Monday, July 30, 2007

Leg Update

Hospital said - get dressing changed after 5 days or so - i.e. tomorrow. Rang out local clinic (doctors don't lower themselves to that sort of thing - we have to use the "Health Centre") - earliest appointment - 1430 - on Friday...

So if gangrene kicks in and leg drops off before then.....betcha Nye Bevan is turning in his grave as we speak.

And finally - on a lighter note - here's the bastard interloper cat who sneaks into our garden - and if you leave the back door open he also helps himself to our Tissy's food - I give you - Tiger.

shifty looking eyes eh what ??

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Messing about on Sunday .....

Title went up on Sunday though didn't it's a lazy thread including some "Depth of Field" testing, a view over Greenfield from the beer garden at the Railway in Greenfield - and the George Borowski Band inside "Railway" in Greenfield - and for those "in the know" - remember "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits ?? This IS "Guitar George" who knows all the chords - I kid you not ....

As regards football this week - with Mrs Smiffy being away, I should make the Droylsden v Rochdale game tomorrow - the Stalybridge v Oldham game on Wednesday - and (naturally !) the Mossley v Ashton United game on Friday night. Saturday requires further checking !! Meanwhile look rather than read - I believe it's very relaxing !!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pre-Season "Training"

Please excuse the rather lousy pun - as regular viewers will know - today was not Mossley v Thackley (they won 3-2 by the way !), but a day of playing with a full size train set - in football, it's "You're the Boss" - today it was "You're the Driver !!" And I'm doing some shameless plugging for some other good stuff tonight

Left work last night (Friday) and drove down to Stafford to see Mum and Dad Smiffy - tis a rare meet for people relatively close together in mileage - we went out for a meal just up the road from where they live (, caught up on the last "x" months, before me and Mrs Smiffy drove down to Ironbridge Gorge, where we were staying overnight at the "Severn Trow" - formerly known as "The Boatmen's Brothel" believe it or not - see for more info. Telford was it's usual self - bloody hard to negotiate but we got there in the end. Lovely place - and a cracking "Full English" this morning. Ironbridge Gorge looks like somewhere well worth a visit for more than - well we got there about 2200 and left at 0815 - saw nowt really - but we will return - oh yes.

And so - onwards to Telford Steam Railway, ( situated at Dawley - so yet another "dalliance" with the quirks and stuff that seem to make up "Telford & the Wrekin". Arrived just after 0830, attached walking boots and borrowed some overalls before shoving left hand up into the firebox of a steam tram to check the fuseable plug - plug OK (Leeds & Download wristbands a tad mucky - they cleaned up tonight mind !!). On with the gauntlets and on with the firing up of the steam tram - the "big bugger" - see later - would have entailed a much earlier start. I've gone on for long enough - some pix I feel - NOTE - all pix on this thread are ones I took with baby Fuji in between doing "stuff" - Mrs Smiffy was also taking pix - see I give you the steam tram ...

Once up to pressure, meself and Roger - yes one instructor (Robin) for just two people - were given the lowdown on how to go forwards, backwards, faster, not so faster - and most importantly how to stop - oh and yes, the whistle in the steam tram was a "pull down chain". We then took it in turns in going up and down the track - in between goes of course adding coal, keeping the pressure at a safe working level (water first, then steam, drop water down until you hear a coffee "percolator sound" - steam off water last), oiling as necessary - and avoiding runing people over.

Before we knew it - it was 1300 and time for lunch - and then the afternoon session on the steam train a Peckett 0-4-0 Saddle Tank shunter - which looks not unlike this ..

First job was to get four wheelbarrowloads of coal from a pile several hundred yards away and then transfer by hand an bucket into the bunker on the train. Obviously the loco was already up to pressure thanks to the "morning shift" - so it was a look around the cab - and it was the same as the baby steam tram - obviously same principles and stuff just bigger, heavier and generally more "butch" !! Here's some of the "innards"..

The afternoon was then spent learning the forwards, backwards, stop stuff - then learning to stop at a given point (both forwards and reverse) - coupling up to some wagons (gently gently on the regulator !!) - shovelling coal - letting off steam (literally !!) - stopping to take on water - and passengers (Mrs Smiffy and Roger's family) - uncoupling - shunting back into the yard - and generally having a great time under the beady eyes of Paul and Rod (I think - apologies if I've got the name wrong). The stoppping at a certain point involved the "mythical" Lord and Lady Muck in the carriage to be coupled - eating their soup - and us drivers trying to avoid putting said mulligatawny into their honourable laps !!

