Sunday, July 31, 2011

Home ...

... stopped over in Aviemore last night - and drove the final 350 miles back this morning/afternoon. 564 pictures (that's all !) to go through - but not tonight. Three to be going on with - not the best but I'm "just messing" for now ....

Inside the Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm ...

Yep - we saw seals as well as puffins !!

One end of Stromness "Main Street" - during rush hour ...

Football - I DID see about 30 seconds of football on Saturday whilst crossing the Cromarty Bridge (you can see into Inverness Caley Thistle's ground - it was about 1510 hrs and they were playing Hibs !!). Probably wait until Tuesday now ... we have the delights of work in less than 12 hours as well ...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sat in a Caff - with wi-fi !!

Just to whet appetites (not the best connection !) ... some seabirds on the Brough of Birsay ...

I've just about used up my 10 minutes so ... more next week ...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One More Day ...

... and then it's holiday time !!! After work tomorrow, it's drive north - staying over in Glasgow - before going even further north - Scrabster to be exact to catch a ferry to Stromness on Saturday evening. Yes we're off to the Orkney Islands for a week. The "shopping list" is as follows:

Skara Brae
Standing Stones of Stenness
Ring of Brodgar
Broch of Gurness
Mine Howe

(I'll probably take a camera or two !!!)

A couple of "bonus balls" - we've tickets to see Laura Marling (see Wiki) at St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall next Monday ... and there's a cinema up there too - so we'll be watching the final part of the Harry Potter saga as well (it's showing until next Thursday !!).

Football ? Not even thought about it ... consider this site shut for a week (OK I'm taking my laptop - just in case !) ...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stalybridge Celtic v Man City XI

... 4-1 to City after 20 mins or so - thought they were going to run riot at that stage - a fair few first teamers playing as well (including Bellamy, Bridge, Onohua). Thankfully Celtic settled down a bit - they even won the second half 1-0 !! Some pictures at

Stalybridge Celtic 2 Man City XI 4

A bit of an improvement on last night - weather still foul mind (which ain't helping !), and I seem to have a tendency to over-expose (ooo-err missus !). Still that's what friendlies are for, both on and off the pitch !! However - last football for a while that - all to be revealed later ...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mossley v Ashton United

... for the Willow Wood Hospice Cup - a well-deserved 4-0 win for Ashton United tonight against a strangely pedestrian Mossley (I reckon last Friday's game spoilt us all). Might only be a PSF but there WAS silverware available tonight - as in silverware that Mossley held from last season ...

Pictures - not many - not brilliant - awful weather again (that "fine" rain that soaks you right through - and hinders focussing summat rotten !!) - mind not totally on job either I'm afraid (see earlier post) - hey-ho we're still in "friendly mode" so - what the hell ...

Mossley 0 Ashton United 4

Might try another trip out tomorrow ...

Getting Screwed Over by Simon Carves ... AGAIN ...

... only a matter of time now (although Mrs Smiffy wants to turn to crime !) ...

Not content with making me redundant after 25 years - and paying out the Government Statutory Minimum Redundancy Payment ... I've now received a letter from the Simon Carves Pension Fund administrators (remember that the Pension Scheme was wound up/frozen a couple of years before I got the chop) telling me that the company has gone into administration - with the likelihood that the Pension Scheme will be going into the Pension Protection Fund - which (I believe) means I've immediately lost 10% of everything.

What the bastards have done is start up a new subsidiary of the evil Indian parent company - the press release quotes "All employees currently working for Cheadle-based Simon Carves Limited have been given the positive news they’d been hoping for today, that their jobs are safe. ". That's nice isn't it ?!? The press release goes on to say "PricewaterhouseCoopers will now seek to realise the remaining assets and carry out their statutory duties and review creditor claims. ". One sentence that hides a multitude of sins ...

Meanwhile the (-------- ----)** that caused this grief in the first place - name some names why not - Brian Waltmaier and Mark Leggett to name but two - walked away from the damage with nice hefty golden handshakes - and certainly in the case of one of them - off to nice new jobs and salaries.

