeting at the football club tomorrow, and with the ankle healing up quite nicely, I thought its good time to give that old driving malarky a quick whizz, mainly because the car has been sat in the same place for the last 8 weeks.

I wanted to make sure that the car could actually move, just incase the battery had given up on keeping the slidy doors locked - but hey, it worked well, I had a drive around the block and managed to park it nicely outside my place overnight. Today driving, tomorrow the world!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Driving me to shop!

Today has been planned for a while, shopping in Brum for the holiday - including clothes, technology and accessories. FHM were running a promotion where if you take a voucher you get 20% off - which isnt to shabby really - only thing is it ruined a nice photo Nikki Sanderson on the other side.

After lastnight we were a little knackered and hungover, but we stuck with it - including the heat and we managed to get into the city at a decent time, and started with Selfridges straight away, going out seperate ways, armed with our phones incase we got lost or bored. I headed straight to Ted Baker - spent a fortune in about 5 minutes, while in the same time frame - Debbie spent a small fraction.

I picked up an ipod nano to take away, its so small, you just think its going to break, but its actually fantastic. I didnt want to take my big 40Gb ipod away with me - incase it gets smashed - mainly because it has all my photos and ALL my music, some of which isnt stored anywhere else. Thats my reasoning anyhow, and I'm sticking to it - it does look smart tho.

After approx 5 hours, we got the O'Neills surf shop where we placed the voucher on the desk and the nice Oz guy was helpful to both of us - giving us hints and tips in Bali. As we spent over a certain amount, I also recieved a free surfing lesson which is worth around 80 quid - and 2 1/2 hours in total - just in cornwall. Its valid til december - so you never know - might be a laugh for a long weekend away.

All in all, an exhausting day, but enjoyable. Given a couple more hours, think I could have spent SO much more - so probably wise that we headed home.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Driving me to drink!

John headed off to the magical mystical world that is called Wales for a stagweekend, leaving Debbie to lead me astray once more. We'd promised to have an early night as we'd planned to pop up to the Bullring in Brum to do some holiday clothes shopping.

Once we both mentioned cripsy duck, we had the taste on the tip of our tongues, so it was decided, we'd pop to the home of the sugary god to have a bit of chinese related food. We were going to ask MC to come out, as super gary was away with Mr John, however MC was warned to stay away from good people like us, incase she led us astray.

Once we'd finished our lovely food, we popped down to the Well to watch the 2nd half of a world cup game, and bump into some friendly faces. It was also the Leamington Peace festival, so of course, it was an excuse for everyone within a 25 mile radius to a) not wash for 3 days b) to pull out their hippy clothes from 20 years ago and c) talk about the NHS problems that are faced thanks to the government.

We bumped into a couple of Debbie's students (none of which offered to buy her a drink) who appeared to have social problems, one looking like a serial killer (and gets called that by his mates), one who has tourettes and then finally, one that looks like Chico from the X-Factor. Of course, I had to remind them of this fact - shouting "ITS CHICO TIME" and moving my arms like a clock in front of him.

Fun had by all... shopping tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

keep on running ...

Today marked the 8th week that I broke my ankle - so what better way to celebrate it, by going out for a small jog / walk. Well thats what the intention was at the start, however it turned out to be a mini marathon. Trying to get myself fit for the holidays is going to be hard, but with eating sensibly (chips and fish fingers in the oven as we speak) and regular exercise (shopping in brum on saturday) I'm sure I can trim up. After a quick text convo with Debbie about if herself and John were out for exercise, I said I would do around a minute jog, then walk, and turn around and let them catch up when they went for a jog. Debbie explained what they would be doing, which involved a warm up walk to the bridge near the asda turn off, then jog to the "grate". On top of that, it was a walk for an extra minute, then jog back to the bridge again - cooling down with a 5 minute walk once again.

Sounds simple, so I started to walk and when they turned their backs and said they were off for a jog, I thought bugger it, lets jog - and I did - infact it was more comfortable than walking, a minute passed and I continued, next thing I knew, I got to the grate which apparently is around 2Km from our house - not bad going for 8 weeks of no exercise. John and Debbie continued for a minute around the corner, and I headed back, walking/limping a little - then when John caught me up, I thought I'd wait til Debbie turned up and jog slowly back with her - although a couple of stops and starts - managed to get back home without breaking anything or my heart leaping outof my body.

