Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quick "Fame" Update ...

.... on the Ilkeston Advertiser website

I await a (promised) "hard copy" - one more for the CV ...

(Shame the papers around here aren't as "nice" !)

Ice Say !

Today's walk around a couple of local reservoirs - done them so many times, it's sometimes hard to find something "different" to snap. Fortunately I hit upon tyre tracks alongside one of them - and some of the ice patterns in them were reminiscent of prehistoric cave paintings - so the theme was found - and here goes:

Ice - and more Ice

Pretty in a way - but it doesn't half bugger up football !!

Woodley Sports v Lancaster City

OK - it had been a cold night (OK cold two nights), But I never expected as many call-offs as there eventually were ! I certainly felt for the Matlock fans - with a second inspection at Ashton United called for 1300 (and I know for a fact the ref didn't get there much before 1325 - cus I rang to check !), they HAD to travel anyway - at least some of the got to Woodley - as did Chris and Roy from Clitheroe (who had been on a fruitless journey to FC Halifax Town ... another "late call-off" (oh and many thanks for the kind donation for the Mossley Floodlight Fund - it WILL be passed on !).

I ended up arriving at about 1505 - I gave Ashton United every chance but once the "off" was announced I hopped on a 330 bus from Ashton to Woodley - a nightmare journey on a Saturday (should take 30 minutes - was nearer 50 in the end). Still I didn't miss any first-half goals (!) as Woodley turned the form book on its head by taking a 3-0 first half lead through two crackers from the edge of the box and a "bit of a scramble".

A half-time natter (with Reco from Matlock Town) overran slightly and I emerged from the club in time to hear "Goal number 4 from Dennis Sherriff" - bugger ! Second half did see Lancaster start to get to grips with the pitch (apparently they don't like 'em and - I think - have never won on one) but they had to wait until near the end for a consolation goal (which I missed - talking to some of the Clitheroe contingent). The 4-1 enabled Woodley to leapfrog Mossley in the table (again - bugger !!) - their "on a roll" roll continues ... a good crowd of 207 as well. Pictures from the game at

Woodley Sports 4 Lancaster City 1

Evening in Longsight - slow-roasted lamb, Greek style - a few beers - and home this morning - a "brief walk" around Dove Stone and Yeoman Hey reservoirs (some interesting pictures to come from that later) before home to this.

Wonder how this little "cold snap" is going to affect mid-week football - Mossley at home to FC Halifax Town (being played at Ashton United) and Stalybridge Celtic against Blyth Spartans are the two games for Tuesday night ... we wait and see ...

Bear with me ...

... went straight to friends house in Longsight after the game - got home about 1115 this morning - off for a head-clearing walk in a bit - promise pix and more late afternoon/early evening.

(PS missed both second half goals through gossiping with some of the many clubs' fans represented at Woodley yesterday !!) - you can't get 'em all - especially if you're a amateur like me ...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Frost ... aaargh !

... already several games have bit the dust today (including Curzon Ashton v Ossett Albion and Salford City v Leigh Genesis locally) ... and there's a pitch inspection about NOW (1200) at Radcliffe Borough where Mossley should be visiting ...

Maybe a last minute change of plan ... bloody hell !!

UPDATE (1255) - Mossley game OFF - Ashton United second inspection about NOW - looking like Woodley v Lancaster City ...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mossley Meeting Last Night

A few "bullet points" ...

3 quotes for lights - between £30k and £40k - options on four/six/eight pylons (four would require planning permission as they would be 3 metres higher than originals)

Tameside Council offer of 50% of the money still stands - SportEngland and Football Foundation have been approached for other grants.

£1800 raised in less than a week.

Home games - 1400hrs kick-off - could be earlier if away team & officials agreeable - midweek games @ Ashton United (starting next Tuesday v FC Halifax Town) - we only pay for floodlights/pitch marking - we get turnstile money and AUFC get the rest (fair enough !).

Requests to Man United & Man City to hold bucket collections outside ground - United refused - awaiting City answer.

"Prize Draw" set up (TV 1st Prize) - Sponsored Walk arranged - Car Boot Sale arranged - Coffee Morning being arranged - various events in Social Club (music, pool tournament) - new "BuyAt" link ( gets club up to 12% commission on purchases.

Collecting old clothes, bric-a-brac, old mobile phones for recycling/cash.

That's all folks ...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Football-Free Evening

Yep - didn't bother with the "big one" tonight (Curzon Ashton won that 4-2 at Leek Town !) - went for a "2 for 1" at Ashton Cineworld to see "Avatar 3D" - interesting that they put a £1-90 "supplement" on all 3D movies - and charge 80p for the spex on top of that ! What an incredible film - the graphics and the colours are simply stunning - OK a fairly simplistic story (Good v Evil - people seeing the error of their ways - hints of "Star Wars" and "Apocalypse Now" in some of the characterisation, nice big battle at the end ... and so on ...) but a great night out - 3D has come a long long way thanks to CGI - even the Cadbury's advert pre-film had Mrs Smiffy flinching !!

Something different for a Wednesday night ... might use that "2 for 1" again - maybe the Tim Burton "Alice in Wonderland" thingy.

(Oh ... United beat City I believe).

