Monday, March 30, 2009

Football Tonight ... not I !!

Droylsden have won, beating Kings Lynn (they're now starting to breath down Celtic's neck in the BSN) - Curzon Ashton have beaten Newky Brown Ale Blue Star - Curzon now ten points in front of Mossley ... and still an outside chance of the play-offs in the Unibond 1 North.

Me - going for the Wakefield v Mossley option tomorrow night .. train jobby straight from work and home for 2330.

Work - strangely "relaxed" .. our Lotus Notes Admin (Helen) left today - which leaves our Developer doing stuff till I get trained up (cus he's buggering off to Deansgate at the end of April - toad - 'twas probably "karma" which led James to "fall over" in the karaoke bar on Saturday night and smack teeth and nose to the ground - and NO HE WASN'T PUSHED !!!!!).

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Relax ??

OK - a bit of a lie-in (until I realised that the (fairly new) sexy DAB bedside radio had automatically "moved on one hour").

Mrs Smiffy and "our Michelle" were down in Belper - hence my Saturday "all-dayer and most of the bloody nighter". Today was beautiful - blue skies all over the shop - so I did some "tidy-up", did some ironing - and then grabbed the 170-500mm "monster" - still on extended loan although the owner was one of those who "didn't make the cut" @ work - so it should go back eventually - and caught a train up to Greenfield - now there's a photo on the wall in the "Railway" showing a train going over the viaduct @ Uppermill - my aim was to find the spot where it was taken - and believe it or not, once I got "in the vicinity", I realised that the 70-200mm would have been fine (being honest I was looking for a spot for when the next "Cotton Mill Express/Steam Train" goes through our neck of the woods) See what you think anyway - the big lens is very very heavy - I can see the idea behind a sturdy tripod - I was using monopod but still ...

Trains and Trains and other related stuff !

Walked back to Greenfield - nipped into "Railway" for 1.5 pints of Copper Dragon "Golden Pippin" and then(as you can see from pix) I moved onto Stalybridge to finish off - even got "permission" to snap on the station - why I hear you say ?? I refer to ..

Train Spotter Terrorist .....

- a natter with some Celtic fans (got the low-down on the Kings Lynn defeat - and apparently Jason's barred !!!) - some Howard Town "Monks Gold" .. and then return home to cook for the returnees - cajun chicken for the "meaties" - quorn korma for the "veggies" - a rather nice medley of roast veggies for veggies and meaties alike - now I drink Grolsch (honest) in front of this ...

Monday - put it down as the first day of the new Computer Services Department @ work - it will be "interesting" I'm sure - because at least - at the moment - we have a Lotus Notes/E-Mail Admin presence - once that goes - the post will NOT be replaced .... apparently my training courses kick in at the start of April ....


Chaophraya 1 Tampopo 3

OK so in footy world it was Mossley 1 Durham City 3 - but first some eating hints ... Chaophraya - have always enjoyed going in there for a drink (the posh "underground chairs" work for me !) - but Friday night saw us eating upstairs - they were certainly in a rush to get us out in time for the next sitting - nothing but mither, mither, mither throughout the meal (which was very good mind ...). I much prefer the - ask about drinks - get food order - bring food - one quick check to make sure all OK - and then "Bugger off and leave us alone" sort of approach.

Saturday night saw a "Departmental Do/Wake" including nosh at Tampopo - which was just the way I like it - no frills - no mither - and equally good food (cheaper too !). After several more beers I even managed an "Addicted to Love (Robert Palmer)" moment in some karaoke bar in Chinatown ! Home - very late, hence my diatribe on the Mossley Message Board - now suitbaly "toned down" by both "Admin" and me !!!!

Diatribe ? Oh yes - football - Man of the Match was one Dave Storrie from Leeds - well he seemed to think so anyway - we can only assume that having the Channel M cameras there helped to decide which level of complete ineptitude this "official" was to adopt for the afternoon - oh yes forgot to say the redoubtable Mr S was in fact the referee ...

No complaints about the result - 3 down in 15 minutes - and then we began to play - the damage had been done by then however. Some pictures at ...

Mossley 1 Durham City 3

... and I'll leave it at that !


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Stalybridge "Scrote Alert"

A couple of days old - it happened over the weekend - some scrote attempting to enter the Buffet Bar by chucking beer barrels at the windows - which only managed to smash the two big mirrors behind the bar .... viz ....

The good news is .. the dozy bunt made so much noise, that the "night watch" at the Fire Station next door heard it all and managed to apprehend said scumbag - let's hope they used "reasonable force" - because that's allowed .... It got me thinking though - they have "Blue Watch" and "Red Watch" and stuff like that - do Scottish Fire Stations have "Black Watch" do you think ?

Tonight ... well Ilson were 1-0 up at Guiseley - fingers crossed for Nosmo's boys in their quest for play-offs and above (especially if it keeps FCUM out - ooooh I can be so bitchy !!).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

MossleyTrafford - the "Dry Bits"

Yep - it took a while - pc playing up last night - everything soaking wet through - take it all apart - allow to dry - and put back together a 0645 this morning before heading for work.

