Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mossley v Curzon Ashton

Michael Thomas - and brother "John" !!!

... Wednesday football ? Normally reserved for the TV but - hey ...

Wednesday was also first day back at work as well - it's been many many years since I've worked between Christmas and New Year, but I have to admit it wasn't too painful (even managed some afternoon o/t to match the early morning o/t as well). Have to admit ... it was GREAT to see tarmac again - doesn't half speed up the walking process - and the temperature was positively tropical as well (OK - about 4 degrees C, but it's all relative).

Anyway - home to find the game had been called on - so ... I went ... I'd have settled for a draw before 1945 hrs - a touch disappointed in the end as there were a couple or three chances in the first half for Mossley to go 2-0 up - never mind. Curzon put on a much better show after the break - not sure about the penalty (wrong end me !) but I reckon a 1-1 draw was a fair result in the end. A bit of a damp/drizzly night (he said getting the excuses in quickly) and the pictures aren't that brilliant I'm afraid but - hey ...

Mossley 1 Curzon Ashton 1

Thre tropical weather continues (should be wearing my RM shorts really !!!) but with Mossley playing at Woodley Sports on Saturday - it doesn't really matter anyway. Crammed some more o/t in today - and refused all offers for tomorrow. Mother-in-Law is arriving tomorrow afternoon (Mrs SmiffyTaxi has gone down to Belper today) - and we're all off to Bolton Octagon Theatre tomorrow night for a performance of "David Copperfield" before seeing in the New Year in our back yard no doubt (will probably have another futile effort of trying to get photos of the 0000hrs fireworks - never got it right yet !!).

I will be honest though - last two days have still seen Christmas Cards appearing "in the mix" - but if anyone asks, I refer them to that well-known tune "The 12 Days of Christmas" ...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Woodley Sports v Cammell Laird - Pictures

Keeping it brief tonight - a fairly drab first 45 minutes enlivened by an excellent goal - and a flock of geese ! Second half was much improved for the viewing public, and Woodley ran out well deserved winners on a bitterly cold afternoon (should have scored more though !). Disappointing crowd considering it was the only game on in the north I think (!!) - I guess most people stayed in the warm and grumbled about the weather on football message boards !!!! Some pictures at

Woodley Sports 2 Cammell Laird 0

The thaw has certainly set in - although the phrase "frozen pitch" will probably be replaced by "waterlogged pitch" though - Stalybridge Celtic already off tomorrow (Tuesday) night - there has been talk of Mossley playing Curzon Ashton on Wednesday night though - we'll see ...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Review of 2010

This might bore you all senseless (!!) but ... you don't have to read it ... here goes - and as promised I will try to put together a pictorial review of the year as well (far easier on the eye !) ...

January – 2010 started just like it’s now finishing weather-wise – no football on New Years
Day – and two of Mossley’s floodlight pylons had collapsed due to the weather (and old age as
well !!) – there was stuff on the telly about this as well (including a cameo appearance from
yours truly as well) . Snow shifting was the order of the month – as I was “without work”, I
ended up shifting snow both at Mossley and Stalybridge Celtic during the month – backbreaking
work indeed !! Such was the desperation for football early in the month, I ended up
going to Lancaster City just to get a game in. Went to see Wolfmother @ Manchester
Academy (excellent gig !). Chris Willcock resigned as Mossley Manager – and the end of the
month saw more sub-zero temperatures knackering up the football options (thank heaven for
Woodley’s artificial pitch eh ?). My notice period from Simon (bloody) Carves finally ended –
and I joined the ranks of the unemployed …

FebruaryMossley were now playing their home games at Ashton United due to the
floodlight crisis – and managed a fine 3-3 draw with FC Halifax Town thanks to a late late
equaliser from Andy Watson. Unemployed maybe – but I began a computer course at
Tameside College (VB.Net – passed with “Distinction” six months later !). More bad weather in
the middle of the month (this time it was Oldham Boro who came to the rescue of this football
addict !) – and then the result of the Marcus Hallows vs Ashton United court case hit the
headlines, opening up the whole legal minefield of blame, insurance and negligence not to
mention the possible bankrupting of Ashton United – which thankfully has NOT happened.
The end of the month saw the sad and sudden death of fellow ex-Simon Carves worker and
football snapper Steve Bostock quite literally while he was “on the job” covering the Rochdale
v Bradford City game – one of my mentors in the sports photography game who will be sadly
missed. Staying with photography – I managed to get two pictures published in the “Non
League 24” magazine – a copy of which has been kept for posterity. The first month on the
dole saw many applications – but no joy anywhere …