Mossley Floodlight Update

... after a morning's job hunt (one application - noted down in the "job diary" wot you are supposed to keep whilst attempting to claim dole money !) a trip out was called for ... so up to the football club to see the "damage" that was caused over the weekend while I was away !! Some pictures of same at:

MossleyFloodlights - 27Jan10

Tonight - big game on I believe - after listening/reading the media over the last couple of days I reckon Manchester is probably a "no go" area from about now (and keep away from Gary Neville too - "Mr Dangerous" to his chums !) ... me and Mrs Smiffy are going to take advantage of (hopefully) a quiet night at the cinema (although with it being Orange "2 for 1 Night" you never know !) - "Avatar 3D" is the film of choice - we'll see if it's all it's been cracked up to be ... and then home to check out the football results - yes there's more than just United/City going on tonight - Curzon Ashton are away at Leek in the Unibond Cup ... and FC United of Manchester are at home to Frickley in the league (it WILL be interesting to see the attendance here - already clocked posts on their message board regarding fans who will be at Old Trafford rather than Gigg Lane ... hmmm ...).

Tomorrow sees karaoke night at Mossley Football Club - preceded by a fans forum which was arranged ostensibly to do with the "floodlight crisis" - but I reckon the departure of Manager Chris Willcock will also "get an airing" ...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Mixed Bag of Results Tonight

... the new Managerial set-up at Mossley managed a 5-2 win in their friendly at Chadderton with Michael Fish grabbing a hat-trick ...

... the new Managerial set-up at Stalybridge suffered a 4-1 reverse up at Blyth Spartans - after getting back to 1-1 through Michael Carr it seems that the "second half malaise" kicked in ...

... Ashton United lost 2-0 up at Lancaster City in the Unibond League Cup - apparently Lancaster the better team in the second half (that "malaise" is infectious !)

... and Belper Town went to top-of-the-table Chasetown - and won 1-0 thanks to "goal machine" Lee Stevenson - combined with other results in the Unibond 1 South, this puts the Nailers up into third place.

One "alleged attendance" noticed tonight - Woodley Sports won 4-2 at Cammell Laird in the Cheshire Senior Cup in front of a crowd of ............ 24 ............ (and the geeks may have noticed that the number is surrounded by 24 full stops - just to put it into perspective !!!).

And finally ... three contacts today:

- Hyde United - "Can we use some of your pix on our website ?".

- 'Ilkeston Advertiser' - "Can we use some of your pix for our paper ?"

- 'NonLeague24' magazine - "Can we use some of your pix for our magazine ?"

Cool eh ?? Now if there was money involved, this whole "unemployment thing" might not seem too bad - but ... naturally there isn't !!

Hyde United v Ilkeston Town

A 1-1 draw, and a game of two halves really - Ilkeston looked fairly comfortable in the first half without threatening too much - deserved the lead mind. There must have been something in the "half time cuppa" for both teams (albeit something different) as Hyde started to press and Ilkeston looked decidedly edgy all round - the equaliser was well deserved and a draw in the end was probably a fair result. Some pictures at

Hyde United 1 Ilkeston Town 1

Had my grilling at the Jobcentre - already they are trying to take money off me - when my P45 arrived (showing a leaving date of 18th Jan) on the 22nd Jan, I phoned up the Jobcentre for the initial registration. I was told today that my "dole" would be paid from "initial contact" - i.e. the 22nd NOT the 18th ... but I could fill in another form to try to backdate it - not an auspicious start ...

Having used up my "one midweek match" quota, I now find that Mossley have hastily arranged a friendly at Chadderton tonight - bugger !

Hey ho - back to the job hunt ...

Hi Ho Hi Ho ..

... it's off to the dole we go - interview @ JobCentre - 0920 - then home to finish last night's piccies ... it will be interesting to see how much has changed "dole wise" since I was last using their facilities back in 1985 ...


... I go away at the weekend - to come home to find that the remaining six floodlights have been "downed" - I go out to football tonight - to come home to find that our Manager has resigned to take up a "second in command" post at Stalybridge - to, as I understand it, a "temporary manager" - the phrase was "an opportunity he cannot turn down" - don't know about you, but there's something not quite right here ... obviously when Steve Burr left Celtic to go to Kidderminster, there was a "banged up" contract ready and waiting (and a nice shiny car accoring to the "Non League Paper" on Sunday) - so what kind of a deal has our erstwhile Manager got at Stalybridge ? Don't get me wrong - I'm all for Managers improving themselves - but a temp job ???

Or is it ??

Or is it just short term money ??

Or does Chris know something about Mossley that we don't ??

There is a Supporters Forum @ Mossley on Thursday night - originally set up due to the "floodlight crisis" - I think they may be other questions asked that night - unless other stuff "comes out in the wash" before then.

Naturally, whilst catching up on this "shenanigans", the Hyde/Ilson stuff from tonight has gone on hold (it was 1-1 by the way) - I'll catch up ASAP ... but for now ... I'm seriously confused, and seriously not happy ...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Football Tonight

... the choice is Hyde United v Ilkeston Town (Conference North) or Curzon Ashton v Droylsden (Manchester Premier Cup) ... going for the Hyde option as I've not been there since last October - plus the chance of a small "imbibement" at the "Sportsman" - the real ale mecca in Hyde (promise Curzon will be first choice next time around - I'm sure Maxine (Curzon) and Carl (Droylsden) will have the game fully covered pictorially !!)

... until later ...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Belper Town v Quorn

Here's the pix for starters (complete with no captions !!) :

Belper Town 2 Quorn 1

... and it's "Get Well Soon" to Andy Rushbury who broke both bones in his forearm with less than five minutes on the clock - a calming influence to the Belper midfield who will be missed for several weeks.

