Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year from Nokia 6303 ...

... or should I say "allangao" (EBay ID). Somewhere along the (recent) line I managed to lose the USB cable for my old phone. Ordered new one (99p post free) on Thursday evening - informed of "despatch" on Friday morning - arrived today. Positive feedback is certainly deserved here !!

So - on return from theatre tonight (Bolton Octagon's new take on "The Wizard of Oz"), I emptied the random pics off phone ...




Spotted in a lift whilst "at work" - thought it would make a wonderful film - viz "Schindler's Lift" - ho ho !



Typical "pre-Christmas day" at the mail-face - just the packets !

... and a few pix from the "top end of Uppermill" that sort of make all that weight and walking worthwhile ...




Hope you've all had a good - and safe - evening ... our thanks to the residents of Greenfield, Micklehurst, Carrbrook and Stalybridge for laying on the 0000hrs entertainment viewable through our back room window (!!) - not forgetting that football in 2012 starts quite soon ...
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Calendar Cock-up ... Now Sorted !



... aahh - those were the days - none of this Jools Holland rubbish !

... mentioned earlier about having to forgo Curzon Ashton v Mossley for the sake of Stalybridge Celtic v Hyde FC on Monday January 2nd ... fortunately a number of peeps have pointed out to me that the Stalybridge game is actually on Sunday January 1st - and I can do both games (applied for - and granted) - ergo result !

Enjoying a welcome day off today after yesterday's awful weather (together with HUGE Saga magazines and bloody holiday brochures !) - back in tomorrow mind (working in Ashton apparently - not been there for a good few months !). New Years Eve sees a trip to the theatre as well with Mrs Smiffy and Mother-in-Law before home for the 2359 kerfuffle - bring back Andy Stewart I say...
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Drab ? Mossley v Cammell Laird

Errr yes ... 0-0 against bottom-of-the-table ... plenty of shots by Mossley (pix much much later - about to go out for the evening !) but no finished product - awful crowd of 124 as well - reckon everyone went to Hyde - 1868 at Ewen Fields !

Laters ...

(DAFT o'CLOCK EDIT - pictures at Mossley 0 Cammell Laird 0)
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Copping Out Today ...

... Mossley v Cammell Laird it is then (expecting grumbles from Stalybridge and Hyde fans !). However, on January 2nd I'll go for the Stalybridge v Hyde game (expecting grumbles from the Mossley and Curzon Ashton fans !).

Damned if you do - damned if you don't ...

(and just for info - a new laptop battery, new CF card for camera, a paellera + Spanish cookbook, a new jumper - well I am "old" ! - and loads of beer !)
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

The holiday begins !



Isn't Photoshop wonderful !!!

... an early start today (0615hrs !) in the hope of an early finish - and after the way things have gone this week I'm reckoning that a 1330 hrs finish WAS early. A small "celebratory libation" in a local hostelry before home (and the big bugger luminous coat straight into the wash - it needed one !) - an early Christmas present turned up as well - the RM Issue big Caterpillar "bovver boots" (which WILL need breaking in a bit mind - have had them on around the house for an hour or so) !!

So Christmas can finally begin - so it's begun with roasting up a small joint of beef (after giving it a honey and mustard glaze) for chopping up into cold cuts. A few pressies to wrap later as well. Tonight's festive extravaganza will be ... pizzas - and why not !!!

Anyway - on behalf of the entire "Six Tame Sides" staff (of one !) I'd like to wish all readers a very pleasant Christmas - at least this year (unlike 12 months ago) we're all probably guaranteed some football on Boxing Day. It's just a bloody shame that there's pretty much NO public transport on Boxing Day to enable those who like the odd "tincture" to arrive at games in safety. Myself - I really ought to be thinking about Hyde FC v Stalybridge Celtic ... but it's the getting there !!! Mossley (five minute walk) are at home to Cammell Laird so eco-thinking says that one (and I can have a drink or five as well !). Guess I'll have to see how I feel on Boxing Day morning.

Have a good 'un folks ...
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another Miserable Night for Football

It wasn't quite as bad at work - at least dry - but instead of being hammered by packets we were hammered by mail (a shed load of "held back 2nd class" was thrown at us today !). Still - it's all money (yep more o/t !).

Tonight was a miserable night for football - that incessant fine drizzle "that wets you right through" - plays havoc with the photography as well. 'Twas another "late late show" from Stalybridge - not dissimilar to seven days ago - where from being 1-0 down at half-time they sneaked a late winner, this time courtesy of a Craig Hobson penalty. Not been through all the pix yet (and I'll struggle tomorrow as well - we have visitors in the evening), but here's one of Mitchell Austin to be going on with ...




... at least it proves "I was there !"


Bear with me - as they say ...
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Another Week from Hell begins ...



Aftermath from today - all radiators etc fully booked !

... with 2 hours of overtime and a frozen aching body - a truly horrible horrible day - the Sunday snow turned into cold Monday rain (it was like walking through rivers of slush at times ... new RM "bovver boots" still to arrive, so bloody trainers are now stuffed with newspaper) - a mountain of packets and parcels (reckon I took a "few too many" - I'm much too nice to our drivers !!). Sodden feet then almost from the off - and by 1630 they were like blocks of ice as the temperature dropped. Followed by a shivering 20 minute wait for a bus home ...

The upside appears to be a dramatic improvement in the weather over the next few days (whoo hoo !) - but I'm sure the packets will get worse ... and worse - will have to be more brutal with my choices, because naturally you end up with an overflowing "final bag" - full of mail and packets ... and all the bloody undeliverable ones as well (many of which were in less than satisfactory condition by the time I got back to the local Post Office - bugger all I can do about it though - suggestions here revolve around larger letter boxes or "Safeplace" options (read about it here - how many people are aware of this service ?? Not many I guess ... they really come into their own at this time of year).

