Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hyde United Back Up and Running !

A cut and paste from their message board - courtesy Tony Beard ...

We were back at the High Court this afternoon and I am pleased to report that the Winding Up Order against us has been rescinded and we are now free to trade normally.

Fantastic news! The Tigers are roaring again.

Thanks to one and all for all the efforts. WE can’t relax, though we need to keep the momentum going now and ensure that we remain solvent. The Club has pulled together fantastically and let us now build on what we have achieved in the longest week in history

More details to follow shortly on this weekend’s game(s) and whether the FA will allow us to continue in the Competition - and if so, when.

There will also be a celebration evening in the Lounge/Club as soon as………….

I will finalise details in a little while once position is clearer. Just ENJOY for the time being.


There's a lot of happy people around Hyde tonight I guess - and isn't it just ironic that they visit Farsley Celtic at the weekend - a club that "went bust" for about 24 hours only a few weeks ago ... let's hope that the Hyde v Salford FA Cup game can now be OK'd to go ahead ...

.. but as Tony says, it's only a reprieve for now - houses have to be put in order to make sure that this becomes permanent - I wish them luck !

Mossley v Trafford

.. I got there in the end !

But first a quick word about Hyde United's efforts at the Man City game last night - nearly £8,000 was raised from the "bucket collection" - people were up half the night bagging it up as well - a truly excellent effort (and bravo to the City and West Ham fans for stumping up) - I only hope it's not too late - no further news as yet.

But tonight - the Parents Evening @ Salford College had an 1830 kick-off - and was surprisingly all over by about 1920 (and if Mossley Manager Chris Wilcock "needs a note" ref Steve Settle - I can vouch for the fact he was "at work"at 1830 - cus he works @ Salford College and I clocked him !!!). Expecting only to see the last 20 minutes, I arrived at the game only 10 minutes late after tearing round the M60 (missed nowt fortunately) and promptly watched Mossley make Trafford look stupid - so much in fact that the tackles started to slide in thick and fast, and in my eyes the ref lost it. 2-0 up at half-time and it could have been more. Eased off a bit in the second half but were still very comfy, even though Trafford improved somewhat when they went down to 10 men ! Pictures - again a bit of a rush job tonight so not the finest - but they tell the story (I hope). Check out:

Mossley 2 Trafford 0

I do wonder about this "Respect" thing - it seems a pointless exercise when the heavy illegal tackles go in and the yellow carded players turn their backs on the officials (all this pull up socks/tie laces thing - players, if you're man enough ... face the ref eye to eye - "look at me when I'm talking to you" etc etc - now that's what I call respect). Just one of those things that pee me off - a bit like that plaintive cry of "ay ay ay" every time there's something remotely like a hard challenge - or the players influencing a p*ss poor liner by making the decisions for them. Not just tonight I may add - but generally. Kick the "Respect" thing into touch, and take a leaf out of the behaviour of players of both codes of rugby (but mostly union of course !)

Doctors appointment mentioned last night - I need another chest x-ray apparently - no doubt the "evil weed" has something to do with it. Having given up for two years before all this redundancy kerfuffle kicked in from February onwards, I'm still looking forward to some decisions from our HR Department - nothing today of course - he says with a hint of sarcasm and a smidgeon of irony - once I know my "future" I can kick the buggers into touch once again, that's for sure .. Mr "Hatchet Man" from India has arrived and is making himself popular - you've probably seen him on TV - it's called "interference" !!!

Enough for now ... it's (as usual) late !!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

FA Cup Draw today .. 28 Sep09

... getting late now, but we can't leave without the draw for the next round of the FA Cup which sees Hyde or Salford at home to Blyth Spartans ..... and Stalybridge Celtic away at ... FC United of Manchester....

The Hyde game is - naturally - subject to more than one outcome (we'll see how this week goes), but the Celtic game will apparently be played on the Sunday (11th October) due to landlords Bury being at home on the Saturday - this should lead to a bumper crowd I guess. The one other "biggie" I've spotted is of course Ilkeston Town v Eastwood Town (lessons to be learned from last season's game I Hope) .. and if Stafford Rangers beat Cov Sphinx tomorrow night, they're at home to Bedworth United - who will be coming up to Mossley this Saturday in an FA Trophy game (so I better keep my eye on them just in case !).

Now I REALLY am going to bed ... three posts in one hour - gasp !

Monday, September 28, 2009

RIP Geoff

I'm awfully late with this one - for that I apologise - but I had to check stuff - last Wednesday I arrived at Stalybridge Buffet Bar to see this outside ...

I was told that someone had died and the relatives felt it more appropriate to leave this wreath (see the GWR) outside the Buffet Bar rather than at the graveside. It was only later in the week that I found out it was Geoff (commonly - and incorrectly - known as Keith) had died - must have been a train spotter as well, but I knew him as a "Bus Collector/Ticker" - he'd go here and there in the north just to "clock" that missing bus in his "collection" - and he was famous for standing at the bar with his "half" - someone would tell a joke or say something funny - and he'd always have a mouthful of of his beer which sprayed all over the place !!! Sad to see another 'Buffet Bar Face' go - and he went quietly as well. Just hope he finds some form of transport to "tick" upstairs ... also it's really good to point out that even tonight the wreath remains in the same place outside the bar - untouched - respect has been given by all punters over the last 5 days - nice...

Man City v West Ham

... knowing full well that football this week = tricky (Parents Eve tomorrow when ALL the football is !), I ventured .... to the pub .... for said game. Had I got the wherewithal, time off work early etc etc etc, I'd have gone down to Eastlands tonight with camera in order to get some half-decent publicity-type shots of the Hyde United peeps doing the "bucket collection" outside the ground before the game (I sincerely hope that a goodly sum of money was raised tonight).