Horrible horrible horrible day @ work today - Gordon finally left (it was me or him for the one remaining post) - and we've worked together for well over 20 years - not a lot you can say with a handshake, but I was rather upset - God only knows how Gordon was feeling ... t
he spaces are appearing in the car park as many of those with the "dark mark" call it a day - not only do we have the 70+ staff redundancies, but we also have over 50 contractors leaving early next week ......... what happens next we wonder .....

Back to last night's football for a minute - sweet revenge for the President's Cup defeat seven days earlier - although we did well to come out of it with a 3-1 win as Trafford must have rattled the woodwork more than three times !! Some pictures at

Mossley 3 Trafford 1

The weekend brings Durham City into town (assuming the pitch recovers from last night - it should do - well I have !!) - I believe me and Mrs Smiffy are out "doing Japanese" in Manchester on Friday night - and we have a works do in Manchester on Saturday night (be interesting to see who turns up for that ...). That'll do for now I feel ......

Mossley 3 Trafford 1

More (inc pix) tomorrow night - pc probs - this from laptop - suffice to say ... we won !

Monday, March 23, 2009

Surely you weren't expecting .....

... something/anything tonight - were you ? (Spot the Todd Rundgren verbose .... !!!)

Curzon have beaten Salford City 2-1 - which knocks back the Salford "We're gonna stay up after beating Harrogate on Saturday" plan big style - no goals from "Fossie" tonight ....

Some interesting meetings @ work involving "Who's gonna do this - who's gonna do that - in addition to your own job natch !" - some serious "doubling up" to be done in the Computer Department - and naturally some totally inept performances from the HR Department (yes - surely the ultimate "p*ss up in a brewery" department - I've mentioned it before - really - now - I make no bones about it !) ... those with the "thumbs down" letters were given a suitably vague scenario which many saw as "don't bother turning up this week" - and others saw as "they're stealing ten days pay off us - so I'm turning up" - total bloody chaos - but totally typical ....and at 1700 tonight still officially unresolved ..what can you say ?? I'm a "lucky one" - but I just can't believe how crass this whole "exercise" has been even before the "sh*t hit the fan" - and this total insensitivity continues effortlessly into the "nasty bits" - as someone outside our place said to me tonight "It all went to sh*t when Personnel was replaced by Human Resources" ... I tend to concur .. I reckon some people in our HR would struggle to spell Personnel anyway .........

Still football tomorrow - somewhere


Sunday, March 22, 2009

"The" Weekend

...OK began on Friday night - see earlier rant-cum-review (!!). Saturday started early - don't know why, because postie is ALWAYS LATE ... while the Mossley Pendolino Crew were setting sail for Lancaster I was stomping round the house, packing stuff for our stop-over in Lancaster and listening for the letter-box. Got to about 1115 and we realised we'd get nowt in the car boot as it was full of recycling - you know tins (beer) bottles (wine) papers (MEN) ... so I drove up to Top Mossley and got rid - on my return to Chez Smiffy I saw postie coming up the street - and this is what came through the letter box ...

How did I feel - little bit of everything really - relief (for me), sorrow (for others), apprehension (what lies ahead ?) - but the rest of the weekend had to go on - so we leapt into the limo and headed up the M60/M61/M6 to Lancaster - Mossley game, and evening meal with student son - and Mrs Smiffy was being taken to the posh place at the Lancaster House Hotel for some pamper/massage-type stuff ... got to Lancaster, offloaded Mrs S and our Michelle before heading into town, drop off car @ Royal Hotel and meet the Pendolino Peeps in the pub - sorry "The Pub" - awash with Mossley fans, tattoos and a belting juke box - ten minute walk to ground to meet student son, drink keg and watch football. Game pix are at

Lancaster City 0 Mossley 0

I guess the injury to Andy Teague (thankfully not as serious as first thought) took the stuffing out of the game really - but we did see two sublime performances from the custodians, Messrs Thornley and Mann - there may have been no goals - it may have been a bit "end-of-season" - but these two guys didn't put a foot (or hand) wrong for most of the 90 minutes... game over, a few beers before repairing to the Royal to change for food - the Hotel has a tapas bar downstairs (Latinos) - but we'd done that one before so we headed up Market Street to "1725" - good nosh, good wine and real ale !! Late beer back @ hotel before kip.

Today - we stopped off at Pendle Hill on the way back - and climbed it ... things you do ... some ickle pix below

Home - food - upload - tweak/tidy - and now this ... Monday's going to be a hard day at work - the theory is that those who have had the "thumbs-down" will finish on the 31st March - meaning they're in all next week and then Monday/Tuesday the week after - while it's been agreed that notice periods will not be worked (good), I'd hope for some understanding/discretion next week and week after by Managers - we shall see ...

Football ... Mossley @ home on Tuesday (revenge mission against Trafford) - or maybe I should go up to Bower Fold (Stalybridge Celtic v Blyth Spartans) wiorking on the premise that there will be at least one (if not two) other snapper/s at Mossleyanyway ...we shall see ... for now it's ....