Hopefully this has eased my foot up a little more without putting too much pressure on the ankle - but we'll find out tomorrow/friday on that - although my good leg seems to have pulled/strained a muscle - not good.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

In your face ebay bidders!!

A cunning plan, so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a fox! What the hell has this got to do with my world - well you see - with Captain Rich not being too great at the moment, and being away from work, I decided to invite him down for a bit of Deal or No Deal and a sandwich and a sociable tinny while I worked a little more. I found that M&S had a nice deal on where you get one sandwich free if you buy another, and knowing that he's a massive fan of steak sandwiches with onions - thought it would put a smile on his face!

The previous night, I asked Rich if he would put a bid in for some tickets on ebay - and in the mix up, we missed it by about 20 seconds - gutted. I done a further search and there were a couple of sets of tickets on going for the next 24 hours - fantastic. So the plan was, get Rich buttered up, so he would put a bid in for me :o). We were discussing this, and it appears that I live in the 18th century, being an ebay virgin (although I do have a user ID) and dont use online banking. I tell you what, nothing like still using pigs and sheep to barter with - safe and you wont get some chavvy idiot stealing your pin number!

Anyhow, appears that we had 2 minutes left to bid for the Kooks tickets that I was after (sold out in 10 minutes apparently) with with a bit of tinkering, we managed to get a higher bid in and win the tickets - having not put a bid in previously. Sounds to be like a scandal really - you can win anything, as long as you put in a last minute bid which is high enough. After all this online-superinternethighway excitement, I managed to convince Rich that he didnt need this money "electronically" and I would write him a nice cheque.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

World Cup Madness

Yesterday saw England kick off their world cup campaign over in Germany and you can feel the pressure cooker of passion start to fill up in England of expectation. It was arranged that we all would meet in the pub around the corner as a massive group, cheer on england and have a couple of beers. This did in fact happen, however, with two mini groups on different floors - which was quite nice, as it give an excuse to walk around and be sociable. We tend to use this pub when there are major footballing championships, mainly due to the number of large screens - nothing to do with the locals - honest. We got there around 12:30 ish, myself, Rich, Nomes and Andy P ended up on the top deck, while Debbie, John, MC, Gary, Tom and Abbi were down in the basement. Two years ago, the top deck was packed, however, this year it didnt seem that busy - we came to the conclusion it was down to being a Saturday, being very hot and people staying at home having a BBQ

Kick off came and went - first half was pretty good, second was pretty poor - with England winning 1-0 if you just came back from space.

After the match, I'd arranged to have a BBQ at my gaff, to say thanks to friends for their support after breaking my ankle, so once the BBQ got hot, food started to cook, beer started to flow. Needless to say, John and Debbie got revenge by being the last people there - which was nice to just chill and relax in quiet. Fortunately, there was no "big bloke falling over on patio" or "nomes drinking half a pint of morgans spiced rum" - just chat, laughter, banter, warmth and booze.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Confessions of a 31 year old - part one

I've just been watching "The Hits" channel on the digi-foofoobox and after a couple of 80s tracks from Spitting Image & Star ship, Sonia came on. Way back when (and pleased my sister doesnt read this t'interwebblogpage) I used to like Sonia, and I thought she was pure talent, thanks to Stock, Aiken and Waterman, and my sister used to take the piss everytime I listened to my records. My sister suggested that I fancied her, and I would blush whenever Sonia was on top of the pops or the such like. With fantastic tracks such as "Listen to your heart", "Better the devil you know" and "You'll never stop me from loving you"

Sonia - Listen to your heart

Needless to say, after all these years, I confess, I fancied Sonia. Reckon she's still out there, somewhere, stunning, single and interested.

Future confessions to follow, maybe...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hey Dr Nick!!

During the 5aside football, I recieved a phone call from a colleague from downsouth, Dr Nick, saying he was in Leamington over night (probably wanting water due to their drought) and wondered if I wanted to go out for a couple of beers.

Dr Nick isnt in fact a doctor, but it makes a nice change from cabinboy and captain - so lets go with that theme. Nick is a nice chap and we've spent alot of time on the phone talking about this, that and t'other - so thought it would be nice to get out and about, and try my newly fixed ankle with the big bad world.

"Hello Everybody!"

I managed to walk from my flat down to the Well without the use of my crutches, which on a good day is about a 10 minute walk with the wind in the right direction. By the time I got to the bar, the back muscle was throbbing and pulling, nowt like pushing yourself a little too far hey!