Anyways - I went to the "Railway" in Greenfield to watch the game - and left a couple of minutes before the end (such are trains ) when City were 3-1 up - which is how it finished... it's always nice to watch a Ciy game there as it's not too full (because all the City fans actually GO to the game - so different (and more crowded) when "t'other team" are on the telly - tells you something !!)

My views - please remember I don't really do Premiership type stuff - City look really good looking forward - even without the aid of Robin Ho and the like - but I thought they looked really below average at the back - De Jong and Toure .. not bad .. but Bridge and Barry looked really poor to me - the confidence, the link-up play, the first touch, the "teamwork", the whole defence and midfield looked really out of synch. OK it may take time - I guess you cant just spend £180 milion and expect everything to click overnight (!). They DO look good up front though - I've always liked SWP and also Petrov (great to see players with left feet !) ... and Tevez should have had 3 or 4 to be honest.

Hey guess what happens tomorrow ?? The HR Manger at work returns from her holibobs - and also the "Hatchet Man" arrives from India. Me - I'm turning in late because I've had a "note" from the doctors regarding the X-Ray I had a few weeks ago when I spent the night in hospital with "breathing difficulties" - hopefully nothing drastic, but I'm taking NO chances ... so basically they'll all have to wait for me (although having witnessed the whole HR/Redundancy scenario over the last two months, it's hardly likely that "little old me" will be top priority with them - because they certainly f**ked up for the last two months) - hardly expect anything quickly from that bunch these days - although I reckon Mr "Hatchet Man" from India may have some plans regarding the "handover" - just weigh it up - I sent him a document which had the words "Redundancy" and "Handover" in the title - it was saved as "oxymoron.doc" - if that doesn't make you laugh - GOOGLE IT - and think of phrases like "Military Intelligence", "Microsoft Works" etc !!! Happy (?) to try and leave with the "clear desk" as I've said before ... but UK Terms and Conditions (and therefore helping to sort my future) are far more important than pandering to some bugger who is basically "sacking me from afar" .... and yes I WILL tell him that (probably about 1130 tomorrow) - and ever the pro, I've already e-mailed work telling them of my late arrival tomorrow (together with a jpeg of the "doctor's note" no less !!)

So a late start for work, no footy in the evening ... whatever .. fingers crossed the Blues (and Irons) fans put some money into the Hyde United account this evening - no mention on ESPN, although I believe BBC Manc and Talksport were approached ... we'll see quite soon no doubt whether the "Farsley Situation" has happened again ... fingers crossed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Help Hyde United !

I guess most people are aware of the plight of Hyde United - well the "true fans" got off their backsides on Saturday. When all us others were attending matches, the Tiger fans were "doing stuff" - raising money by all kinds of means, including people "wandering the streets/pubs of Hyde" no less ! About £9,000 was raised ON SATURDAY ALONE I believe - amazing response - taking the Supporters Club funds up to about £15,000. In addition over £2500 in cheques has arrived as well. Tomorrow night a bucket collection is being organised outside the City of Manchester stadium before the Man City game - and yes it HAS been Ok'd by the people at Man City - so if any Blues are there tomorrow - look out for Tigers with buckets and dob them a quid or two (tell them MossleySmiffy sent you !) If anyone has £1,000 to spare - you'll get a 10 year Hyde United season ticket thrown in as well (which you could always auction to raise even more !).

If anyone wants to donate by Bank Transfer, here are the details:

The Supporters' Club building society account details are as follows for anyone who wishes to donate money by bank transfer:

Sort code: 09-00-00
Account No. 00050005
Ref. No. E43303696BBG

Would anyone who wishes to donate money by cheque please either PM Supporters' Club or see Steve Johnson or James Brindley. Cheques should be made payable to Hyde United Supporters' Club.

Check out
Hyde United Message Board for the latest position - and if you have any ideas ... let them know ! To get "straight to the point try the Donations Thread ..

Obviously my selfish viewpoint on this is regarding the phrase"Six Tame Sides", which I've been using since the early 1990's with the old fanzine (and if anyone has got any - might be rare these days (!!) - why not stick 'em on EBay - profits to HUFC ??) - OK we may have Dukinfield Town "waiting in the wings" but ... you get my drift. It was however (my personal view this so don't be getting on at the wrong people...) a shame about the so called "article" in the Non-League Paper today - what lunatic thought up the quote "Tigers facing extinction unless Hitman stumps up" - that's just stupid. I'm sure any publicity is good publicity but that just ... I don't know ... sticking to fact is much simpler and more hard-hitting. Fine if Ricky Hatton "helps out" (the City connection is naturally kicking in) but it's daft to bang out quotes like that because if the worse comes to the worse ... it WILL NOT be his fault - it will be the fault of many others .... but that's not important right now ...

(This space kindly donated by "Six Tame Sides" - if it gets a few quid into the club - good !).

Curzon Ashton v Clitheroe

... with the (fast) trains between Stalybridge and Huddersfield being (slow) buses (!), Harrogate RA v Mossley became a "no-no" much earlier in the week, so it was back to Curzon Ashton to see them entertain Clitheroe. I "did" this game last season when Clitheroe beat Curzon 1-0 just after Curzon had been guaranteed a play-off place so .. maybe a lucky charm for the "Pride of Lancashire" (that's what one of the flags says anyway !).

Fraid not (for Clitheroe) - Curzon in total control throughout to be honest - although Clitheroe did have a lot of possession - just didn't know what to do with it ! Here's the pix ..