Here's a quote from the LinkedIn website (check out
here for more info - note the dearth of words after the time at Simon Carves) ... "A successful, charismatic and inspiring leader with a track record of implementing substantial and complex organisational and business improvement. Proven analytical, strategic, operational and people skills with the ability to regenerate and motivate resources into winning teams and businesses". Give me time - and I could re-write that from the point-of-view of most of the poor bastards at the bottom of the heap ...

Suffice to say - I'm over the bloody moon at the moment ... and I'm going to take it out on some football tonight (Mossley v Ashton United in the Willow Wood Hospice Cup) - should take my mind off things for a few hours at least ...

**(EDITED - 1715 - 20th July 2011) - I've removed a couple of words - because you know what the supposed "rich and powerful" are like - always on the look-out to still further screw the masses. Suffice to say that if you're an crossword addict try:

MUST GIVE CHIN (anag) (8,4)


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Something "from" the Weekend !!

... as opposed to the usual phrase ... (!)

Mrs Smiffy - and siblings - have been attending a family wedding "daarnn saarff" (Henley-on-Thames) this weekend. I was of course "at work" ... holidays and Royal Mail make up an interesting (and emotive) subject - ask any postie !! Suffice to say, I didn't make it.

Sounds like it was a good "do" - good service, good food, boats up the Thames etc etc ... and look what came back to Mossley late this afternoon while I was preparing a Roast Beef Dinner ....

Unfortunately (fortunately ??) - it wasn't full - but people HAD been told that it needed drinking by Monday night at the latest. Never one to duck out of a challenge me ... so I'm doing my best as we type (!!) ... and to save having to zoom in on the above pic - here's the important information ...

Enough for now ... there's "work" to be done tonight !!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

More Words on New Camera - and other stuff

A very very very very very WET day on the streets today - it's 2100 hrs now and my workie shoes are still sodden - I managed to (just about) dry out late this afternoon - no way was I going to any football today - made a welcome change to totally relax on a Saturday afternoon though.

Looking back on last night - a good performance by a more "youthful" Mossley squad up against a fairly "youthful" Macclesfield Town squad - if you saw any of the Mossley youth team games last season, you'll understand. What's needed is to get that mix of youthful exuberance and Evo-Stik experience - certainly the friendlies are the time and the place for this.

... and the camera - well ... a far more responsive shutter - more and better ISO choices (together with double the megapixels) - bigger screen to review stuff ... certainly a quantum leap ! I reckon it was the shutter that really caught my eye (finger ?) though - maybe the old camera was that responsive once upon a time (at least I'm now in a position to put it in for a good service ...). The pics I put up last night were pretty much straight from the camera - a little bit of cropping but that was about it.

Anyway - apologies to Hyde FC for missing the game at Woodley today (see above) - next game will see me getting another one of the Six Tame Sides nder my belt ...

Now though ... more of that relaxing stuff ...

Well Chuffed !!

So THAT's what a shutter should feel like !!!! Pix at

Mossley 6 Macclesfield Town XI 0

Will write some more over the weekend (might try to get a game - or part thereof - in on Saturday as well - work permitting !), but first impressions are distinctly favourable ...

Friday, July 15, 2011

New Toy for Tonight ...

We finally made it !! (Note suitably unimpressed cat ...)

... a second-hand Canon EOS 50D to be exact (with battery grip containing two genuine Canon batteries no less !) - arrived yesterday, and second-hand is certainly the word (!) - plenty of bumps and scratches on the outside (but best part of £200 cheaper than anything else going around at the moment), but having had a (very) brief "play", it seems to be the "canine parts" on the inside !!! So, with Mossley playing Macclesfield Town tonight, it gets its first outing. We shall see how it does (or more importantly how I do !!).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On the Final Nine ...

... cigarettes that is !!!

Deal suitably struck - camera should then be paid for by the end of October ...

It had to be done - now I'm suitably focussed (pun intended !).

Back tonight with Oldham pix.

Legend at Mossley Tonight ...

Leo Skeete - I need say no more ...

More stuff from the game tomorrow (final score was 1-0 to Oldham Athletic) - have started on the pictures; a slight improvement from Saturday (!), but I'm afraid the shutter is really starting to get "iffy" - dammit the blooming camera is nearly 10 years old - and I've had it for nearly four years without getting it serviced - so what have I done ?? Clicked a couple of buttons on EBay - one of which said "Buy it Now" ........ I'd better tell Mrs Smiffy in the morning ........