Rich and Aido were already stood at the bar, so had a bit of a chat with them, had a couple of pints and decided that Chinese was the way forward, so a little light headed, we went to the nice posh Chinese just around the corner. We ordered duck pancakes, and a couple of main meals that we shared, and of course, Chinese Beer.

After we chinwagged, ate and paid the bill, we returned back to the Well, for a couple more, then sensibly called time when last orders were called (well, Nick called time, technically) and stumbled back home. A good night, nice to get out, nice to have peking duck too - mmm

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cast off!

Debbie, my very nice Neighbour, took me over to the Hospital for my 6 week check on my ankle and trying to be a little positive, I packed my right trainer into my bag, but also expecting the worst too. Once we arrived, we sat in the waiting room and nattered about random things, including Debbie's weekend away at the hen-party with MC (who is special, apparently) and my trip to Sheffield.

I was expecting an Xray, however the woman who puts on and takes off casts came out and announced my name - this was looking good. There was a young girl who was waiting outside in the corridor peering in the room and just jokingly, I made out it was painful and that the woman was sawing my leg off - to which, this girl got very scared - whoops, sorry. The woman said after she'd take the cast off not to put any weight on it at all, of course, being a good boy, I listened and done as I was told.

I then went to see my Lion style doctor, Mr Aslan, who asked me if I was ok, to which I said yes, where his reply was OK, we'll sort you some physio. Not complex this medicial specialist malarky really is it ? Anyhooo, the lovely Physio Kate came to see me, asking me to "Par..." to which i asked, "Party?" where in fact she meant "Partially". We had a bit of banter, carry on and flirt, while Debbie just shook her head at me. Kate ( the lovely physio - did I mention she's lovely) give me some exercises to do with my ankle, told me how to use the new crutches and answered questions on what exercise I can do, and arranged an appointment for 3 weeks time to update each other. I managed to get this down to 2 weeks, to see if I could step up to some jogging before my holidays in 6 weeks time, rather than just swimming etc etc, she accepted the offer - yay.

An all round entertaining day with random chaos really. When I managed to get home (via Somerfield) I managed to discard the crutches and start walking around and do the foot exercises, then recieved a text from John O asking if I wanted to go watch the guys play 5aside football over in Warwick.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bank Holiday Monday

Traditionally, Bank holiday mondays are for DIY, digging the garden, and painting that shed that you've had out the back garden for years, which is surrounded by 3 foot tall grass. However, after wasting the last couple of weekends due to the British Summer, something was called for, something different.

Luckily, it just so happened that Jon Adams (Leamington FC attacking and skilled footballer) was called up to the England squad. Rather than the 11aside world cup squad, he'd been called up to the Futsal England squad. Yes, Futsal, not football, you heard me correct, I wasnt talking in tongues. The Futsal squad were (and are) playing in a 3 day compo, including other teams from Belgium, Cyprus and Belarus - all based around the Sheffield Sports Institute. Monday's game consisted of Belgium v Belarus (the latter winning by some goals to alot).

Now, the rules werent exactly clear to anyone on the motorway when we discussed it in the car, at one point, fairy cakes, ewoks and elvis were mentioned, but once we turned up, and started watching the game, it became a little clearer. For example

  • The 'keeper can only have the ball for 5 seconds, unless he goes over the halfway line, and then he becomes an outfield player.
  • 20 minutes each way, however when the ball goes out of play, the clock is stopped.
  • Throw ins and corners have to be taken in 5 seconds, or goes to the other team
  • Once you reach 5 "team foul points" each foul after that becomes a penalty - this value being reset at half time
  • Each team can have 1 time out per half, for 1 minute at a time
  • Rolling subs can be used at any time, making sure that there are always 5 players on the pitch
  • There are two refs on the pitch - no linesmen - and one "daddy ref" who appears to control the board.
  • Its played on a court - not a pitch - apparently.

Now, thats all clear, isnt it ? well it was to us too, once we echoed the rules around the stand three or four times, and 10 minutes later, JJ still said "look, theres two refs and no linos". It all appeared to be a different type of football, apart from the rules, but wasnt as rowdy as a normal 11 aside game, probably because its in doors.

Anyhow, back to the game, Jon Adams came on in the first half for about 5 minutes, and managing to have a good run around, understanding the game and scoring a fantastic goal on his debut, just before being sub'd - which was a bit of a shame. In second half he was brought back on again, and once again had a good run around, proving that his 11aside ball control can be transfered to an indoor pitch.