Can't stop - stuff to do - the pork was nice by the way !

Just Back from Belper ...

... with a cheque from Ken & Sheila for the "floodlight fund" and the promise of a signed shirt which we can use in a raffle/auction (none planned but it's an idea that I will put forward). 2-1 to Belper - not pretty but three points in the bag.

Pictures (and more words) to follow later - obviously a lot of catching up to do (and I've got to cook the tea - Chinese 5-Spice Pork with Stir-Fried Vegetables - pork marinading as we type !!). Looks like the Street Collection was a success as well - over £500 raised ... and the rest of the floodlights have now been dismantled - can't see (it's gone dark !!) - so Saturday games appear to be back on the menu.

Anyway - while you're waiting - I took this one on our walk today - be thankful it's "out of season" - I offer the cricket pitch at Ambergate (near Belper) - brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Rain Stopped Play" !!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Early Signs of Help for Mossley

.. arriving from just up the road at Ashton United - a post from the Chairman Dave Aspinall:

"Just to let people know, I have spoken to Mossley and offered them the use of our ground until further notice ,obviously when our matches dont clash.At the moment it looks like they may be playing Halifax at HC on the 2nd Feb.This will be confirmed as soon as we can.
Like most Ashton fans I too have a soft spot from our good neighbours and we will do all we can to help them at their hour of need, as I am sure that they would do the same for us."

... which is a great step forward - although naturally what we really want is for the old lights to be dismantled tomorrow (so we can at least get day games on) and the new lights to go up next week - but we all know that ain't gonna happen.

Many many thanks to "Rasper" for the offer - it's good to see one of the local teams rallying round sharpish like - I'm certain that all the others have been contacted .. but the team that's "just a walk away" (well we've done it before - not too far - with pubs in between !) got back first ... for which we will certainly be grateful. Hopefully some "positive vibes" from the rest will follow ...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tomorrow's Football

I could say "blessing in disguise" ... but that would be selfish - the Mossley v Woodley Sports game is OFF - for reasons set out below ... but I was not going to be there anyway. A trip to the Mother-in-Laws in Belper means I get the "meaty prospect" (ho ho ho !) of Belper Town v Quorn.

Off out soon to our Michelle's "pad" - she's cooking us some tea tonight (being a veggie, it may include Quorn - we'll see !) - Belper tomorrow and probably a "bit of a walk" on Sunday - looking at Matlock Dale. Fingers crossed for Benny Phillips' first game in charge for Stalybridge Celtic against Hinckley tomorrow; Droylsden @ home to Gainsborough; Hyde v Ilkeston now appears to be on Monday; Ashton United away @ Ossett Town; Curzon Ashton @ home to Skem; and Glossop @ home to AFC Liverpool (wonder if Jay Chandler still turns out for the Reds ... it's a long story !!!) - apparently the Glossop game is subject to a pitch inspection ... it's holding water apparently (something to do with the Mossley second half performance on Wednesday no doubt !!). Hopefully the Mossley faithful will find something tomorrow (even if it IS dodgy satellite) - there is a street collection in the town if anyone is floating about shopping etc - shove your change in because every little helps !!

Lose the Camera ...

... and try your hand at movie making !! With a little help from Debut Video Capture (freebie version) and Windows Movie Maker we can proudly present these three efforts:

A bit rough and ready but ... hopefully they WILL get the message across ...


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fame ?

.. as in "Smiffy's on the telly" !! Check out

Mossley Floodlight Crisis

about 20 mins 50 secs in

(Probably only available for the next 24 hours though)

And the other Big News Today ...

... is the departure of Stalybridge Celtic Manager Steve Burr for the warmer climes (and closer to his Burton home) of Kidderminster Harriers. A big big blow for Celtic indeed ... but apparently a clause has been written into the contact meaning he CANNOT sign any players from Celtic until February 2011 at the earliest - a very astute move, given that often when a Manager leaves there is an "exodus" of players who will follow him soon afterwards.

He's done a great job at Bower Fold - took them to within an inch of the Conference Premier two seasons ago, a whisker off the Play-Offs last season, and he has assembled a winning side this year that still can (after the fixture backlog has evened it all out) challenge for the Play-Offs at the very least. It would be nice to think he is leaving "on good terms" - with him being mid-contract, the club WILL apparently get a "substantial fee" from Kiddie - can't knock the guy for wanting to improve - witness the "promotion" of Nigel Clough from Burton Albion to Derby County (he too left a winning team in place) - let's hope that Benny Phillips (who takes over today at least temporarily) can keep the Celtic bandwagon on the rails, and the club get what they deserve come May (or June or July, whenever this season eventually finishes!). I for one wish Steve well in his obvious aim to get into the Football League - looks like his CV is getting him work ... unlike mine !!

Mossley Floodlights - Media on the case ...

... while fiddling with last night's Celtic/Corby pix this morning, I got a call - "Can you be up at the club at 11 - BBC Radio Manchester are coming up ?" So I was - and this afternoon it was the turn of Granada TV ... all suitably noted down in the pictorial sense:

Mossley In The Media

(and yes they even interviewed me - and did some fancy camerawork involving me taking pix and walking "off camera" !!) Anyway - step one in the raise awareness / raise £30k began today ...

(1823 - our Peter just took a call from a mate - apparently I've just been on "Granada Reports" - anyone get a copy - cus I've obviously missed it !)

And if anyone has any money-raising ideas - we'd love to know ...

Staybridge Celtic v Corby Town

... just the pictures really ...