... just back from Lancaster (via a hike up and round Pendle Hill) - pix uploading on big pc - back later - the title of this one however .... says it all really ..... shame a similar result was not forthcoming at the Giant Axe .

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday - a great night ruined by some ...

Hmm - naturally today at work was totally w*nk - there were even peeps(those who knew) literally saying "farewell" - and the rumour mill was working in overdrive with names (both full-time and agency). Never mind - a quiet drink after work in the "John Millington" with part of "the team" (possibly the "team of the future" ??) We wait - we see ... tomorrow sees the letters (as I've been saying all bloody week - sorry world !) ...

Home - quick change - and out on the 1855 to "big town" - a quick drink in the "Modern" before walking up to Academy 2 to see Tunng & Tinariwen @ Academy 2 ... we got in and thought immediately - this has been oversold - it was rammed and it was uncomfortable - and here's the first "moan" - there were some really ignorant b*st*rds there tonight - you know who you are - OK yeah we can all live with a bit of pushing /shoving/squeezing through (especially with a hint of "excuse me", "sorry" etc) - yes we can live with that - but when the ignorant tw*ts push/shove I fight back - don't give a toss male or female - you're ignorant b*st*rds - this was Tinariwen for Frith's sake - not the bloody Sex Pistols !!! I was really disappointed with some of that crowd tonight - and some of the tw*ts were nearly as old as me .... you so often hear same sort of sh*t behaviour going on at big festivals as well - I reckon the way forward for the t-shirt companies is to make tees with "You should have got here earlier" or "push me and I'll smack you" printed on the back to be worn at gigs/festivals/bus/train queues.

Enough "first rant" - to gig - excellent night out - (oops second rant kicks in) spoiled only by above and a low hubbub of talking throughout - why do people go out to a gig etc and then proceed to talk through it ????? I remember a night at the Comedy Store about 3 years ago - people talking throughout a comedian's set - why bother to spend money ?? Stay at home and stop spoiling my/many others night out .... wonderful music - great fusion/confusion music - think "Tamantant Tilay" with a banjo accompaniment (worked perfick!) - and a Touareg version of "Reign in Blood" by Slayer (OK just the intro but ... you know what I mean !!) ... only one pic of note - too busy protecting space/the diminutive Mrs Smiffy from the tw*ts !!

Sensible gig finish time enabling a gentle walk down to Manc Oxford Road - arriving at 2300 to get the 2317 to Stalybridge - it was cancelled - and the "official" advice from the Manchester Oxford Road Station Supervisor (I KID YOU NOT) was to "run" to Piccadilly to get a 2317 rail replacement bus - so we ran - arriving at 2312 - to be met with an announcement that the next train to Stalybridge/Huddersfield/Leeds was 2338 - on checking there were NO RRBuses anywhere - Trans-Pennine - another complete and utter f*ck up (the complaints will be going in) and wonderfull comms again - so we dashed to the "Balcony Bar" to salvage a drink - like many others - the two bar guys were overrun !! Anyway the train arrived - some dozy tw*t forgot to turn off the automted "gob" which said, "First stop Huddersfield" ..... into 'Bridge (the screens there said "passing train - stand clear"- techno can be good - but when in the wrong hands ....) - we'd booked taxi "on train" - and home..

Later today - "the letter" - followed by Lancaster City v Mossley - followed by "nosh up"/stay over - followed by Sunday walkies - so expect nowt on here until Sunday afternoon/evening ...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Another Night Off ?

Why the hell not ?? The "chop" was arriving @ work today for some of the "Agency" peeps - word was they've their normal 7 days, finishing next Friday (27th) - apparently word is out about a few full-timers as well - they obviously had their interviews and were "off the recorded" or slightly less than "vaguely hinted" - and they've been happy to "spill the redundancy beans". Obviously the real sh*t hits the fan on Saturday morning - even though it does sound like a fair number of people already appear to know their fate - and aren't afraid to talk about it.

Sat here watching Youtubes of Tunng and Tinariwen - found one of a "Tinariwen trio" playing in Sweden (people - and kids - keep walking in front of the video man - gits !) - believe tomorrow it's a Tinariwen threesome rather than the full crew (there are some other vids from same gig of the full band)- we'll see if it's the same three ... try this for size anyway

and for balance - here's Tunng doing "Bullets"

unable to find/get the Radio 3 "Late Junction" prog from Feb this year where the collaboration played three tracks I believe... we'll see how it fits together in 20 hours or so - babycam will be in attendance naturally !

I'm pretty sure tomorrow at work will be even more sh*t than the previous 37 days - just hope a) Rick goes for the bacon butties early doors and b) we finish as suggested at 1500 - and go to the rub-a-dub !! If this be the case we're down on the train and taking our chances with the sh*t public transport after 2300 from the "big city" ... and then it will be Saturday ............

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This Week's "Day Off" ...

... is today/tonight ... just so tired ... get this whole thing over and done with come "Saturday postie" - and then we'll have some kind of focus/aim/method to move forward one way or another ... and I can stop smoking once again ...