Mr Adams - Ball skill master

The final score was 5-5 and England were unlucky to win, but it was a fantastic experience and good day out. Was also good to see and support Mr Adams, was also good to get talking to his Dad, Mr Mr Adams. Sadly, the following two games of the compo are today (tuesday) and thursday, so I wont be able to anymore of the games.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Drought? What Drought?

When I popped around to Rich's the other day, there was an article on Sky News about some drought in the south, due to lack of rain. Now May has been a bit of a strange month, 3 days of stunning weather, followed by about 3 weeks of near constant rain.

After a weekend of rain, flooding is starting to occur, so if anyone from "darn sarf" wants some water, I'm willing to sell by the bucket load - say, 10 quid a bucket ?

Friday, May 19, 2006

" 22 boxes, only one question - deal, or no deal?"

I've enjoyed watching the channel4 quiz show deal or no deal over the last couple of weeks. Its one of them shows that a mate gets you into, and you pass it on, and I thought for a laugh, I'd try to get us on the show as part of the audience. Its recorded in Bristol, so thought it would be an ideal opportunity for myself and Rich to pop down and see Captain Blunty and make a weekend of it - seems as we havent had a chance to get down there yet.

I filled the forms out that they automatically send back, and emailed them to the correct address - and within about 10 mintes, I had a reply from a very helpful and friendly Audience Coordinator (Zoe) stating that we're on the list for the 3rd series, in Sept / Oct - Brilliant.

On a bit of a mission, I thought I'd ask for signed photo of Mr Edmonds, so sent a very nice begging letter off to the (we hope) so lovely Zoe to ask for a couple, one for me, one for Rich. I recieved a reply stating that they are not given out WillyNilly and that only because I'd asked very nicely, she'd send me out a couple. I have to say, when I told Rich, we were both a bit sceptical, but true to her word - they turned up this morning, a little wet, but looking fantastic.

Got to see if I can get a fluffy a5 frame now to ensure that its looked after correctly.

"Hello Noel"

Next on Steve's random plan, getting Joe Pasquale's autograph from "the price is right".

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


In the words of Collapsed Lung's song, Interactive;

time, time to get technical, no need, no need to get personal, could be
virtually in invirtual, be interactive.

Turns out that Central Park in New York City is to become wireless area for laptops, PDAs and even gaming systems such as the PSP and DS. If the yanks can do this for free, whats stopping the UK doing it, however, will Central Park be sponsored by AOL or Microsoft as part of the deal. Anyways, you can read more on T'interweb (not free) here :-

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Cup Final : Sad way to end a fantastic season.

Tonight we played Barwell in the cup final up at Walsall's Bescot stadium. We'd previously thrashed Barwell in the league 4-0 so there was alot of optimism and banter going around the message boards and mates when you speak to them on MSN. I was lucky enough to have, once again, John and Debbie drive me up and we made it in good time, got to the ground and the pitch looked nice, something that could help us have a good game.

Once we started getting into the ground, the noise was massive, mainly down to the elite club that is known as the North Bank, this time purched on the back row of the stadium and the volume just catapulted to the rest of the ground. Captain Pete then started the "you've only got one leg" chant, to which I blushed a little and we happily joined them at the back.

The team lined up, and the North Bank chanted each of their songs, then went on to "Clap your hands if you went to Merthyr" which frustrated me (post to be added) along with "We saw Rich's c**k" aimed at Richard Adams who was the team ringer in Wales and on the pitch for support.

At kick off time, Barwell set their stand out pretty obviously, taking out one of our players on their first "touch" along with shirt pulling, elbowing. However, this is something that the Brakes doent adjust very well, but we continued to chant, sing and clap, much to the unamusement of some of the "fans" around us. We conceded a sloppy goal, taking us into halftime, where we gradually managed to get a grip on the game, and the break coming a little too early for us.

The second half started a little better, with the Brakes getting into the game a little more however after 60 mins we conceded yet another sloppy goal taking it to 2-0. We managed to claw back a goal after 70 minutes, and the game was there to be won really. There was a sense of urgency, then the sucker punch of a Barwell player going down in the box, with a comedy dive, and then of course, 3-1 came from that. This got the Brakes's backs up a little and the volume lifted even higher than you would think was possible, where there was quiet parts to the stand, was now lifting. Hands started to clap, feet started to stamp and fans started to sing, however, this wasnt enough, and the final whistle was blown.