All too soon it was 1700 - the weather had been hot - the footplates even hotter. What a cracking day out - I'd recommend it to anyone - I may be a train buff myself, but I was a little late for the "steam era", so it was something new and unusual - plus you get a chance to get mucky and play with big machines !! Anyway - to prove I know what I'm doing (it's not a driving licence - or even a provisional but...) I can now "talk from experience" ...
Mrs Smiffy then dumped me at Wellington Station for the train to Shrewsbury, thence to Manchester Piccadilly - while she drove off for a weeks hols with her Mum and several sisters, relatives just outside Llangollen. That explains the lack of pix from the "other side" if you like - when she returns I'll thrap a few into the ubiquitous photbucket.. viz which has already got a few of mine in it !!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Beware the Slippery Surface !

An interesting day - which began with the train from Mossley being 10 minutes late - obviously this meant train from Stalybridge to Manchester Piccadilly being late also. On arrival at Picc it was a mad rush for the 0758 train to Cheadle Hulme (stick with me - it gets better). I ran from platform 7 to platform 11 - the doors were closing - my speed meant I'd get through the doors - just ....

But was raining - the platform was slippery - I hit the slippy patch - I ended up sliding on my arse, feet first, towards the door. Now there's a gap between the platform and the train "step" - I slid rather inelegantly into that gap - and the right leg went underneath, catching something sharpish. "Ouch" - I picked myself up, dusted myself down and boarded the train. Success !!!

As we left Piccadilly, I lifted up my right trouser leg to check the "Ouch" - twas slightly more than ouch - the decision was made - get off at Stockport and get up to Stepping Hill A&E asap. As you know, there's always a camera on my person - so those of you with a nervous disposition should turn away - NOW ....

Yes that is rather a "big hole" isn't it !! So a taxi up to A&E - and it was dealt with very quickly and efficiently and I was in work for 1030 !! Sock is totally "totalled" mind !!

Tonight however - it hurts - fortunately it rained a lot giving me ample excuse not to go up to Mossley to check out the trial game - and stay at home with loads of painkiller (of the canned alcoholic variety !).

Yes I can walk - so the weekend should be OK - tommorow after work it's a drive to Stafford to see Mum and Dad for a meal - and then on to Telford - because on Saturday - it's not football - it's TRAIN DRIVING !! Yes, one of my 50th birthday prezzies last December was a Steam Train Driving Course at Telford Steam Railway - which should be a real hoot !! I'll be leaving Mrs Smiffy in charge of the photographs with her trusty Olympus compact digi.

If it hurts now (after several beers) - it'll be interesting to see how it feels tomorrow morning - watch this space.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stalybridge Celtic v Mossley

Pics are in ...

I put that down as a good workout for all concerned - once again I find myself doing this "late doors" - it's bad for my elf you know (and we all know what happened to Dobby - don't we ?)

Apologies for my "laziness" - I'm in the "picture painting a thousand words" mode 'a ce moment' - must try harder come real season .. and I will - promise ..Meanwhile - here's our cat with new 50mm lens - a touch bright but hey - no Photoshop here !!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Clitheroe v Hyde United

Well I was probably taking a chance today, weather-wise. Left Levenshulme about 0930 this morning, stopping off @ the Wal-Mart in Bradford/Eastlands – don’t know why I was worrying, there were loads of H Potter books. We bought two (see previous thread), together with a load of other stuff (which probably covered their “loss leader” stance on the books !!). One last stop at ASM in Ashton for more varied stuff (Gulab Jamun, Tamarind Paste, a “big” Mango and other such tackle) before home for bacon and eggs and out on the 1157 train. Now the one day in the week I want to go to Manchester Victoria – I end up direct in Manchester Piccadilly from Mossley due to “works on the line” – I always forget that no-one travels at the weekend….still no panic on trains as I comfortably caught the 1300 to Clitheroe.

It was chucking it down all the way – and I suddenly realised I hadn’t checked whether the game was on/off – and I had no phone number on my moby either ! What the hell – one can easily spend an afternoon in Clitheroe – footy or not.

