Consider this ... you go to a restaurant, scan the menu and decide to eat the Sea Bass at a cost of £12.95. The Sea Bass arrives and you start to tuck in. Just as you are about to finish your course, the waiter comes over and says, "By the way the Sea Bass meal does NOT cost £12.95 ... it actually costs £15.95".
How would you feel ???
Ignore the Tory-led spin on today's events ... and check out the phrase "extended metaphor" ... .
Again ... little in the way of football (anything I get, I'm sticking on the "main website") - although I could - dammit I WILL - mention Mossley's entry into the "Prawn Sandwich Club" - for the friendly against Macc Town (15th July @ 1930) ... for £20 you get a 3-course meal, drinks, stand seat, proggy ... a great idea to try and get some new faces into the crowd.
What else ... Monday saw the first anniversary of my "new career" - and I've lasted a lot longer than many who joined AFTER me - these youngsters just can't hack it - something to do with having to WORK for your money !! This week in Ashton - a bit of a pain in that there's NO keys for pouch boxes ... which means a fair bit of dead walking to pick up bags and get to start points ... but hey ...whatever ...
Wimbledon - tried desperately to try and get pictures of Sabine Lisicki and Alice Tinker (from "Vicar of Dibley") - cus I reckoned they were good look-a-likes - but I failed, so maybe it was just in my head - at least there's still one "British hope" left (he remains British until he loses - then he reverts to "Scottish" !!) ...
Picture taken with VERY OLD babycam in Dublin (Temple Bar) way back in 2006 ...
Have just spent an hour listening to a Fathers Day pressie (DVD of Rory Gallagher Live at Cork Opera House) - excellent DVD indeed (thanks Mich !!). It got me thinking though - it was recorded in 1987 ... I first saw Rory Gallagher at Reading Festival in 1973, along with such delights as Alex Harvey, Greenslade, The Faces, Genesis, George Melly and Strider (one WELL underrated band - still got their album "Misunderstood" - on vinyl of course !) - timeless music indeed (unlike most of the cr*p churned out these days ...). A gig to look forward to - John Butler Trio @ Manchester Academy early next month ...
HOWEVER ... Mossley have upped their general admission from £7 to £8 ... FC Halifax Town from £10 to £12-50 ... Chester FC will be charging home fans £10 and away fans £12 ... and apparently Alfreton Town will be charging £13 for their Blue Square Premier debut (and this is supposedly the cheapest in the BSP !)
WHEREAS ... Stalybridge Celtic and Droylsden have frozen their prices at £10 - Curzon Ashton have similarly "froze" at £7 - Stafford Rangers have REDUCED their prices from £10 to £9 (OK they got relegated - but a reduction rather than a "freeze" is most unusual - and most welcome these days).
Just a few examples (no I can't be bothered to research too much further !) - and you get the usual guff about competing in a higher league etc etc more travelling etc etc and (probably the most insulting) wage demands from players ...
I believe there's a recession on at the moment - and despite the lies and spin from the ConDem Government - it's gonna get worse - this country is supposedly relying more and more on the leisure industry for employment (thanks in part to Thatcher killing the manufacturing base - God I hate that woman) and the banking and finance industry to balance the books (or on the other hand throw thousands on the dole and wipe out people's hard-earned savings and pensions due to their short-term gambling with other people's money - never mind you'll STILL get your bonus - scum), it'll be the leisure industry where the ordinary people will be cutting their expenditure. Think about it - I took something like a 50% cut in wages purely to keep in work (unlike many I cannot play the benefits game), so I'm having to scrimp and save. Eighteen months ago a camera upgrade would have been no problem - it is now. Look on the bright side though - the Government have found a "contingency" to keep funding the illegal war in Libya !!!
Back to the point - I reckon some clubs are playing a very dangerous game by bumping up their prices. It might only be £1 on the gate - but that might mean people not buying raffle tickets/programmes (those were my first cut-backs last season) at the very least, so what you gain on the gate (e.g. £1) you lose on the programme sales (e.g. £2). At worst it WILL mean even fewer people through the gates (you've only got to look at some of the two-figure attendances towards the end of last season in the Evo-Stik League - and things HAVE got worse since then).
People talk of the Premiership pricing the ordinary people out of football - it seems this mentality is slowly seeping down to "our level" ... .
Probably my fave pic of the night - calling it "Tube o' Tuba-Lube" !
... as promised - I seem to be a bit "ring rusty" with the big camera - even taking the poor light into consideration - need plenty more "exposure" over the summer ! Good to see the "mended lens" performing well - can't blame that for the output either. Enough self-criticism - pictures at
Uppermill on Whit Friday - you choose ...............