The weather improvement might help the "closest football option" for tomorrow night though - we'll see.

And DON'T FORGET - last posting day tomorrow for 1st class letters/card (ever the helpful postie !!)
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Football - You're having a Giraffe !!!

When it came to the crunch - absolutely no chance today !

Wdenesday/Thursday/Friday have been "bad" at work (OK think of the overtime but ...) - today was bloody crazy - even getting in an hour early ... I finished at 1630 hrs (yes half-bloody-four on a Saturday - !) - the weather didn't help much either - starting in snow, that then turned to slush which towards the end of the walk was starting to ice over ... aargh !

Just for interest - you may have heard on the grapevine/newsvine about the extra investment that Royal Mail has put into the Christmas period (here's the story) ... HOWEVER ... you'll notice that nowhere does it say anything about recruiting extra delivery staff - and there's the rub - we're getting the packets quicker, more efficiently ... but there's still the same number of posties trying to deliver the bloody stuff. Madness - absolute madness. Hence my very late finish today (and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday !).

Furthermore the usual tales are starting to filter through about casuals being found thieving stuff - and I'm getting envelopes arriving which I can see have been neatly slit down the side - makes me sick ... and also embarrassed to deliver them - I now keep a number of official "damage bags" in my postie bag in case I come across them whilst out).

Football-wise ... I noted that the Droylsden game against Corby was off - Hyde beat Vauxhall 4-2 - Stalybridge got a late late equaliser at Solihull - both Ashtons got a 1-1 draw (United at Mickleover and Curzon at home to Witton) - and Mossley got stuffed 4-1 at Salford.

Hopefully some midweek football ... somewhere - two possibles on Tuesday - either Stalybridge (v Northwich Vics in the Cheshire Senior Cup) ... or Woodley Sports (v Kendal Town in the Doodson - i.e. League - Cup) ... Woodley's pretty much guaranteed (due to 3G pitch) - but minds will be made up closer to the time.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stalybridge Celtic v Stockport County ...

... the FA Trophy replay at Bower Fold last night was certainly a game of two halves ... after 45 minutes Celtic were 1-0 down and it wasn't looking good at all. However, probably a combination of a half-time verbal blast from boss Jim Harvey, playing downhill and playing towards the Celtic fans all led to a complete turnaround - with a late late winner being the icing on the cake. Pictures at

Stalybridge Celtic 2 Stockport County 1

So the next round sees Stalybridge away at Guiseley and Droylsden away at Kidderminster Harriers (managed of course by ex-Stalybridge boss Steve Burr) ... but that's for next year ... some intriguing league games before all that - for all the Six Tame Sides ...
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Yes it WAS Cold !

... and a win for Stalybridge Celtic - a few quickies for now - can't be doing with going through 'em all - expecting a "poo" day at work later so sleep is a good idea ...



Celtic's equaliser ...



The shot - that turned into ...



2-1 for Celtic !

As I'm expecting a hard day at the mail face tomorrow - that's y'lot f'now ! A full album will appear tomorrow evening - I hope !
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Gonna be Cold Tonight ...



... at home warming up after a cold day out ...

... all ready to get cold again tonight ... (albeit with thermal sox, fleecy lined walking trooz, three layers underneath coat - with zip-in fleece, woolly hat (RM Issue) and fingerless gloves - hope it's enough).

Forget the weather tomorrow - there have been early reports of a "Severe Mail Warning" for tomorrow - aargh !
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Poster Time - Part Two ...

That's what you do on your day off - especially when the weather is "too poo" to go out for a walk - OK a trip to the recycling was followed by a trip to the supermarket, but after that ... a "Lazy Sunday Afternoon" in front of the lcd screen - and now we have two posters up and running (double-click for big !) ...



"Six Tame Sides" and "Stalybridge Celtic"

... next stop a Mossley one I guess (and you can bet on "poo weather" next Sunday I'm sure !!).

Did a couple of hours overtime today - as in one walk in Uppermill and then half of one in Greenfield - it was getting extremely dark when I was finishing (new walk as well so the phrase "blind walk" came into play in more ways than one ... time to re-think that "head torch" idea - got one last year off EBay - it was cheap - and totally useless !

Football tomorrow night ? Has to be Stalybridge Celtic v Stockport County in the FA Trophy replay ...
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mossley v Clitheroe Pictures

... now up at

Mossley 0 Clitheroe 0

Could have gone either way (at least in the 45 minutes I saw) but I guess a point each was a fair result - bloody awful weather yet again !!

Saw a really wacky play at the Royal Exchange tonight - "You Can't Take it With You" - a revival of a 1930s Broadway hit about a totally eccentric family whose daughter falls in love with the son of a Wall Street banker-type. Absolutely manic - but great fun !

Looking forward to a restful day tomorrow before another (probable) week of mayhem at the mail/packet face ...
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Well - I Got 45 minutes !

... another manic day ... finished at about 1500hrs - aargh - so Stockport was a no-no anyway. By the time I got home, sorted myself out and walked up the road, the half-time whistle was blowing. Got in the club just in time to see someone texting me the latest score (!!) - as in 0-0.

And that's the way it finished - another miserable day weather-wise (morning, noon and after-bloody-noon) - and I managed the grand total of 35 pictures - which will be looked at later as we're off to Manchester for theatre-type stuff in 10 minutes ...

I will return ...

(on the bright - some will say selfish - side, Stalybridge drew @ Stockport - so game on for Tuesday night !)
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Friday, December 09, 2011

Football Tomorrow ?

Well the plan is (or was) Stockport County v Stalybridge Celtic in the FA Trophy - being the true "pro snapper" (!!) that I am, I felt it only wise to get in touch with Stockport vis-a-vis photo accreditation (thinking that you can't just turn up at a professionally-run ex-Football League club like Stockport). Sent them an e-mail on Monday evening asking for same, noting down my experience, recent newspaper exposure, Conference Photographer Licence holder for the last two seasons (they're not doing them this season for some reason !?!) , holder of £2million Public Liability Insurance etc etc...

