So - another year bites the dust ... in fact another decade bites the dust ... hard to believe it was ten years ago at the "minellium" when Andy Wood proposed to Lynne in our back yard at 0015 !!!
Its certainly been a roller-coaster year here at "Six Tame Sides HQ" - so here's a quick "thrown together post" - got back from Bolton Octagon after watching "Oliver Twist" with Mrs Smiffy and her mum at tea-time and am now flitting 'twixt family and laptop !!
Highlights - Family first - the Smiffy's made it to "25 years not out" in the marriage stakes - and we had a helluva seven day party to celebrate same in a posh Elizabethan Manor House hired for the occasion. A couple of excellent other holidays as well in Britanny (summer) and Kefalonia (a "b*ll*x to redundancy" break in October) Plenty of football highlights as well - probably the biggest being getting a photographer's pass for the FA Vase Final at Wembley between Glossop North End and Whitley Bay and everything that went with it ... that was some day for me - shame the result went the wrong way though ! Other football photo highlights include getting some stuff in newspapers - Ilkeston Advertiser and Ashton Reporter (with credits !), "Non League Paper" (no credit !), and on websites other than my own (for example, www.asktameside.co.uk - with credits). Shame that the Tameside Advertiser ended the year by basically "nicking" one of my pix with no credit - still awaiting a reply on that one !! Also nice to see the new "wall hangings" at Stalybridge Celtic Social Club last Monday (some "blown up" pictures of mine taken at the Alfreton game are now adorning the walls). The "collapse and resurrection" of Mossley AFC off the pitch during the summer was quite a relief - thanks to the hard work of many there's still football five minutes up the road for me !! Naturally some games/results come to mind - Mossley beating Brackley, and getting a draw at Ilkeston - seeing Stalybridge beating Hinckley, and the Alfreton game - sometimes not just the football but the whole "day out" as well (yes I'm talking about train trips and real ale !)
Lowlights - Redundancy naturally, and the realisation that no-one is safe these days and that management can treat people like sh*t because we've allowed them to (Thatcher started to kill the unions - and it's followed on from there. When people start moaning about the actions of Royal Mail/BA employees, they should really be looking at themselves and their fellow co-workers who for one reason or another decided that a tenner a month for union membership was better spent elsewhere - fortunately (in my eyes anyway) there are still some properly unionised workplaces who CAN and WILL look after the welfare of the workers - and it's when the management of these places attempt to bully in the same fashion as the non-unionised places ... that's when the conflict arises ... but I ramble ... football disappointments include seeing the state of Marston Road (Stafford Rangers) in 2009 - a far cry from the glory days of the 1970s; defeats for Mossley by Ilkeston - and Salford City not that long ago come to (immediate) mind, and of course Glossop's defeat at Wembley. We've lost a few good people to war, illness and old age this year - Cpl Joey Etchells (Mossley/Afghanistan), Tony Kempster (the non-league "guru"), Derek Howard and Phil Heap (Mossley) and Graham O'Neil (Ashton United) to name but a few ... I've surely missed many others - for which I apologise - but we should all take a moment tonight to think about those who won't be here to see 2010 ...
Enough of this ...a big thank you to everyone who keeps supporting this blog - that mouse-click means a lot to me - OK not the most erudite at times, often half-baked "stream of consciousness" type rubbish (with added pictures !!) and probably a few too many expletives at times (!), but football-wise I always aim to "get it up" (oo-err) ASAP, so you have to take the rough with the rough !! A Happy New Year to you all, and fingers crossed that when we all wake up - late - tomorrow ... there's some football to go to ... PLEASE !!!
.. a "call to arms" went out early morning - and having dropped daughter off @ Stalybridge Station at 1030 hrs (heading for London), I drove up the Mottram Road to Bower Fold - and jumped out of the car leaving Mrs Smiffy and boy to go "shopping for shoes". Nearly came a cropper in the car park - not promising - but then Mr Hall said "Game ON !", so I turned round and went to the pub ...
... OK I didn't - I grabbed a snow shovel and pitched in with the band of volunteers - I can now say I've done 90 minutes on Bower Fold (and this morning - Tuesday - my back is REALLY feeling it !!). Some stuff from the morning ... http://mossleysmiffy.jalbum.net/SnowShifting28Dec09/
Then - walk back down to Stalybridge to get money and lunch - and meet some of the Southport "Train crew" at the Buffet Bar, and then heading back up the road for the game. All the hard work had been worth it for 90 minutes football - a fairly even game - Southport had a tendency to put every chance high wide and handsome (this the team that stuffed Fleetwood 5-0 on Saturday !) - Stalybridge seemed to build/create better, but had less "product" on goal ... and with five or so minutes to go ... the floodlight pylon 10 yards to my left went "BANG" - and went out ... closely followed by the one opposite. After a 5/10 delay the other two "extinguished" and the ref blew his whistle for ... A-A (although I believe some "behind the scenes" chatting went on after the game between Managers and Officials - must wait for the official outcome on all that). Some pictures of the game (and the naughty floodlights !) at
... yes I did get an upgrade for Christmas - goodbye old Fuji Finepix A500, hello Canon Powershot A480 (first gig for the newie will be Wolfmother in three weeks or so). Anyway, here's the final "hurrah" from Mr Fuji (complete with a farewell wave !!) ..
No idea where I took it either !!!
Football yesterday - obviously all off, so I did succumb to the lure of "Sky Sports Diretta" and Man City v Stoke City - well it was football after a fashion !! Today - a walk in the snow and a session of Wii - different but my right arm is sore (oo-err) after all that canoeing ..
Football tomorrow - the Mossley v Curzon game "re-scheduled" from Boxing Day appears to have bit the dust, so hopes are on for Stalybridge Celtic v Southport - apparently the thaw today HAS helped, but some help is still needed I believe - don't think I'll be able to "fork" tomorrow a.m. (family first etc) - anyways, I've done one "fork" this season (the Mossley v Brackley replay), so ... I will just cross fingers ...
Strangely familiar - note the lack of credit on article and in paper - reckon the New Year will see me start to watermark all pix .... and as the Advertiser is part of the MEN cartel, questions will be asked !!!