March – March began with the news that ZP (Zippy) Theart had left DragonForce (one of my
particular musical “likes”) – still not yet been replaced !! Caught a game in the Northumberland
League (Embleton WR) during a weekend visiting mates (who’ve since moved back down to
just outside Mossley !!). Starting selling stuff on EBay (in order to raise a bit of cash in order to
continue buying on EBay !). Had some “fun and games” after a Mossley game at Trafford
involving a certain player whose initials appear in the football team name MK Dons – that
player is “no longer involved” at Trafford – in fact he appears to have disappeared off the radar
completely, although rumours abound as to his “whereabouts” abound …). A (different) “Knight in
Shining Armour” (great link !!) had arrived at Mossley – Gary from GT Grafix had offered to
stump up 50% of the cash required for the new Mossley floodlights – and he was “taken on
board” as they say ! One plus point from unemployment was a marked improvement in my
culinary skills (having the time to play/cook/experiment certainly helped mind) – and this still
continues to this day (although now reduced mostly to my “days off” and weekends). Still no
joy on the job front …

April – early in the month - a job interview !!! Nothing to do with IT but it went well considering
it was only my second job interview in 25 years !!! Another trip to the Manchester Academy,
this time to see the John Butler Trio – what an amazing guitarist this chap is – well
recommended. On the football side of things Mossley were grinding out some wins and
getting tantalisingly close to a play-off spot in the Unibond 1st Division North – but then defeats
at Colwyn Bay and at home to Curzon Ashton all but put paid to this (at one stage they’d
played 5 games in 8 days – who’s to say it won’t be any different in 2011 !!!). Got some
comeback from the job interview – passed it .. but .. no jobs were available – so onto a waiting
list I went (I saw this as a “forget it mate” moment – how wrong I was !). Football season end
was hotting up – with Curzon Ashton again making the Unibond play-offs (but again failing ..) –
and preparations for the General Election were also reaching boiling point – and at this point in
time Nick Clegg was looking like a viable option (oh how wrong we all were – especially the
students !) – and the great “Smiffy Garden Project” had begun – pond, patios and borders –
something to keep the “dolescum” occupied between football game hunting and job hunting –
which was STILL bearing no fruit …

May – The football season continued – with trips to Dukinfield Town and Atherton LR early in
the month – the garden project continued as well – one patio all but finished at the start of the
month. Another gig was taken in (Rokia Traore at the Bridgewater Hall) – and then the 6th May
saw the General Election (the evening of which was spent at Bury Metro Comedy Club night)
and after an “all-nighter” from me (no work in the morning – still !) a hung parliament was the
outcome … This month saw the “light at the end of the tunnel” as the new floodlights started
to go up at Mossley. The Con-Dem coalition finally spluttered into life – and we’ve all seen
what that has come up with over the last 7 months of 2010 – with more “fun and games” no
doubt for next year … The middle of the month saw me reach “second interview stage” for an
IT job – which eventually became yet another “Thanks but ..” outcome (later in the year I was
approached in an Oldham street and asked if I would like to change my internet provider to
TalkTalk – you can imagine what I told the “salesperson” – and some of it I’m afraid was NOT
very polite – not insulting her personally, just slagging off said company !!). Still football to see
- the Stockport Senior Cup Final on the 18th May, and my final game of the season “over the
hill” in the West Riding Amateur League twixt Ardsley Celtic and (champions) Bay Athletic –
and the first cricket match (sadly managed only a few in 2010) saw the “big bugger” 500mm
lens come out for its usual summer airing.

June – The lamps began to appear on the floodlight stanchions at Mossley - and there was
possible “light at the end of the employment tunnel” – two more IT job interviews had fallen by
the wayside, but the April option had resurfaced … and then the World Cup began !! A windup
radio on a Wharfedale campsite helped us through the first England game (a sign of things
to come …) before returning home. The “lower patio” was beginning to take shape – and
wildlife was appearing big style in the wildlife pond. And then – June 16th - almost exactly halfway
through 2010 - I was offered a job – starting at the end of June – which I grabbed with
both hands. The World Cup continued with an awful England performance against Algeria
followed by a nervy win over Slovenia and then … “that game” against Germany. The month
ended on a “Hi Ho Hi Ho” note as I went off on a major career change - to become a Postie …