No reply ...

So ... what to do ? Naturally the biggest "IF" is whether I finish work at a time to enable me to get to Stockport (because it's started to get a bit daft at work - "going postal" is the phrase !). Plus I (and Mrs Smiffy) are off to the theatre tomorrow night (no idea what we're watching mind !) ... it could get REALLY scary insofar as I have to drive to Stockport (no beer), blag my camera in, do football, drive back to Mossley (still no beer) and then catch train to Manchester (no beer on train) ... scary or what ??

If it all goes completely to c*ck - Mossley are at home to Clitheroe (aka "Pride of Lancashire") ... but having looked out of the window 20 minutes ago to see snow falling ... God knows ...
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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Just for a Change ... an Album Review ...



... got my hands on a copy of "Imaginaerium" by NightWish today (cheers Dunc !!). I've always been a bit of a fan of this "symphonic metal" style of music (especially NightWish and Within Temptation - Lacuna Coil have a bit of a go at it as well).

I'll be honest - "Dark Passion Play" (NightWish previous album) passed me by - so this was the first time I'd heard the 'new' vocalist Annette Olzon - who replaced Tarja Turunen. First thoughts (have only listened once while cooking tea - we're now transferring "Time Honoured Ghosts" by Barclay James Harvest from 12" vinyl to computer to CD !!) are ... very good. Don't think she's as classically trained as Tarja or Sharon den Ardel (Within Temptation) - more like Christina Scabbia - Lacuna Coil - "more raw" if you like.

The album itself - quite eclectic if you like - some good heavy tracks a la "Once" ("Rest Calm" for example) - but also some different stuff as well - a touch of jazz ("Slow Love Slow"), a touch of Irish ("I Want my Tears Back"/"Turn Loose the Mermaids") - and a big finish at the end (the 13 minute "Song of Myself").

A few more listens required - but sounds promising so far ...
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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

As Promised ...

... the "Death of a Memory Card" ...

video

Mossley v Garforth - Take Two



STS bonus pic - Nathan Neequaye on the move ...


So Mossley take the lead - Garforth equalise - and it all goes to c*ck after that. It seems to be a regular occurence unfortunately ... once an equaliser goes in things start to go wrong - inexperience, lack of real confidence, lack of a "Plan B", I don't really know. Like I said it seemed that the Garforth team talk worked better than t'other one. A truncated set of pix I'm afraid (as so many of the pictures were ... truncated !)

Mossley 1 Garforth Town 2

Tempted to do a video of memory card meeting hammer ...


Heavy day at work as well today - state of things to come.

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Oh Dear - Mossley v Garforth

Not only did Mossley lose 2-1 - after taking the lead ... but I appear to have a major "Memory Card Problem" - witness ...




Some appear to have worked - I'll check them out later - other than that it's "ByeBye" to the errant CF card.



One that DID work - a slo-mo rain effort !


... and the less said about the game the better ... suffice to say the Garforth half-time team talk appeared to be a damn sight better than the Mossley equivalent ...

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Would You Believe It ?



You might think to double-click ... but the big bold ON gives it away ... Mossley v Garforth it is then ... wonder if there might be a minutes' silence for Socrates tonight ?
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Monday, December 05, 2011

Winter Draws On ...

... and thermal vests as well today - woke up to snow/hail on the ground - train to Greenfield was delayed, so had to catch the bus to work (in Uppermill this week). Riddle me this - a return ticket to Greenfield on the train (which then involves a 10 minute walk to Uppermill - no prob for a postie) costs £2-20. A single from Mossley to Uppermill on the bus costs £2-80 - hmmm ...

New walk today - and grim weather most of the day - so finished a "touch late" (!!!) - by the time I got home I was knackered. Found out that the Hyde FC v Eastwood Town game had been called ON (Hyde are 1-0 up as we speak - 2020hrs) but had already started cooking tea - and to be honest, having been cold and wet (and occasionally lost !) all day I just didn't fancy it - what a slacker !). I'm not holding out too much hope for Mossley's home game tomorrow either (but you never know).

Off to slouch/lounge/sleep in front of the telly now ...
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Sunday, December 04, 2011

What an EXCELLENT Idea !

Spotted this on the Mossley Message Board (courtesy "Gadgie") - what do you think ?

Dear Mr. Cameron,

Please find below our suggestion for fixing the UK 's economy.

Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.
Ten million job openings - unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new British car.
Ten million cars ordered - Car Industry fixed

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage -
Housing Crisis fixed

4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university -
Crime rate fixed

5) They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week .....
And there's your money back in duty/tax etc


I'm up for it !!

Stalybridge Celtic v Boston United



"Pineapple" long since gone - Jason Lee and Greg Wilkinson challenge

Just been looking at some "football" pix from this time last year - I suppose we should be thankful for small mercies. Even so, the 'postponement season' has begun with a couple of Evo-Stik North games falling foul of the weather yesterday (including Mossley's trip to Prescot Cables). As predicted the 'Christmas Rush' has begun on the post, so I was struggling to get done for a decent time yesteday (already looking ominous for next Saturday's hopeful trip to Stockport County !). Managed to just make the 1430 fast bus from Mossley to Stalybridge, and a quick yomp up the Mottram Road saw me arrive safe and well (just in time for a pre-match tipple - hurrah !).