On the other hand, the http://www.asktameside.co.uk/ site employ a very nice lady called Pauline ... who asked - and there's a few of my Stalybridge Celtic pictures on there (in the "Sport" section) ... with credits !!
I'll certainly be keeping a close eye on things in 2010 ... I might not be looking for money (yet - although equipment upgrades don't come cheap when you're "without gainful employ")- but credit where credit's due I feel ...
I note there are "hopeful noises" from Hyde United ref the Boxing Day derby against Stalybridge - not sure about shifting the car now however - we'll see what pans out over the next 36 hours ...
Now I'm DEFINITELY packing up for a day or so ... enjoy your turkey (sod tradition - we're having honey-glazed leg of lamb !). .
Still cold - but unlike @ Woodley, I was moving most of the time !
Today - blue skies - but still plenty on the ground. Trains are still moving however (Mrs Smiffy abandoned car at home and chose that option to go to work). Me (and many others probably !) - out in a bit to finish that damned shopping ... yo ho bloomin ho ! .
... such was the weather - always knew this was a "dead cert" once everything else was called off early doors. Had an interesting journey ... plan was train to Ashton then 330 bus to Woodley precinct; however the 1255 train was a touch crowded at Mossley - very crowded at Stalybridge - and then it refused to open doors @ Ashton, taking me straight to Manchester Victoria - good job I went for the 1255 rather than the 1355 eh what !
So - a tram to Piccadilly and a search for a train to Woodley or Bredbury - just managed to jump on the 1345 to Bredbury, and a short walk up the clogged A560 to Woodley Precinct and thence to Lambeth Grove. The pitch had a light sprinkling of white stuff (unlike at Durham apparently - they didn't bother clearing the snow off - but they let Nantwich Town embark on their 360 mile round trip for nothing - Durham might be in the "doo doos" but that was not clever, and when they need all the support they need - that sort of behaviour will win few friends) - but was perfectly playable as 3G pitches go - and the meagre crowd of 98 were treated to an excellent game - Wakefield kept going to the end but Woodley were deserved 3-1 winners to extend their unbeaten run to four games (an unbeaten run which began against .... Mossley of course !). Despite the arctic weather - it was pigging cold - batteries were giving up quicker than usual - despite the magic gloves my hands were struggling - (I was SO happy when it started snowing because it went up a couple of degrees) - still managed a half-decent set of pix for your delictation at
As I "sneaked in" last night, we had visitors - it snowed some more - and today we went out walking in the white stuff and I took a load more piccies as well. In the afternoon I went off on my own to get some more - including some pictures of the Mossley pitch (I reckon the Boxing Day game against Curzon Ashton is already in doubt). I'll try to get the snowy pix up sometime tomorrow - cus I've had a brief peek, and some of them aren't so bad either.
Anyway - at least we got a game in yesterday - one of only two games in the entire Unibond League - just puts the final bit of Crimbo shopping off for a bit longer ... and if the Saturday train to Manchester was anything to go by - I'm glad I avoided all that by sticking to train stations and trams !!
Naturally an empty week - I heard something of a Mossley friendly on Tuesday night but having seen the pitch .. forget it - looks like a wait until Boxing Day to see if anything's on then ... .
... at Woodley Sports where they beat Wakefield 3-1 ... in front of a crowd of 98 ! I was reliably informed that "the phone hasn't stopped ringing all morning" by a Woodley official. So where the hell did people go ?? The only other game (Leigh Genesis 4 AFC Fylde 1) got a crowd of only 173. So I guess the non-league fans of Tameside did their Christmas shopping - or watched United get stuffed 3-0 on illegal TV. I've said this before - non-league is a bit of a "family affair" - and I fail to understand why supporters don't go and support other teams in times of football need (that's support in "help" definition of course - I hardly expect lifelong Mossley fans to go and shout for Woodley - especially after the other week !). It's a game isn't it ?
Pictures sometime tomorrow - we have visitors tonight/tomorrow so this is a sneaky post while every bugger else has just gone to bed - and I still have half a can left .... ! .
Just put the milk bottles out at 0030 - I reckon there won't be much going on later today (the "graveyard Saturday" for non-league football anyway). Games already off that I know of - Corby v Droylsden, Ilkeston v Workington and Whitby Town v Boston United - with a promise of plenty more to come. Still Woodley Sports are at home to Wakefield and, assuming their 3G pitch doesn't freeze like the one at Durham City (still get a GRRR feeling after "that day out" !!), we "up here" might have a bit of a chance there.
... while the job hunt continues ... a small diversion (in reverse gear ??)
I was out this afternoon attempting to do some Christmas shopping before the world and his wife breaks up for Christmas and clutter up the streets and pubs of Greater Manchester. I've spent most of the daytime this week waiting for a plumber to come and fix our boiler which (seasonally ?!?) has decided to "go wrong" (anyone know a reliable plumber in the Mossley area ?). The moby rings - a message from small boy (with broken hand !) at home - remember that company that put me on the scrapheap at the end of October (yes Simon Carves) ? They have a problem with an unposted batch in the Nominal Ledger - it won't post because it won't balance. So, throwing the "you're still on notice so we CAN call you in at anytime" card into the ring .. they call me in. Timed to perfection .. now I have to finish my Christmas shopping in the mayhem that will be next week in the shops (can't do tomorrow - after taking Mrs Smiffy to work - I take car in for MOT, then continue the search for a plumber that will make our house warm ...)
But I digress - popped back to Cheadle Hulme to see a building in semi-darkness - 60% of the building is now "closed off" - so so sad to see - yes there's still "some" feeling for the place. I got into the secure building (cleaner let me in !!!!!!), onto a pc and sorted problem (£8m batch - so too many characters in field - I'd told them for years to keep the batches "small and often" - they still don't take it in !!). Someone even had the cheek to say, "While you're here ...?" - short shrift indeed. Then - a bit of a natter then back home - gosh how I miss those late trains - and sure enough the train back to Manchester was late.
Took me ten minutes to "get back into the database" as they say ... but you never lose it (just hope some recruiters are reading this !!) .. .