The players clapped the fans, the fans clapped the players louder, however when the Barwell players went up to get their winning medals, the Brakes fans sang even louder to droan out the Barwell fans. The only time the Barwell fans were noticed, was when their three goals went in, apart from that, it was complete silent support from them.

Well done to the team, well done to the fans.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Worst Day - EVER!!

I woke up this morning, feeling very dodgy - I'll spare you the details - its for the best. My eye sockets were constant pain, and as the day dragged on, mainly due to meaningless meetings, I worked out, round about now, I should be on the road up to Newcastle, getting ready for Shearer's testimonial. Yeah, its on ITV4 tonight, but its not the same as being in the stadium, surrounded by 52,000 other geordies chanting and shouting at Shearer. Its not the same as being there with Philippa a life long friend who tried to help out.

So, I suspect that I'll stay in, with part wine, part nurofen cheering in my black and white top, snuggling up on the sofa, rather than being in a crowded stadium then heading back to see the folks and my sister.

My sister, dad and friends are looking out for a couple of testimonial programmes so I can pass on to Mike and Tom H, but most importantly, my dad managed to get hold of a Shearer limited edition bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale for me. Sounds like they havent even released them outside the region, so chances of getting them in the West Midlands are next to nothing.

My Dad phoned lastnight to ask if I wanted the BBC 1 (Tyne and Wear only) prog of Shearer recording onto VHS. I dont have a video player, so will have to see if Mr John next door can rip it off and encode it onto DVD - or sit there watching it myself ;o) Failing that, trawling thru bittolerant to see if they have it on there - heres hoping.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

No football, so rugby will have to do

Lastnight was due to be the cup final between Leam FC and Barwell up at the bescott, due to weather reasons this was called off and with the up and coming 6aside compo in Wales this weekend, I suggested a meet up and a couple of beers. I initially suggested bottom of Leam, mainly because it meant I could get there, but then received an email from Mr Vince asking if we wanted to go over to Rugby and he'd pick me up.

Now, after living down here for, well, 8 years now, I've never been to Rugby yet, and pretty ashamed of it, seems as its not too far. I thought why not, be a good laugh, and there was mention of real ale too, so as directed met Vince at the correct time on the street and sure enough, they were on the dot. After a brief introduction to Pete (scary stalking lad) and "headbutt pete" we were on our way to Rugby. We were given rough directions to the pub of "behind M&S", of course, we didnt know where M&S was, so we just drove towards the town centre - within minutes we were there at the Merchants.

I was introduced to a couple of the Rugby leam fans, turns out that their Rugby Town club turned on the fans and treated them badly, so they went to find a new club, and that turned out to be the Brakes. Fair enough and they all turned out to be nice chaps too, although, expecting to be heading up to the Cup Final, they'd been in the pub since 3pm, so were a little on the drunk side. A little later, the lovely Liz turned up and the guys started to swarm around her, I blinked and had around 4 pints of "Jarrow Ale" which was very nice, but went straight to my head.

We managed to sort out tactics out, Reddich Adams will be playing up front, and we're packing the midfield and defence with beefy lads. Beyond that, nothing made too much sense, and the Rugby lads started to sing drunken football chants, getitng louder and louder, with some of the "locals" getting a bit miffed. This egged the Rugby lads on a little more and started to sing "its all gone quiet over here" while picking up a little more volume. In the end, the barman came over and warned them - great, first time in Rugby and asbo'd straight away.

After a quick call, I entered a real ale based coma, waking up around 9am, ready or work - really do hope today is going to be quiet.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

back to the NWG

I've never claimed to be a nice person in the morning, even tho I used to work in a Newsagents on a Sunday morning - I learnt through experience, I'm a late riser. Oncall with work certainly drummed it into me, so when I promised to help out at the New Windmill ground again, and told that they were starting at 8am, I was in a little shock.

After making a cup of tea, having a nice bath and dressed, I was in the car again back to Leam FC's ground. When I got there, the rest of the organisers were in the kitchen making tea, coffee and bacon sandwiches - and after the two bottles of wine lastnight, when they asked if I wanted a sandwich, I jumped at the chance to soak the booze up.

I got a little more involved today, writing out cards for the games, and to be honest, thats about it, but it was getting a little brighter, so armed with my iPod I was able to chill out, watch slightly older lads play in compos against each other.

Lunch turned up and we were offered more free tea, and free burgers from the burger bar, along with chips - which was nice, considering. I had a chat with one of the organisers and they said that they reckon to raise about 2K for club over the two days - which can only be a good thing.