Stalybridge Celtic 1 Corby Town 2

A good first half - a bad second half - although with the fixture backlog, it may be a blessing in disguise - still, a trip to Wembley should NEVER be sniffed at ... should it ?

The Depression Continues (2) ...

... despite the best efforts of Steve Burgess ... the following statement has been released by Mossley AFC:

Mossley AFC are currently unable to play any fixtures at their Seel Park home as a result of the club's floodlight pylons being declared as unsafe.

On 31/12/09 two of the original eight pylons collapsed within a 12 hour period. As a result, the committee called in the Tameside Health & Safety advisors, to assess the safety of the remaining six.

On 20/1/10 an independent structural engineering company, recommended by TMBC inspected the remaining pylons and declared them as unsafe.

As a result, all home matches must now be played away from Seel Park, until the matter is resolved. Other local clubs have been approached to play the forthcoming UniBond League fixtures at their grounds.

The anticipated cost of replacing the lights is around £30k, which the club's officials are desperately trying to raise, through funding applications and donations.

Fortunately Tameside Council have offered to contribute 50% of the cost, but we still desperately need the balance!

Mossley AFC has been run by a voluntary committee since being in financial problems in May 2009. We have until November 2009 successfully raised sufficient funds to pay our current debts and keep to our agreements with the creditors we inherited.

But now we have not played for some seven weeks due to bad weather and now this.

We urgently need your support to ensure that Mossley continues to have a football team; we consider we are an important part of the community!

Any donations can be made to the club, either by cheque (Mossley AFC), direct into our bank account or via PayPal on the clubs website;

Royal Bank of Scotland
Mossley AFC Ltd.
A/c. 10020778
Sort code. 16-25-32

By Post:

Seel Park
Market Street

So - another "kick in the teeth" - no home games for the foreseeable future - unless £15k can be raised sharpish - and no home games means no money over the bar - which means ... you can work it out for yourselves !

The Depression Continues ....

... went to Stalybridge v Corby (well I did have a "freebie") - and after a fine first half when they should have been at least 5-2 up - they totally capitulated in the second half and allowed Corby to sneak a 2-1 win - and to make it worse I bumped into Sten (Mossley fan) in Stalybridge Town Centre on his way back from Glossop - where Mossley lost 2-1 ...

Pix from the Stalybridge game sometime tomorrow ...

Got my "real" P45 today - not the 26th (they have wangled holiday pay into the equation) - so from 18th January 2010 ... I am officially "dolescum" ....

Happy Days ...... not

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Not a Happy Chappy ...

... and it's nowt to do with the City/United result (guess that was a "little ray of sunshine" for today !). Unfortunately got the "thumbs down" on a job that would have been right up my street (ticked all the right boxes with qualifications, knowledge, experience - but didn't even get shortlisted !). A bit of a "kick in the teeth" to put it mildly - have been onto them to try and get some feedback - I must be going wrong somewhere, and I need to know why - and quickly. The last wage packet is in the bank - the pathetic redundancy lump sum is still to arrive (Simon Carves are obviously hanging onto that until the very last minute - b*st*rds !) - and parts of the body are starting to twitch. January 26th is starting to loom rather large ...

But to cheer everyone up - here's a picture of a nice shiny handpump - still grappling with the new compact but ... it's coming ...

Why not play "Guess the Pub ?" or "Which Greenfield Brewery Beer Is It ?" ... there's always football tomorrow I guess - and after a long long wait for something local, it looks like (weather permitting !) there will be two options on the same bloody night - Glossop North End v Mossley (Manchester Premier Cup) and Stalybridge Celtic v Corby Town (FA Trophy) - but with me heading seriously for the JobCentre in 7 days time - and having a complimentary ticket to Stalybridge following the "back-breaker" last Friday - it's a bit of a no-brainer really. To make matters worse, this coming weekend Mossley are (probably) at home to Woodley Sports thanks to the sterling efforts of Steve last weekend (see previous post) - me - at a family gathering in Belper. So that's me heading towards "persona non grata" at Mossley if I'm not careful !

Life is becoming a bit of a ball-ache at the moment ...

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Hero at Mossley - Steve Burgess

... from Saturday morning. While I was trying like hell to actually get up/stand up/walk with my head held high (rather than an LS Lowry "extra" !) after the snow shifting exertions of Friday, moves were afoot at Mossley to sort out the "Floodlight Situation" at Mossley.

Step forward Steve "Birdman" Burgess who not content with using a bit of oxy-acetylene to cut up the rogue floodlight ON the pitch, then proceeded to scale the existing pylons to adjust the lights !!! A bold move indeed, captured for posterity on video (by his missus I believe) - check this out (and listen to the soundtrack at 0:47 !!):

The "Steeplejack of Mossley"

I should have been there - I knew about it (volunteers HAD been asked for late Friday night) - but I had been forbidden by Mrs Smiffy to do anything at all (she was right of course - I'm still on ibuprofen and alcohol in an attempt to put a knackered 53 year back into some semblence of normality - I even had to go to Lancaster with minimal kit/weight in my "snapper bag" else not go at all).

There's a lot of people that owe Steve a big debt of gratitude - weather permitting the game on Saturday against Woodley Sports WILL now go ahead.

Well done Steve !

Wolfmother Revisited

... 24 hours on - one of the test pix which is not "all bad" - have noted settings for future reference (maybe I should have been more patient and tried again when big stage lighting kicked in - hey ho) - and a couple of video clips, just for the hell of it (intros to "White Unicorn" and "Joker and the Thief") ....