Got the phone call yesterday afternoon - "Can you get in work for 0700hrs ?" - no problem ... fully understood the reasons why i.e. Whit Friday. So ... turned up at the appointed hour - and my frame was EMPTY ! For those not in the know - my actual starting time is 1000hrs and my contracted hours are 4hrs 48mins - and when I turn up I should have a fully prepared frame (i.e. all letters in - and if lucky - ha !! - all parcels in as well). Experience has shown that this is NEVER the case, but to turn up to an empty frame - it's got overtime written all over it !
So .. did the business and was ready to leave about 0900 - so that's two hours done already - by the time all stuff was dropped off in the various "gardens" (such is a rural walk !) and having to fight our way through crowds of Christians and Brass Bands ... it was 0930 - so that's 2hrs 30 mins of my shift BEFORE A LETTER WAS DELIVERED !!! The REAL facer today was the 7 (SEVEN) registered letters - the ones that HAVE to be delivered before 1300hrs - and they were well spread out. So - it was time for logistical skills (which normally means tweaking/re-writing the layout of the walk .. which often means "dead walking" - in order to get everything done before 1300) - I cracked it for all seven (two of which no answer; therefore RED CARD !!), but with all the faffing about involved, I didn't finish until nearly 1400 hrs ... so two hours overtime will be suitably booked tomorrow !
Next problem - getting home. There were NO buses going through Diggle - so I ended up walking to Greenfield (and nipping into the Tesco for tonight's tea) - at least 1.5 miles. Shopping done had time for a beer in the "Railway" (plastic glasses only ... "police insturctions" !!) - caught train home to Mossley and now here.
To get to Greenfield I had to walk through Uppermill - a quaint little village, full of your normal touristy type shops - and home to a band contest on Whit Friday. Unfortunately these days it's also the main point for all the "townies" to congregate and drink huge quantities of alcohol and generally behave like complete t*ssers. Naturally the village was ready for the invasion. I counted no less than 12 police vans; loads of police and community support officers wandering around; the odd First-Aider ready for 'action'; people in hi-vis coats with "Acme Security" (or some such) roaming the streets; even the Conservative Club had some "thuggish looking" peeps with black tee-shirts and SECURITY tattooed all over their shaven heads (OK, I'm embellishing a touch here - but you get the picture) - yep Uppermill looked and sounded like THE place to be on Whit Friday night ... not.
We went to Friezland Band Contest in the evening - far more restrained (with a Real Ale tent as well dispensing Millstone Brewery beers !) - and I took the recently mended 85mm lens out to play - because it was getting dark. Will have a look through the pictures probably on Sunday night. Work OK today (drove through Uppermill at about 0730 this morning - the Council Cleaning Squad were in full swing clearing up the mess (and it WAS a mess) before today's "Beer Walk Crowds" make a similar mess ! Off to Derby quite soon (it's now 1500 hrs Saturday - despite what it says at the bottom of this post) returning via Stafford tomorrow (well it's Fathers Day innit !).
Next week's "posting" is a right ruddy mish-mash ... Oldham on Monday, Delph on Tuesday and then Greenfield Wednesday through Saturday - well that's the plan at the moment - we'll see if we stick to it ... .
... avoided the rain today - whilst working anyway ... nipped into the "Hanging Gate" in Diggle (whilst waiting for the bus home) for a quick "snifter" (Theakston's "Lightfoot") ...
Preparing for the weekend @ Hanging Gate
The first "tranche" of plastic glasses had arrived - for those who are not aware, this Friday is Whit Friday - a national holiday around here - early morning Whit Walks (the 'churchy stuff') and then in the afternoon/evening the brass band contests (and - to be honest - it's seen by many as an excuse for a monumental p*ss-up - hence the plastic glasses/extra staff/extra police presence etc etc) When our kiddies were at skool, they always had Whit Friday off - and so did I. Managed it last year (as I was on the dole - pics here - won't get posh pix this year though !) Also in Saddleworth there is the "Beer Walk" on the Saturday (this year's theme is "Crawl of Duty") ... so with me working in the midst of all this mayhem on Friday/Saturday - I'd better take babycam - just in case ...
Got back to Mossley - and the heavens opened - I had a few places to go (DIY shop, doctors/chemists, "convenience store" (!)) so I got wet anyway !!!