After the last final was played, it was agreed that the organisers (including kids and adults) would have a knock around. Me being in my situation meant I couldnt get too involved so said I would referee, this lasted about 3 minutes til the novelty of hopping around wore off, so one of the official refs took over. Meanwhile, someone was away cooking sausages (free again) and we had a nice quiet pint and chattered.

A long heavy weekend, but made a lot of new friends and felt that I was accepted by a community. Have to say that the kids that were helping to organise the event, were good as gold (christ, I am getting old with phrases like that) and even helped me out. They have it all to do again next week, however with Wales on the Saturday, I doubt I'll turn up for the Sunday session - at some point, everyone needs a bit of special time.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Helping out at the NWG

With the premiership and noneleague football finished on saturdays, I was at a bit of a loss on what to do today. A heavy late night lastnight, meant sleeping and getting out of bed just after midday - lazy you may think, but well deserved after a cruddy week.

Leam FC was holding a 6aside compo and I'd said I would get up at some point to show face and hopefully show alittle bit of focus for the master plan I mentioned a couple of weeks ago on here. I managed to scrounge a lift up there - just as it was starting to rain, so well timed, and got introduced to members of the club who I know, but not to speak to - so it was nice to get involved.

A couple of the players had turned up to referee and help out, as well as some of the fans, but it was nice to see the club putting something back into the community. With being on crutches, I felt a little left out and unable to help, apart from stand there, watch the kids play football and keep out the way. I spoke to one of the guys who is one of the youth managers, and my 5aside friend Mick had mentioned I was interested in coaching. It was good to catch up with Kev, and he said they were looking for another coach for the Under 9's and would mention me in a meeting on Wednesday coming, but didnt see it being a problem. This brought a smile to the face straight away, being involved in something, even tho I've never done it before - see it as a challenge tho.

By 5.30/6pm the last final of the day was played and it was time for the organisers to chill out and relax with a pint, and thats probably the most I done all day - downed 2 pints of "xxxx". I managed to get a lift home and put my feed up and relaxed, watched TV and got into the rut of having a bit of a late night. I'd said I would help out again the next day, albeit in a "standing out the way and not annoying way" type of help

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Legends * (warning, only includes 4 legends)

In true channel 5 style, they managed to destroy what would normally be a good idea, and entertaining show, by placing 3rd rate presenters and contestants. Tonight was the football legends of England and germany playing against each other at Readings stadium - fun you may think ?

The show went into great depth about the clashes between England and germany and was interesting, then when the game started, the England team consisted of a couple of Legends, and them some celebs and sportsmen from different areas of sport, of which England had 3 x number 11s (the idea being that the players picked their own favoured positions and numbers).

After 10 minutes, the first player came off, with a sub replacing him, the swapped player harped on how hard it was and difficult it was against the germans (who at this point were already 1-0 up). The germans looked like the were gel'ing well together, and it turns out, that they go on tour and play football together alot, where as England, managed by Monkey's Heed Peter Reid, hardly spoke to each other.

The game was more or less was given to germany, but a moment of comedy genius and excellent sportsmanship provided entertainment to millions - Boris Johnson, taking out a German by running him down "bull style". Maybe he's our answer to England's Rooney problem. Anyhooo, have a scan for yourself:

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Cast away, in 4 weeks!

Today marked my second visit to the nice fracture at Warwick Hospital - where I was hoping to get the damn cast off. I know it was looking on the brighter side of things, but at the back of my mind, I'm thinking two weeks to full recovery is probably nigh on impossible. Debbie was kind enough to take me over for the 14.30 appointment and we got there in good time, checked in and sat in the waiting room - along with the other 45 people. There was a good mixture of people in the waiting room - old, young, normal looking, funny looking, happy and sad people - so, to skip the time, we took the piss.

After an hour, my name got called by a nice looking nurse and she led me to the xray room - unsure what was happening, she got me on the bed and set my leg up for an xray, without the cast coming off - I was a little confused to say the least. 10 minutes later, she handed me the xray and pointed us in the towards the specialist corridor.

After a small wait, we were invited back to Doctor Aslan's room, just previous to that we managed to get a sneek preview of the xray and couldnt see anything. The good old Doctor confirmed that the healing was going well, and then expected him to say, "cast off - take care". We talked a little, he asked what I'd been up too - so I told him that I've packed myself full of milk to build up the calcium - to which he laughed, alot. So much so, he couldnt keep a straight face when he handled the xrays. He in turn packed me off to the plaster department, to get a new cast placed to replace this old skanky looking one.

