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.