Wolfmother @ Manchester Academy

... well after a couple or three "fairly good" photo sessions this last few days, it was down to earth with a resounding thud tonight - after a few "test shots" before the support band, I put the new babycam in my pocket and left it there - save for a couple of video efforts which I haven't dared to look at yet.

Anyway - the gig - support band (Black Angels ?) started well - part way through first song me and our Michelle concluded "Black Rebel Motorcycle Club" - they then proceeded to meander through a few non-descript songs (my view) - everything cranked up too loud (a Puddle of Mudd almost) before coming on strong at the end - 5 out of 10 I guess. The new Wolfmother incarnation ripped straight into "Dimension" from the first album before a few tracks of the new "Cosmic Egg" offering - all good stuff. Back to #1 album with an OTT "Woman", a (to me) understated "White Unicorn", "Apple Tree" and "Collossal" before the "New Moon Rising" track which was sort of created "in between band changes" I think - back to I think 3 new ones - last but one track before they left the stage was for me the pick of the bunch (no idea of title I'm afraid but well heavy !). Encored with "Vagabond" and the marvellous "Joker and the Thief" - over by 2220 - me home by 2300 (yes I drove ... and NEVER touched a drop - making up for it now) - a fine performance - now we must get hold of new album ...

... and really MUST get that camera manual onto the laptop and give it a good reading !!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Finally - 2nd Thursday Live on 14Jan10

George Borowski at speed - he knows all the chords you know ...

... just not enough hours in a day - here are some snaps from quite a large line-up last Thursday ... a good night - and it was free - something to think about come the 2nd Thursday in February ...

2nd Thursday Live 14Jan10

Lancaster City v Salford City

Woke up to rain - now that should clear a few pitches - but not today - ended up with the choice - AFC Fylde (new ground too far from station) or Lancaster (familiar territory) - so chose Lancaster. OK a bit of a trek - but I got football, and got the chance to see my (Lancaster resident) lad ... and his new fiancee's ring ! Not that tricky a trip really - left Mossley at 1155 - in Lancaster for 1400-ish. Nipped into to see lad (just round the corner from the station - which is just around the corner from the ground) before off to the Giant Axe for my first football this year !

Green grass !! The Giant Axe from Lancaster Station platform.

4-1 to Lancaster sounds comfy - but for long periods of the game it wasn't. Storms were weathered at the start of both halves, and at 3-1 there was a distinct attack of the nerves ... but it all turned out well in the end (naturally a certain amount of sympathy for Lancaster here - as the last Mossley game I saw was ... a 4-1 defeat by Salford City !). Some "ring-rusty" pictures at

Lancaster City 4 Salford City 1

.. and then back into Manchester for a night out with Mrs Smiffy and friends - a nice meal at Cafe Istanbul completely ruined by some loud gobsh*tes at another table - why oh why do people need to shout across a table - they're in a restaurant - keep your club/disco volumes for the bloody club/disco - and let me enjoy my meal in relative peace. Similar volumes - inevitably - on last train home ... mmm lovely ...

Back still in "aargh mode" following Friday's exertions with snow - so unlikely to do much walking tomorrow (today !) - so I WILL get those pictures from the gig at Mossley Social Club up and running some time later ... promise - but I'll have to be quick - because tomorrow night, me and our Michelle are off to Manchester Academy to see the new incarnation of Wolfmother - still to hear the new album "Cosmic Egg" - it will come no doubt soon. Plus I get to try out new compact - still a bit shaky in "Program Mode" - the pictures I brought home of Lucy's ring for Mrs Smiffy to see were simply awful ! Hoping for better tonight - but first some sleep ...


Friday, January 15, 2010

Snow Good ...

... well the tilapia was cooked - not impressed mind - boney, oily and - to me - bland despite my best efforts with oranges and herbs. Sorted out the pictures from today (the bath can wait !!) :

We tried - we bloody well tried !

Have to say special mentions to Debbie who - after a 12 hour night shift - put in another 6+ hours shifting snow - shows how much people really want to see football - there were even Celtic directors mucking in as well. Tomorrow may be off (again not official - check tomorrow) but it certainly helps towards getting the Trophy game against Corby next Wednesday on - with me in possession of a "freebie", and the Glossop/Mossley game already in doubt, we can all feel that it wasn't a fruitless exercise. I only wish that we could raise a similar "army" up at Mossley now and again.

Still - football tomorrow - somewhere - still baulking at paying obscene railfares to Colwyn Bay, so I might even drive somewhere - and "snap sober" (eek !) - we'll see what pans out - or you never know, Bower Fold might drain and thaw, and 100 people may turn up tomorrow to clear the rest - a man can dream ....

And I WILL get round to the George Borowski pix this weekend - a cursory scan shows some good'uns of all the artists who got up and sang last night - so I need to put some work into it to give them all a fair crack of the photographic whip.

God my back - ibuprofen/more beer calls ...

We did our Best !

... up at Bower Fold today - but in short - no game tomorrow .(that's NOT official by the way - but take my word for it) ..

More later - but I've only just got back after a "hefty six hour shift" with the snow clearer - my poor 53 year old back is killing me ! Now off to cook tilapia (it's a fish !) - followed by bath - followed by checking out some photos from today - and of course last night up @ Mossley (George Borowski) - I've probably said it before, but I just have no idea where I found the time to go to work ... although I'd love to ...