It was cold - it was damp - but it was, in the end a comfortable win for the home side. They did leave it rather late, with two goals in the last five minutes to give the score (3-0) a more realistic feel. Some pictures at

Stalybridge Celtic 3 Boston United 0


Once again a bit of a struggle towards the end , not just with the light but with the cold and wet and "wind chill". Also a bit peed off - I took up station on the edge of the Boston penalty area with 85mm lens at the start of the second half, only for 90% of the play to be constricted to midfield - so put 70-200mm on and shifted round towards the halfway line, only to miss the chance of a few decent hits on the two late goals. Such are the perils of not having a "proper game plan", and trying to get an overview of the whole game rather than deciding, for example, "Celtic will score a few and I will concentrate solely on that".

Maybe Tuesday night then - although weather is pretty grim again today (not looking too brilliant early next week either !).

Enough for now - a "day indoors" is on the cards - dry off gear from yesterday, dry off me from nipping out for the "Non League Paper" an hour ago, and maybe some Christmas planning as well - oh and put new camera strap on camera !!!
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Friday, December 02, 2011

A Birthday Present !

... had a bit of a bash tonight (well for everyone else it's Friday and no work tomorrow !) - posh food (cassoulet) and all the family around. Tonight was also "present night" - although I did get a portfolio thing yesterday to put all my newspapers/top pix etc in - excellent move.

However - tonight ... I received this ...




The "ultimate" in posing - a personalised camera strap !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just need to learn how to fix it to the bloody camera now - it might well make an appearance at Stalybridge tomorrow !
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Ashton Game Revisited

... I was suffering from "internet grief" last night - and probably a few "birthday beers" as well !! Realised today that the pix had missed out the "noise reduction" phase of getting them together - so have had another bash at them - in fact some are better and some are not imho. Whatever ...

AshtonWhitby Game - Take 2

Mail (more especially packets) starting to get scary ... fingers crossed I'll be at Bower Fold sometime near 1500 hrs tomorrow to see the Stalybridge Celtic v Boston United game.
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Ashton United v Whitby Town



Almost but not quite - stand-in 'keeper Sam Madeley

I start to wonder whether I'm some kind of "Bad Luck Charm" up at Hurst Cross - seems every time I go I see a red card - an Ashton United red card. Wednesday night saw Ashton keeper Terry Smith sent off very early on, and Ashton putting up an heroic rearguard action for the best part of 80 minutes with striker Sam Madeley donning the gloves. In fact Ashton even took the lead through Chris Amadi before conceding two very late goals. There's a few negative comments going around - but I reckon the "ten man" put up a great performance for 80 minutes before finally succumbing - maybe they should have "pushed on" a bit - but maybe they'd have then lost by a far heavier score. In my eyes anyway - no disgrace - the Robins just seem to get some fearful bad luck at times (they also lost Mark Peers through injury so ...). Some pix at

Ashton United 1 Whitby Town 2


A heavy day at the mail-face - followed by meatballs for tea !!!
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Marcus Hallows Case - Finished

I'll leave it at this ...

My Early "Shout"

The Initial Appeal

Result of Appeal

Today's announcement from Ashton United

I just hope that Ashton United are coming out of this whole thing with some dignity,respect and more importantly liquidity ... and of course this should take a whole load off Danny White's shoulders (especially as he's now a new Dad and he STILL wants to - and does - play football !).

... and I'm sure the market for Elvis impersonators does go up at this time of year - and in the interests of balance I offer IAmElvis

As Zebedee said - "Time for Bed".
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Monday, November 28, 2011

All I Want for Christmas is ...

... a new A-Z of Oldham, Rochdale and District - mine is now starting to show its age !!



... falling apart at the seams (maybe get something to wipe up the coffee stains as well !)

Sadly today - after three weeks in the country - it was back on the "mean streets of Oldham" (Derker and Higginshaw to be exact - three-quarters of one walk and a quarter of another one - weird but true !) Another 'funny' - I got a bit of a telling-off on the postie message board (yep - it's not all football y'know) for something I did last week - one comment was "...you are not paid to show initiative or thought ..." - reckon it's a bit sad when people are starting to live their lives by those sort of rules - must do wonders for their self-respect !

Today's FA Trophy Draw has thrown up a couple of interesting ties for the two local clubs - Droylsden are at home to last season's beaten finalists Mansfield Town, while Stalybridge Celtic have an interesting "local derby" away at Stockport County (might try to blag a snapper's pass for that one - naturally assuming I finish work early enough - especially as the Christmas rush will be getting up to full throttle by December 10th - aargh !)

Football this week ? Ashton United v Whitby Town on Wednesday night I think (might ease off the ISO a bit as well - not totally convinced with the results from the "high numbers" !).
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gary Speed

... has died ... see BBC website

... shocked ... stunned ... saddened ...
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Just for Fun ... a Poster Posting !

... basically because it's blowing a gale outside - not exactly brilliant walking weather (and Mrs Smiffy has already put tonight's tea in the slo-cooker !) - I decided to spend a couple of hours messing about with football photos taken during 2011. "Why not some kind of poster" thought I.

So - I picked out a load of random (OK and some 'not so random' !) pictures from the past 11 months, sized them down a bit and had a play with something called "ShapeCollage" (found on net). Not bad but ... not quite ... so into Photoshop Elements 6 (thanks again Ken !) - and , one picture at a time, created something a bit more like it. Finished results of both efforts can be found at

Six Tame Sides "Official" 2011 Poster

... and NO, I've not counted how many pix from each club (although it's fairly obvious that Droylsden and Hyde are in the minority - apologies for that). Obviously the jAlbum pic is somewhat "lo-res" (I've attempted to size the original at A3) - but if anyone wants one, let me know and I can e-mail out a copy of the big 'un.

How about that - the perfect Christmas gift (!) - and it's FREE !!!
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mossley v Wakefield - today !



6-0 in the end - should have been more (missed penalty etc) - but big up to a "scratch" Wakefield team (tbh "scratch" probably demeans them) who never gave up, had chances, hit post - and came out of the game with a great deal of credit in my eyes.

More pix etc to come ...