... the job application is winging its way across the ether to Oldham Council - and I'v now managed to drag some half-decent - OK quarter-decent pix off "ye olde compacte camerata" ... but you'll get the picture. A fine set in front of a very low crowd indeed at Academy 1 in Manc - so low that even the bloomin' touts were not buying - so if anyone wants an unused DF ticket - I've got one ! Three support bands, but I didn't bother with the first two (a pint in the Kro Bar won the day - Deuchars IPA at some daft price !). However Sabaton I DID like - not too shouty and heavy enough for rock'n'roll. DF played an execellent set - and the sound was OK for my ears. "Valley of the Damned" is now 'included' in the set rather than an encore (which was "Fire and Flames") - but I still missed the last train back to Stalybridge meaning midnight bus and taxi from Bridge - hey ho that's the way it go ... oh yes pictures:
Next gig - Wolfmother in January - also today bought tickets for the John Butler Trio in April for daughter + 1 (plus one for me - he's a very talented banjo player indeed - feel free to check out John Butler - Ocean - you'll see what I mean !).
Now - off to cook some basic tea (jacket spuds and be damned !). .
... for a couple of days - big computer looking a little more healthy - although I'm now in a position to do everything on this laptop. Good to see Ashton United stopping the rot last night with a good thumping of AFC Kirkham and Fylde and Wesham. Bad to see Curzon losing in extra-time against Skelmersdale - buggered my chance of a Curzon v Belper semi-final. However .... very good to see the Belper Town board turning down Eastwood Town's "offer" for Lee Stevenson - I'm of the belief that all this uncertainty affected the whole team in their capitulation against Lincoln United last Saturday. Now it's all done and dusted they can take one step closer to Pride Park/Saltergate/Somewhere in Derbyshire by beating Glapwell tonight - who in fact beat Glossop in the previous round thus buggering my chance of a Glossop v Belper quarter-final (all part of a conspiracy to keep Belper away from the Manchester area I believe !)
Tonight - hopefully - it's Salford City v Mossley - heard nowt to the contrary at the moment, but Woodley Sports v Vauxhall Motors is alway a banker - or maybe Oldham Athletic Ressies v Preston North End Ressies @ Stalybridge Celtic. Weather looking OK for now however ...see what we can do with the lens tonight - looking for an improvement on Saturday (then again I'm always a little "intimidated" in the presence of "Sir Timbo of the Lens" (Belper snapper - he taught me all I know - I must have forgotten most of it on Saturday !!).
Jobs - I may have dropped a clanger today - but there's one good looking jobbie in Oldham to form-fill tomorrow - fingers etc suitably crossed. .
... you don't want to know the the absolute sh*te that I've been going through tonight in the land of computer - it's just crazy ... crazy ... this is coming via the laptop - however the photo stuff still needs to come via the other bloody thing - and bloody thing is an understatement - dunno whether it's to do with it being the 13th - or just all the crap etc that small boy has on the machine.
Suffice to say getting the Belper v Lincoln pix began at about 1945 tonight ... and is still going on now (!) - all this for 16 sub-standard (in my eyes) pictures - and I've STILL got to go through the crap from babycam (as in Dragonforce on Friday night - tell you what mind, Sabaton are WELL worth a listen !), and also the pictures from "Grandma's Party" (which I know you're not interested in but .. still need sorting out). I'm now sitting, looking at a JAlbum startup logo/splash screen that is just "sitting there" - AAAARGH.
I can see me taking a day out of "job hunt" this week - just to sort out all this garbage - I've a pc upstairs that could be - nay will be - "snapper only" - no rubbish, no internet, just photography - and then I can use memstix to move stuff around ... because 5 hours for 16 pictures is just daft. Stay tuned ... or have a good night's sleep first !!
(And yes I DO wonder about virus/keystrokes as well) .
Got the unemployed equivalent of a "Dear John" letter from the DWP today - well early afternoon actually - so I will have to remain strictly the "wrong side" of the desk/bullet-proof window !
Panic ? Not yet ... I also got my second (of three) "Gardening Leave payslips" - and a credit card bill ... a real "roller-coaster of post" today !! Soon it's time to get ready for popular beat music this evening down in the big city - from the sublime of "Harp and a Monkey" last night to the ridiculous of Dragonforce tonight ... still got a spare ticket though I've put it up on www.scarletmist.com - the ethical option.
Tomorrow sees "Grandma's Party" in Belper and hopefully a fair chunk of Belper Town v Lincoln United (cries of "Stevo must Stay !!" go up around the Amber Valley - and Southport as well).
..last night .. Liverpool v Fiorentina ('twas a "Christmas Wrapping Party" at home) - tonight was a "Hair Dye Session plus Christmas Deccies" party - so I got to go up to Mossley Social Club to one of Orpheus's "2nd Thursday" gigs .. and saw a rather good trio called "Harp and a Monkey" ... saw the harp, but .. no monkey !! I can't take big camera to DragonForce tomorrow (today ?!?) - and I failed to get on the guest/photographer list for Power Quest next week - Manuela from PQ was really nice about it, but because they're only "support" to Michael Schenker the options (passes if you like) were fewer - hey ho !! so I gave it a go tonight with big bugger ..
.. OK last night for starters - got there - Bower Fold - late (yep the Parents Evening @ Salford College - which also confirmed my earlier blog post that "Steve Settle is unavailable for the Lancaster/Mossley game" - well work DOES come first - my excuse for missing out the 0-3 defeat @ Giant Axe was "Your kids come first") - but still in time to see Celtic go one down.
Panic ?? Nobody did (apart from me still desperately trying to get my snapper gear in order - it gets harder and harder "in the dark" - even under the Conference standard of "lux 250"). Celtic meanwhile didn't panic - played it around - even backwards at times - but it eventually brings results, and for me once the equaliser went in, Gloucester were seriously on the back foot - and Celtic knew it ! Number 7 Dave Hankin - who's moved up to Conf North from Unibond 1 North Clitheroe - was the key ... surging down the right and putting over 'dirty balls' both in the air and on the ground - an absolute nightmare for the Gloucester defence. In the end 4-1 was well-deserved - and to be honest, could have been more.