July – is “Pre-Season Friendly” month – but this year it was also “Get your Head around New
Job” month as well – a couple of weeks training before being let loose on my own walk (which
I’m still doing today !) . College course finished (OK it’s on my CV now – but that’s about all).
The weather took a turn for the wetter this month as well (just as I started an outdoor job – also
caused delays with the patio project which was slowly inching towards the finish line - for this
summer anyway !) – hosepipe ban – ha !! The last day of July saw Mossley grab some early season
silverware, winning the Willow Wood Hospice Cup by beating Ashton United on

August – A week of friendlies and then the football season began in earnest – plus the added
bonus of a Reserve Team AND a Youth Team at Mossley for the 2010/11 season. True to
form however – the opening two league games of the season were missed due to being on
holiday – a week in Malvern – with mixed weather (although I did slip in a game “down there”
between Malvern Town and Highgate United !). Mossley’s season got off to a bad start without
me, losing their first two games (including a 0-5 reverse at Clitheroe – ouch !!) but the month
ended with a good win (and £1,500 in the kitty as well !) over Witton Albion in what was to
become a very useful run in the FA Cup. Work was still going well – it had been pointed out to
me that after the two-week training period (where you’re basically with someone else so doing
only 50% of a walk at the most) many people quit rather quickly once they start on a full 3-4
hour walk on their own and realise “It ain’t that easy !” – not me though (although I’d certainly
had a “baptism of fire” (more like water really !!) with the weather !! I was still getting calls from
some recruitment agencies regarding IT work – but I was turning down all “offers” (I say offers
– but having seen how it all works over the first six months of the year I knew damn well that
95+% of them would turn to dust).

September – saw closure on the garden patio project for 2010 – no doubt we’ll get back on
the job when the weather improves next year - always that last 10% of any job that drags out
… One of our radiators “fell off the wall” this month – well we were looking at replacing the
combi boiler anyway – just more bloomin’ expense though. Mossley’s FA Cup run continued
with wins over Glossop North End and Dunston UTS (and some of the other “Six Tame Sides”
were hanging in there as well !). Not content with walking for money five days of the week
(and grabbing overtime wherever possible), the Sunday walks out had been continuing over
the summer as well (stopped me seizing up I guess !!).

October – a crazy month for Mossley AFC – not one league game played … their nine games
comprised 4x FA Trophy; 3x FA Cup; 1x Presidents Cup; and 1x Manchester Premier Cup …
and by the end of October they were out of everything !!!! Had a week’s holiday this month as
well – plastering the wall where the radiator had fallen off being just one of those “jobs on the
list” !! Managed a few walks again this month (including a “solo effort” down the disused
railway between Oldham and Grotton – including a guest appearance from an urban fox !) –
next year sometime I’ll go for the disused railway between Oldham and Ashton. Keeping the
railway theme going (ho ho !) Mossley’s FA Cup exploits finally “hit the buffers” against
Darlington, losing 6-2 and finishing with just 8 (eight) men on the pitch – crazy crazy game
indeed – however the cup run had brought a good chunk of money into the coffers (sadly a lot
of it is probably being used up now to cover the financial shortfall due to the weather and
subsequent lack of football since November 23rd !). My week off was followed by Mrs Smiffy
having a week off up in Windermere – so a couple of 24 hour trips up there in between work –
and some walking above the lakes finished off October.

November – The month began cold – the cameraman’s fingerless gloves were now doubling
up as the postie’s fingerless gloves (and now – end of December – they’re totally shot –
fortunately a new pair arrived “under the Christmas Tree” !!). Got a nice new shiny/luminous
coat to wear though (really should think about washing it during this Christmas break – ‘tis a
touch grubby !) Mossley finally got back to playing league football (a mixed month comprising
2 wins 1 draw and 3 defeats – ho hum !). It wasn’t all Mossley this month – I took in the
Stalybridge Celtic v Droylsden game – certainly a surprise result there with Celtic running out
easy 4-0 winners. The new combi boiler was finally fitted this month (just in time as it
happened !!) and my first taste of a “Royal Mail Christmas” (apart from the new coat !) arrived
with an official “Happy Christmas” card containing 50 first class stamps – look at it as a £20
tax-free bonus really ! As November came to a close – the weather got worse … and worse …
and worse … finishing up with snow (and lots of it) on the final day of the month – the other
(darker) side of a “Royal Mail Christmas” finally kicked in !!