Amongst other stuff - Trafford 2 Mossley 1 the chance of another cup final goes begging - a bit like the Chorley game on Saturday - right team won as Mossley were pretty much toothless up front - an equaliser with 10 mins to go brought hope - but 90 seconds later we were chasing yet again - d'oh !

(A paltry few) Pix at

Trafford 2 Mossley 1

... again mind not properly "on the job" - we had the "2nd interviews" @ work today - much was said both on and off the record (bugger - beer can just "burst" all over computer table !! This IS live folks ...) - on both sides of the table - all we can do now is to wait for "Postman Pat" - or Bernard or Daisy - to deliver the "official verdict" on Saturday morning - and I hope he/she comes earlier than last Saturday (1130 !!) as we're off to Lancaster for football and meet middle boy (and lady friend) for food afterwards - the Mossley rabble are rail travelling courtesy of the "Sun" newspaper (!) on "2 for 1" tix - was hoping to meet them off the train, but I feel the need to wait for "the letter" before leaving home in the limo - catch 'em asap (hopefully getting a couple in at the "John O' Gaunt") ...

But before then - Friday night sees a trip to the Academy in Manchester avec Mrs Smiffy and our Michelle (sound tech - Seb Clarke album coming very soon !!). We're off to see 'Tunng with Tinariwen' - Tunng I know nothing of, but we saw Tinariwen at the Bridgewater Hall last year and their Touareg "Roll and Roll" music is marvellous (check out "Aman Iman - Water is Life")- should be an interesting night out.

But that's 4 defeats in 4 for Mossley - a touch depressing ...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Saving Time - I DID NOT go to Droylsden tonight !

... sorry ...

Shameless Rail Trip Plug ..

.. if you fancy a day out in Bristol and Bath on May Day Bank Holiday .... check out

Retrorailtours are a local company - out of Ashton - the real ale bar opens eyes as well - they advertise in the Buffet Bar @ Stalybridge - and look what's hauling from Huddersfield to Bristol - yep a class 56 - amazing !!!!
And Stalybridge Celtic have snatched a 90th minute equaliser away @ Droylsden tonight .... me - it's football tomorrow - straight from "work" (ha !) to Chassen Road International Railway Station, heading to watch Trafford entertain Mossley in the Unibond League Presidents Cup semi-final....another final beckons .. will need some "pick-me-up" at the moment mind - and I don't mean pro-plus !!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday - 2330 - Part Two

...some stuff from today's walk ... I fancied trying out some "long exposure" stuff - one day I'll actually learn the numbers rather than faffing about - anyway have a go at ...

Stainforth Force - 1

Stainforth Force - 2

Stainforth Force - 3

Must fly - it looks like seven shades of sh*t occurred at Stalybridge Celtic v Fleetwood Town yesterday - and earlier in the week I was singing the praises of a number of the "Cod Army" - looks like the "wrong 'uns" turned up as well - (and that's gonna put me in the poo as well - looks like I've been well let down - no-one's gonna trust my take on things up at Bower Fold again - are they ???).

Anyways ... it's a long thread and I'm down to my last two cans - expect "namoor" tonight ...

Sunday - 2250 - Step One

.... the pictures from the Chorley game (come on - since early message I've uploaded two lots of pictures cooked tea for three, eaten same, tidied up after, selected pictures (football set), tweaked and uploaded same - only 23 pictures rather than the expected 56 however ....

Pix at
Mossley 0 Chorley 1

Right team won - albeit in the 92nd minute ! Mossley keeper James Mann saved a pen, but could do nowt with James Mullineux's bullet header right at the death - I'm afraid Chorley created more up front and always looked more likely to score for pretty much the whole game - remember we "got out of jail" in the 95th minute against Clitheroe not that long back - so "touche" I guess - worrying thing is that's three on the bounce - with a Cup semi-final at Trafford on Tuesday night - over to "da management" to get the players up - but be assured that the fans WILL be there.

It's times like this - I'm glad that I'm not a "dyed in the (blue) wool" Stalybridge Celtic fan ...and I've still got to get on their board and "have a peep" (I'm expecting severe "flak" from Hyde fans, still brassed off from last Tuesday) - I'm sure I'll get on for a look before sleepy time ....

Sunday - 1855 - home ...

....after a 0-1 reverse for Mossley at home to Chorley - followed by beer and tapas at "Baum" in Rochdale - more beer - sleep - and an eight-and-a-half miler round Settle this morning/afternoon. Pix from both uploading on pc at the mo ( took well over 56 snaps at the game yesterday) - fingers crossed for something "up" before midnight ....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

If all else fails ....

... there's the slippery slope to capitalism ....arrived this week (double-click for big !)

(You might JUST be able to see the sly use of tippex on the share price !!!)

Note also that I only bought 5 shares - rather than 56 (incidentally the year of my birth - back in the 20th century - strange ...)

Hey ho - football this afternoon - wonder what the score will be 1-1 ? 1-0 ? 0-0 ? Incidentally - if you run those numbers together you get 111000 - must mean something to someone ....