Today ... one of those "dolescum" days for me - checking emails in (2 knock-downs) and going round the agency websites - and putting house in order and cooking posh tea. Got "pass out" to watch fitba tonight - 'twas Liverpool v AC Fiorentina - and Florence certainly 'put one into the machine' with that late late winner from Gilardino .
Job hunt ?? I've started to write "a book" about this stuff - OK it would be nice to get something sorted before Christmas but .. I seriously wonder about the validity/honesty/usefulness of certain of these so-called "job aids" - I really do. There was a post a few months ago on here where I despaired of "being honest" because "being honest" gets you nowhere these days - I start to think a few 'tweaks' to job applications/date of birth etc might make a difference - who knows .. but if I ever meet a "banker" (with a £30,000 bonus - i.e crooked dishonest cheating scumbag who will further himself to the detriment of thousands of others) in the street, I may well become VERY VERY dishonest ...yes sh*t would certainly be k*cked out of said leech ... people like that put people like me where we are today ... just like being back in Maggie's recession - yep last time I got made redundant ...
Still - looking forward to Friday at this moment in time - DragonForce @ Academy .. and I found out last night that several of the (younger) Stalybridge Celtic Matchday Stewards will be there also - just a shame they won't have their hi-vis on - I might have been able to wangle "big camera" into the gig !! As it stands you will get only "AliceInChains" quality as the "baby camera" seems to be on the way out ..OK it has been for a number oif years but --has never been replaced - maybe a PowerShot A480 for Christmas (although my earlier hint for a Manfrotto 679 monopod has today been upgraded to a 681 - for the extra couple of inches ...)
But their best ever gig in Manc (and even my baby cam was inspired that night !!) is here
One day - one day - I WILL get my act together ref gig photography - it can be done, and I have done it at the lower level with big camera - see my pic of former PowerQuest drummer Francesco Tresca taken @ Satan's Hollow in Manchester last year (there is a colour version too !) ..
They're supporting Michael Schenker next week (PQ that is) - we'll have to see - maybe I can swap my spare DragonForce ticket for a PowerQuest ticket - after all PQ's Steve Williams used to play in DragonHeart - the early version of DragonForce ...
My God .. I've wobbled on a bit tonight - hope it was worth it ... .
... a cracking away win for the fillings, while crazily all 6 were scored by the Greek (?) "striker" Lampraki.
Another score today was NewSpex 2 Vision 20/20 ... while the Asda £50 option sounds tempting ... they were in the end 'trumped' by the "2 for £75" option at SpecSavers (the opticians of football officials country-wide !)
... which leaves only one more effing chest x-ray - OK I say one more - the three up to now have been 1 - "Clearish, but we'd like to check"; 2) "Shadow/inflammation on right side" and then 3) "OK on right side, poss inflammation on left side" - and my entire physical self should be sorted - pro-tem !
... which reminds me - "We must book the car in for an MOT before New Years Eve " .. ho ho ..
PS for those who fancy Lancaster City v Mossley on't'net tomorrow night - www.bailriggfm.co.ukis the radio station of choice - from 1935 onwards ... .
Just to let you know - I've changed the blog settings for when peeps want to tell me stuff - I've added the "Word Verification" option to the bottom of the "Comment" page - because if you look at: This blooming spammy post !!
Quick weekend ctach-up, which began @ Stalybridge Buffet Bar, meeting the boys (and girl !) from Ilkeston Town - well those who hadn't buggered off to the Wetherspoons anyway. Scabbed a lift on their coach up to Bower Fold as well !!
The goal certainly caught a lot of people "cold" - or still in pie queue - or still faffing with camera before walking round !! And after that ... the next 86 minutes were fairly evenly matched - although I reckon Celtic's Dave Carnell was the busier of the two 'keepers - and a little bit more composure in front of goal could well have seen Ilkeston win handsomely. But there you go - "win ugly" and all similar cliches. Celtic certainly looked a bit "ring rusty" - after all it was their first league game since the end of October - crazy, but that's FA competitions for you (work it through and you'll find it's the fault of the World Cup ... or Sky ... or both, because Sky told FIFA when to have the World Cup, where to have the World Cup, and also the kick-off times ... allegedly .. !!
Off to Rochdale in the evening - and this morning a wander around Healey Dell Nature Reserve - I've got some pix, but they're on t'other pc - and boy is watching "Bad Girls" (why ?) on it at the moment, so ... we'll have to wait on them.
This midweek is varied to say the least (!!) - Monday the dentist starts ripping my mouth apart - on Tuesday, the Salford College Parent's Evening means no Lancaster City v Mossley - so I'll probably try to catch as much as poss of the Stalybridge Celtic v Gloucester City game ... Wednesday .. hmm - Thursday .. hmm - and Friday it's DragonForce at Manchester Academy .. Saturday sees a trip to Belper .. party and hopefully a goodly chunk of football, and a chance to discuss the merits of ISO 3200 on an EOS 20D against ISO 3200 on the EOS 50D - it's bloomin important at this time of year when light is at a premium - and if I do - fingers crossed - get back into gainful employment before the "Gardening Leave" finishes - an upgrade to the 50D body is a distinct possibility.
And naturally in between all this "fun and games" - the Job Hunt goes on ... .
... in the "ROCK'N'ROLL" Department - jobs ... not yet ... but gigs ... oh yes !!! I give you this week's arrivals at Chez Smiffy...
(For those who can't quite see ... the DragonForce gig is next Friday by the way !!) 'Twill be interesting to see how the new Wolfmother line-up pans out ... but that's something for next year.Apparently tomorrow I'm due at Stalybridge Buffet Bar at 1215 - according to Sean (Ilkeston Town) !! God only knows what the plans are for the early part of the day (some serious recycling needs doing .. the can box is full of food cans - no room for my couple of Shandy Bass cans anywhere !!) - but the evening = trip to Rochdale (and Mrs Smiffy IS driving Mr PC "Christmas Grabbing I'm on Commission" Badger).Naturally my thoughts are up at Bamber Bridge tomorrow - which I miss due to the Rochdale jaunt - just hope there's "some" improvement after Tuesday's 'surrender' at Woodley Sports. Next Tuesday - Lancaster away - which I miss due to small boy's 'Parents Evening' @ Salford College (will this make Steve Settle "unavailable" I wonder ?) and then the Saturday after (12th if you've lost count !!!) ... Bamber Bridge @ home (and Mother-in-Law's Christmas bash "away" - so I do Belper Town v Lincoln United that afternoon).
