Ay up mi duck (that's how they talk down Derbyshire way !!)
... at Carsington Water (near Ashbourne/Wirksworth) - ended up doing the full circuit of the reservoir (about 8.5 miles) - just a few moody (boring ?) pics from same ...
Boats/Water etc - Part One
Boats/Water etc - Part Two
... from when the sun came out ...
Now - a few days' holiday - possibly starting with pumpkin soup today (if I can find a bloomin' pumpkin - Tesco Greenfield had none this morning !); football tomorrow night (Mossley v Warrington Town); obligatory haircut; shopping; bit of DIY ... and a lot of "rest feet and back" time as well !! .
... it's bloody quiet on a couple of message boards wot I normally trawl ... as in Mossley (3-0 up against Durham City - lost 4-3) and Belper Town (I guess the less said about a 5-1 home defeat the better !).
Anyroad up - work sorted in good time for me to get up to Stalybridge Celtic today - a 2-0 win for the home side who were certainly not firing on all cylinders - but that's always the sign of a good team. Some good individual performances - some great passing play - but also a lot on unforced errors (which fortunately led to nowt !) A good passing game is great to watch but they MUST be careful not to over-elaborate - it's good to have the confidence to play this way but Row Z is also an option at times - don't be scared to use it !!! Pix at
So Bridge stay top - and Hyde continue the chase after a 3-0 win at Harrogate Town ...
Maybe more later - there's an entire packet of faggots and gravy in the oven with MY name on it - tomorrow it's off to Belper (possibly a town in mourning) to pick up Mrs Smiffy - go for a walk etc etc
... and next week ... HOLIDAY !!!!!
(and RIP Jimmy Saville - sad to say that death is one thing that you cannot "Fix") .
... I'm sat at home listening to one of my favourite bands of the 1970s - as in Focus ... I'm listening to side two of "Hamburger Concerto" - the 20 minute classic - and remembering that me and Mrs Smiffy walked up the aisle all those years ago (OK 23rd April 1984) to the first couple of minutes of this track. I clearly remember playing this to the organist at the church beforehand, saying "This is what we want", and remember him saying "I know that !". However he NEVER told us how he knew that. A night alone with Google, Wikipedia and Spotify has finally sorted out this conundrum. I always knew the "Starter" (as it was called on the Focus album) was based on something classical - and tonight - after all those years - I've finally sorted it.
It's by Johannes Brahms - and it's called "Variation on a Theme by Haydn Opus 56a" - or "St Anthony's Chorale".
Now then - football tomorrow. With Mossley at home to Durham City you'd think ...
... however, Droyslden have an FA Cup tie at home to Blyth Spartans (winner gets 1st Round Proper); Curzon Ashton also at home to Cammell Laird ; Hyde away at Harrogate Town ...
... however (again) I've had an e-mail from a newspaper in the Worcester area enquiring about photographs - so it looks like I'll be heading for Bower Fold to watch Stalybridge Celtic take on (you've guessed it !) Worcester City !
(and I'll do Mossley v Warrington Town on Tuesday night - promise !) .
... as you may have guessed !! Finished work Saturday - home - bite to eat , pack bag - and then off up to the Lake District for a couple of days (I'd booked Monday off work). Actually drove past Lancaster at about 1640hrs on Saturday afternoon (they were already 2-0 up against Mossley - but I didn't find out the final score until about 1800 hrs tonight when we got back and I purchased a "Non League Paper"; thanks as always to Nosmo who kept me fully up-to-date on the Ilkeston score - always freaks out Mrs Smiffy when I get the mobile out to check stuff whilst driving at 72mph up a motorway !!!).So - a couple of days in Grasmere - pub Saturday night (Hawkshead Brewery Bitter) - a strenuous 9 miler on Sunday followed by big meal and pub again (and a sneaky look at MOTD2 to confirm the rumours I'd heard about the Manchester derby !!) - and a more gentle 5.5 miler today. Home for about 1800 - to find out the FA Trophy draw which included "Curzon Ashton/Farsley v Belper Town" ! Fortunately tea was being cooked for us which then enabled me to slope off to the Tameside Stadium to give Curzon a shout. Sunday we were 2,000 feet up in a howling gale (Far Easdale and Helm Crag) - tonight I was a little lower down but a similar force 8 gale made the football something of a farce. Curzon won 2-0 (first goal was a hopeful crossfield put that caught the wind and deceived everyone by going in - second goal was a late breakaway), so Bonfire Day/Night brings Belper up to Curzon - s'pose I should go (yep - even with the Droylsden v Stalybridge Celtic game on the same bloody day !!). Three low-res pix to be going on with ...