LATE UPDATE - pictures now up at

Mossley 6 Wakefield 0

(an eclectic mix of not bad and not good - still experimenting - as you can tell !!!)
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Mossley v Wakefield tomorrow ...

... is the game of choice.

But - will it be on ? Who will turn up from Wakefield (and I'm talking about ON the pitch) ? If you're unsure about my drift, check out

Wakefield in Crisis - 1

or

Wakefield in Crisis - 2

Sadly just another team going the way of so many of the last few years - and this time it doesn't seem to be down to unpaid tax/VAT etc (see Truro City for example this season). They're not the first - and they won't be the last this season (check out Kettering Town for example). Yes the country is in crisis/recession - and this will drip over into all aspects of life (even OUR beloved non-league football).

Answers/solutions on a postcard please - although there are certain aspects of non-league football that could be changed to help prevent this sort of thing happening - like relaxing the ridiculous ground grading requirements for starters (one of my personal big bugbears). It's certainly time for the so-called football authorities to take a long hard look at some of their rules and regulations in the light of the sh*t we ALL find ourselves in. I'm certainly not condoning tax evasion here (sorry Truro) - but some clubs are going to the wall through no fault of their own - and it's time the League Management Committees started to relax a bit - maybe even discover the word "discretion" (!!) in some cases.

It won't solve everything - but it just might keep some clubs afloat - and give all of us hard-pressed fans something to look forward to on Saturday afternoons.

Tonight's "stream of consciousness" over ...
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Result ?

Well - not at Bamber Bridge tonight (Mossley lost 3-0) ...

Had a crack at last night's pix in the cold light of day - OK early evening - and they're actually not that bad (IMHO as they say !) ...

Curzon Ashton Reserves 0 Mossley Reserves 1

Still don't think I'll go that high again though - unless maybe with the 85mm f1.8 - or ... but now I'm rambling ...
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A Bridge Too Far ?

... ISO 12800 that is - did the full 90 minutes tonight on that setting - and I know it's a bit late now, but I picked one pic out for playing about with - and ...



A compressed version of the "original" ...



... and after a bit of tweaking ...

Even after "tweaking" - it's not so much the noise but the noise reduction which brings on/accentuates the "white spots" problem - maybe next time I'll nip down to ISO 6400 ... although the above pix are a damn site sharper (cus you can keep the shutter speed high) !!! It's something I need to sort out sharpish (no pun intended) before even the day games get dark - but I'll get there.

Oh and Mossley Reserves won 1-0 - totally undeserved - an unexpected 92nd minute winner (which naturally - I missed !!). I'll have a bash at the rest of the pix tomorrow (eek - today) after work/after cooking tea etc etc. Watch this space ...
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Tonight - The "Great Experiment"



"Curse these darkroom chemicals - bring on digital SLRs"

Change of plan ... sorry Woodley Sports tomorrow - 'twas pointed out this afternoon that Mossley Ressies are away at Curzon Ashton Ressies tonight - and it IS a touch easier to get to the Tameside Stadium - apologies also to Jools in Aylesbury who was expecting pix of the "Woodley Construction Site" - although this pic from the Mossley game a couple of weeks ago might give some idea !!!



Anyway - the "Great Experiment" - I was looking at some piccies on Sunday from the Ashton United v Bradford Park Avenue game taken by Bradford's John Rhodes (pix here) - checking out the EXIF data (the stats behind the pic - shutter speed, focal length - and also the ISO setting), I noticed he was taking pix at ISO 12800 (he has a Canon EOS 60D) and they look bloody good - now my "new" EOS 50D will also go up to that setting, but I've never gone beyond ISO 3200 (call me a coward or what!) - tending to slow the shutter speed down to compensate - which then makes the later (as in darker) pix look a bit "iffy".

So - tonight - a perfect time to "give it a go" before the nights really start to draw in for 1500hrs kick-offs. Apologies in advance to both Curzon Reserves and Mossley Reserves (and of course you the viewer !) if it all goes to cock - we'll see ...
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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mossley v Trafford - UPDATED SUNDAY

...in a rush - going out tonight (in minutes !) - 1-1 draw - dour (?) but here's some good news - Ben Richardson has re-signed for Mossley (amazed it's took so long since Chris Wilcock's resignation @ Woodley but ...).



Welcome back Ben !!!

EDIT - Home after night out - and here are the pictures from Saturday's game:

Mossley 1 Trafford 1

(as the nights draw in so the picture quality starts to drop - aargh !)
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Now That's What I Call "Press Coverage" ...

... following my "appearance" in the "Worcester News" a few weeks back (one photo - with credit !) ... I received a copy of the "Cambridge News" Sport on Monday supplement today - and by God they've done me proud - certainly a welcome addition to the old 'portfolio' - check out these (photos not scans - but the credits should be legible !) ...



Smiffy makes the front page (of the middle bit of the paper mind !)



... and virtually a full centre spread as well !!!


... and the e-mail from the Cambridge News Sports Editor included the words "Wish we could get the same service from other clubs" ...

... now if only the "Tameside Reporter" could come up with a similar "Sports Supplement" every week - with a featured game - I'm sure they know how to get in touch ...

Back to the humdrum (!?!) of Evo-Stik North tomorrow - once round Diggle in the morning pushing things through letterboxes and waking people up - before heading up the road to the Mossley v Trafford game (I'll be the one with the big lens - and ego to match !!!)
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Last (Home-Grown) Hurrah ...

... whilst searching for something else this evening (which wasn't found) - found these ...



Left-overs from the 2011 "Home Grown Tomato Project" - while the last plant finally bit the dust, the last few green ones were wrapped in newspaper and put somewhere dark - at least they turned red !!! A bit wrinkly in places (think you're supposed to wrap them separately !) - but perfectly adequate to put in the chicken and white wine sauce served up this very eve ...
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tonight's England Game ... UPDATED



(two of mine - naturally !!)