Arrived about 1415 – hotfooted it straight to the “New Inn” – Clitheroe’s real ale mecca. A pint of Phoenix “Arizona” was followed by a hotfoot to Shawbridge where the game was …….on ! Met Royf in the bar and dutifully paid off some long-standing debts (!!) before wandering out – it was still raining, so it was “tea towel over the lens” time (Carlf from Droylsden – how can I ever repay you for this idea !)

The game – it was tight, dare I say “feisty” – maybe not, but was was certainly “meaningful” with both teams going for it. It took a penalty just before half-time to separate the teams (it worked for Droylsden last Tuesday – maybe it’s a Conference thing)- duly despatched by Matthew Tipton (you guys signing him or what ??).

The second half began in a similarly tight way, but as the game went on it was a case of superior this, that and the other (although you could be blooming Chelsea, but a one goal lead is not safe !). Hyde did make it safe late on with a goal from the elegantly coiffured Dale Johnson, who’d come on as a sub in the second half.

Plenty of plusses for both teams – for Clitheroe, Sargie was excellent throughout, and I was rather impressed with the number 7 (Tosin Onibudu I believe ?). For Hyde – Earl Davis looked good at the back, and Tipton was “top on” throughout.

After the game there was no time to hang about – a trip to “Cowman’s” is compulsory on a day out in Clitheroe – they were just closing as I arrived – but the sausages were duly purchased. I had to forgo the pleasures of Byrne’s (more than an off-licence, a wine/beer mecca) – and the lad drinks tea now, so apologies to “Exchange Coffee” !!

Made the 1712 train back to Manchester, changing at Salford for the Piccadilly jump. A quick “2 for a tenner” at HMV Piccadilly (“Life on Mars” soundtrack album and “Urban Hymns” by the Verve which is surprisingly not in this household …). Got the 1912 express to Stalybridge giving me time for a quickie at the Buffet Bar (“Tiger Rut” from Millstone) before the slowcoach train arrived.

And home to find two people reading the two Harry Potter books – and both peeps very close to the end – they’ll be both done by midnight I’m sure.

And on – to this …. some pix of the day ....
And finally - this little lady covered some ground in the first 45 minutes - up and down the wing on the far side...took at least two of 'em to keep her in check !!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter - New Film,,,

Putting that in the title might guarantee a few hits tomorrow - hee hee !!!

But that was tonight - the "family trip" to see the new HP film (that's family without our Michelle who's living it up in the campsite toilets of the North Vendee - and she wants me to post the new HP book to France as well !!). This naturally meant missing the Mossley Quiz Night - hope Dydo's "bell ringers" did the business ....

The film - well it's a huge book, page-wise so yes it's going to miss stuff out - and yes it was a bit "sporadic" (trying to work out analogies here - a scratched 12" record jumping - a jam-covered DVD when you miss out chapters etc etc)

But overall ...a good film - maybe the politics of the book were slightly glossed over (although Imelda Staunton as Umbridge came over really well !) - at least the overlong (in book) "punch up/wand up/big fight" at the end was mercifully condensed - although Sirius still "cops it" - (hope that's not ruined it for anyone !!).

Tis always a tricky one - I've read all the Potter books for my sins (work it out though - the early books were read as bedtime stories to my then little kiddies !) so I can moan about bits missed out (in this film - no Quidditch !!). However I loved the "Lord of the Rings" films whereas Mrs Smiffy (who read Tolkien at age 11 !!!) moaned about "bits missed out" !!

So - what goes around comes around.....tomorrow (OK tonight) - meal @ mates in Levenshulme with an overnight stay - Saturday - gotta be football, although choices up to now are Curzon Ashton (v Man City Reserves/Youth) or Ashton United (v Droylsden). Staveley v Stalybridge would have been nice, but it's been called off (the reason given is "flood damage" although I reckon Celtic are actually saving themselves for the big one next Tuesday at home to Mossley - we've got the Frank Robinson Trophy - we want to keep it)

Addition @ 0045 - Clitheroe might be a good option on Saturday - get to see Hyde United - and pay my debts to Royf and the guys from Clitheroe - this is slightly long-standing - and a touch embarrassing (!), so I'll look towards their "buy a brick" thing or whatever's on at the moment (putting it bluntly - I owe Clitheroe FC £20 !!) - I'll buy a few pints as well mind !!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Woodley v Droylsden

Have you seen the time !!!! (don't care what the blog time says - it's 0130 as I "save & close" !!)