Football anyone ?? Have updated the new website with a few new friendlies for now ... still thinking of new ideas for same - all ideas gratefully received !!! Also plans are afoot for some new "moneyspinners" (at the moment top secret but ...) What with overtime at work starting to "slow down" (mostly due to me being here there and every bloody where), we need new ideas to keep the money coming in (especially if I want to get this new camera body - EOS 50D is the dream move ...). By the way I HAVE accepted the three month contract extension - after much "workie chitchat" it seems like a fair move - there is a pay increase - they can still shoot me off on 7 days notice - but so can I !! Plus by the end of September there'll be moves afoot to sort out stuff for the upcoming Christmas rush (we hope !!) so another extension is certainly a possibility.
Tonight's walk has been cancelled (something to do with the weather !) - so ... we'll have some tea soon and then - who knows (need to check out a few websites like what a saddo has to do !)
And one final admission - the last two days have seen me take my official "meal break" at the Diggle Hotel - where I have been drinking ... coca-cola - honest !! .
I seem to have been "AWOL" for a few days - so a bit of a catch-up is due ...
Thursday/Friday/Saturday - continued working in Ashton - it wasn't too bad really - OK, got a bit wet at times but - hey - it comes with the job !! It was a weird and wonderful weekend to say the least. Finished work on Friday and then me and Mrs Smiffy drove up to Newbiggin, near West Burton in the Yorkie Dales for a weekend of camping. Plan was that I'd go up on the Friday, have a meal in the pub next to the campsite with Mrs Smiffy and our mates and then drive home ready for work on Saturday. However ... the pub was very tempting indeed (or should I say the Wensleydale Brewery "Semer Water" !), so Plan B kicked in - a big meal (excellent food by the way - the "Street Head Inn") a few beers and then head down for a few hours before getting up at daft o'clock (about 0330 hrs ) to drive home for work on Saturday. Work over - get changed - then straight back "oop north". A campsite meal of spag bol (and lots more beer this time !) and sleep. Sunday saw us all drive a few miles to Kettlewell to do a 6/7 miler.
Looking down on Kettlewell
The day started well weather-wise - but then it started to drizzle ... so we nipped into "The Falcon" at Arncliffe hoping that the rain would cease - it actually got worse !
"The beginnings of the end" ...
Meanwhile back at the pub - what a place ! The actual village looked completely deserted - apart from rows and rows of cars completely ruining any thoughts of photography - a cracking "wild meadow" but the cars would have just spoiled any picture ... the pub - I can certainly recommend the beer (straight from the cask) but apart from that - really unfriendly landlord, more interested in chatting with the locals than actually serving anyone. "Can you move your rucksacks off the chairs ?" Yeah we'll sort ourselves out when you've bloody served us !! T'other three of our party had cups of tea (wusses !) and it was strange tea to say the least - they reckoned it contained not milk but powdered milk which had been 'rehydrated' - ugghh ! Some would say the room had "character" - if character = filth/dirt then fair enough - it had character !!!
We escaped - quickly - into the worsening weather (pausing only to eat our butties under the lych-gate of the church and put big camera safely in rucksack) - and finally got back to Kettlewell looking like drowned rats.
Eerie gravestones in Arncliffe church yard - taken in the pouring rain
Quick trouser change in Kettlewell public loos before driving home for 1800 hrs - rustled up a quick posh tea (pork steaks cooked in a cider and mustard sauce - the cider used was some "leftovers" from small boy's "weekend" i.e. Frosty Jack - recommended by hobos and skint teenagers everywhere !!), and then started to sort out wet/sodden stuff. At least we got the tent down in the dry !!
Today - back out in the country i.e. Diggle - it stayed dry !
What's in the box ?? Yep an old friend - well not THAT old but ...
Got home to find a card from FedEx ("Parcel left with neighbour"). Yes it's a warm "Welcome Back" to the Canon 85mm f1.8 lens - fixed under warranty !! A quick test showed all was well, so it's a big "Thank You" to Warehouse Express and Canon UK ...
Also received four letters - and somehow you get the feeling that people know rather a lot about you ... when ALL FOUR were on the same subject - car insurance renewal !!
"Can I interest you in ... ?" No - sod off !!
Tonight was a variant of corned beef hash - minced beef hash (very nice too - contained green chilli, cumin and oregano), before looking at the paucity of weekend photos - and now this ...
Bishops Stortford in the Blue Square NORTH ? How ludicrous can they get ?? Catch-up over ... .
... work-wise ... probably karma for having Monday off !So - I'm walking into Oldham office on Tuesday when the phone rings - "Can you go down to Ashton ?" So I did. Another "blind walk" (as in one I've never done before) - never mind, at least there was a bunch of keys for the pouch boxes. Off I went - all going well (OK a bit of rain but ...) until I reached the final pouch box - which I could not open with ANY of the keys on the bunch. Phoned Ashton Office to tell them the problem - no answer - phoned Oldham Office to tell THEM - straight to ansaphone, so problem was explained ... and I went home - to find a letter from RM offering a contract extension ... but only 3 months this time - good to know that hard work, putting up with being messed about virtually on a daily basis for the last two months and a 100% attendance record (what is this word "sick" ??) is suitably rewarded - hmmm ... will have a "think" for a few days before accepting/declining this kind offer.