Curzon Ashton 4 Clitheroe 1

After the game there were some of the Curzon "backroom staff" talking about how badly THEY'D played - and the Clitheroe Message Board has been highly critical of their boys as well - so weigh that one up !

Came home on the train (1737) - and a big "Well Done" to Northern Rail - NOT. Despite there being no Trans-Pennine trains, Northern decided to soldier on with 2-car units ALL DAY - reliably informed that people were left on the station at Ashton going into Manchester earlier in the afternoon, and the train I caught back to Mossley was "rammed" as they say. It completed four days of sh*te on the trains anyway (been saving these !!) - Wednesday 15 late out of Mossley (trespasser on the line) - Thursday - 20+ late out of Stalybridge (points failure @ Mirfield) - and Friday 20 late out of Man Picc to Cheadle Hulme (including one of those "It's coming in on platform 6 - no it's coming in on platform 10 - no I was right the first time" scenarios - no proper "excuse" given either !). Looks like the silly season has now started.

We've had visitors tonight, hence the lateness - in fact I've only just found out that Mossley won 3-0 @ Harrogate and Stalybridge Celtic have stuffed Stocksbridge 7-2 away in the FA Cup. Met someone on the train who'd been to Droylsden (home to FC Halifax in the Cup - 2-0 to Halifax) and he reckoned Droylsden put up a poor show against their "two divisions below" opponents. Ashton United have lost 2-1 @ Chorley (Cup again) and Hyde's FA Cup game was "postponed pending ....." (no walkover for Salford City just yet !).

Next midweek - don't know yet - in another cruel twist, Mossley are at home on Tuesday - when I have a "Parents Evening" @ Salford College !! We'll get the "Non League Paper" in a few hours time and decide from there I think ...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Belarus v Slovakia

... how about that then - different eh ? Mrs Smiffy and our Michelle went for a late night shop in Manchester tonight, so I took full advantage and headed down to the Tameside Stadium to watch the "wooden spoon" game in the UEFA Womens Under-19 European Championship First Stage (Group 6) between Belarus and Slovakia.

Slovakia went 3-0 up in the first 13 minutes, and I wondered if it was going to be another "goal fest" (Belarus lost 12-0 to Norway on Monday !). However Belarus got one back and it calmed down for all of 4 minutes before two more goals made it 5-1 at half-time. However the second half finished 0-0, so certainly some improvement by Belarus there ! Pics at

Belarus 1 Slovakia 5

In the other group game played at Rochdale tonight, England and Norway drew 1-1 so it's Norway who win the group on goal difference (although both teams go through to the next stage).

Talk in the bar and half and full-time was naturally about the demise of Hyde United, who were "wound up" on Wednesday. Salford will now get a "walkover" in Saturday's FA Cup game unless someone can pull £120,000 out of a hat very sharpish and Hyde can "do a Farsley" as they say - I wish them luck, but this has dragged on all summer long with a couple of "reprieves"- and I guess patience is not a virtue at the HMRC ! Think about it though - £120,000 - one weeks wages for just one premiership superstar - perspective and all that - that £1 million given to the Conference by the Premiership (only £6,000 to North and South teams - Prem teams got £30,000) starts to look slightly pathetic doesn't it ??

Saturday's game should have been Harrogate RA v Mossley, but the railways - in their infinite wisdom - have decided not to bother between Stalybridge and Huddersfield ("engineering works"), so that knocks that one on the head - shame as Harrogate is one of the better "train days out" ... so I guess I'll be returning from whence I came tonight to see Curzon Ashton take on Clitheroe - we do have a "bit of a do" at home in the evening so .. it probably works out well really.

Work .. not important right now - cus it's late ... and I can't be *rsed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bonus Midweek Football ....

... tomorrow night !

Watch this space ....


Mossley v Radcliffe Borough

.. well they got there in the end (official goal time 120 minutes !) I was panicking as the batteries seemed to be dying on a regular basis (I have 4 - one proper Canon and three cheapos) and I was saving a hopeful for the possible penalty shoot-out ...

Still - the game - Mossley looked good - they were playing it on the deck, but just didn't have that "finish" to complete all the good work .. ended up as a 10 a side game (our Danny got a straight red for what I can only see as a "foul and abusive ..." shout - he certainly didn't murder anyone !) - credit to both teams when it went into extra time mind - the pace didn't slow down at all ..

But you want the pictures don't you - this extra-time kerfuffle, plus night time photography means that it is well past 0100 when the stuff kicks in ....

Mossley 1 Radcliffe Borough 0 (AET)

..hopefully worth waiting for ... !

Work - don't ask - think of words like w*nkers, tw*ts, useless b*st*rds etc etc - yes, you've guessed it - total effing silence today ...

Sod work - enjoy the football - I am ...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Managed a Smile @ Work Today ...

.... still no real communication @ work today - I could hear "through the wall" my boss in discussion with the barstewards from India - but even hearing my name in vain caused nothing to occur later. Any sort of comms seems to have to come through my (soon to be redundant) boss, be it from the barstewards in India or our incompetents "upstairs" - I find this extremely insulting - wouldn't you ?? They just seem (all of them) totally incapable of doing anything directly - or face to face ... I reckon my previous life as the Union representative is scaring people - or maybe I was right all those weeks ago - they're just gutless cowards (overpaid department).

Still - to return to the title of this thread .. there is a fridge in our office (paid for by the team - I have a £10 share in it !) - and there was this plastic bottle of water in't'freezer bit - it leaked - and then the bottle split - so we ended up with this ....

A fine "ice sculpture" if I may say so ... read into it what you will !!!