... has just kicked off (1930hrs) - best wishes to the two local boys in the squad - Connor Jennings of Stalybridge Celtic and Scott Spencer of Hyde FC ...

... and yes I'm taking about Gibraltar v England C (not that pointless money-making exercise at Wembley tonight) - hopefully this link will get updated through the next couple of hours (assuming everyone at the FA aren't creaming themselves over their highly-paid "role models").

LATER UPDATE - Aparently finished 3-1 to Gibraltar (England scorer - Connor Jennings !!!)

Naff all on FA Website - my earlier fears were indeed correct (s'pose that had to send everyone to Wembley to try and get the crowd above 50,000 .... they failed ...)
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Curzon Ashton v Woodley Sports



Just some of "The Mossley Connection" - Ben Richardson, Lee Blackshaw and Chris Rowney


... in the Doodson (i.e. League) Cup last night. Now we thought Mossley were grim against Woodley last Tuesday - but Curzon fared little better last night (a pale shadow of the team that beat Belper ten days ago).

I promised myself 45 minutes for each team - but at half-time one of the "Daves" recommended I went up the other end - I stuck to my task ... and missed some decent 'snappage' on three goals. There's something about Woodley at the moment - bombsite ground; too few fans - but a bit of dosh and a pretty good set-up on the pitch (well done to Paul and Matt - Ricky Anane once again on fire last night !). Strange to watch these two teams as a Mossley sympathiser - because you know so many of the players on both sides ! Still - the best team certainly won on the (cold) night - and some pictures are at:

Curzon Ashton 0 Woodley Sports 3 (Doodson Cup)

That's it for midweek football - tomorrow I have to get up at daft o'clock (0515 to be exact) to be in Oldham for 0600 for a "training thingy" - going in the car in full knowledge that it will be over and I can get home probably before Mrs Smiffy even gets up - then off to Dobcross (by bus) for a days' work.

Early night tonight then (i.e. in bed before midnight !)
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Three in Three !



What the well-dressed "snapper" wears these days ...


Midweek footy is tonight - when Curzon Ashton take on Woodley Sports in the 2nd Round of the Doodson Sport Cup (or League Cup if you're old-fashioned !) ...

... and if there's anyone else going - wrap up warm !!!

(P.S. Got a picture on the "Cambridge News" website - hoping for more in the paper !!)
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mossley Youth v Curzon Ashton Youth



Ross Hildersley on the ball ...


... yeah - sneaked an extra game in (aren't slo-cookers useful !!) - and a very narrow 1-0 for the home side

Pictures at

Mossley Youth 1 Curzon Ashton Youth 0


... and I missed the bloomin' goal - the reason for this was well documented on this very blog on May 26th 2010 - as you can guess ... they've NEVER been replaced - an absolute disgrace. How the club gets a ground grading is totally beyond me ...

A cautionary tale for all weak-bladdered visitors to Seel Park ...
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Stalybridge Celtic v Histon



Histon's Jorg Stadelmann keeps another one out

... well I just about made it for the kick-off (unfortunately missing the apparently impeccable one minutes' silence), and was not disappointed as Celtic were soon on top with players "queuing up" to score the first goal - Ellams doing the hard work and Phil Marsh nicking it off his foot ! Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when captain Omar Riza saw red for a high challenge on Jack Rea. I have to admit - sometimes these sort of tackles look a lot worse than they actually are (Rea was soon up and running again) - but it WAS high (although Jack Rea is quite small !), and with the ensuing handbags/melee/fracas the ref had no real choice. The visitors shrank further back into their defensive shell after the break, leaving Celtic to play the patient stuff, eventually getting their reward near the end when Marsh got his second after good work from Connor Jennings. Again not the greatest of performances from Celtic (trouble here is that everyone is using the 5-1 defeat of Altrincham as their yardstick - no team is going to play like that week in week out !) but another three points to stay hot on the heels of Hyde FC who notched a (for me - unlikely !) 2-0 win at Boston United - Droylsden snatched a late equaliser at Vauxhall Motors - Ashton United went down 1-0 at Chasetown - Curzon Ashton went top of the Unibond 1 North after a 2-0 home win over Durham City (good to see the crowds are on the up there as well - 203 yesterday - and finally Mossley managed to turn certain victory (2-0 up with 5 to go) into a 2-2 draw (a get a red card in the process !). Pictures from the Stalybridge game at:

Stalybridge Celtic 2 Histon 0

Now - with Mrs Smiffy away until late this afternoon ... I feel an urge to going and watch Mossley Youth take on Curzon Ashton Youth in the 2nd Round of the Manchester FA Youth Cup (kick-off 1400 hrs today) - and good luck to FC Halifax Town in their lunchtime FA Cup game (might get to see some of that as well !) - better sort tea out first though ...
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Yikes !

It's not even Christmas yet ...



Yep - THREE bags of packets - plus the (background) mail - aargh !


That was yesterday - and today inundated with Red Cross and Dr Barnados mail-outs - not letters but bulky cardboard box-type envelopes (and "only" two and a bit bags of packets !!) Starting to worry a bit about tomorrow - usually I get the use of a car on Saturdays (it doesn't save much time "on the job" - but it DOES save time getting to and from work !). However Mrs Smiffy is off to see her Mum in Belper tomorrow - avec car !

Be assured - I'll be at Bower Fold for the Stalybridge Celtic v Histon game ASAP (I better be - the "Cambridge News" is expecting product !!). Mossley are away at Radcliffe, which on a normal day would have been a go-er (train/tram/walk) - however the kick-off for that game has been shifted to 1330 hrs - so no chance ! Hyde have a tricky one tomorrow away at Boston United - Droylsden similar away at Vauxhall Motors - Ashton United away at Chasetown (Robins in urgent need of a boost) - Curzon at home to Durham City (a bit of a top-of-the-table type game this one - if Curzon can keep tabs on Arjun Purewal - they should nick it).