Twenty minutes later, the plastering nurse was taking a drill to my foot, and promised that I wouldnt be cut, or have my leg hacked off accidently. Fair play to her, she was right, however, she then ended up cutting half of my leg hair off. Due to the colour of my toes the last couple of days, I half expected the colour of my foot to be the same, so ended up taking my camera to record the evidence, however was a little disappointed when the cast eventually did come off. All that was there was normal skin colour, and my foot still a little swollen up, and within minutes the next cast was on and drying.

All that happens now, is 4 weeks worth of sitting around waiting til it fixes itself, assuming on top of that - a couple of weeks of physio. Which in theory gives me about 6 weeks to walk, jog and swim before holiday. Fingers crossed, that gets me up to the world cup finals and off with it - so I can get around pretty freely.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Nothing to play for??

With 5th place sorted out, and last game of the season, you'd think we wouldnt have anything to play for. Leam FC payed host to Loughborough Dynamo as the final game of an already impressive season by anyone's standards, what with an FA Cup first round place, a very good run in the FA Vase, a Cup final in a couple of weeks time against Barwell, doing very well in the league at the start of the season.

I'd missed the away Barwell League game on tuesday, sadly, however reading the reports, it appeared that it was a fantastic night, and gives us the lift before the cup final against the same team.

The first half against the mighty dynamo was good, we could have scored a couple and had it sorted by the half time whistle, but we had to settle with just the one, and Leam do it the hard way. The 2nd half was a slightly different story, but more or less the same tale that we saw at Westfields a couple of months ago, where we just lost the formation and lost the control and flow. There were a number of moans and groans from all areas of the ground, but this just made the opposition stronger and stronger and by the final whistle we were 3-1 down.

The goal keeper was being given a bit of abuse from the North Bank, as they do with most keepers - its all a bit of banter, sometimes it gets a bit serious, but hey, its football. At the final whistle went, the keeper cheered loudly and was given even more banter - suggesting that they had won a cup, or the league, or something, in reality, they got 3 points, nothing more, nothing less. As the ground started to empty, the Keeper came over to me, and I expected a punch or something when he opened his mouth, I was assuming he was blaming me for the banter, or picked up on something I'd said.

Refreshingly enough, he asked what I'd done to my leg, told me a story about him doin the same thing, told me to be patient and patted my back and sent me on my way. We were all a bit gobsmacked, I dont know if he was mixing me up with one of the players or was just being genuinly nice - was nice tho, much to our amusement!

The brotherhood of the North Bank came over to speak to me, to ensure he wasnt taking his frustrations out on me, which was nice too, but told them the story and they laughed, then went to grab booze, where as we left to go back home, to find out that Pompey had stayed up, thanks to some fine silky football from NUFC.

Zutons, Calcium & Sainsbury's

I was kindly invited to sainsbury's to get some weekly shopping, and this time, John, Debbie and I were joined by Laura. After picking up Laura from somewhere out west, Debbie skidding on Laura's lawn, we were on our way.

Turns out Laura is one of these Super Shoppers, as it appears that as soon as we got there, she used her Shop-time-machine to complete her shopping and she was waiting patiently for us to complete ours. By the time I picked up my wheel chair, wheeled around the veg department, and the entertainment department, it was looking more likely we needed a bigger trolly.

I picked up The Zuton's new album on my wheeling, and turns out its absolutely fantastic, although my other purchase "the producers" on DVD wasnt so fantastic. But, you live and learn by these experiences, and move on from them. Packing the trolley with enough calcium to grow new bones altogether, and enough ready meals that would last a nuclear war, we were well on our way to the alcomohol department. I tried to be a little independant, by grabbing my own beer, including a bottle of wine, 2 bottles of american beer, and a bottle of Cat Whiskers (a real ale - not actually a drink made out of cat's whiskers). On the way back to join John, I accidently dropped a bottle, well it rolled from between my legs. Have to say, being in a wheel chair, you can get away with almost anything, with me apologising, and the sales assistant telling me not to worry. I really wasnt, I was more embarressed by the fact I'd done it in front of a stunning blonde who I'd had my eye on, couldnt happen any other funking time, could it !?

After picking up the medicinal ice cream we managed to get to the checkout and pay pretty quickly. On the way back, we discussed our purchases, only to find out that I was chuffed with my album purchase, John was sitting on a massive bag of compost, and Laura was over the moon with her pumpkin seeds.