December – hit 54 years of age on the first day of the month (still too young/skint to retire
though !) and the snow continued - no football unfortunately (I’d done Droylsden v Leyton
Orient on TV at the end of November – FCUM v Brighton was the TV game in early
December) until the 11th when I squeezed one in at Stalybridge Celtic and then a Mossley
Reserves game on the 14th – since then … nowt (maybe a chance at Woodley Sports on the
27th ?). The “Christmas Pressure” kicked in big style at work (working on the Sunday before
Christmas as well !) – packets went through the roof (curse this internet shopping !) – and this
coupled with a return of the bad weather made for a “sporting” end to the pre-Christmas

Some Notable “Farewells” from 2010 ...

February - Steve Bostock (fellow snapper - see above)
March – Keith Alexander (latterly Macclesfield Town Manager)
March – Sir Michael Foot (former Labour leader)
May – Dave Mellett (long-time Mossley fan)
May – Trevor Brissett (ex-Stafford Rangers)
June – Chris Sievey (a.k.a. Frank Sidebottom)
July – Ken Barnes (Manchester City … and Stafford Rangers)
August – Adam Stansfield (Exeter City)
September – Sir Cyril Smith (ex-Rochdale MP)
October – Malcolm Allison
October – Sir Norman Wisdom
November - Leslie Nielsen (of “Airplane” fame)
December – Dale Roberts (Rushden & Diamonds goalkeeper)
December - Woolly Wolstenholme (Barclay James Harvest)
December - Captain Beefheart

… they will all be missed …

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all our readers ...

... that's it - work all over now for four and a bit days (started at 0630 - finished about 1400 - brief "tincture" in a local hostelry before home and a long long bath !). I'll try and do some sort of "Review of 2010 (Football and the Rest)" between now and New Year - suffice to say it's been an "interesting" year in many many ways !

Many thanks to all who continue to populate this site - it's much appreciated. I hope you all have a good festive break - can't see much in the way of football mind (!!). I'll leave you with a nameplate from one of the houses on my walk - I think it sums it all up for the next few days ... !!!

Have a good 'un tomorrow ... and hopefully Santa (or Royal Mail !!) brings you what you want ... !!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nearly There ...

... if you ain't posted by now - time to break out the "Happy Hogmany" cards !!

Some odd pix off the "phonecam" - just for the hell of it ...

Particularly liked the "Christmas Tree" snow effects on this pillar box ...

The packets just keep on coming ...

"Sunset over Watersheddings" ...

Tuesday morning was quite interesting - on the bus to Oldham, and with a nice clear sky, I was able to get a fairly decent view of the lunar eclipse, as the moon slowly but surely disappeared around 0730 hrs - sadly no pix of that (being on bus and armed with only phonecam ...) - Solstice Day as well. Good news for Christmas Eve - we're starting "extra-early" so we can (theoretically) finish "extra-early" - we shall see (!!) ... at least after that shift I've got four whole days off (in fact it might even be five - need to sort out my lieu day for Boxing Day ...)

Football ? This year ?? Can't see it ... might have to do a JAlbum of pix from 2010 - maybe a couple from each month - if only to keep me from talking shop every bloomin' day !!! Now ... time for tea ...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Pressure ...

... is certainly "kicking in big style !! Sunday saw five hours actually sorting mail rather than packets - because, contrary to popular belief (and RM "propoganda") there's rather a lot of it floating around ... unlikely, but if there's anyone out there from the Hampshire town of Odiham - there's quite a few letters (ha !) for you guys/gals up our way - or there were yesterday - hopefully they're on their way down south by now. Another hour spent "tidying up the mess" in the DO (empty Yorks, perstops etc - got all the jargon now !) and then a lazy Sunday afternoon, cooked a beef casserole and then a lazy Sunday evening.

Early start today (surprise surprise) - and then - for a Monday - a fairly "heavy" day - and packets coming out of my ears !! In fact check this out ...

... a full sack containing parcels for four - yes just four - houses in one street ! Crazy things like this involve "on the fly" logistical solutions to be dreamt up ... which normally involve a lot of extra walking backwards and forwards, and cramming extra bags of stuff into pouch boxes (those strange grey or red lockable boxes on sticks that you may or may not have noticed around the place) . The early morning preparation is fun as well - badly addressed crimbo cards (e.g. "Bill and Val, Any Street, Oldham") and wrong house numbers to name but two - helps to be on a regular round (sad but true - out of my 608 addresses, I'm pretty certain I could put a surname to well over 70% of the addresses - and that number is rising !!). Went a bit over my time - of course - oh yes, did I mention the snow and ice ? See above picture ... it's still out there - and still causing grief underfoot - and sub-zero temperatures keeping the fingers numb ...