Believe England have a game tomorrow as well - a game overshadowed by the ludicrous "poppy debate". My shout on this one is probably controversial (be that as it may - at 1100hrs today I put my bag down, took my hat off and stood still for two minutes - respect innit) - but why oh why has this suddenly become a story ??? I have not seen the England team wearing poppies on their shirts in the 90 odd years that they (poppies) have been around - a minute (or two) silence is fine - and that HAS been going on for many years. Call me a cynic - but I reckon the whole thing is either:

1 - a cunning ploy by shirt manufacturers to make money;
2 - a cunning ploy by the FA to further discredit an already discredited FIFA;
3 - a cunning ploy by the ConDem government to "bring the country together", whilst taking people's minds off the rest of the sh*t they're putting forward and putting us through;
4 - A nice "controversy story" egged on by the tabloids to sell papers ...

.. but that's just me ...
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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Fanzine Editor "going straight" Scandal !

There might be a few of you old gits out there who can remember ... when the original "Six Tame Sides" paper fanzine came to a close back in the early 1990s (don't forget - a fully bound copy of all STS fanzines is available to peruse in the Local Studies Section of Ashton-under-Lyne Library - plug plug !), it was followed quite soon by a Mossley fanzine with the quaint title of "Stuffed Like ..." - a team effort during some of Mossley's darkest hours (hence title) featuring yours truly and Jools Thomas (who also had a stint as Mossley Programme Editor - as did yours truly !!!). We put a few fanzines out - "...Turkey"; "...Valentine"; "... Easter Bunny") - but it ran its course and we all moved on. Jools (after a while travelling the world and earning his keep !) eventually moved down south with work - and has now become the Aylesbury Branch of the Mossley Supporters' Club ... and more ...

... got a txt on Sunday however saying "Read the Non League Paper !!" So when I got home from walkies etc I did - to find this (page 34) ...




Well done Jools - next stop the "Sunday Sport" (and if they're looking for a snapper ..... !!!!)
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Woodley Sports v Mossley



Mossley's Steve Halford taking "Movember" to a Freddie Mercury extreme !!!

... an "interesting" night out !!

Arrived in good time (thanks again Dave !) to be greeted by a construction/bomb site !!!!!!! Where's the clubhouse gone ? Fortunately - after finding a parking space (not knowing about the 'new' parking area) - we found a portakabin selling "can's beer" (their apostrophe balls-up not mine !), which turned out to be lager, lager or cider. I chose the apple juice (!). It's certainly "all change" down at Lambeth Grove/Neil Rourke Stadium - not sure what Neil would make of it all either (especially the off-the-pitch "kerfuffles" ) ... oh and all the Australian accents (mentioned in previous thread) appeared to be drinking hot choccy and playing pool !!

Anyroad up in front a a very sparse crowd (official attendance was 120 - not convinced !!) with the majority of the crowd from Mossley (and a few hangers-on from Curzon Ashton spotted as well - spotted Mr "young" Young, Mr Hampson and Mr Flanagan to name but three !), Mossley got off to a flyer with Kayde Coppin's speculative cross/shot/kick/pass totally confusing Liam Higginbotham in the Woodley net to make it 1-0. The following 89 minutes was pretty much all Woodley. Missed their equaliser (too busy talking to their Press Officer vis-a-vis photographs - savage irony !), but ... most of the action was at the wrong end for this snapper. Just before half-time Liam H took a kick and went "ouch" - and the second half began with a sub keeper for Woodley - not just any sub keeper (not even a Marks & Spencer sub keeper !) but ex-Mossley hero Benji Richardson (who donned the keeper's jersey for Mossley last season in "that" 6-2 Darlington FA Cup game). Was he tested/put under any pressure - was he heck !

Again - me at wrong end for most of the action, and Woodley went on to score two more and run out well-deserved 3-1 winners. Strange that Mossley had a Saturday off and Woodley didn't - you'd hardly believe it on that performance ... still a lot of work required at the Mossley end to construct a team that gives 100% all the time, plays for 90 minutes, and has the ability to "adapt on the pitch as the circumstances change" - just seem to run out of ideas at times, shrink back into a shell and get pressured and pressured, eventually cracking - maybe youthful naivety has something to do with it - but with some experience at the back one would expect better. Hy ho - c'est la vie, c'est la guerre , c'est Evo-Stik ...

If you've lasted this far - some pictures at:

Woodley Sports 3 Mossley 1


One bonus today - received a copy of the "Worcester News" starring one of my pix from the Stalybridge/Worcester game - with a SixTameSides website credit underneath (one to stick in my "portfolio"). Also yesterday got an e-mail from the "Cambridge News" asking about Saturday's game twixt Stalybridge and Histon. Word gets around it seems ... now if only a full-time snapper job could appear ...
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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Some time to spare ...



... after another hard grind at the "mail face" (curse all you early online Christmas shoppers - and all you untrustworthy buggers who insist on "sign for" mail - and are never in to bloody well receive it !!!).
Tonight - Woodley Sports v Mossley - and the time to spare is due to an offered lift to the game (cheers Dave !) - it's been "all change" at Woodley recently - most of the old regime appear to have "stepped down" (that's me being diplomatic - I'll miss my normal natter with Rod), and the word I've heard is that there are a load of Australians in the camp (or on the pitch) - hopefully it'll be too cold for 'em tonight as Mossley make the most of their Saturday off, while Woodley are tired after their hard fought battle against Ilson ... we shall see !

Obviously I got my Saturday pix up on Sunday (the
Curzon/Belper game), together with the "as usual" Sunday walk (project there was "The Autumn Colours" !) - so - it wasn't until late Sunday afternoon that I bought my "Non League Paper",, caught up with all the scores - and found out about the "shenanigans" at the Droylsden v Stalybridge game ...