And in the midst of Sh*t goes on - even @ two in the morning - Mossley fan Stuart held his 40th up @ the club tonight , and I had time off to visit ...

bit of a dodgy "right hand side" - but hey .......

only "babycam" mind excuse and I'm sticking with it - my "babycam" is soooo old school these days ....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th - again ....

It was Friday 13th February that we had "that meeting" at work where it all began - and I picked up my "at risk" letter before heading off for a week of "25th Wedding Anniversary" party at the Elizabethan gaff down Derbyshire way.

The 30 day consultation is over. Those "followers" who were quick off the mark late last night and early doors today may have seen some prose from my good self regarding various aspects of the "company that I have never named" during this whole kerfuffle/charade/butchering process. However - when I noticed that an IP address from Dubai had been on the site this morning, I thought it politic to remove said offerings, purely on the point I've made on that message - that redundancy will pay something - and the sack will not - even though the company has never been named - remembering also the "hits" from India a couple of weeks ago . I will freely point out that the "incompetent managment" (that got us into the sh*t in the first place) has now been replaced by a more ruthless regime - that is fact - people have been sacked on the spot - people have been escorted from the building - that is fact. I may have called one particular department a derogatory name ("piss up in a brewery" I believe) - I still believe that to be fact - I mentioned that they would - hopefully - be sending out letters containing the "meaningless scores" (that we can't divulge) today - I am led to believe that they DID print them out today - on the wrong paper (!), and then had to redo the whole thing ("theca probo" ???) ... I will await the letter in the morning. My words about a particular meeting I attended still hold true - attempting a major software change/upgrade in a ridiculous timescale "at this time", with some weird lines of communication - I still believe this to be true - may Frith prove me wrong - if only for those who will remain - maybe me maybe not me .....

However - it's Friday night - and it's Stuart's 40th birthday bash up at Mossley Football Club - so I'm going up there to try and enjoy/forget etc for a bit - won't be easy - coming home tonight I had to "step out" of Stalybridge Buffet Bar for a while - it all got a bit "too much" to be honest !

Still - football tomorrow afters - hopefully Mossley can put the two midweek defeats behind them and give Chorley a good seeing to ...

Laters ............

What every peace-loving socialist goes for ..

... a touch of "Rambo III" on ITV4 - you can't beat a cute one-sided p*ss-take on reality (I mean - surely the Americans would NEVER indulge in that kind of torture ... would they). What dated the film for me was the quote at the end "Dedicated to the gallant people of Afghanistan" ......

Interesting point though - Sly Stallone v the "Russki baddie"-cum-whirlybird pilot towards the end (Zaysen) - looked like "John Rambo vs John Peel" to me - ho ho ..

Never mind - reality bites - time for "The Wicker Man".

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A lot happens in 24 hours ...UPDATED

xxxxxxxxxxx there was stuff here last night xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxx but I decided xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxx redundancy is better - financially - than the sack xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxx even though NO company names were mentioned xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxx ( told me that Dubai had been looking) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday = Mossley v Chorley, followed by nosh-up in Rochdale, staying over and walking on Sunday - so expect no random numbers until Sunday afternoon/evening (same will go for footy pix/report etc). Hope you can cope - never mind me ....! (Thinking it through - I could get something up before lunch on Saturday ... hmmm ....).

Meanwhile in a regular "clear out small camera" exercise ... I offer ...

A rather dodgy-looking beer pump (!!)

Platform 2 @ Stalybridge Station on Wednesday morning - a Hyde United effort from the night before maybe ??

Wednesday night @ the Buffet - a bit of a p*ss-take - but how about that for a "Pub of Dreams" - detail below ....

Yes we like Millstone beer ....!!

Enough for now - Twitter has kept me up to speed with Mossley's 4-2 defeat at Skelmersdale United tonight - bugger is the other operative word - what WILL tomorrow bring .......

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sod it all ...

I'm having a night off.........

Sod Work - Football Tonight

...OK last night !!! Keeping it short - it's ten to two (my theory being if I stay up late I may get 4 hours uninterrupted kip rather than the hourly "panic wake up" as described yesterday)

To football - Mossley have gone to Ossett Albion - and lost 3-0 - my half-time call said "we should be 6-1 up on chances" - but you've gotta put them away ...

Me - and 603 others - went for the local derby betwixt Stalybridge Celtic and Hyde United - pix to be found at

again not my best - but I claim "extenuating circumstances" at the moment - see previous posts - and posts to come I'm sure !!

A "feisty" first half - well controlled by the ref I thought - the red was apparently deserved (I was on the bloody phone at the time so - one eye, one ear, no lens !!) - there were accusations of retaliation - but I have to put my Arsene Wenger hat on and say "Je regarde rien" - or summat like that. Credit the ref - after that it could have been a "cardfest", but he used his nouse - good to see ! Celtic still have something to sort out at the back - like last Tuesday, until the goals went in, it could have been so different. A deserved win in the end mind - a crowd of 604 sounds OK - but this game should have happened on New Years Day where a four figure crowd would have been expected - curse the bloody weather (it has been the same for so many clubs who had their "local derby" game postponed over Crimbo - yep Mossley too !).