Mossley v Raccy Boro tomorrow - fingers crossed ... batteries charging as we speak ...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Today's Walk

... after yesterday's eight-goal thriller, it was time to relax - walking across Curbar Edge and Froggat Edge ... to begin with (strangely enough) - some rocks ... (click for bigger as usual ..)

A raven (?) soaring across the valley ...

I was getting "lizard" when looking at this outcrop ...

And finally - a bit of the stone circle just off the path @ Froggatt Edge ...

Weekend now "officially" over !

Alfreton Town v Stalybridge Celtic

Now that was some day out .... feel free to go straight to the pictures ...

Alfreton Town 3 Stalybridge Celtic 5

It followed the Friday night "Redundancy p*ss up" as it was described beforehand - I sloped off at 1930 - big day ahead as they say (and leave the young'uns to it !)

Left Mossley @ 1115 aiming for a 1300 bus from Matlock to Alfreton - however some crazy traffic jam (involving two ambulances flying past) near Glossop threw that one out of the window. Ended up driving to Ripley, leaping out of car (leaving Mrs Smiffy the easy drive to M-i-L @ Belper) and catching the "Red Arrow" to Alfreton. A couple of pints of Saltaire "Bavarian Gold" in the "Victoria" before ... game on.

And what a game it was - even when Alfreton took the lead, it seemed to me that Stalybridge Celtic were the more settled and composed team of the two - happy to build from the back and through midfield - Alfreton seemed more rushed, more frantic. The equaliser was a belter from Peyton - and 60 seconds later it was 2-1 when Barlow scored from the edge of the box. half-time bar was frantic (with mostly Celtic fans !!) - managed a bottle of "Black Sheep Ale" though (nice to see decent bottled beer behind the bar - Shepshed are another club that do this as well).

Second half - real end to end stuff - a quality performance from Celtic keeper Phillips who made half-a-dozen quality saves when it mattered - but there was only going to be one winner. A beer in the bar (bottled "Warrior") and back to the Vic to see the Alfreton guys, before heading back to Ripley, thence to Belper. Soon nodded off in front of "Strictly Come Snoozing" or something !

Today - some garden tidies before heading off for a wander along Curbar Edge and Froggatt Edge, before home ...

D'you know - I'd almost forgotten about the lack of communication at work on Friday following Thursday's "positive moves" - still there's always tomorrow ... and tomorrow ... and tomorrow ... creeps in this petty pace from day to day etc etc etc .. (Macbeth for you heathens out there !!!)

Football on Tuesday will see a walk up the road to see "crisis-torn Mossley" - from what I've briefly read (plus the txts I got on Saturday afternoon) ... all is not well at Seel Park. It's a League Cup game against Radcliffe Borough - time for me to see if things ARE that bad ...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel ??

... at last - communication. An "informal" (I guess) meet with the VP (yep poncy title but .. hey..) and discussions revolved around finishing "fairly soon", sorting out all payments (full 3 months notice money plus pitiful lump sum) and then ... wait for it ... returning the Monday after the Friday finish as a contractor to do whatever is required until everyone (UK and India) satisfied - and then finally and completely "out".

Seemed cool to me - as I understood it, get the full three months notice and then get paid as a contractor (and we all know my views on the obscene pay rates of agency staff !!) whilst still - effectively - on paid notice. This "crazy scenario" is not new at our place - I've seen many peeps do the same over the years.

However - this was today ... I'll wait with bated breath for something official, on headed notepaper signed (in blood ?) by someone important - HR Manager now on holiday until end of September - might not be that important but ... who knows ?

So - it may turn out to be an agreeable finito for all concerned - they have f*cked me about on a daily basis since that weekend when I expected the "chop letter" two weeks ago - so it's possible there's just a touch of "Sorry, we'll make it up to you" going on ... but until I get something in writing ... whatever actually happens, my heart has always been to leave "with a clear desk" (pro to the end as I've said previously !)

Tomorrow sees a fairly large "session", including many of those who've already gone, getting together in't'pub for some shandies - I'll probably bob along for a couple of hours before dashing home (Mrs Smiffy returns from "the smoke" about 2030) and then it's the weekend. It would be nice to finish the week on a high - in more ways than one ... watch this space (yet again !)

And to confirm - Saturday WILL be Alfreton Town v Stalybridge Celtic ... thanks to Kev @ Alfreton for passing "official" stuff on to the right people (us Conference "licensed to snap" peeps have to do it "by the book" y'see !!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Football - Free Wednesday

...OK there was one option tonight - the FA National League System Cup First Round betwixt the Lancashire & Cheshire Amateur League and the Birmingham & District Amateur League ... but it was at Maine Road FC (or Manchester County FA HQ if you're being posh !). As the day went on at work - and all the life and soul collected overnight was slowly sucked out of me - I thought "sod it !"

So - a quiet night in messing on pc in the end, giving Spotify some hammer (running through the first Lynyrd Skynyrd album as we type - always remember seeing them supporting Golden Earring in London back in about '74 - when they finished over half the audience walked out !). What will tomorrow bring - maybe the boss back from death's door (which will give them b*st*rds "upstairs" an excuse to communicate maybe ??) - maybe another quiet day of indecision, who knows ? Joke today - invited to a meeting regarding one software package - quote was "need to check operation now that key personnel have left the company" - another classic case of "horse, stable door, bolt" - totally clueless ....

Bad day for death as well today - Keith Floyd (an old hero from the proper cooking programmes - him and Graham Kerr - quality !) and Patrick Swayze as well ("Ghost" still one of those films that brings a tear to the "Smiffy Eye")...

Onward and downwards ....bit like Mossley AFC (!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A "miserable" Tuesday ...