Something later - guaranteed ...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

If you are still thinking about ...

... heading up to Mossley Social Club tonight - the latest George Borowski album is available to listen to on Spotify (what do you mean "What is Spotify ?") - I liked a quote I read somewhere - "Sounds like Tom Petty if he had been English" - not far off the mark !! Pix maybe later - or early doors tomorrow.

(PS Algeria one up against Mali)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Quiet Night In ...

... while the wife's away - there's no real football - DAMN ! Settled for Zambia v Tunisia on Eurosport (a bit of a dreary 1-1 draw - both teams appearing to play the "don't lose your first group game" card) followed by Liverpool v Reading (a bit more passion here I must say - and the best team won - Rafa must go - don't know how long he's been at Liverpool but his command of the English language should be a lot better than it is !).

What else ... moves are afoot at Stalybridge over the next few days - apparently Harrogate Town have given up all hope of de-icing Wetherby Road for Saturday, so the game has been switched to Bower Fold - with the proviso that the 6 inch snow blanket is shifted before the 1330 kick-off on Saturday (obviously still don't trust the floodlights after the Southport "game" !), so another "call to arms" has been issued for Friday and Saturday. With Mossley being at Colwyn Bay on Saturday (and the train fare being prohibitive - and I have a "night out in Manchester" planned for the evening), I guess I'll be throwing my hat into the Celtic ring - another "snow shifting shift" beckons !!

Tomorrow ... continue the job hunt - maybe another "PhotoShop" tutorial (!!) - and in the evening a walk up to Mossley Social Club for the "2nd Thursday Live" evening featuring George Borowski and the Fabulous Wonderfuls (for those who don't know - Dire Straits - "Sultans of Swing" - "Check out Guitar George - he knows all the chords") - last saw him at the "Railway" in Greenfield back in the summer of 2007 (some pix) - new album since then ("Fair Xaverian") - and it's free as well - if you're in the area why not give it a go - and help Mossley AFC as well (drink beer etc !) ... and I should get to give big camera an airing as well - sick to death of no football (as in none this year !).

Payday beckons - as in "last payday" - soon be time to officially sign on as unemployed ... starting to get a touch nervy now ... got to just keep on keeping on ...

Africa Cup of Nations - Quickie

I'm using this link (and it updates "real time") - assumes you have a smattering of French mind !

CAN 2010

Gabon beating "The Indomitable Lions" this afternoon - now there's a turn-up ... half-time twixt Zambia and Tunisia as I type (1-1) ...more later I'm sure ...

Messing with Photoshop Elements 2.0

... yep my PS is pretty old and knackered - but it IS legal !!

After another two-hour futile (?) trawl around the job sites - seeing the same old jobs again and again, those magic words ".NET" (which shows up the deficiencies in my experience, i.e. not up-to-date enough) - and some I even applied for last month have even re-surfaced amongst the many "telesales" and "Train for a Career in IT" opportunities - I awarded myself a cuppa and a quick "play" with Photoshop - where I turned this (again double-click for "big"):

... into this ...

... and it wasn't too tricky either ...

For those who might like to know (remember I'm using PS Elements 2.0 but I bet it's not much different in the newer versions), this is what I did:

1. Enhance - Adjust Colour - Remove Colour (to get a black & white pic)
2. Enhance - Adjust Colour - Colour Variations
3. Move the "Adjust Colour Intensity" slider one notch to the left of middle
4. Click on the "Increase Red" image twice
5. Click on the "Decrease Blue" image twice
6. Bingo - a "sepia" photograph !

You learn something everyday ...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Late Tuesday Ramble ...

... well the Benin/Mozambique game finished 2-2 - so it remains that neither side have EVER won a game in the CAN - and with Nigeria losing earlier in the day, three points to either team could have made a place in the knock-out a lot easier ... but there you go ...

A trip out afterwards took me to the "Railway" in Greenfield (above) where I found out I could have stayed at home - totally forgot about FA Cup replays and ITV4 !! Anyway watched the Coventry/Portsmouth game where Pompey played the "Get Out of Jail" card twice !! Home in time for "Sgorio" - unfortunately all foreign as there were no Welsh games either at the weekend - nice to watch Christiano Ronaldo looking like a total plonker in front of goal for Real Madrid against Mallorca though - wise move by SAF to get rid eh what (unlike the Tevez option !)

Home for 11 - a slight "smattering" of new snow tonight (above) - nowt to worry about mind (I'm sure it would be "major crisis" in the London area though - where Mrs Smiffy is for the next two days !) Wife away and no non-league to watch - times like this I usually binge out on real football - looks like I'll be reduced to CAN and FA Cup Replays yet again tomorrow night - best get a full days job hunt in first.

One interesting "spot" on the Glossop North End Message Board recently - they got together a "Vinyl Night" last weekend - bring your 12" platters and pay the DJ to hear YOUR track - a cracking idea for a night out I think - and no Karaoke involved ! Worth thinking about Social Clubs everywhere (notice I never said money "spinner" - eh eh eh !!) ....
LATE EDIT - just looked at pix above (in "click for bigger" mode) - time to read the instruction DVD for new compact and tweak options accordingly - cus they're poor aren't they !!

Tuesday Ramble - TV Football - and "stuff"

... watching Benin v Mozambique at the moment - 2-1 to Les Écureuils (The Squirrels) at the mo - aiming for something else later "dans la pub" (probably Spanish).