Think I'll stop there .............

Monday, March 09, 2009

"Tower of Doom" - StarDate Monday

Well everybody turns up for work - everybody sits at their desk - everybody turns on their pc - after that - God only knows what people are doing (for any people who worry about their agency staff - they do the same - just get three times the rate !) The news from the front - when we do get the scores (albeit one week behind schedule - such is management !) there will apparently be a proviso in the letters that say we will NOT be allowed to divulge these "scores" to any other member of staff as they are classed as "confidential" - as I've already pointed out, a number like 53 or 37 or even -(minus) 15 (easily possible if your attendance record is crap and/or you've had a verbal/written warning !) is completely meaningless if you've nowt to compare it against.

OK - we have been asked to be "professional" about the whole thing - phrases like "team spirit" have also been bandied about (desperate straits ?) - but when you're in the whole "30 day consultation period", it's got to be extremely difficult to give a sh*t at times - last week was a "hiatus" with next to nothing happening - I'm sure there are people working their socks off in the vain hope that this will make a difference - I'm sure - b*ll*x I KNOW - it won't make any difference at all, as in many cases the choices between who stays and who goes have already been made - it's just that we (and those who have already "decided") have to work within this legal timescale..

It's interesting to talk to people outside of our "Tower of Doom" - to find this same scenario is happening to them as well - I know of several peeps who are in the same sh*t - my bro-in-law (works for JCB in Rocester) has been on short time since before Christmas - I know a Mossley fan whose hours have been cut from 40 to 32 (basically down to a 4 day week) - the Derby Evening Telegraph are messing with the sub-editors - it's a corny phrase, but it's happening all over - doesn't make me feel any more comfy though...

It messes with your life - big style - there are people calling in sick in so many places (psycho-sematic I'm sure in many cases) - my sleep patterns are completely b*ll*xed (last night I was waking up once an hour every hour - - same on many days over the last three weeks) - I've been sorting out my "pre-redundancy shopping list" i.e things I ought to buy while there's still money coming in (for your info I've got as far as new trainers, new walking boots, extra socks, close off the Bank of Scotland credit card - and stuff like that) - silly things you do - but are they silly ... one thing I DO know is my Euro-Millions Lucky Dip last Friday failed miserably !!!!!!

The interesting point for me is that I was made redundant during the last "recession" in the early 80s - in 1984 I got married, bought a house, bought a car - redundancy arrived soon after. Slightly different now - mortgage still there - just - but one child @ university, one still heading that way (and the eldest going her own way but not yet earning millions - if you're reading this George Martin at Abbey Road - or anyone at Fowey Studios - give her an interview !) So the knowledge of the whole job loss thing is there - but I was younger then - and still "employable".

Shall we talk about football now - cus I'm sure that's what you're really looking for - see Durham have slipped up again tonight - at Radcliffe Borough for Frith's sake !! Curzon Ashton could only draw at home to Trafford (who entertain Mossley next midweek in the semi-final of the Unibond Presidents Cup - winners to play Quorn). Mossley get the rematch @ Ossett tomorrow night - interesting to hear the Mossley Manager interview on MossleywebTV - after the 5-3 game last Saturday he has visions of a 0-0 draw - which wouldn't be all bad !! See:

BEWARE - Chris Wilcock shouts at the end !!!

Me - Stalybridge v Hyde tomorrow - I make no excuses for choosing this option - on Thursday Mossley are again away at Skelmersdale - who are on a "blip" at the moment (they lost to Quorn on Saturday in their Presidents Cup Semi - hence the earlier words) - four points would be good from the two Mossley midweekers - fingers crossed - I'm going nowhere Thursday (I did well to get Tuesday/Thursday last week !!!!!)

Nearly midnight - probably a good idea to call it a day...need to psyche myself up for the big match tomorrow night - work ? - a necessary intrusion .........

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Mossley 5 Ossett Albion 3

My second game this week with 8 (eight) goals - although a fairer spread today at Seel Park ! Original plan today was to go to Belper with Mrs Smiffy to see bro-in-law Patrick who had a nasty accident last week involving a mitre saw, tendons and a bone (don't ask). However my "snapper fight" with Belper Tim at the Belper Reserves v Graham St Prims game (Nailers won 3-1 by the way) had to be shelved for a number of reasons (don't ask).

A lunchtime drink at Stalybridge Buffet Bar to say "Hi !" to the Alfreton fans on their way to Droylsden - (they lost 2-0 by the way - and Wozza was again conspicuous by his absence !) turned into a trip back to Mossley to watch a tale of two defences (eek !) . The "Belper Connection" was there however as we saw the return of Danny Toronczak in a Lilywhite shirt - who claimed an "assist" in Mossley's opener by Reece Kelly. Not that easy though - Osset are a tidy team who quickly went 2-1 up before Lee Blackshaw brought us level just before half-time. Playing "uphill" second half saw new boy Nathan Neequaye get the luck of the bounce against the Ossett keeper to make it 3-2 - however a penalty at the other end brought it back to 3-3. However 60 seconds later Thursday night's MOM Simon Wood went for the "distance option" and cleared Ashcroft to make it 4-3 before Danny T marked his return with a fifth. Still time for Mossley to miss a penalty as well ... but 5-3 against a "team above" ain't all bad - the "return" is on Tuesday night - I handed my "apologies for absence" note into the management (I'm "glory hunting" at Stalybridge Celtic v Hyde United). Here's a "little tempter" from today - I rather liked it so if you don't want to go elsewhere enjoy this pic of new boy Nathan Neequaye ..