... sitting down finally at nearly ten o'clock - the Twitter network has kept me up to speed on Mossley's 'dismal' 2-0 defeat @ Ossett tonight - a txt has just arrived saying ".. absolutely sh*te can I cum belper wiv u on sat" (sic)

Work ... well still no communication of any kind from the so-called management, ergo still in "limbo" - boss has been off sick Mon/Tue - probably the reason why no comms, because the ********************* that are in so-called "charge" in this company seem to be afraid to actually do anything without going through my boss (they seem to be totally afraid of talking to me eye-to-eye - it's cowardice really) - despite the fact that they are f*cking him off as well as me - always the case is "we're waiting for info/decisions from India" - however it's always us that have to ask - the UK end seem to be criminally lacking in any sort of communication skills - never mind, blame India ...

I guess my miserable persona seemed to come through last night as well - despite Curzon's cracking win, I was disappointed with "my lot" - even so, thanks for the messages of support/encouragement (Steve and Ken) - it's probably just one of those old-fashioned things that many people today cannot get their heads around. I like to do a good pro jobbie - whether it's sorting out a database at work, taking a set of decent football/walking pix, or like tonight - cooking a belting meal for four (which I did - and I was happy with it - and the cider & mustard sauce was spot on !). Maybe not enough people these days are as self-critical as me - the new age 21st century "blame culture" is something that I DO NOT subscribe to - if I f*ck up/fail to deliver - it's MY fault, and I'm not scared to hold up my hands - unlike so many people these days.

Maybe I am getting old - maybe my view on life, the universe and everything is starting to become a minority view. I think what p*sses me off more than anything is that the "alternative view" seems to get more credence, when to me that very same "alternative view" is directly to blame for so much that is wrong with this country - the reason why we're in this recession - the reason why so many people of my age who've "done right" for so many years are now being sh*t on.

Still tomorrow = Wednesday - Mrs Smiffy is off to London on a course (I need to check out whether there's any local-ish footy to try out - punishment for last night's poor pix - I have the car as well so ... maybe) ... oh and "work" as well .... ha !

Curzon Ashton v Chorley

.. well to be honest, it wasn't just Chorley who had an absolute 'mare tonight - it might be 0100, but witness this motley bunch ... oh dear me ...

Curzon Ashton 5 Chorley 0

...and yes I missed goal number 5 - yes it was actually 5-0 to Curzon - thoroughly deserved - Chorley were awful - and the snapper joined them too - yep, it looks like mind is still not really "on the job" (hangover from the weekend maybe when I struggled for inspiration etc outside the football genre ... or just general malaise given the still total uncertainty at work)

Easy to make excuses - so I'm going with the Chorley excuse - just a really "bad day at the office" ... fingers crossed I can do better at the weekend - choice of match still not certain, but we're off to Belper for the weekend where there is - at the moment - a "surfeit of snappers" - I might deviate up to the Impact Arena and take in Alfreton Town v Stalybridge Celtic ...

... whatever I choose, I promise to do MUCH MUCH better - please accept my humble apologies for this evening folks !

Awful - just awful ....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back from Boots & Beer ...

... much boots (8.5 miler on "blazing hot" Saturday and 9.5 miler today) - much beer (mostly Black Sheep Bitter) - and more food in one weekend than I would normally eat in a week !! A welcome break from "this and that" as they say !! Strangely ... only 48 pictures taken during the entire weekend - whilst some of the scenery is breathtaking, not very much of it "popped out for me", snapper-wise .. however, here's three (double-click for bigger as they say) ...

A "non-conventional view" of Aysgarth Falls ..

A "conventional view" of Castle Bolton ..

.. and - messing with a CPL Filter - a dead tree up on the moors near Carperby...

I did also manage to capture a wild deer dashing across the field - however it was actually several fields away, and the 24-60 lens was a "touch short" (!) hence ...

Tomorrow it's back to normal (aaaarrgh - "what" is normal ?) - followed by an evening at the Tameside Stadium to see Curzon Ashton take on Chorley.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good to know ...

... that "failure bonuses" are alive and kicking outside the Cheadle Hulme area ..

More robbing bar stewards

Today I get a list of "jobs to do" - in fact the word "handover" was used more than once .. hmmmmmmm - now up to me to gauge how long it will take to "do the needful" (tis an Indian phrase I've got used to over the last year or so !! ) - tell them "over there" my view on that - see if they agree or not - and when we come up with a time scale acceptable to "them" and "me" ... I then hit on the UK end to sort out terms and conditions .. and that's the really important bit of course ..

..and if we can't agree anywhere along the long and winding line - b*ll*x to 'em all ..

Strange isn't it that people are so quick to say "f**k off" - and then when they suddenly realise that "knee-jerk decisions" drop them into serious doo doo (which is basically where we are) they start to panic ("eek you can't get rid of him yet etc ...") .. not quite sure whether the ball is in my court or theirs - but I reckon I might have a slight advantage at this moment in time....

Weekend sees me away from football - up in the Yorkshire Dales (Hawes/Askrigg) for out annual pilgrimage to the "Boots and Beer" Walking Festival - sponsored by Black Sheep Brewery. This involves - you've guessed it - walking and drinking beer (not at the same time mind !). The big bummer is of course missing the big Tameside game on Saturday betwixt Stalybridge Celtic and Droylsden - two teams "on fire" at the moment if you look at the recent results .. and with Mossley out of the FA Cup it would have been the obvious choice - even with their re-arranged game against Howich/Leigh RMI/Genesis/Revelation...

(Wonder what India would say if I reckoned "6 months to complete the work properly and professionally" ... two words that probably equate to an unknown concept - if the tales I've heard about their "Drawing Office abilities" are true - they're already trying to "rush through" an Oracle Financials implementation - without the assistance of the guy who knows the UK Oracle database setup backwards - yep - me !)
"Am I bovvered" ???