... something that's been bothering me since they installed fancy-dan departure boards and speakers at Mossley Station - the platform towards Manchester seems to have been named "Platform 1" - at Stalybridge the (main) platform towards Manchester is called "Platform 2" - strange, or is it just me ?

... and just for the hell of it - a list - the Africa Cup of Nations team's nicknames:

Algeria - The Desert Foxes
Angola - The Black Antelopes
Benin - The Squirrels
Burkino Fasso - The Stallions
Cameroon - The Indomitable Lions
Cote d'Ivoire - The Elephants
Egypt - The Pharaohs
Gabon - The Panthers
Ghana - The Black Stars
Malawi - The Flames
Mali - The Eagles
Mozambique - The Mambas
Nigeria - The Super Eagles
Togo - The Hawks
Tunisia - The Eagles of Carthage
Zambia - The Copper Bullets

... what do we have ...

England - The Nearly Men ??
Wales - The Never Men ??
Scotland - The BraveHearts ??
Ireland - The CraicHeads ??

Ideas on a postcard please ... more later maybe ...

Monday, January 11, 2010

At Last !!

Today - this morning ...

... from this ...

... to this ...

All good training for the (no doubt) upcoming fortnightly bin collections (which naturally assumes that all Tameside poll tax payers will continue to do the council's recycling work for them and use God knows how much extra petrol in order to get to the nearest recycling centre - assuming you have a car of course)...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lest we forget ...

Following tonight's DVD, I found a really useful article on Wikipedia this evening - might be useful to some in the present weather situation ...

Emergency Article

HOWEVER ... just put milk bottles out (2300) and it sounds like it's chucking it down with rain - it's actually snow thawing like mad off roofs/cars/poisonous monkeys - so for next week's fixtures maybe amend the wording from "frozen pitch" to "waterlogged pitch".

One who knows about "thaw" ... ho ho!

One who knows ALL about poisonous monkeys ...

Anyway ... tomorrow is another day ...
or will be in 30 minutes ...

"Oi !! I said that first !!!"

A "moving weekend"

With no football to get in the way (boo hoo !), it was a case of "throw yourself into" moving our Michelle into new flat. This involved me driving the car backwards and forwards, "sliding off" our street onto the (OK) main roads several times - bummer was, coming back after the final journey ... some bugger had "nicked" my dug out parking space, which I'd been in and out of all day - such are the perils of living on a terraced street where two (sometimes three !) cars is considered "normal" for a fifteen foot wide house ... never mind - excavated another spot to "slide into" and put it to bed for the night, while I went to watch Sky Sports "Snowy Saturday" followed by some important "pub surveys" in the Ashton area close to daughter's new abode - the "Station" was freezing - but had good ale and a belting juke box (I heard Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and the Red Hot Chili Peppers in quick succession) - followed by one in the "Caledonia" (not been in there for many years) - again good ale and a decent food menu to go with it.

Today - another "shifting trip" which also involved getting rid of rubbish from two households down at the Stalybridge "refuse amenity site" (its Sunday title !!) before sliding the car back into a decent place - it ain't moving tomorrow as Mrs Smiffy is working in a school in Ashton Town Centre all day so will use the train - or the bus ...

A meaty tea (no veggie in the house now !!) of chicken in wine, honey & mustard glazed carrots, steamed broccoli and cheesy mash will now be followed by the new Harry Potter DVD - thank you and goodnight (unless I think of something dramatic that I read in the "Non League Paper" today - sure as hell wasnt a match report !!)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday Bullet Points ...

- All (real) football off tomorrow - what a surprise - probably reduced to TV football again ...

- Dug car out and went to the tip (plus ... bin STILL not emptied - come on Tameside Council - I thought we paid "Poll Tax" for YOU to "do stuff" - we'll be policing our own streets next)

- No post for three days - and STILL no reply from the "Tameside Advertiser" regarding "picture theft" - although I notice that photos in last week's paper and on the website appear to have the words 'Picture by ..." fairly adjacent !!

- Light snow shower tonight (2100) - still effing sub-zero as well - midnight update ... snowing AGAIN !

- No new photos taken today - apart from some damning evidence of the lack of cleaning in a flat (see below !) ...

- "Along Came a Spider" was a rather good film tonight ...

- Front room like a bombsite - daughter moving out tomorrow - me doing several car runs in the morning (in the fresh snow by the looks of it !) ...

Here comes the weekend ..........

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Some Pix ...

... from today ...

Snow Clearing and stuff - 07Jan10

plus I'm now an official student @ Tameside College - with official accreditation - our Michelle tells me that I can now get 10% @ HMV (one way to recoup the £180 course outlay !!)

Football ... what's that ??

Mossley Social Club - Open for Business !!

After much snow shifting this morning - and a wee bit of help from a Council digger - the club is accessible to all (as Sir Bob Geldof would say, "Give us your f***ing money !") - pix to follow, but now I need a bath (me back is killing me !), and then I need to whizz down to Tameside College to enrol on a "night course" (VB.Net - need to get some of my computer skills up to the 21st Century !).

Until later ...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"Mossley Under Siege" - Latest ..

... and we're not talking about the Lilywhite's defence !!! Stayed in all day (apart from a brisk morning trip to the "convenience shop" for essentials (more milk - Mrs Smiffy working from home = more tea drunk !!). Daughter got to work - boy got to college placement - aren't trains wonderful ! And then - earlier this eve, a JCB trundled up our street (imagine ... narrow - cul-de-sac - cars on both sides) - ploughed out a single-track furrow and dumped the snow between the parked cars and up on the pavement. Also, having cleared the snow, it's now revealed some patches of ice underneath from the earlier "cold snap" - grit box STILL empty - so a few plusses and a few minuses then !!