Today - nipped into Ashton first to check they'd "got the message" - and return the bunch of keys (no comeback on me - at least not to my face !) before heading for Oldham to once again go on a "blind walk". Circumstances (of which I will not bore you - but there were a few - including keys for boxes as usual !) meant that my first letter did not go through the door until 1200hrs - yes midday ! That is just SOOO wrong on so many levels ... Then of course we had thunder, lightning, monsoon conditions - and of course not knowing "how the walk panned out" meant my last letter went through the door at 1630hrs. Was asked a few times, "Why are you so late postie ?" - my stock answer here is "I'm not late - I'm delivering tomorrow's mail REALLY early" - usually shuts 'em up ! Then had to get back to Oldham by bus and thence to Mossley ... arriving about 1800hrs. Felt like a full day's work - but unlikely to get a full day's pay mind (although an o/t claim WILL be going in ...).
Plan was to go for a bit of a walk tonight - but I've dipped out of that - stuff needs drying out - including ME ! .
... it's took me nearly 12 months - but it looks like I've finally got my head around the "duty roster" system at Oldham DO (although I DID ring in at 0745 this morning - just to confirm !). It also gives my right knee another 24 hours grace - seem to have "tweaked" it a bit over the last 7 days or so (time to go out and buy a tubular bandage as well I think - better safe than sorry).
Have spent the last couple of hours fiddling about with Photoshop - I picked up a book from Ashton's finest remaindered bookshop on Saturday (after the haircut !) by renowned snapper Tom Ang, and I've started to delve into it this morning. I've gone for "Radial Blur" today - see what you think (click for big of course) ...
Variegated poppy from Hardcastle Crags walk a few weeks ago ...
Ruined house of French surrealist St-Paul-Roux - Britanny a couple of years ago ...
Had to try a football one - Andre Francis (Stafford Rangers) v Stalybridge Celtic - April 2011
Mentioned late last week about a delivery I was expecting that was "nearly" two weeks late - surprise surprise, good ol' RM tried to deliver it on Saturday afternoon (1545hrs to be exact) - while I was having haircut four miles away ! I wonder if they read this blog ?? Will be going to pick it up this afternoon - and sticking it in a 20x16 frame not long afterwards !!!
One silly one to finish - spotted this quote on the BBC Website this morning from Aston Villa's Darren Bent; "... I am committed to Villa and I am looking forward to the coming season. Everytime I go to the training ground I get a buzz". You'd think on his wages he could afford a car - boom boom !!!
My first foray into tomato plant growing - see the beginnings - has now resulted in this on the window sill ...
The burning question is ... when should I plant out ??? They're a "tumbling" variety (i.e. for hanging baskets/tall containers) - they've been outside in between the tropical weather and the gale force winds we've been having (something to do with "hardening off") - but it's knowing when to "go for it". Do I wait for flowers on top (none yet) ... or what ? Any advice gratefully received.
(We also have a small Rosemary plant chugging away - but I know they're a bit more hardy so I'm more comfortable with that one !) .
Don't know if you're aware of the excruciatingly painful process that was/is applying for 2012 Olympic tickets, but it was - and still is - excruciatingly painful. Back in March I applied for 2 (two !) tickets for said extravanganza - OK so it's the London 2012 Olympics - my application was for tickets to see football at Old Trafford ! They (Mr Olympic that is) have only just removed the money from my bank account. This STILL doesn't guarantee that I've got any tickets though - should be confirmed one way or the other by 24th June. If it's a 'no-no' the refund process doesn't actually complete until the 31st July !!
So it's a watching brief for a few more weeks yet ... .
... yep a day that makes it all worthwhile (and the official Royal Mail shorts came out to play as well !) ... hoping for similar tomorrow - probably followed by a haircut which will reveal strange white lines around the face !!! Not much else to say "a ce moment" - have been continuing to tickle/tweak the new website in between eating,working and sleeping. One big downer though - I ordered a "big" photo (yes one of mine !) a couple of weeks ago - got an e-mail from Photobox (my "processor of choice") saying it had been despatched on 23rd May - First Class ... not yet arrived!! The "fourteen day grace" is up on Monday so I'll probably be putting my "customer hat" on and grumbling that very same day. If those buggers at Royal Mail would just put me through their "driving assessment" course (I HAVE asked - several times) I could wander down to the requisite Delivery Office on my day off and put a few hours in sorting out their "parcel backlog" (which I know DOES exist !) ....