Monday, July 11, 2011

Loving this Misprunt !

Double-click for big of course !!

What on earth 11 grown men/youths were doing this for ...

... in 3/4 time as well ...

... God only knows ...

(But then again it's still pre-season !!!)

Didn't make it to Curzon Ashton tonight for their friendly against Man United Reserves - still "feeling it" a bit in the mouth/jaw area - got through work though - and have a full day off tomorrow - so hopefully by 1900hrs I'll be a bit closer to 100% right for the Mossley game against Oldham Athletic. And don't worry - I WILL be aiming to get to see all Six Tame Sides ASAP !!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ouch !

Glad that's all over - got in for a 1045 appointment this morning - dental chappie says "It's got to go ..." Half-an-hour later a big lower molar was lying on the tray (I won't go into the infection/pus side of things - let's just say it was messy !!).

Time to relax ...

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Sick Saturday (plus a bit of Football !!)

Picture posed by "Google model" - sums it up pretty well mind !!

Another poor nights sleep (ended up going downstairs and trying to sleep "sitting up" on the sofa !). Staggered into work and got it over with before getting home and ringing up NHS Emergency Dental Services. Questions/Answers/Questions/Answers. Was told I'd be rung back by a Dental Nurse "waiting time about 1 hour". They rang back - more Questions, more Answers. Was told off for having taken four Ibuprofen in 24 hours (recommend three) - I said it made no difference anyway !! Still ... nothing available today "You could go down to A&E ... but they don't have a dentist, they won't drain the abcess and you'll probably have to wait a while". Next option is to ring back - at 0700 tomorrow morning (!!!!!), go through the whole rigmarole again and they "should" be able to find me an emergency dentist tomorrow morning - fingers/teeth crossed. Another tip was "Try sleeping sitting up - it should help" - beat ya there !!

It was getting on by now, so I grabbed the camera, dusted off the footy lens and arrived at Seel Park about 25 minutes into the first have (it was 1-1 at the time). Finished 5-1 to FC Halifax Town in the end - no complaints - some lethal finishing and punishment of mistakes in short. Didn't take many pix (47 to be exact) - a bit "ring rusty" and my gob was killing me. Anyway - we're off the mark ...

Mossley 1 FC Halifax Town 5 - 09Jul11

Home to this - am now going to try and get some form of food down my throat (well one side of it) before trying out some "horse pills" I was given by "a customer" this morning and having a quiet night in - sitting up (the alarm is already set for 0700 ) !!!

I've another "Grumpy Old Man" post waiting to be put together - concerning Car Insurance ... maybe tomorrow !!

Friday, July 08, 2011

I Got Wet !

A cracking album by the way - "Take it Off" is my fave track

A horrible day weather-wise - and having not had much sleep after returning from the John Butler gig last night - I'm right knackered (sleep deprivation due to toothache/abcess whatever it's called these days flaring up BIG style - have made appointment with dentist - earliest they can fit me in is NEXT BLOODY WEDNESDAY - I'll either be dead or it will have burst by then ... can normally handle this sort of thing - but this one - it's bloody painful even with Ibuprofen double strength and alcohol)

Going out for tea tonight (obviously will be eating left-handed/mouthed !!) and then home later - looking for an early kick-off tomorrow morning (work !) so as to give me half a chance of getting to Seel Park for the other early (1400hrs) kick-off - all assuming I'm in any fit state to work/take photos/exist. I have had the odd abcess before .. but this one has just literally appeared/blown up in 24 hours or so ... and it effing hurts !

Hey ho ... onward ever onward ... (at least I've a ready-made excuse for cr*p pix tomorrow !!)

Good Gig ...

... nay excellent - nearly two hours of quality - and varied - music from John Butler ... and the support was pretty good too (Passenger). Seemed a bit harder/edgier than last year (set very similar according to our Michelle) - it's "interesting" to see someone play the didgeridoo and double bass at the same time as well !! One poorly pic from tonight - it just ain't worth it really (no way am I clambering to the front with all them young 'uns - stand by the mixing desk and listen - far more refined !!).