Tomorrow sees me - possibly - having to use the car (Mrs Smiffy off to work via train) - just weighed it up after a quick trip to "convenience shop" for evening essentials (you guess !) - might need half-an-hour's digging out around the wheels (thanks JCB) and clearing of snow/ice first ...

... and I've (rashly ?) promised to head up to Mossley AFC to help shift some snow "from the approaches" in order that the Social Club becomes accessible to cars as well - no bloomin' football looking possible for a while (forget the Garforth game this Saturday), so we need to ensure that the only real source of income at this present time - the Social Club - is available/accessible so we can get some money. What with the floodlight crisis (official line on the web site - here) still "up in the air" (unlike the bloody pylons !), every penny counts ... and it's the same for all of the "Six Tame Sides" ... and ALL non-league teams as well - no home games = no income - and expect no help from the FA/Football League - or those rich clubs "up above".

A Final "and finally ..." - don't know if anyone else (outside Manchester) noticed ... but the Chill Factore (Manchester's artificial snow slope) was shut the other day because of ... the snow ... ha !

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Futile Football Footprints (Almost ...)

... it's Tuesday - therefore it's football night in Mossley. Obviously no real football to watch, but ... Stoke v Fulham on MurdochChannel ... so, off out through the already chilling piles of snow. "Britannia" in Mossley - only showing Sky Sports News Channel, so after a "Hobgoblin" - and in the full knowledge that Stoke were already 3-0 up - I caught the (fairly "on time") train to Greenfield and into the "Railway" - where they're watching some cr*p about police and stuff ... never mind, had a natter with Malc and mate - and a couple of pints of Millstone "Tiger Rut".

Home (on a fairly "on-time" train) - to find it finished 3-2 ... picked two wrong 'uns for football tonight ! However, when everyone went to bed I dosed up on "Sgorio" (S4C) and watched New Saints beat Welshpool 4-0 (mostly down to some comical defending by Y Trallwng !), followed by a 1-1 draw twixt Rhyl and Prestatyn (MOM was definitely the Prestatyn keeper Jon Dunt - just like it said in the "NLP" on Sunday - pulled off some tremendous saves).

And so to Wednesday ... and more chaos "out there" - one last "up" from today - the MEN "live feed" screen today ref the weather/transport/closures/opens etc etc - extremely good, and no doubt extremely useful to those "out there" - trust we'll see same tomorrow/later today.

In Place of Football - More Bloomin' Snow

... aaah the joys of being "between jobs" (although I'd have given it a go this morning had I had the chance !!) Instead I had a "wander out" this morning - not far as the safest way in and out of Mossley is by rail - and took some more pictures ... also some from our back yard:

More Mossley Snow 05Jan10

Forecast ... who knows ... it hasn't stopped snowing here all day - must be at least a foot deep out the back by now - big up to our milkman - pinta on the step this morning - postie got through as well (no job news though, just a Sky flyer !) - bin still not emptied - road still not gritted/ploughed (a problem not confined to Tameside either). I can vaguely remember 1962/63 - think this could be worse ... football already in doubt for the weekend, and next midweek probably ...

Hey ho ...

Monday, January 04, 2010

Bloody Hell ...

... it's snowing again ... that climate change palaver in Copenhagen certainly did the trick ... didn't it ?

"Bloody Hell" also to find out that "Top Gear" is the greatest TV show of the decade - what a joke ... obviously just surveyed 20 testosterone-fuelled blokes (plus Laura - ex-work colleague !!).

"Greatest Songs of the Noughties" will have to wait .... guaranteed it's not "Valley of the Damned" by Dragonforce - so I don't really care ...

In Place of Football - an Egg !

... a very strange egg indeed - went down to Stafford at the weekend to see Mum and Dad Smiffy - amongst other things like flooded kitchens (eek !), this curiosity had arrived inside the egg box ...

Any "eggsperts" out there care to explain how/why - or should they put it on EBay ??

Meanwhile - the Job Hunt has entered a new year this morning - one applied for ... still not panicking, but the final salary cheque arrives in 11 days time - after that ...

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Lights out at Mossley

OK, it's last years news - a bit (happened on the night of Dec 30th - and there are some pix on the Mossley Message Board), but I took a stroll up to Seel Park on New Years Day to see the damage for myself - and it's not pretty ...

Might be only (only ?!?!) two of the pylons, which can easily be removed from the pitch/terracing, but the big worry is not replacing two but maybe having to replace all eight - which has got to be a possibility given the "mysterious way" that the Health & Safety agenda works these days ... what with the weather at the moment, there's going to be a bit of a fixture pile-up - and midweek games ain't going to happen are they ?? As it stands, there's been no official statement as yet from the club - replacements, re-arrangements, insurance etc - hopefully something will be said soon, so plans can be made. I have heard a "finger in the air" quote of about £40k to replace all eight pylons - obviously the lamps themselves should be OK. I believe the floodlights "went up" in 1972 - and I'd guess the various building regs etc will be a touch different in 2010.

It may well be that next Saturday's game against Garforth Town has the kick-off brought forward to 1330 or 1400 (Stalybridge were planning a 1330 KO for the Hyde game before the weather stepped in). We'll see ...

(In the meantime the Hyde United v Stalybridge Celtic game tomorrow night is already off - frozen pitch believe it or not !)