Oh all right then - rest of the pictures at ...

Mossley 5 Ossett Albion 3

No walkies tomorrow with Mrs Smiffy being "daarn there" and me being "oop ere" - I'm going for the "relaxed" Sunday (i.e. clean up house, sort out washing, make exotic tea for later) ....

...and then it will be Monday - and back to the "Tower of Doom" ....................

Late Night Thing

Job update - the magical "consultation kerfuffle" has slipped a week - some people haven't even had their first interviews (!) - so the issue of the magical scores has been put back until Friday 13th (ha - Comic Relief Day ? Sounds about right). The information about enhanced redundancy payments has made "da management" stop and think however (twas a tribunal where a company who tried a similar "statutory only" route were taken to court and they lost). What it does mean however is that the issue of the final "You're out" notices - and any subsequent appeals - is now condensed into one week rather than two - end of March date is still Armageddon .... and I thought they knew what they were doing ....

Friday, March 06, 2009

Update from Thursday

... here's the pictures ..... I may be back later (you've not had a work/redundancy rant for a day or two - I've been saving it up !)

Mossley 2 New Mills 1

(Check it out later - when I've had a couple ....)

Oh go on ... here's a little quiz ..... what is this ????

1) The "Penis of Tutankhamen"
2) The vegetable known as "salsify"
3) An typical example of "company management"

You choose - any other options welcome !!!!!

Mossley 2 New Mills 1

....and we're all going to Wembley for the Final ... oh all right Boundary Park for the Manchester Premier Cup agin Droylsden after tonight's game. Usual stuff - i.e. nowt (uploading on t'other pc as we type) - on tomorrow night for sure....I'm just too tired ..

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Celtic 7 (seven) - Hinckley 1

(I use the "videprinter option" for Rascal !!!) At last we have pictures ... and shock horror they're not as cr*p as I felt they were last eve .... got a shout on all 8 (sorry eight) goals so there !

Stalybridge Celtic 7 (seven) Hinckley United 1

Work remains poo - although a couple of e-mails I sent out have brought some interesting results - not from the Union (they seem to give as much of a toss as the bloody company themselves) - however I have replies from other areas - the company's refusal to actually recognise the union looks a bit iffy (even if the union is failing to recognise their own f**king members !!) - and the company option not to pay enhanced redundancy payments looks similarly iffy (we have an Industrial Tribunal ruling which could be seen as precedent ..). Staff Forum "charade" took place late tonight - we await ....

Football tomorrow - the "Jop Jameside Derby" (Manchester Premier Cup Semi-Final) between the "Lillywhites" (sic) and New Mills (Derbyshire) is still on at the mo - despite sun/snow/hail/everything under the sun today - we'll see.......

Stalybridge Celtic 7 Hinckley United 1

Will have to wait until tomorrow night - OK today night ....

You've seen the score ..................

Monday, March 02, 2009

Some "bits and bats" ...

....might be of interest to some people in these "hard times" ...

My employer has gone 'bust': how can I claim my pay owed to me?

Where an employer becomes insolvent owing debts to employees there is a special scheme to compensate these workers. This is known as the 'Insolvency Provisions' of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Under Section 184 of the Act the Department of Employment Redundancy Payments Section will pay to such workers the following debts:

Any arrears of pay up to eight weeks.

Any statutory notice pay.

Up to six weeks' holiday pay.

Any basic award of compensation for unfair dismissal from an employment tribunal.

Reimbursement of fee or premium paid by an apprentice or articled clerk.

Repayment of contributions to occupational pension scheme collected from employee's pay but not paid into pension scheme by employer - Section 124 Pension Schemes Act 1993.

Redundancy payments - Section 166 ERA 1996.

Contact must be made with the local Department of Employment Redundancy Payments Section for the appropriate forms. If a claim is refused by the Department of Employment, an appeal may be presented to an employment tribunal, normally within three months of the refusal.

Pension ? Insolvent company ?

For the majority of people below their scheme’s normal pension age the Pension Protection Fund will pay 90% level of compensation.

In broad terms and in normal circumstances, this means 90% of the pension an individual had accrued immediately before the assessment date (subject to a review of the rules of the scheme by the Pension Protection Fund) plus revaluation in line with the increase in the Retail Prices Index between the assessment date and the commencement of compensation payments (subject to a maximum increase for the whole period calculated by assuming RPI rose by 5% each year). This compensation is subject to an overall cap, which, as at April 2008, equates to £27,770.72 at age 65 (the cap will be adjusted according to the age at which compensation comes into payment. Please refer to the current compensation cap factors).