... and I'm afraid Bamber Bridge v Mossley is a "no-go" due to family/friend requirements early evening on Saturday - so it's a trip to Bower Fold to see Stalybridge Celtic "wreak a local revenge" on Ilkeston Taarn - maybe. It also gives me a chance to meet the "Ilson train boys" in the Buffet Bar pre-match ... and tempt them up to the Hare and Hounds for a pint of Black Sheep as well !!
Today's job hunt - two applied for - no knock-backs - although with so many on-line" applications going in over the last week or so, it seems that if you've heard nowt within 3 or 4 days you should consider that a "knock back" - as I said earlier this week the whole jobsite/recruiter "thing" is not the greatest method - and as I also said - there is an "article" being put together on this subject - as well as the basic "I've been Cheated over my Working Life" article which is turning into a seven parter at the moment .... furthermore I'm now getting plenty of e-mails in the style of "Get Yourself a Job - Give Us Money and We'll Improve Your CV" offers, and "Why Not Retrain and Get a Job in IT ... but Give Us Money First" options ... hmmm...
Tonight me and Mrs Smiffy met up with the Northumberland Branch of the Mossley Supporters Clubs (Lynn and Andy moved up there a few weeks ago, but were down for the night) - curry and beer were the order of the day/night.
Cold ... if I remember nothing else about last night ... it was cold - must be something about all-weather pitches ... and cold ... Durham last season was ... cold. Even the beer @ Woodley was John Smiths ... Extra Cold (Yes, I had a couple for my sins - needed a "beer coat" last night because it was so ... cold - and I did have a pint of Robbies in the "Railway" pre-match !!).
Enough of this - what can I say about last night - in short a very poor performance by Mossley - in fact, I've said somewhere else that the reason for a lot of Woodley players being in the foreground of the pictures is because Mossley were second to every ball - not far wrong either ... pictures ...
Strangely enough, by the time I got back to Mossley (2200 bus to Ashton, quick stop in Asda for cans, quick Robbies in "Prince of Orange" and last train back) ... it didn't seem that ... cold ... because it had definitely warmed up ... however the three points were in (cold ?) storage back at Lambeth Grove, Woodley ... bugger... Job Hunt update - yesterday - 3 applied for, two other rejections - this morning so far - one e-mail rejection, and Postman Pat tends not to turn up much before tea-time !! Now the football is sorted, it's back to work ... looking for work ... .
... (for Dec 2nd) to Rod Haslam @ Woodley Sports - the entire Mossley team tonight decided to give you an early birthday present of three points ...
... and make my birthday (Dec 1st) not so much fun ...
Photos tonight ?? Get stuffed ... and I even managed to miss both Woodley goals due to equipment malfunctions ... malfunctions which - until I get a job - may well happen again during the sh*te weather time of year ... suffice to say a Manfrotto 679 (or 679b) is now top of the Christmas list (it's cheap - yet good - but contrary to some opinions, it's NOT for life !) for starters anyway.
Sunday – with Mrs Smiffy still away (think about it - why else would I have been wide awake very late on Saturday night sorting out pictures (after a Chinese Takeaway for tea) AND listening to “Relayer” by Yes AND drinking ‘dirty beer’), I also managed a trip out to pub early Sunday afternoon to watch Kettering Town beat Leeds United (well almost) - and I won some Spare Rib Chops in the “Brit Meat Draw” as well ! – but this trip was ONLY after doing some resealing around the upstairs bath (top tip – sod the lolly sticks idea, squeeze out the silicone stuff – then a dab or three of washing up liquid on the finger and run that along the joint – it tidies up the bead of silicone beautifully !!). Oops football - I reckon keeper Lee Harper should have got MOM – two tremendous saves – and he’s copped for the Manager job since Mark Cooper went to Peterborough - the tempter of a trip to Old Trafford must loom large when they get to the replay.... which leads beautifully on to ..
.. Monday – and today a job interview (ironically for work with the Department of Work and Pensions – they’re taking on staff because … you can work out the rest !) - OK first things first – some lit/num tests to pass – which weeded out 50% of our batch/tranche – before my first job interview since May 1985 – which took place in a private box overlooking the pitch …….. at Old Trafford – I kid you not ! Interview took the best part of 40 minutes – and when I realise I left our house at 0955 – and left Old Trafford at about 1530 (with no food – and without setting foot in the Megastore !) – it was a long day, and I was a complete nervous wreck when I came out !!! The question has been asked by several peeps, viz “How did it go ??”. Well I refer my right honourable reader to the earlier line regarding first interview for nearly 25 years - - - - I’ve absolutely no idea !!!! I gave what I thought was my “best shot” – pass or fail, I’ve been promised feedback from the interview – but having got to that stage … and passing the tests … and getting the interview … it’s a move in the right direction I guess, and any feedback (positive or negative) WILL give me some clues regarding interview performance/technique in the 21st century.
Anyway a couple of shandies helped to relax – and now we prepare for yet another day in the hunt for work – I’m certainly putting together a few “thoughts” regarding the whole “agency/register CV/we feed you job options” – but I’ll leave ‘those thoughts’ for a while .. early days yet. And after the hunt for work – we have football – away at Woodley Sports, so theoretically it could rain/snow/anything – the game should still be on thanks to “3G Fieldturf technology” – although that’s what we all thought last season when we “jollied” up to Durham City – see.
... to the "Brother Rabbit" conundrum posed yesterday is of course "The Commitments" - Jimmy Rabbit and Joey "The Lips" Fagan (who called him "Brother Rabbit") are the two pix adjacent to the pumpclip.
But you all knew that anyway didn't you ............... didn't you ?? .