4-0 to the Bloods - they're very good at penalties I must say ..... a good workout for all concerned really - Woodley started to get it together in the second half and tightened up considerably !! Good to see Carl and some of the Droylsden crew - and some of the Woodley guys as well - football is well and truly BACK !!

But I'm going to be really "ego-man" and say I thnk this is a cracker of a pic..... "Super Mario" ..
Tis a training session for photography too !!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Aaargh - I've finally got it .....

In the words of Marjory Dawes (FatFighters - Little Britain).....
"Dust - anybody - no - dust - anybody - no - dust" ....etc etc

Yes, no football this weekend - a camping weekend was kyboshed by the weather, but we got a walk in anyway. Here's a glider near Great the spots ...

So a trip to sensor-cleaning land looks likely before the beginning of August - eek !

Where else did we walk, i.e. "Where've y'bin ??" The answer being, "I've bin ..."
Ho Ho Ho - Tuesday looks like Woodley Sports v Droylsden to kick off my new season...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Football - it's coming ..... you'll soon be free of such mundane stuff as Download, Somerfield Lorries, Whit Friday, Huddersfield Canal and the overpopulation of Mossley !!

Bobbed up to Seel Park last night to "do a bit" - a brush, a can of masonry paint and a song in my heart ("Whiter Shade of Fence Panel" ??). However masonry paint is not altogether non-drip is it....

(I'm sure it'll wash out of the grass !)

The friendlies are kicking in too - tomorrow night Stalybridge are at Radcliffe Borough (I offer my apologies for absence - we're away this weekend, so prep to be done - which also means I'll miss the visit of Sven's boys to Bower Fold on Saturday - see attached pic of Stalybridge Buffet Bar door - I guess "Turnstile Bob" has sneaked in with the flyers !)...think I might make the game underneath mind ...

PS got called "an irritant" on Stalybridge board today by some geezer from Canada ("Long Time Gone") - apparently you're not allowed to post on Celtic Board if you don't support Celtic - why this guy isn't "giving it some" on the Toronto Blue Jays message board - I've no idea - you don't catch me on the Stafford Rangers Message Board under the name of "Long Time Gone" - well not much (three or four posts a year ??)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Damn - Aargh - Weekend - and stuff !!

S'pose it started on Friday evening (weekends normally do) - into Manc from work (my half-day went "tits" and I didn't leave until 1530) and off to Picc Box Office - I've had a £30 gift voucher for gig tix since last December (50th birthday) so thought it best to spend - I'm now the proud owner of a ticket (or receipt-type thing) for the "Black Crusade" gig at the MEN Arena on 21st November - featuring Trivium, Machine Head, Arch Enemy, Shadows Fall ......

...and I've seen em outdoors twice (one good, one shite), indoors @ Manchester Academy last December ( - excellent - fingers crossed for an arena -type gig - cus it seems that sound IS an issue for DragonForce worries me as a fan.

I then went to Dukes92 in poncyland (aka Castlefields) to see an old workmate on his annual birthday bash - he does it every year - I bob in for a couple of hours after work before the rest (single ?? no kids ??) arrive for the rest of the evening...for the hell of it, here's a 270 degree type "stitch" from the early evening - not brill - but I'm still not up to scratch with Photshop - and it was with baby camera anyway !! PS Dukes92 were selling "Pride of Pendle" from Moorhouses on the pump for "only" £2-70 !!

Had to leave at 1845 - as my presence was required further up Deansgate to meet Mrs Smiffy and Penny and Paul from Rochdale at "The Restaurant" on John Dalton Street. Fine meal (calves liver me - and "proper" Budvar - best on offer) and a good natter. Home - more beer...sleep.

Saturday entailed hair cut and an afternoon pub wander - Mrs Smiffy and daughter doing "last minute" stuff - read on. Evening was dinner party cause our Michelle was on her last day on earth (well Ingerland actually - read on) - so we had friends round for more beer and food. In bed just before midnight because ....

...up at 0530 on Sunday morning to drive our Michelle over to Warrington to catch her bus to Holland - a three day training course for her before off to South Brittany for a few months work in the EuroCamp/Keycamp area. I'm expecting fluent French on her return - unless she sneaks off to the ski resorts in November - I know she's planning a few days in Morocco "on the way home" (!!) but hey - she's a big girl now - the degree course has finished and we await the results (she's about "that far" off a first - fingers crossed after moderation etc - we ARE expecting a return on our investment). In the interests of fair play our Duncan is off to Lancaster this year to start a teaching degree - so the "money out" remains the same - just going into a different bank account !!!