Once compensation is in payment, the part that derives from pensionable service on or after 6 April 1997 will be increased each year in line with the Retail Prices Index capped at 2.5%. Again, this could result in a lower rate of increase than the scheme would have provided.

Can I be made redundant if my employer's business is transferred to another employer ?

If made redundant because of a transfer of your employer's business to another employer then this may be unfair dismissal under the 1981 TUPE Regulations. Failure to consult the union in these circumstances could mean a payment to the employee of 13 weeks' pay. This is on top of any redundancy payment.


PLEASE NOTE - This is purely for information and bears NO relation to any company that I personally am aware of ..

Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Sunday Walk ...

Dragged out an old book today - circa 1996 called "20 Circular Walks in and around Tameside" - and went for Number 16 (Godley to Godley - taking in Matley, Bower Fold, Shaw Moor and Harrop Edge). A mile or so in we were regretting not bringing the canoe and the gun to shoot the 'gators (not having reaching Stalybridge Celtic at this time meant I was unable to use the "Bayou Fold" pun (probably a blessing !) ...

The other problem with the start (and ultimately the finish) of the walk was the all-pervading noise of the M67 - we got used to it in the end (you have to - unfortunately). Next pic chosen for the "sunshine effects" ..

Weather improved as we went on - maybe a local walk for us, but not having done it before meant we were getting completely new angles on places we've known for years .. one here taken up on ShawMoor looking down on Stalybridge (I've uploaded it big so double-click enlarges ..) Just above the sheep's head is the viaduct that is Stalybridge Station - up again and slightly left is the blue of Ikea in Ashton to name but two landmarks ...

From the tops it was back down past the Roe Cross and heading back over to the M67 - spotted this strange "peeling paint effect" on an electrical substation/box-type thing next to the M67 ...

... finishing with either a "struck by lightning" tree (or a "let's build a fire in the knot hole" tree !)

A jolly 7 miler to take one's mind off another week of cr*p that will be work - now heading towards the "level 2 - you're really in the sh*t sunshine !" level of the 'redundancy month' - some places have "Book Month" and "Film Month" - we just have "30 days and 30 nights leading towards the wilderness" - as with last Sunday - shirts ironed, prepared for a weekly pass ... and fortunately looking forward to more "take your mind off it" stuff - the promise of football on Tuesday night (Stalybridge Celtic v Hinckley United) and then again on Thursday when we have this up at Seel Park ...

Don't know about you, but a "Jop Jameside Derby" ??? Even if you convert "J" to "T" .... New Mills ?? It's High Peak - It's Derbyshire - It's positively an "international match" ... although there are a fair few ex-Mossley players turning out for the Millers this season .. but, tis the chance of a Final (Boundary Park Oldham I believe ..) - and must therefore be taken seriously. Talking of finals ... after yesterday's 5-2 win over Marske United, Glossop North End find themselves in the Semi-Final of the FA Vase - brilliant - at Mossley we managed three Quarter Finals, but that must have been very satisfying yesterday @ Surrey Street - and a crowd of 1100+ as well - would be nice to wangle a "snapper pass" were the Hillmen to reach Wembley ... but I've only got the collateral of the Calverton pix in the 2nd Qualifying Round - the attendance at Calverton was 51 that day back in September !!! For posterity I offer ..

Calverton MW 1 Glossop NE 4

We await the semi-final draw with interest ...

Mossley v Starbeck Locos ..

OK - Harrogate RA to the purists !! Definitely two points chucked away by Mossley today - weathered the early Harrogate storm (certainly a warning here ..) - got the goal "uphill" and should really have powered on from there - however the attacking options just seem to 'disappear', and one goal is never enough at any level of fitba ... oh yes pictures ...

Mossley 1 Harrogate RA 1

So ... disappointing really- should have done much better (aaargh ... memories of Parents' Evening last Thursday) - and twas an early departure from the club aftermatch to catch the 1755 "overcrowded nodding donkey" to Manny Vic - why overcrowded ?? Because the 1829 doesn't stop at Mossley anymore so everyone has to get the earlier one ... off to the theatre tonight to see the "Scottish Play" - but first a couple of beers at the top of the Urbis - very smart and a great view as well - as in ...

(next time I go I'm taking proper camera !!) - OK beer a touch pricey but beats going to some really really posh place like the "Living Room" and getting a glass thrust in your face (if not 'local', check out Manchester Evening News website to "get the jist" !).

The play - well I'll admit I've never been a real Bill Shake fan - it was one of "those things" you did to get "O"/"A" Levels - but I did have a rough idea of this one - and it was really well done - updated with the costumes (they all wore camouflage rather than kilts !!) - lots of "Kensington Gore" - they had to clean the floor at half-time ! The witches were great - only youngsters but very very good. It was a late finish so hotfoot to ManVic for the "last train home" - a few beers - sort out footy pix - wobble about - and now this ... tomorrow (today !) will see walk ... somewhere this space ...