... well after all the "early morning kerfuffle" I had the choice of two (OK Chorley v Curzon was a third - and I had offers of lifts too - thanks Joe - seven goals - bugger !!!) - I decided to eschew Droylsden in the end (save my "voucher" for the real Stalybridge re-arranged match I guess) as Ashton United is just that touch easier transport-wise - and I get a beer or two at Stalybridge Buffet Bar at both ends of a 408 bus !).
The cold weather certainly kicked in today - maybe something to do with the hair cut as well ! The pitch looked not unlike Mossley on a Tuesday night i.e. playable but "good to soft". Ashton went into the game on the back of a poor run, and I'm afraid it showed at times - confidence is certainly lacking a bit, and after NFU took the lead - yes Gary Bradshaw - it seemed to drop another notch. Here's the pix from today:
It might have been a heavy pitch - but the Robins seemed (to me) to be playing the game far too long - at times it was "hoofball" as Darlo at Belper would say. I look back (wistfully) to 1970 - to the Great Harwood v Stafford Rangers game - on a mud heap down the slope - 6-1 to Rangers at half-time using "hoofball" tactics - finished up 7-5 as Great Harwood employed similar tactics in the second half. But I digress ... there's always room to play it short, play it through the midfield, and in my humble opinion that's where it went wrong today. This, combined with some "eccentric" refereeing at times (OK inconsistent/poor) led to the eventual result.
They shouldn't worry though - there's some good players up at Hurst Cross - they just seem to be lacking in confidence - just not wanting to take that little bit of extra time on the ball. Had that free kick gone in just after they went one down ... it might just have been the catalyst - but that's football godammit !! I know both fans and officials have great faith in Danny Johnson (Ashton Boss) - he'll turn it round I'm sure. To put it into pictures (OK one) ...
Another real disappointment was the crowd - with only Droylsden as an option in the vicinity, 136 was poor - especially when I saw FC United fans, Kendal fans and even a Witton Albion scarfed fan in the bar - I've no idea what the crowd was at the Butchers Arms but is it any wonder that teams struggle financially ?? I used to blame Sky - but that's only midweek - these days it's those damned Albanian/Italian satellite cards that are doing the damage - but then again with pubs closing at a rate of 25 per week, they've got an fair excuse as well - just narks me that when a club's game is called "off", many of their fans don't think to go to another game "just up the road" - it works both ways you know ... .
... armed with a copy of the inside back page of last week's "Non League Paper", battle plans are now being drawn up -
- Part 1 (viz local) was documented yesterday (Mossley, Ashton U, Droylsden, Oldham, Chadderton)
- Part 2 (a bit further) looks like Chorley v Curzon or Buxton v Stalybridge Celtic (only a friendly however so could disappear very early !).
No Part 3 as yet ... although time and public transport play a big part here as well - eek ! Looking for those magical words ... "Game On" ... poss updates later ... also any updates from out there in "web land" would be gratefully received as well !
1030 - New Mills v Maine Road - OFF 1050 - Droylsden v Hyde United - ON ! 1100 - Chapel (en-le-Frith) Town v Prestwich Heys - OFF 1115 - Mossley v Ossett Albion - OFF (bugger) 1120 - Ashton United v North Ferriby United - ON ! 1145 - Chadderton v Rochdale Town - OFF 1145 - FC United v Kendal Town - OFF 1145 - Radcliffe B v Garforth Town - OFF 1145 - Buxton v Stalybridge Celtic - ON ! 1200 - Chorley v Curzon Ashton - ON !
Decisions now in for all "Six Tame Sides" - therefore closing this one off for the day ... hope it's helped some ... .
... sneaked a beer in early evening tonight at the Brit in Mossley - they had this one on (p.s. I didn't drink it - I had the Hopback "Summer Lightning") but then ... I saw this pumpclip and "thought out aloud " of other things - and no bugger else clicked !!!! Therefore I offer up three pix (of which I only took one - naturally) - hopefully someone out there in web land will see the connection ... I offer pumpclip, Robert Arkins and Johnny Murphy ...
Football tomorrow - well since Tuesday the weather has remained "poo" - after the exertions that night, the chances of Mossley v Ossett have to be 50/50 - other local options are Ashton United v North Ferriby United or Droylsden v Hyde United .. possibly another local derby that the weather might bugger up !! A poss train day out = Chorley v Curzon Ashton - but I think we need to wait-a-while tomorrow morning before decisions are made - no car (not that I'd use it anyway !!) - and there are "desperate options" available in the Vodkat League at Oldham and Chadderton.
It's just "that time of year" when it becomes a pain in the butt ... we'll find something - I only hope it's not a dodgy pub Albanian Channel showing the City game !!! .
... despite sterling efforts all round, we didn't make it. Ilkeston obviously took a good look at our performance on Saturday, made the necessary "tweaks", and basically gave us pretty much nowt all night. Pictures are finally available (too much time on my blistered hands ? Not really - 'twas yet another night of drying stuff off !) at
It's been a good FA Trophy run though - makes a welcome change to have had a decent cup run in something other than the Manky Prem (still got the League Cup this season as well, although away @ Lancaster City won't be easy). I reckon it's time to kick-start the league form - beginning on Saturday with a home game against Ossett Albion.
(I wouldn't have been able to make the Blyth game on the 12th December anyway !) .
... or four forkers if you like ... we turned up at 1500 - and we forked - and we forked - and we forked until we could fork no more (it was getting dark !). Some pix of t'other three forkers @ work ! I put the going down as "good to soft" ....!!
And this is what happens when a "normal" desk-based geezer gives his best ... yes my lilywhite hand with bonus blister !!
Let's hope it makes a difference - in 90 minutes time when they kick-off - and in 195 minutes time with a trip to Blyth suitably booked - my maths assume no e/t and pens ! .
2145 - Truly another "grand day out" - some excellent beer and company in the "Spanish Bar" in Ilkeston (Springhead "Ginger Pig" and a wheat beer whose name and brewery escape me) - another game of "football in the wet" - and another 'late show' from Steve Moore - a thoroughly deserved draw in the end. Must admit I thought we'd had it at half-time - plenty of chances but nowt to show for it. Still the draw was the right result in the end and I guess Kevin Wilson (Ilson Manager) is checking with Jon Brady (Brackley Town similar) on what to do - or what NOT to do on Tuesday night when I'm sure it'll be "more of the same" weather-wise !