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


(if you do not know said acronym - Google it !!)

What I said last night ref information from the "puppetteers in India" - yep I received ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TODAY- an e-mail to HR was replied with "We're chasing it ..." - ho ho effing ho. This naturally left me with yet another quandary. The deadline for appeals against the redundancy notices sent out last Friday was .. today. If this so-called "delay/extension etc" all goes pear-shaped, I may well find myself back at the stage I thought I was last Friday (and what makes it worse now is that I've just worked three days of "that notice period" - when others have already left !)

So ... last thing tonight, I sent in an appeal against an as-yet non-existent (but maybe existent) redundancy notice ... covers my backside if nothing else. Also proves that incompetence is still alive and kicking in Cheadle Hulme and India. I copied said e-mail into the Managing Director as well - you never know, it might set some hornets buzzing in the nest - but then again, I know that none of them care anyway - so why should I sit back ? A couple of people came into the office today asking for some stuff to be done. I had to turn round and say "Don't ask me - check with our HR Department - I might not actually be here at the moment - even though you can see me ..." It's tempting to actually just "stay at home" until decisions get made and terms and conditions get put down in writing .. however I've just gone and bought a new weekly train season ticket - following yesterday's false dawn ....

I should have known better really shouldn't I ?

Next thing - have had an e-mail from a friend ref jobs at "his place" - have sent CV to him and early indications - he's already passed it on - are promising (even if it's only an interview, it's a start !).

Oh yes - England appear to be going to South Africa ..... !

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Football Fixture Ineptitude ??

What's this blog called ? Yep .. SixTameSides ... where was I last night ? At one of them viz Ashton United ...

I could have gone to:

Droylsden V Harrogate (5-0 that one !)
Hyde United v Gloucester City (1-1)
Curzon Ashton v Trafford (3-0)
in addition to my choice of
Ashton United v Burscough (1-1)

Now tell me what that does to crowds - in an area where all four teams are within 5 miles of each other:

Curzon - 111
Ashton U - 139
Hyde - 320
Droylsden - 376

OK - two different leagues - but even then, with all the teams having nominated Monday as "their night" it shows a staggering ineptitude with the fixture software - even excluding the clashes - think Gloucester to Hyde on a Monday night ?? This is the Blue Square North - not the professional Blue Square Premier. It's daftness like this that leads to clubs getting into "financials" - the Farsley Celtic story for example - they went for it in the BSP - I cannot comment on their fixture setup in "that year" - but I'd pretty guarantee they had some crazy midweeks !!! OK not the full "excuse" for them going nearly bust (running up a £200k tax bill just ain't clever - ask Hyde United !!) .. but I do have some concerns about fixture organisation ...

I firmly believe that Conference and Unibond (dare I also include Glossop - Vodkat League - in this equation) should get a copy of the "SixTamesides.dll" plug-in to add into their fixture software ... all I've got to do is write it ... but possibly no time to do that at the moment - see earlier ramble !

Meanwhile tonight ... Stalybridge have gone to the alleged "moneybags" of Eastwood Town - and dumped them 3-1 - in front of a 601 crowd no less (always worth a look on the Ilkeston Town message board when things like this happen - especially with them wining 3-0 @ Solihull Moors !!!!!) - a fine "retort" to the Droylsden result last night - yes it's a "biggie" between the two teams on Saturday ... and where am I ??? At the annual "Boots and Beer Festival" up in the Yorkshire Dales ... another reason to hate the fixture compilers - surely this game should have been on a Bank Holiday/Christmas/New Year ?? Glossop's shaky start to the "post-FA Vase" season continued with a 1-2 defeat @ Maine Road - they looked good in the PSF against Mossley (and they've nicked a couple of Mossley players ! ) .. hmmm ...

And ex-Mossley starlet Ciaran Kilheeney has scored a hat-trick - including a 90th minute winner - to help Southport win 3-2 at home to ................. Stafford Rangers .... further bugger .....

At Last ... Some Action @ "Work" !!

... albeit still totally informal, still totally "up in the air" .. still pretty much up with the "I need to check with xxx and confirm with yyy etc etc etc .... " as noted yesterday lunchtime.

Still .. there's an "informal offer" to extend my working life for an extra 6-8 weeks (I guess they've finally realised that it's not that easy to say "sod off" without actually thinking it through - bloody amateurs ...). Tomorrow will see info from the puppeteers in India regarding what needs doing - then I guess it's up to me to either say:

1) "Go F*ck Yourselves";
2) "What's in it for me ?";
3) "Admit you goofed ?";
4) "Why has no-one noticed my OM tatto ? Thought that guaranteed my job for life" ...

or other such stuff ....

There are some "pros" - the statutory government redundancy "pay limit" goes up from £350 to £380 per year in October - so assuming these 6-8 weeks are not part of my notice period (if that is the case see option 1) above !!!!!) it's an extra £765 on my paltry lump sum ... tax free natch - could get pay till February 2010 rather than just before Christmas 2009 ...

I await tomorrow's info - and also something written down in black and white - every bugger else has had official "sod off" letters - I'm not making any decisions without some legally binding bits of paper ...

... would you ?

Football post to follow for you football people - based on last night's and tonight's action - honest ... !

Ashton United v Burscough

... away from that sh*t they call work - and back to "sense and sensibility" that they call football - until that thing called "match officials" kicked in and all of a sudden you're back to lack of competence, lack of discretion, lack of ... well you name it - and when "play" clashes with "work" in that sense - you - well I - get right p*ssed off.