Football is a rarity anywhere in the Western Hemisphere at the moment (or so it seems) - so after tonight's culinary effort (Cottage Pie - because it was minced beef), I ventured forth to the "Brit" to watch Man City go top of the Premiership for Christmas ... well that was the plan anyway. By the time I got there, City were already one down, followed by 2-0 down soon after (while they were down to ten man through injury). Despite being given a "sporting chance" when Anichebe was sent off) they only managed one goal (not forgetting some heroics from Everton's Tim Howard) - those silly stats showed attempts on goal as something like 27-4 to City ...

Monday now officially over (and Sunday "caught up with !") ... Mossley game off tomorrow - naturally !

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Unusual Saturday ...

... for a football man !

Yes, work this morning was somewhat "sporting" to say the least - but even before I went out of the door, I noticed on the news ticker-tape on the "biggish TV screen" in the Delivery Office (which shows such jolly things as "Always wear your ID" and "How to Cope with 'low down' letter boxes (H&S)" that Captain Beefheart had died aged 69 - a year or two before my time, but we've a copy of "Trout Mask Replica" somewhere (weird to say the least) - mentioned this to a couple of guys at work - the reply was "Who ?" (I tend to forget age and stuff at times !!). Anyhow, out into the snow-bound wastes of Oldham - it was fun (not !) - tried out the snow chains in earnest, and was not too impressed (they seemed to "ride up" around the heel and all grip was lost at times) - kept a dry backside though, and went back to the 'spikeys' (even though I've lost one spike out of six on each foot). Went slightly over my time - but what can you expect in this sort of weather ?

'Spikeys', the Magnum Boots and the snow chains - the 'spikeys' get the vote !

All thoughts of football pretty much went out of the window at about midnight last night when I saw the falling snow - the Belper Town option had actually disappeared earlier in the day (Friday), when I was asked if I could 'do a bit' (as in 6 hours overtime) on Sunday - couldn't really refuse, as it looks like it's actually 6 hours 'indoors' sorting packets etc for the vans - whatever I end up doing, it'll certainly be something new/different. When I got home today, I double-checked the Evo-Stik website, the Football Conference website and the Vodkat League website - it was total wipeout, so thoughts went to TV Football again - until I found out that the weather had even decimated the Premiership !

So - a relaxing afternoon before nipping out for a couple (after finalising Mrs Smiffy's Christmas pressies !!) - and here's (hopefully) a really sad video of a flashing light ...

... now going to do some wrapping up in front of the telly - whilst watching a birthday present DVD from our Michelle ("Dig !" - a 'rockumentary' about the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre - that's two bands, NOT one band and one nasty incident !!!). Then - maybe - an early-ish night ...

It's Going to be Interesting ...

... at work later today - yes, it's snowing again ... just watching "Rambo III" (again !) before bed and ... a nice walk later - snow chains at the ready ... wish me luck !

Friday, December 17, 2010

Woolly Wolstenholme - RIP

Then - and more recently - Woolly Wolstenholme ...

...heard today of the sad death of Stuart "Woolly" Wolstenholme earlier this week - believed to be suicide (Stuart had been battling depression for many years).

For those too young etc etc. Woolly was one of the founder members of Barclay James Harvest - who, together with Focus were one of my earliest "hero worship" bands when I was at school back in the early 1970s. Woolly was born in Chadderton near Oldham and the band saw their roots in the Saddleworth area (this was long before I moved up this way - as in 3 miles down the road from Saddleworth - in the mid-1980s). BJH were one of the first bands to use the mellotron - a precurser to the Moog Sythesiser that could give amazing "orchestral" sounds (in fact, pre-mellotron, BJH did actually tour once with a full orchestra - and lost a fortune !) - and Woolly was THE keyboard-meister...

BJH were vastly underrated in this country - despite some classic albums like "Everyone is Everybody Else", "Time Honoured Ghosts" and the classic "Concert for the People" which was recorded live at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (the band were HUGE in Germany). Woolly left the band in the late 70s, did a couple of solo albums and took up organic farming in Wales. He was later re-united with one of the other founder members of the band - John Lees - and had been performing with "John Lees' Barclay James Harvest" for the last couple of years - in fact me and Mrs Smiffy have tickets to see JLBJH at the Buxton Opera House next February - whether this gig goes ahead now ... I've no idea.

Stuart now joins drummer Mel Pritchard in the "Great Gig in the Sky" (Mel died of a heart attack in 2004) - my commiserations go out to all involved - especially Stuart's partner Sue. There was a track on the "Octoberon" album entitled "Suicide" - sadly many may well see this as prophetic ... but I'd like to think in a more positive way - could have chosen "Mockingbird" ... but here's a "Youtube" of BJH (without Woolly) performing "Life is for Living" from that concert in Berlin ... he may not have been there ... but it's the title that sums it up for me ...