... but when your temporary contact finishes on 27th June - they're probably "hedging their bets" - might start asking questions tomorrow morning (although when you're on 7 days notice I'm sure they're not obliged to say owt ...).
Weekend ?? Will be checking out the cricket fixtures not long after I hit the "Publish" button here ... .
Taken from the Leigh Genesis Message Board - courtesy Matt Lawton ... "With the withdrawal of the club’s application to join the North West Counties League for next season, it has now been confirmed that Leigh Genesis FC will no longer operate at semi-professional level. With an interim emergency home in Atherton, Genesis were once again left looking for a suitable home in their home town but found little success. Having been evicted from their promised new home at the main stadium at Leigh Sports Village, the club spent last season at Atherton LR’s Crilly Park but suffered a dire season on and off the field with drastic falls in gate receipts alongside pitch and drainage problems and electrical faults that were mainly caused by regular break-ins at the Spa Road ground, despite the best efforts of both LGFC and Atherton LR. ...
Genesis, who now have 30 junior teams and a full-time youth programme attached to it were hoping to return to Leigh Sports Village to share with Leigh Athletic FC at Leigh Harriers athletics’ ground, but that option has been unsuccessful and no other suitable venues available, the club were left with no option other than to withdraw their application to join the North West Counties League following last season‘s relegation from the Evo-Stik League First Division North.
Manager Alan Kershaw was understandably disappointed with the news after taking the reigns partway through last season and blooding several youngsters in to first team action.
“This is incredibly disappointing. With a bustling junior section and 30 full-time youth players affiliated to the club, we have the most amazing foundations and it is difficult to understand why Leigh Genesis can’t play in Leigh and cannot be given the base that it deserves.”
Kershaw himself attended the first of six LGFC Junior presentation nights last weekend with 300 people in attendance, while Leigh Genesis Under 11's even made an appearance at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium at the weekend where they won the Players Cup Final in the most prestigious event in the club's junior history.
Board members of the Club are clearly feeling exasperated. Even the assistance of Leigh MP Andy Burnham wasn’t enough to find a solution for the club to continue operating it’s senior side.
“This is an absolute disgrace” said secretary Mary Croasdale. “We left Hilton Park in 2008 on a long standing promise by the council that Leigh Sports Village Stadium would be our permanent home, but the original promises seem to have been ignored and financial gain has overtaken the original ideal of a ‘community stadium’ for the town. Blackburn Rovers Reserves play all their home matches at the ground and do not seem to struggle getting a lease at the ground, whilst the town's own team is given the cold shoulder.“
“Maybe Wigan MBC should look at the success of Chorley this season who have enjoyed record crowds and secured promotion, all from the back of a supportive council, not to mention the coaching team, several board members and the majority of the playing staff that was in place at Leigh last season! I’d like to say well done Chorley for embracing your team and recognising the potential for growth and most tellingly the benefits that can be brought to a town’s credibility and economy with a successful side.”
“One of the most aggravating aspects of the club’s trials with the LSV was the stadium company turning down £400,000 of funding towards the massive cost of the project. This funding was obtained through the club via the Football Foundation but was never handed over to the stadium company as LSV chiefs would not assure the Football Foundation that Leigh Genesis would be playing there for the next 10 years. Surely any short term financial hardship would have been cushioned by this amount? And who is filling that shortfall now?”
Matt Lawton, secretary of the Leigh Genesis Supporters Association and also the club’s press officer was equally downcast by the news.
“I and many others have enjoyed supporting the club over the years and will enjoy memories that will last a lifetime, and it’s such a shame that the club has been left with no option but to call it a day at senior level because of the issues that all stem back to not having our own home ground. Since leaving Hilton Park, it’s been virtually one huge nightmare, despite the club and it’s supporters trying to make the best of a bad situation. Let’s be honest, you don’t expect to outlive the football club that you support, do you?”
Croasdale finished; “The club has been praised by the Evo-Stik League and FA this season for it’s efforts in keeping going in such difficult circumstances and indeed it was shortlisted in the final five nominations for two major FA awards this year. The club continues to hold the respect of the league, the FA and its rival clubs but sadly this does not reflect in its treatment closer to home.”
The club directors would like to thank the club’s hugely dedicated supporters for their help, understanding and vast amounts of time, money and effort that have been donated over the years and only wish that circumstances could allow the club to continue at a senior level. Leigh Genesis Juniors will continue to operate as normal and carry on providing expert coaching to hundreds of children in the area and are wished the very best of luck for the future." .