But I digress - the early start on Sunday (Mrs Smiffy came too) led to a lazy Sunday morning/afternoon (watched "Prisoner of Azkhaban") before a gentle early evening walk up and down the canal - for leg-stretching purposes.

Please excuse house construction - but that's the way of Mossley at the moment - the town is being blitzed/spoiled/soiled by new developments - which will only lead to hell - trust me I will one day soon put together a decent thread (warts and all) showing you all in bloggerworld what is happening to Mossley - and it does NOT make pretty reading/writing/looking at...

A swift drink at the "Roaches Lock" ("Old Speckled Hen" for me) - followed by a wander back. I stayed up long enough to watch "Cabin Fever" with Duncan on the box (messy gory stuff - believe same director that has done "Hostel" recently !) before - weekend ends...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Crazy Lunchtime @ Cheadle Hulme !

Some of you out there in "real world" may have gathered I do err toward the number 11 shirt (unlike New bloody Labour) - demos, free speech, anti-police brutality (especially against Fleetwood fans !), anti-Iraq war, anti-the anti-smoking ban - and stuff like that. I'm not a great believer in the internal combustion engine either. OK, our household has one car (which Mrs Smiffy uses as part of her job - i.e. driving between schools - so it ain't parked up for 20 hours a day like most cars) - our household contains five people. Next door one way - two people two cars - t'other side - three people three cars. We live on a terraced street - it gets busy !!

Anyway enough of that. Working in Cheadle Hulme I can see the damage that the car does to the world in general - on a daily basis. Despite two very large car parks, people will do anything to avoid paying that 50p. Maybe some do have the magical "disabled" sticker but that does not excuse bad parking. I now offer you...Thursday lunchtime @ Cheadle Hulme - in pictures.....

Oops I'll never get round there - due to the classic parking - in fact - oh sh*t - I'm stuck....

Meanwhile a Smart car pulls up in the disabled section - repeat DISABLED PARKING SECTION. Belying the name of her car, a women leaps out, slams her door and runs - yes runs off. As she slammed the door the boot popped up - she didn't notice - too busy running. As you've probably noticed, I've blanked out number plates in this post - apart from one. And just in case you cannot read it ...

Any policemen looking in - or even traffic wardens - this is the sort of crap that happens in Cheadle Hulme on a daily basis - any could meet their targets here - easy peasy !!

Anyway, about 10 minutes later, the non-disabled owner of MV05 LGU rushed back, spotted boot in the air, proceeded to just shut it (without checking its contents) jump in car and drive off. Meanwhile poor old Mr Somerfield Driver was still stuck (I'd actually been down, showed him a photo and popped it under the wiper of the car - as the minutes ticked by he eventually pinched the photo, obviously to use as evidence when he got back to the depot 45 minutes late !!).

And then - the owner turned up !!!!
I'll be fair - she was the wrong side of old - and she had a walking stick - and a fella with a limp - but that's no excuse for crass parking behind a shopping precinct that has deliveries throughout the day.

Off they shot.....

As did Mr Somerfield - and the entire contents of the south wing of Sim-Chem House went back to work !!!
The whole thing must have took over an hour - madness, absolute madness .....

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mossley Sponsored Walk 2007

We left at 0935 - we returned - 18 miles later - at 1650 - we got wet - we got dry - we got wet again - we got dry again - ad nauseam. We didn't drink much beer - but we ate a lot of bacon....from the Village Caff in Droylsden - who personally go out, catch it, kill it, cure it, slice it and then - finally cook it (such was the time it took !!) - to the Red Lion in Hyde where a simple phone call entailed 9 bacon butties waiting on our arrival (always helps if one walker's Mum is running the Pub however - thank you Mrs Dydo !). Red Lion, Manchester Road/Market Street, Hyde - cracking pint of Robinsons Bitter as well - comes recommended by my own palate - with a covered smoking area too ..

Oh yes - pictures - currently residing at ...

...much more to tell - but ....

(Added Monday night ) ..Here's Simon's view on the day ...

The "Smoking Ban"

Had a bit of a wander today, joining the smokers for one last hurrah.

The "Death of the English Pub" has now arrived.....

Buffet Bar Re-decoration Update

For Sylvia - the return of the memorabilia - with a free John Hesketh in the corner too !!