(EDIT - 18th December 2010) - I've picked up on some comments etc elsewhere - and in hindsight I agree I could have chosen a more fitting tribute - something to showcase the talents of Woolly - so I have ...)

"Is there nothing left at all after the day ?" - yes ... the music remains - always ...

RIP Woolly ...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mossley Reserves v Bamber Bridge Reserves

Comparing hair cuts - ref Mr Lewin and Brig's "Hat-Trick Hero" Stephen Green

... crazy crazy game - if there had been "Opta Statistics" on the 90 minutes, it would have shown the total dominance of Mossley ressies in terms of possession and chances ... however it's goals that win games - and "Brig" even contrived to miss a penalty !! Pitch held up pretty well considering the sh*te it's been through over the last couple of weeks - and by the way I lied about the free admission - got done for £2 last night (don't begrudge - obviously the weather has seen income dry up big style over the last few weeks, so every little must help). Pictures at

Mossley Reserves 1 Bamber Bridge Reserves 5

Meanwhile - down Wirral Way the first team were beating Cammell Laird 2-1 and climbing up to 12th in the table - and still with a few games in hand over some of "those above" ... and Curzon Ashton's FA Trophy adventure finally finished with a 0-2 reverse at home to Altrincham ...

Meanwhile - another "brisk day" work-wise - making the most of the tropical weather before the world allegedly ends sometime tomorrow or Friday - I've seen the weather - and now I'm watching "Dogma" on Film4 - an excellent film seen several times before !! Weekend football - let's see if there IS any first - but it's Mother-in-Law's "Christmas Bash" in Belper. Mrs Smiffy and rest of the clan are heading down early (weather permitting) and I should join after a hard morning's graft - but I DO get 90 minutes "time off for good behaviour" - so fingers crossed for Belper Town vs Sutton Coldfield Town (it'll be my first visit to Belper this season - blame it on Saturday working - I do !).

Everything boils down to the weather mind ...


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sod It ... Too Tired ...

Picture posed by model - I've got more hair !!

A particularly heavy day at the "letter/parcel face" today (forget "Big Monday", this was "Quite Large Tuesday" !) - the thought of dragging myself down to Ashton-under-Lyne - and then walking out to what is usually a bitterly cold Tameside Stadium - and then "doing the reverse" later on (with a football match - £7 admission - in between) - plus an early start tomorrow (up at 0600 hrs) ... too much for this ageing/tired body ...

... but

I can just about drag myself up to Seel Park to see Mossley Ressies take on Bamber Bridge similars in the Galaxy Lancashire League (free admission too !) - so all is not lost in the football stakes ...

... get home earlier too !!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Football ...

No standing out in the cold ...

No "pub + HDTV" ...

Tonight, it was Twitter ... as in ...

Tomorrow - it's going to be a "weather permitting" jobbie @ Curzon Ashton (not freezing yet mind ...)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stalybridge Celtic v Nantwich Town

Bonus "STS" picture - Craig Hobson having a crack ...

It was good to get back to normal ... i.e. Saturday afternoon = football ! Saturday was not too bad work-wise (basically a load of of the mechanized mail "never made it" - trouble is that this means more work on Monday though !!), so finished and home at a reasonable time. Chose the Stalybridge game over the Curzon Ashton option - which was a good shout in the end as the Curzon v Altrincham game ended up as abandoned at half-time due to a power cut while Curzon were 2-1 up !!

Celtic meanwhile put in a workmanlike performance to beat Nantwich 2-1. Revenge was the order of the day on a couple of counts - Nantwich had beaten Celtic in the Cheshire Senior Cup earlier in the season (cheered the Celtic faithful) - and Nantwich had beaten Mossley in an earlier round of this very same FA Trophy (cheered yours truly !!). I say workmanlike - they took an early lead from a "route one-ish" ball to Marsh who rounded the keeper and scored - but Nantwich gave as good as they got, and certainly controlled the first 15 minutes of the second half, equalising when Rodney Jack's speculative long-range shot somehow squirmed underneath the otherwise impressive Jan Budtz. This equaliser was the wake-up call required and from then on it was pretty much all Celtic. A sublime second goal (far too sublime for the cameraman - a little rusty after 18 days without ... !!) and plenty of chances for further goals - which didn't come but - hey - they were looking pretty comfy at the end. Next round draw on Monday of course ... Pictures at