The game - fairly even over the first 45 - Burscough a "touch" more physical, but it was "liveable with" ! Ashton took the lead, but Burscough continued to look dangerous and the equaliser was well deserved I thought. It could have gone either way after that, but then the ref suddenly decided that HE was the reason we'd paid our eight quids - and promptly turned a not brutal game into a joke - the Ashton sending off - albeit a second yellow - was farcical - no contact whatsoever - no intent - no nothing .. after that the yellow card and the little book worked overtime - absolute madness. I lost interest I must admit - he ruined that last 30 minutes of that game for me. nearly forgot (!!) - some pix at

Ashton United 1 Burscough 1

Quick pint in the bar afterwards - sat with a couple of "hoppers", one of which was Kim from Scandinavia - over here for a couple of weeks getting some football in (Boston United tomorrow I believe !). Then it was the 2203 bus back to Stalybridge - quickie at the Buffet - and then back to Mossley - to this ...

Tomorrow at work ... well if you've read the earlier post today, the "top priority" led to nothing - I also had a meeting with our Finance Department and a couple of guys over from India ref the "Oracle Financials Implementation" - which was basically "Sod your systems - you're getting this"... and if that's the case why do they (allegedly) want me to stay on for another couple of months ?? Keep your eyes open tomorrow (OK later today) to see if someone in authority can finally get their *rses in gear and put something concrete on the table. Today we've seen so many of those who have "got the chop" tidying up and preparing to leave - leaving me and my Boss still "in limbo" due to what can only be described as complete incompetence. Would YOU choose to work for a company like this ??

Monday, September 07, 2009

You Just Couldn't Make It Up ...

... unless you work (?) in the "Tower of Doom - Cheadle Hoom"...

An interesting week-end .. no mail on Saturday morning .. a 1-7 whupping for Stafford on Saturday afternoon ... a bit of a "walk" on Sunday (camera never came out of bag mind) and an evening in Tameside General Hospital !!! I've had what felt like a bit of a throat infection all week, making breathing a bit of a nuisance - by 1900 last night it had become a privilege rather than a right - eek (or rather gasp). After an hour or so on oxygen, nebulisers, various blood tests and a chest x-ray, the pronouncement was "a throat infection" - so now I'm on rather large amounts of penicillin, prednisolone etc - and the swelling around the windpipe is now easing off ...

... enough in fact to turn up at "T.o.D.C.H." this very morning - to find out that ALL the death/reprieve letters WERE sent out on Friday ... apart from two ............ yes you've guessed it ... me and my Boss. Straight on to HR - who obviously knew about this (lack of sending letters) on Friday but didn't have the guts/competence/compassion to tell us. Apparently (still rumour/conjecture) "they" want both of us to work for another two months ...

... (silence) ...

Now then ... is this two months part of the three months notice - or are they delaying the "start of notice" until 3rd November - a sensible question, suitably asked. "Errr ... I need to speak to xxx - who may need to check with yyy - and then probably get the deal typed up and approved by zzz" - that was 1030 this morning - "We will make this our top priority today" - it's now 1400 ...

Out of here early doors anyway to pick up yet more drugs - and then onward to Hurst Cross tonight to see Ashton United take on Burscough. I note from their site this lunchtime that a former stalwart of the club Graham O'Neill died yesterday - at a very young age. Tributes are coming in on the Ashton United message board, and no doubt there will be a moment's reflection on this sad loss, later today ... RIP Graham.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Droylsden v Stafford Rangers

... but first a "post postman" drinkie at Stalybridge with the Alfreton Town crowd on their way to Hyde - two beers later (and a quid into the "Guess the Crowd" pot - come on 385 !!!), a train to Ashton and a 216 bus down to the Butchers Arms.

The game .. well I have to say men against boys - and maybe I should leave it at that. Some photos (including "something" on all 8 (eight) goals) at ...

Droylsden 7 Stafford Rangers 1

We all know money talks - unfortunately it is only "whispering" at Stafford. I'm sure that lessons will have been learned from this - unfortunate for the younger ones - a hard way to learn - but get a couple more "old heads" in at the back - and no way will they concede seven again this season. Full marks to Nick Wellecome, who ploughed a lonely furrow up front - and kept going till the bitter end. Droylsden looked really good though - right through from back to front - Stafford did have a good first ten, but after that - it really was just a question of how many ... seen Stafford twice now this season - scored 2 conceded 12 - I must be the "bad luck charm" - although I missed their (losing) trip to Hyde at the start of the season !! Next certainty is their game at Stalybridge Celtic next February - until then , many other teams to see ....

Weather permitting - a bit of a walk tomorrow, before heading back to "that place" on Monday - heard nothing from anyone else regarding "doom letters" - maybe they put second-class stamps on the letters - wouldn't be surprising for a (these days anyway) very third-class company - can still remember one young lady last time (Feb 2009) believing "I've escaped ..." only to find that the "incompetents" had sent her "at risk" letter to the wrong bloody address ...

I return to "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" ...

.. And so it drags on ...

... Postman Pat came - and Postman Pat went ... leaving only a flyer from that useless union.

Until Monday I remain ... employed ?

Off to Stalybridge in an hour or so - thence to Droylsden ...

Friday, September 04, 2009

Expecting the word tomorrow ...

.... leaving "work" tonight - I said to Dennis (doing reception duties), "Have you had ... ?" "Yes" was the reply - he'd had a pile of envelopes delivered to reception from HR to put into the "Royal Mail Bag" ...

The bigwigs had been in a Board Meeting since early doors today - so we can safely assume (??) that the finishing touches have been sorted (PILON etc) and tomorrow morning the "Letter of Finality" will arrive with some concrete information ref finish date and all the relevant sh*t that goes with it ...