Quick plug for our SJNR - cus he's got a video for you all to see !!!
After the game - a couple more 'shandies' (OK Castle Rock Harvest Ale) in the DewDrop Inn (next to the railway line - amazing that Ilson used to have two stations - and now ... nothing !!) and then back to the Spanish Bar before zg-zagging back to Derby thence Belper. An extremely wet walk this morning/lunchtime/early afternoon (camera never left bag so you don't have to suffer ...) before returning to Mossley, sorting pix out- eating left-over pastitsio from a "we had visitors on Friday night" night (home-made by moi - one of my "signature dishes" - honest !) - now this ...
And I've not said anything about the "Smiffy JobHunt" situation of last week - things ARE finally starting to happen ... some good, some not so good, but ... movement at last ... .
Bugger - got the call from Mrs Smiffy - "Bridge Flooded - worth a picture" - not by the time I got there - the drains had been unblocked (curse these efficient Council workers !) and the water was down to a sensible height ! Still I headed for the mighty River Tame and faffed about with slow exposures and high f-numbers - a few pix for your etc etc ...
What began as an "Ossett Afternoon" - "Sunrise" in the Britannia, Mossley, "Elizabeth Rose" in the Head of Steam, Huddersfield and "Pale Gold" and "Silver King" in the Three Pigeons, Halifax ... turned into an "Oh Sh*t" evening weather-wise - and then James Dean scored a very, very, very, very late winner (a Brackley "bites y'bum" moment - what goes around comes around I guess !). Still thought we were much the better footballing side for the majority of the game - got to watch those long deep crosses though ...
You're not expecting owt at this time of night (0121) - surely !!
Suffice to say we missed our chances to win ... and got done in about the 101st minute according to my watch (10 to 10 when he blew for time !!) - pix halfway there ... but I'm going to bed - and yes it was another wet night ... early tomorrow - promise !! .
... for the Presidents Cup 2nd Round game - maybe seen by some as a "Tasse de la Souris Michel" - but hey - a good "warm up" for the big one at Ilkeston on Saturday. Whilst getting kit together I noticed some piccies left on the card from Sunday's walk around the Brushes Valley - so - you cop for four (muahahahahaha !) ... "click for bigger" as they say ...
More later ... if I get home at a reasonable hour (!!) - once again weather forecast is not to hot - at least there's plenty of "covered options" at the Shay - for the fans anyway !! .
... felt that some Celtic "minds" were more interested in the Droylsden game this coming Saturday rather than getting stuck in this evening - at times it did look like a training session for both sides ... some lovely one touch stuff going absolutely nowhere !! With Chester having a league match last night one assumes this was pretty much a second string tonight - they looked a useful side mind.
One point that has been raised elsewhere is the "full price" option tonight, which I know for a fact has kept a few away. Looking around, I note that a good many clubs do actually drop their prices for County Cup games (latest example I've spotted is Ilkeston, knocking it down to £3 for their Derbyshire Senior Cup game against Pinxton next midweek). One area to look at for the future - might have helped to create a better atmosphere as well .
Now have a quandary for Saturday as in "where to go" - needs thought - but not now ... .
... a quick follow-up to last Thursday's tale of Tameside Council's "Two Fingers to Recycling" in Mossley. I was walking up to the Co-op yesterday (it's what unemployed people do y'know !) and took this picture for posterity ...
Surely it should say at the bottom "Lots of Love, Your Caring, Sharing Faux-Socialist Council" rather than "Leave a Fag End here and Tough-Talking Tameside will Tw*t You" ... I guess the next step is fortnightly refuse collections - ho ho ! Even this week our Monday collection ... finally happened on Tuesday - ha !
Enough of this frivolity - I now have to write 300+ words on why I want a job with the GMC (that's Medical not Manchester !!). I also have to revise my Alice in Chains in prep for the Academy on Saturday night. Only then am I allowed out to the football at Bower Fold tonight ! .
Yep, on page 7 of today's NLP, there's an article by Woodley Sports Chairman Tony Whiteside regarding the swine flu outbreak at the club and on measures taken and measures needed, should this re-occur. The article is beautifully complemented (!!) by one of my pix taken at the Stockport Senior Cup Final twixt Woodley Sports Ressies and Cheadle Heath Nomads way back in May 2007 (picture features a heavily bandaged Sam Walker - now with Mossley of course !)
Every little helps though !
Football next week is somewhat limited - unavailable - I think - on Monday night - so Curzon Ashton v Prescot Cables is a non-starter. Its not in the NLP but the only other real option is Stalybridge Celtic v Chester City on Wednesday night (Cheshire Senior Cup)... that will do nicely I guess ... .
Another p*ssy wet rainy day in Mossley - thank heavens that the Canon EOS 20D appears to be "indestructable" - still needs drying out mind as does lenses, filters, hoods and all the kerfuffle - all drying out as we speak - still you don't care about all this - you want product ... so ... here's product ...
This "giving the other team a start and coming back" is starting to get a bit "samey" - but the beauty is that it's great to see a team playing for the full 90 - in years gone by we've watched Mossley go 3 down, give up or just maybe get one in the last ten ... we've now got a team (plus substitutions) that give us the full 90 + time added on, and for the fans it's a refreshing change - because we the fans are giving it for the full 90 - so it's great to see that attitude on the pitch as well. OK this game should have been wrapped up in the first half - but I'm tempted to give the "B of the D" following the efforts over 120 minutes on a wet Tuesday night against a team from a division above. Let's not forget that Wakefield were (and still are) above us in the table as well ...
Now we (Mossley) have a midweek off - but my search for football begins tomorrow with a trip to Rajas for a "Non League Paper". .
Mossley v Wakefield that is ... after some seriously wet weather most of the week - and the game on Tuesday night - it looks as though the groundsman has waved his magic wand (oo-err !), and the pitch got the OK at 1030 this morning ... and now the sun is out !
Looking at the Unibond site, nowt has been postponed as yet (1200), but as Confucius always said before heading off to see his hometown team (Qufu Ramblers FC - remember their keeper Rick Shaw ?) - "Ring First !"