Stalybridge Celtic 2 Nantwich Town 1 (FA Trophy)

What to do today ?? I may well be out shopping (both real and Christmas - aargh !) after a bit of "housey type stuff", before girding my loins for a tricky Monday at work (I've heard that this day is known as "Big Monday" in the trade - don't think that matters too much now - reckon every day will be a "big" day between now and Christmas Eve !!
Also with the Curzon abandonment, comes another footy option on Tuesday with the re-arranged game at the Tameside Stadium (subject to the necessary "5p in the meter" I suppose !) - certainly won't make it over to Cammell Laird for the Mossley game (if on - which it should be - they have a strange micro-climate over there ...).

But for now ... breakfast !

Saturday, December 11, 2010

You Wait for 18 Days ...

... and then two come along at once !!

Both the Curzon Ashton and Stalybridge Celtic games are ON - Bower Fold is my choice (Curzon have their own "snapper" in Maxine - and I've still got a bunch of photos and CD to pass on to one of the Celtic players !) - so a bit of FA Trophy to relieve the Christmas "pressure" (leaving Mrs Smiffy at home to deck the halls etc etc ) ... some "ring-rusty" pix later no doubt ...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Faint Chance of Football Tomorrow ?

Two local options still hanging in there at the moment ...both in the FA Trophy ...

Stalybridge Celtic v Nantwich Town (pitch inspection 1030)

...or ...

Curzon Ashton v Altrincham (pitch inspection 1000)

... or ... if I'm not too late finishing (or not too knackered), there's a chance that Salford City v Woodley Sports will go ahead (pitch inspection 1000 - official quote is "looks good for playing").

It would be nice to get one of the above three ... but first there's people wanting their Crimbo cards (and their bloody parcels !!) ...

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Pub Football ... Again ...

Terrible when reduced to this - photos of a telly !!

A trip out in the cold - but unlike the 6,900+ at Gigg Lane I ended up sat in front of an HD telly and a wood-burning fire thingy (yes - back to the "Rising Sun" in Top Mossley !!)

Defining moment for me was not the penalty miss, but the Nicky Platt effort not long before it - had that gone in, I reckon it would certainly have been "game on" ... but that's football.

24 hours earlier, Droylsden had been on the brink of a major upset (2-1 up at 89 minutes) ... but again that was not to be. Forget the 8-2 scoreline, forget the 0-4 scoreline - the two clubs have done very well out of their FA Cup travails this season - both financially and national exposure-wise. A shame that Droylsden Manager Dave Pace appears to have knocked some of the gloss off their efforts - FCUM's Karl Marginson was a touch more gracious ...

So - that's probably the end of "non-league football" (with apologies to E.On !) for a week or two - no more "heated tents" and "hot-air blowers" (and I'm NOT referring to Dave Pace here !!) - sitting here on my "day off" (offered to work, but obviously not required), the sun is shining and the temperature has crept into positive, so hopefully we'll see a bit of a thaw over the next couple of days - if only those gritter boys/girls who've got the roads clear could now be employed on doing same with the treacherous pavements - the mail might get to the houses a bit quicker ! Maybe an idea for the "Community Payback" squad as well - chance missed here I feel ...

All this sunshine is making me dream of Greece - reckon tonight's "meal extravangaza" is heading towards lamb kebabs, oven-roasted Greek-style potatoes (oregano !!) and a feta/olive salad ... yum ! Maybe even some Christmas shopping as well (OK I lied about that bit !) ...

ESPN ...

... was the "order of the day" tonight (FCUM v Brighton) - more tomorrow - it's my day off - and they don't seem to want me to work it !! Never mind - I can get down to the Post Office and pick up that bloody parcel that's been waiting for me for several days - a head torch believe it or not (thought it might be useful considering some of the late finishes I've had recently in areas wot I don't know - would have been useful today, finishing my overtime in the dark !!).

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lancashire Constabulary Revenue Generation Department

Caution - b*st*rd at "work" ...

... from the above title, I guess a good many people can guess what follows ... yes, on the way to the Sunday Walk a couple of weeks ago, it seems I got "hit" by a mobile speed trap - you know those things that actually raise money rather than actually solving real crime. Can't argue with time and place - a quiet uphill road out of Bacup with next to no traffic on it early Sunday morning - yes I was obviously a REAL danger to society - and must be punished as such.