See, shopping days REALLY can be fun!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Broken Happy Friday

John picked a project up, which consisted of recording using the medium of photography, the indepth passage of a curry. So to help him along his way, myself, Debbie, John, MC and Super Gary ended up in a curry house, not far from where we live. This was quite an achievement, mainly because it was the first Friday that I've been out since I knackered my knee up, although I went out with Rich the other night, this is the first time I've sat down with a meal, and stayed out all night - all quite exhausting.

After the evidence of the starter, drinks and main meal, the curry house ended up geting packed out with emo kids (not chavs like Super Gary thought). Now Emo's (not the birds thats emu) to me, its a bit of a poor man's goth, you know, you do the dressing up, but you really dont make the effort to apply the makeup. I suppose the only real difference is the colour of the clothes, ie, there is some colour and its not just black.

Anyhow, Super Gary got a bit scared of the crowd, so we convinced he and MC to come to the Jug for "one" beverage, while I went looking for some attention from some fit lasses. We managed to get a small table next to the window, so was nice, esp with the light nights, but I was really hoping that the beer garden was going to be open - a little optimistic I reckon. This is also the first time I've worn jeans in about 10 days, so I was a little confused, luckily a pair of my jeans had been ripping slightly at the bottom of the leg, so rather than cutting a new / old pair, I was able to wedge the material around different angles.

Yes, I did fancy a bit of attention, and was egged on to go find it, however, what I wasnt expecting was the Jug's landlord coming over asking questions, with his fantastic tash. A nice bloke, but just not what I was looking for in terms of attention seeking. Anyhoo, MC and Super Gary didnt want to drink too much as they were going for a jog in the morning, however, 3 bottles of wine later, MC entered her usual point of the night, where she's either vr quiet, or vr loud, her head dances a little then ends on Gary's shoulder before her eyes glaze over.

I was worried about getting back, esp after a bottle of wine and a pint inside me - however, with the medium of alcomohol, we were able to get back in about 15 minutes. I was feeling a little drunk, so decided to watch a bit of TV, and managed to get a good 45 minutes of the London Carling Festival, which was fantastic - although did eventually need sleep before I entered my coma on the sofa.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Booze or No Booze [ ? ]

You'll have to excuse the two links to a story here .. but they do meet in the middle, somewhere, I think, well I'm sure of it. Rich has got me into the quiz game show, Deal or No Deal, and find it pretty relaxing, so been catching it when I can, when I'm not busy, or clocking off early. The format is pretty good, and to me, its a case, if you get on the show, its free money - not really using the brain cells as such.

Hello Noel!

Anyhow, Rich popped down and helped me get down to TJs for a couple of sly beers - between the two of us, we had enough crap to deal with, so we give up and buggered off to the pub. We went for TJs, as it was easiest to get too and have a quick and quiet beer - and take it from there. It was nice, it was also the first beer that I've had since Sunday, and the 2nd for about 10 days - which is pretty good going. I promised myself that I wouldnt get lardy while I had a cast on due to lack of exercise, so trying to stay away from booze and doing situps when and if I can.

Anyhow, after TJ's beer, we went over to the Well to see our old bar staff friends, and had a couple, we got talking about Deal or No Deal (see, there is a link) and managed to make up a new related spin off game, Booze or No Booze. Rather than money, you get booze, so, you invite x number of friends around and place a bottle of something in a box, mix them all around. The smallest prize consists of a pint of water, then you go up to lemonade, diet coke, full fat coke, getting to stronger and/or more expensive beverages - a nice bottle of champers for example, as the top prize.

Anyhow, at the thought of this, we couldnt stop laughing, and then had another spin off game, bird or no bird, but then the walls of reality started to crumble and I dont think either of us made any sense at all. We wandered back to TJs for a final pint, talked to a lovely lass at the end of the bar about my war injury, and watched the final minutes of the 2nd champions league semi final. Although it wasnt late, and because it was the first "session" for a while, I was a little blah, so crutched it back home, taking around 25/30 minutes (when it normally takes about 5 minutes). Starving that I was, I bunged in a "toad in the hole" in the oven, managing to talk to someone on MSN, thinking it was them, turns out it was her brother, so tried to fix things by texting, and making things worse by taking the piss out of her boyfriend. To make things even worse, I went to get the food and burnt my thumb on the boiling fat from the food - it hurt.