With Mossley Postie arriving as late as midday ... I won't be dashing downstairs at 0730 like some - all will be revealed later - possibly before I hit the road to Droylsden. I've also noticed that Alfreton are "in town", playing at Hyde United, so it's a fair certainty that Wozza and the boys will be in Stalybridge Buffet Bar tomorrow lunchtime - so I'll probably go for a quick meet (and a quid on the "guess the attendance" sheet !) before heading off down the Ashton Road to Droylsden ....

Might be back later - well this IS a bit early for me !!!! And we will be looking out for the Mossley score tonight (away @ Warrington Town) - after 28 minutes it's 1-0 to Warrington - arse .....

Thursday, September 03, 2009

"None the Effing Wiser"

OK - meeting @ 0830 - good ol' Northern Rail contrive to make the 0724 train 25+ minutes later - so we all dash for the "little 354 bus" that gets you into Stalybridge just in time to miss the Piccadilly train - which fortunately was 6 minutes late so ... success, and the 0804 to Cheadle Hulme was successfully caught as well. Arrive a couple of minutes late - to find the meet has been put back to 1430 - un-effing-believable ....

Then .. the 0900 video conference with the "boys from India" finally got underway at 0950 (they'd all buggered off to lunch - so why arrange a conference at 0900 our time - yep total "heads of dick" really ) - 60 minutes later they said "thanx - tara" (or words to that effect) - either they were so overwhelmed by the scope of said system - or they didn't really give a toss anyway ....

Still work to do (including setting up stuff for two new starters - honest !!!!!) ... laughable but true ... and the 1430 meet finally took place @ 1445. All I found out was my final redundancy payment (already worked that out myself) and the number of weeks notice (already worked that out myself) ... still no "final date" - or whether PILON (payment in lieu of notice for those who don't know !) - or whether work my notice ... what a joke. Have to be honest mind - my interviewer (who was troubled by my "attitude" @ first meeting) seemed more "human" this time around - he was almost as peed off as I was !! So - the uncertainty continues .. I pointed out that I WILL appeal (see "handover notes stuff" from last night) - if all 70+ of us appeal, we'd probably find that a good percentage have valid cases - but none of us can do owt until we get our "letters of doom".

Also heard today that one of our crew who re-located to the new Abu Dhabi office with wife and family about 12 months back was given his notice a couple of days ago as well - I moan about my situation, but that is a real p*sser don't you think ???

Simon Carves/Punj Lloyd - just don't go there ...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wednesday ...

... an interesting day indeed. Spent the morning chasing round Salford/Walkden with "small boy" sorting out some further education - success - he's now on a course doing something he's interested in (Animal Care/Management) - no thanks to our local 6th Form College in Ashton who 24 hours earlier had suggested a daily commute to Reaseheath College - in Nantwich (check it out - 4+ hours a day travel - laughable) !!!

Made it to 'work' for lunchtime - my "second redundancy consultation interview" (viz the second "going through the motions interview") is now set for 0830 tomorrow morning - my train gets me in for 0825 so I should make it - but to me it's just another episode in the "We'll make it hard for you because we don't really give a toss" saga.

And guess what ?? I've been asked to put together some "handover notes" - you know, from my "non-existent job"... The phrase was "I know where you're coming from, but you wouldn't sh*t on your mates would you ??". And I'm sure that "da management" are thinking EXACTLY the same thing - that appeal sounds all the more tempting/relevant doesn't it ?? Especially as shortly after that pointless interview I have to go into a demo of our Business Management System to 'our glorious leaders' in India. I reckon they think it's a little spreadsheet system - when WE know it's our fundamental Financial/Invoicing and Time Reporting system - I know that Oracle database backwards - no bugger else does - that appeal sounds all the more tempting/relevant doesn't it ??

There are some other "irons in the fire" as well here - but I'll tell you now - they do not involve UNITE the Union - they were next to useless during our redundancy "exercise" back in February this year - so much so that I resigned as Union rep - and I'm led to believe from others who've been in contact this time around that they are similarly "less than forthcoming" - now if we were high profile like Diageo or LDV, they may have got off their arses and done something - but a paltry 20+ members in a failing company doesn't make for good national publicity does it ? Sad but true ....

Look back through the posts - tomorrow (3rd) was supposed to be the day when the "notice" letters were sent out - we're already overrunning - nothing official has been said, just rumour of course (symptomatic of ...) - and don't forget our HR Department is NOT getting hit this time either. India may well be pulling the strings and calling the tunes, but we do have a totally clueless set-up at this end as well (we all know of course that everything went pear-shaped when "HR" took over from "Personnel" !) .. but enough for now ...

... anyone interested in football ?? Mossley's game this weekend away at Warrington Town has been switched to Friday night - apparently in an attempt by Warrington to boost their attendance. Just a shame they'd not taken away support into account (I know a few - including me) who won't be taking up the offer, especially as the ground is far from the railway station, and it's virtually impossible to get back to Mossley via train that late ... I bet they don't try this when Halifax Town are coming to Cantilever Park. So - it's a Saturday game for me down at the Butchers Arms when Droylsden entertain Stafford Rangers - a chance for a natter with Droylsden's snapper Carl (not seen since the Manky Cup Final @ Oldham last season) and a second chance to see the Rangers this season - just hope they do better than they did in the PSF at Kidsgrove !!!

Had a nice holiday in Britanny though - can't take that away from 2009 - here's one from Carnac just to "take minds off sh*t" again (double-click for "bigger" as they say)..

More tomorrow - no doubt ...