So - many thanks to Lancashire Constabulary for p*ssing me off big style - I will of course be making preparations to firebomb their HQ in Blackburn (and I'm Spartacus) - considering the Bacup department have probably had bugger all to do since the Sophie Lancaster case (and even that solution was handed to them on a plate) - it's good to know they're keeping their hand in on the cheap and easy options ... beats hard work dunnit ??

... and please don't think I'm being facetious or off-hand with my mentioning Sophie Lancaster - regular readers of this blog will know my feelings on this - as in here and here - in fact a book has been published
recently about the whole horrible episode - it's just the complete pointlesssness of a mobile speed camera literally "in the middle of nowhere" on a Sunday morning that really hacks me off (and if you've ever driven between Whitworth and Bacup you'll know just how many fixed speed cams there are on such a short section of road) - just proof that it's nothing more than a revenue generation exercise - road safety - b*ll*cks - I trust the police involved are really proud of the work that they are doing - to make this country a safer place to live in ...


Sunday, December 05, 2010

There's Snow Football on Here ...

... some piccies from yesterday as well (click for big) ...

... not expecting ANY football on here until 2011 ...

A Hard Week ...

... and that's with having Wednesday off as well !! Sore feet, sore knee and "tingly fingertips" (still !) are the sum total of a week walking in the snow in sub-zero temperatures ... with the knowledge of no football to go to either on Saturday afternoon (even the Woodley Sports "carpet" was out of action - it MUST be serious out there !). One brief respite on Friday night - went to see the new "Harry Potter" film - and very good it was as well. However for Saturday afternoon - reduced to TV football, as in Man City v Bolton (it's football Jim, but not as I know it !!)

Thought it only right as well to go and have a look at the Mossley pitch today- and of course record the condition of same for posterity - there's a few photos "in the can", but just for a change check out the new blockbuster movie - "Crunching Into Seel Park" - starring my noisy feet ...

Came home and attempted to do something with "diced turkey thigh" that didn't involve curry before an evening's "rest" in front of the telly (now reduced to "The Football League Show" !). A few jobbies to do tomorrow - and more rest as well.

At least it's started thawing outside - just hope it thaws enough before it starts freezing again ... although the weather forecast has just followed "The Football League Show" - and it doesn't look pretty early next week ...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

From Russia with Love ...

... so England didn't get World Cup 2018 ... and the search for blame has begun ... a quick "Smiffy reaction" (i.e not properly thought through but hey ... !!)

The queue for the "scapegoat card" seems to include the BBC (Panorama Dept.), David Cameron, FIFA, Birmingham hooligans ( indeed !) and the contents of David Beckham's trousers - strangely enough I've yet to see anyone blame the previous Labour Government (give it time mind ...). Not seen too many blaming the media either yet ... but it seems like a good place to start for me. The overpaid hacks who know everything about everything have spent the last 12 months or so whipping up the media frenzy, making out our bid was unbeatable, whilst slagging off all the other bids in a way that only tabloid papers know how (unlike the "Panoramas of this world who do it with a lot more honesty).

Then there's the whole FIFA "secret ballot" kerfuffle. They'd already suspended two officials in October over "cash for votes" allegations - well before the "Panorama" programme - so any "whiter than white" claims should be taken with a pinch of (white) salt. The whole voting system to me seems not dissimilar to that of "Pop Idol" or "X Factor",i.e. nothing to do with the "best", rather some populist "whim" (in this case, going for "developing countries" - if that was the case, why did we bother in the first place ... or did someone "move the goalposts" somewhere along the line ??).

Still ... we'll probably still be paying for the Olympics in 2018 anyway (watch these ConDems invent some kind of "Olympic Tax" !) ...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Another Year Older ...

... and deeper in snow as well as debt ! Handy day for a "day off" mind - weather's been pretty grim all day. Managed a few jobbies though - went to docs to check out blood test results - pretty inconclusive as he was comparing notes with a chest x-ray taken exactly 12 months ago !! So it was off to the hospital for a "new piccie" - results in 7-10 days ... Followed this with a bit of Crimbo shopping in downtown Ashton (some interesting stuff in Poundland !!!) followed by a "get back into Mossley by bus before they cancel 'em all" moment, a birthday tipple in the Britannia and then home - birthday tea to follow when peeps arrive.

Work will be interesting tomorrow - no idea what happened today (ignorance is bliss !!) - did they go out today or not ?? who knows ?? will there be twice as much tomorrow or will it just be a normal (heavy !!) Thursday ?? Fair guess that there will be little or nothing in the "bus stakes" early doors, so I'm ready for a bit of an early morning walk (aarghh !) before the main walk of the day.

Off to cook some seaweed ...