... in a way I'd say it was inevitable - the bad blood (no pun intended) at all levels between the two clubs has been around for some time, despite 99% of both sides being what we should call "proper" non-league people/fans. And when you've ex-players on the pitch (some - one - of whom does have an rather short fuse - no pun intended) with "previous", you just know something is going to kick off - somewhere. So ... fireworks thrown on (and off) the pitch, accusations of this, counter-accusations of that, an alleged stabbing, a red card ... it goes on and on ... oh yes - apparently a pulsating 3-3 draw.

Unfortunately the result, the performances will pale into insignificance, so maybe it IS worth just forgetting about (although it would be nice to see some sort of official statements from both clubs - which would then be picked over, analysed etc - probably casuing more grief).
Seems fairly obvious that any future game twixt these two teams will have to involve segregation, police presence, alcohol bans etc - as usual the tiny minority f**k it up for the well-behaved majority.

Hopefully all the protagonists involved will be grassed up/identified (you can bet your bottom dollar that most of them will not be regular fans - if fans at all). Much is said about the "internet warriors" on both message boards - this is just b*ll*x - most of it is just good-natured banter or alcohol-fuelled posing. It's hardly likely that a few "words" on a message board can lead to World War 3 - and if people use that as an excuse they should take a long hard look at the real world out there - unfortunately this country does have a large proportion of home-grown d*ckheads - and the worse it gets, the more likely that the vigilantes will step in - certainly not the perfect solution - but one I personally would not condemn (gasp - controversy !). There are too many people out there who think they can get away with stuff - the Tony Martin/burglary/use of "reasonable force" argument and subsequent ruling is one step towards deterrent - but it's only a matter of time before the "fair minded" of this land start to band together (spontaneously or otherwise - anyone remember the "Guardian Angels" on the London Underground ??) ... it's not violence for violence's sake - it's time some people got it into their heads that what they are doing is not nice, not good, in many cases not legal - and the majority out there will start reminding them of same - in one way or another ...


Thus spake "P*ssed Off of Mossley" ...


Now - time to get ready for football - tonight involving wooly hats, several layers of clothing - and gloves !

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Monday, November 07, 2011

Football and Walking ...

Saturday - Football - see

Curzon Ashton 2 Belper Town 1 - 05Nov11

Sunday - Walkies (with new boots !) - see

Hebden Bridge Walk - 06Nov 11

No time to talk - back to work tomorrow - eek today !! Hopefully some words on Monday night ...
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Friday, November 04, 2011

You get a Saturday off work ...

... and you get this ...

Ashton United v Nantwich Town
Curzon Ashton v Belper Town (note 1400 KO)
Droylsden v Stalybridge Celtic
Hyde FC v Histon
Mossley - no game

Last time I had a Saturday off I made the most of it (heading down Cambridge way to watch Stalybridge Celtic at Histon) - obviously not much of a "travel option" tomorrow !

Logic would dictate the "big one" at the Butchers Arms to see if Droylsden can "up their game" and put a spanner in the Stalybridge works ... however personal reasons will be taking me down to the Tameside Stadium to see Curzon take on Mrs Smiffy's home town team - who I've not yet seen this season (back to the "Saturday off work" problem), so there's a few "Hellos" to be said to the Belper crew - in fact I'll be in Ashton centre at 1230 tomorrow to meet the "Southport Branch" off the train before a beer or two and a gentle stroll past Ikea !

Also in a fit of madness, I thought about possibly whizzing down to Droylsden for the second half due to the early kick-off at Curzon - however me and Mrs Smiffy are off out tomorrow night, so I shouldn't - really ...

... unless anyone can supply fast cars etc !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

And to finish Wednesday off ...

... yes I got the haircut ... yes I got some new walking boots (it's bye bye Meindl and hello Zamberlan - they felt good on first wear - and the £50/60 price difference also had something to do with it !) - but real reason for this post has nowt to do with Man City winning 3-0 (at the moment anyway) - more to do with this bit of graffiti spotted in Ashton-under-Lyne today - on Stamford Street ...



Thought it worthy of note ...

Later edit - 2150 - might as well put this "link" on regarding missing/late post in the local vicinity

Nowt to do with me !!!

(although it makes me - and 99.9% of fellow posties - look like thieves in the eyes of many - but the alibi this week is "I'm on HOLIDAY !!!")
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The Perils of "Not for Profit" Photography ...

I had a week off work back in early March - having just done the Oldham by-election stuff six weeks before (and earned a few extra bob). Went for a walk that week (here) and took new lens (my "by-election lens" - 85mm) out to play. As you can see from the pix on the walk I finished up at a local hostelry (!!) and took a pic of the handpumps. I'll be honest - I DID pass a hi-res copy of the same over to Richard at the Rising Sun saying "If it's any use ... etc" - and sure enough when the Rising Sun Beer Festival happened over August Bank Holiday - there it was on the flyers:



... and then - I spotted this in the "Around Saddleworth" magazine for October (scuse the crappy scan !):



... and then today - I was reading the local Manchester CAMRA "Opening Times" magazine and spotted this(OK - tis an advert for the "Rising Sun" but ...) :



Looks like it's one of those pictures that money could/should have been made out of !!!

... and if anyone out there has seen this same picture anywhere else - I'd love to know - because I do keep 'hard copies' of anything of mine that gets used "out there" in a portfolio sort of thing - you never know - some super-duper newspaper/publication might one day offer me a full-time snapper jobbie (a man can dream !)

(P.S. here's one of my other "Maybe I could make dosh out of this" pictures - what the hell - but it's so lo-res it's useless (?) to any thieving swines out there !!!!!!!):




Andy's Guitar - between sets !

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