John Butler at work ...

Not too long to wait for football now ...

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Football Tonight ?

NO !!

Off to Manchester Academy with our Michelle to see the John Butler Trio ... saw 'em last year - brilliant - a true virtuoso guitarist - so when a spare ticket came up this year ("Mr H" is working) - I took it with both legs ! As with last year I can only divert you all to this particular Youtube vid - don't just listen, watch the screen - and marvel at the "guitarmanship" ... ici John Butler ...

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

And it's not JUST Tomatoes ...

... for those still awake (fooled a few with that footy post earlier !) here's some red stuff from the garden ..

The raspberry cane is giving out half-a-dozen a day !

Strawberry plant is less generous though !

... and well done to the England Women's Team today - missed it live but will watch highlights later on BBC2 (see - slipped some football in there !) ...

First Football Fixtures ...

... came out today - for a full listing of our Blue Square North teams check out the main website ... but for the lazy amongst, here's the "Tameside Derby Dates" ...

Tue 20 Sep Droylsden v Hyde FC
Sat 05 Nov Droylsden v Stalybridge Celtic
Mon 26 Dec Stalybridge Celtic v Hyde FC
Sun 01 Jan Hyde FC v Stalybridge Celtic
Sat 07 Jan Stalybridge Celtic v Droylsden
Sat 25 Feb Hyde FC v Droylsden

(all subject to change due to this, that and the weather no doubt !!!)

We Have Lift-Off !

... and (once again !) I'm NOT talking about football !!!

0700 hrs this morning - after putting out the bird food and watering the plants ... I spotted ...

Yes ... we have THREE tomatoes !!

... fingers crossed for more before the winter kicks in - tomorrow apparently !!!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Warm Weekend (Still NO Football !) ...

Warm ... and some !!

Finished work and headed home (via the butchers - Pattisons - runner-up in "Pride of Tameside" Retail Business of the Year no less !) to prepare some of my "special" kebabs for the evening barbie in Rochdale (well Whitworth actually !). No pix of said kebabs (I'm sure I've snapped 'em before and put a pic on here but ...) - but they were prefect - as usual. I call them "Geek Kebabs" - as they were all properly symmetrical (onion, lamb, tomato, lamb, pepper, mushroom, lamb, onion, pepper, lamb etc etc). Also appearing at the barbie were sausages, steaks, courgettes, spare ribs ... and salad for t'others ! Well-fed, a few beers (!), long sleep, big brekkie and then out for a walk today. Walkie pics (really must start taking a decent lens with me on walks - it's the weight though !!) at

Sunday Walk 03Jul11

Started with a "wood" theme - and then we went out into the great wide open ... good walk ... and home to this (once again someone else is cooking - luxury !!!).

Notice Mossley Reserves have played - and won - today (report here). I'm going to put off football for just one more week - and then it's Mossley v FC Halifax Town next Saturday - a 1400hrs kick-off which means I may miss the start depending on work of course - next week I'm back in Greenfield (not Greendale !!). Not checked weather yet but am assuming shorts again - at least for tomorrow.

Tea's smelling rather good - time to close ...

Friday, July 01, 2011

Friday Morning Pics

... the cat woke me up at 0430 this morning (the senile old bar steward !) so it was somewhat tricky to return to "snoozeland" - here's a couple of pix taken this morning before heading off to work. We have a "rose bush" - it was in the garden when we moved in over 25 years ago and it very rarely flourishes (just grows big and prickly). However this year - we have a flower - bad year for the greenfly maybe but ... picture with babycam after me sprinking a bit of water on it for effect - and having a fiddle with the "Program" mode on camera to try and get a half-decent speed !!!

... and here are the tomato plants - no fruit yet, but the flowers are there - fingers firmly crossed for some red stuff - eventually ...

... and then I went to work ...


... and it's nowt to do with football. Got the tip-off this afternoon after work - so went home grabbed camera and ... I give you the pictures only - and remember ... you saw it here first !!!

Had to be taken sharpish - just in case some miserable "jobsworth" eventually puts the kybosh on the whole thing ... if you've been up Mottram Road Stalybridge - you'll understand where this particular "idea" is coming from ... I will say no more - for now !!!