First Round of the FA Cup as well today - best wishes of course to all the non-league sides - starting of course with Paulton v Norwich in about 30 minutes - and Bromley v Colchester in 45 minutes ! .
... Thursday it was Tameside Council - today it's Oldham Council who "get one in the neck" !!
When the free paper arrives - it arrives laden with flyers (because that is how the delivery person gets paid) - amongst the pile this week was a jolly flyer from Oldham viz ...
.. detailing all the events twixt now and Crimbo ... the back page contained some useful website links and information about travelling to Oldham ... some of you "locals" may well have guessed what comes next ...
For those "not in the know" ... the Oldham Loop railway line closed down at the beginning of October as part of the expansion work to the Manchester Metrolink Tram System. It will be closed until at least 2011 ..... (tumbleweed moment) .....
Do you get the feeling that Oldham Council "recycled" last year's brochure design and changed a few bits 'inside' - whilst failing to change a few bits 'outside' ??
... recycling ... we do our best at Smiffy Towers - our kitchen contains three "big buggers" entitled "Plastic", "Glass" and "Cans" ... upstairs is the "paper" bag. Over the last few months we've noticed a big big change both in Mossley and at the "big place" in Stalybridge - in Mossley the "recycling centre" up in the Market Place has slowly shrunk and shrunk and shrunk - so much has disappeared and people have ended up just "dumping" bags of stuff as there's been no information as to what to do. I'm now told there is a sign saying something like "No recycling here - anything dumped here = flytipping" - so it now appears the end of recycling has arrived in Mossley. Moving to Stalybridge - to the "main" recycling centre in Tamesides ... our trusty three "separated" boxes now end up in ONE BLOODY CONTAINER - yes - plastic, glass and cans all go into one box.
I reckon Tameside have either a) given up on the important areas of recycling; b) found a way of "keeping up their recycling quotas" whilst doing less work locally; c)just don't give a toss about Mossley.
Whilst on the recycling rant ... I could give Amber Valley Council a "good slapping" as well - the nearest refuse tip to Belper is at Loscoe .. about 7 miles away !!! OK there are basic recycling facilities in Belper for your plastic,glass, cans and paper ... but 7 miles ???? Here in Mossley the "big tip" is only 3 miles away at 'Bridge .... but it looks like we've lost our "basic" options/stuff in town.
Shame on you Tameside ... no communication received to tell us what is going on - no reduction in poll tax if money is being saved ... would love to know what's going on ...... .
... are now up in the usual place (not sure what happened with them pix last night - all seem to have been chopped in half for some reason - tweaked it now though !) - anyway enjoy the full set in glorious "wet-o-vision" - it was a grim night indeed, weather-wise ! Mossley 3 Brackley Town 1
Take nowt away from Brackley - although it was a deserved win for Mossley, they didn't stop trying to play football, even when down to 10 men - you can see why they're doing so well in the Zammo Prem. However - to coin another cliche "That's the beauty of Cup football" - the cliche that eventually replaced the "They may well regret that penalty miss" ...
Onward to Ilkeston Town in the next round ... it gets no easier ... but look out Nosmo, Sean, Mi Owd, "Citizen Smith" (Robert Lindsay) and the rest of the crew - we're on a roll at the moment !! .
"Greasy surface tonight"; "The pitch will be a great leveller"; "The winners will be those that want it most"; "It's all to play for tonight"; "A bitterly cold night but the atmosphere will be red hot"; "Fortress Seel Park"; "At the end of the day it'll be eleven against eleven out there"; "It's our year this year"
...... and finally the ultimate cliche, direct from today's BBC Website ..
"Clichy out for several weeks"
Tonight's winners will be away to Ilkeston Town in the next round ... until later then ... I have my big (but not "rugged") coat, gloves (with the ends chopped off) , hat ("sans bobble") etc etc ... aargh ... .
... with "stuff" to do - and a replay to get ready for on Tuesday - at 1900 (Greek time) yesterday evening all hope was lost until the magical text (x 2 - ta to Stuart and Jools) ....
"98th Minute Equaliser !"
A small corner of Kefalonia erupted ... and later down at the bar I was able to relay said score to the couple from "just outside Banbury" - who said "How on earth .... etc" - the power of the phone ...
So - back to "stuff" for now ... normality to be restored ... soonest !
Oh yes - my official "You're Finished" letter arrived from the "Tower of Doom" while I was away as well ...... .
That phrase "I'd have settled for a point before the game" rears its ugly blooming head I'm afraid - in the end - against 10 men for 70 minutes - with the chances towards the end - a point suddenly becomes a touch disappointing ... but it's a point away from home against a top six team ... so ... Goosenargh I guess !
Interesting stadia (!) - only one side - nay half of one side open - attendance just over 200 (apparently their best of the season). It nearly all went horribly wrong for the snapperazzi tho' - checked at reception - no press pass/advice waiting despite yesterday's "warning/courtesy e-mail" - I don't mind paying, it's the "You can't take pictures ... " from one of the many 'stewards' that I object to ... still soon sorted - no goals missed - and a blue bib to wear .. not as stylish as the Wembley Stadium efforts, but kept the chill off and allowed "access all areas" !! Wonder how the "compact brigade" got on .....
A number of chances to win it in the last 15/20 minutes - got to give credit to Leigh for 're-organising' after the red card (Matt Jansen was the "tactical withdrawal" - shame in a way ... but then again probably not !) No doubt both teams know each other well enough (two ex-Leigh in the Mossley team - Settle and Brown) to make the Presidents Cup Game between the two teams on Tuesday a 0-0 after 120 minutes ... maybe ? Who knows ? I won't be there ... or for that matter at Brackley Town next Saturday due to the last-minute "escape to Kefalonia" - it's now 2300 - taxi arrives in just under 4 hours !
Θα κρατήσει το μάτι μου σχετικά με τις εξελίξεις για Mossley κατά τη διάρκεια αυτής της εβδομάδας .
Plenty more stones where these came from - just a question of trawling the external hard drive - but now ... something else .... booked tickets for "Wolfmother Tour 2010" - next January @ Manc Academy ... .