Sunday - taken in a howling gale - top of Calf Crag (2,000 feet) looking east ...
Monday morning - Rydal Water looking towards Helm Crag (which we climbed on Sunday !)
Monday night - Jordan Goodeve's "hopeful punt" which went in on the wind for 1-0 (note penalty area line on the right !)
Even got a phone call from work this morning which began "Can you - oh I forgot you wanted today off didn't you ?" - err yes I'm in the Lake District ...More "stuff" tomorrow no doubt ...
PS - I lied about "only three pictures" - it's with a great sadness that I have to report the demise of my old faithful Meindl walking boots - paid a fortune for them, but they've lasted (we think) 5 years and they've certainly had some hammer over that time. Saturday's big walk finally saw them off - as in .
Checked out a few places for new boots today - but nothing that came up to my exacting standards ! .
... after a hard night's football - to be greeted by this ???
Lazy gits !!
On the case with the football - Mossley beat FC United 2-1 in the Manky Prem Cup; weather poor; number of FC United fans turning up - small; number of photos taken - small ... on the case - NOW (just had a plateful of bolognese what I prepped for the world at about 1630 hrs). Looking like tomorrow ...
LATE EDIT - 2330 - here's one - of my personal Man of the Match, Hary Noon
... feet-wise that is - mentioned about the new RM Issue footwear doing nasty things to my feet - especially the left foot. The right foot was suffering as well, but that's sorted itself out viz ...
...however, we're still suffering a bit on the left hand/foot side of things - viz ..
... oh yeah, they all get "stuff etc" put on them before heading out for a work stroll - but when I get home - it's fresh air for the feet (and maybe foot odour for the rest of Chez Smiffy !!!).
We're getting there - and unlike so many people these days (as in the workshy !!), a couple of blisters is something and nothing really .... although (saddo !!) something worth posting on here - maybe ?? Off to cook tea now - barefoot of course !!!!!!! .
... been fairly quiet on here over the last seven days or so has it not ? Last Sunday's football up at Mossley was the shape of things to come weather-wise. Did it actually stop raining at all between Monday morning and Wednesday evening ? Not on poor old Postman Smiffy it didn't !! Joyous evenings were spent drying out coats/bags/me etc. Had to switch shoes as well because they REFUSED to dry out - plus my brand new RM Issue trainers have ripped my left heel to shreds - which hasn't been much fun to walk on all bloomin' week - at least a day off today. No football either last midweek - had my eye on Chadderton v Norton United on Monday night (finished 3-3 with a last minute equaliser for the visitors) but weather and general "bleeurrrggghh" kept me in.
At least the weather managed to improve towards the end of the week (as in "dry" !) - and on Friday night Mrs Smiffy and myself together with a couple of friends went to sample the delights of the "Harvey Nichols Supper Club" down in Manchester - a £20 a head three-course meal with free cocktail thrown in. Surprisingly generous portions as well (half expecting some poncey "nouvelle cuisine" style helpings but no !). Naturally turned out to be more than £20 a head with drinks and a few extra portions of stuff adding to the bill - but well worth it (for the record - Mussels in Pastis with a pea puree; Daube of Beef; and Chocolate Tart).
Saturday morning I finished in good time and was able to get over to Hyde by train/bus/walk in time to see the kick-off (makes a change for a Saturday !). Seems like I caught Hyde on a severe "off day". Visitors Bradford PA (one division below Hyde) were by far the better team in the first half, and this continued in the second 45 minutes as well. Hyde didn't help themselves by going down to 10 men when Worsley was red-carded - and Bradford PA did leave it until the 90th minute to score their winner - but it was no more than they deserved.
Snatched a pint in the "Sportsman" after the game - have to say it was a disappointing pint as well (Rossendale Brewery "Rossendale Ale") before home/fiddle with pictures/sleep/wake/buy "Non League Paper"/write this stuff. Quiet day in today I think (apart from the drilling that I will be doing to hang mirror and magazine rack !). Next week's football - probably Mossley on Tuesday (where according to the "Non League Paper" they are playing "FC Untied" in the Manchester Premier Cup - tee hee !!). The visitors will no doubt bring a sizeable number of fans (and probably a sizeable number of photographers as well !!).
... of the death of John Hesketh who passed away over the weekend. John was the owner of Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar and together with Sylvia back in 1997 they managed to turn around what was an iconic, but failing piece of railway/beer history - extensions, renovations, a kitchen, and of course the beer got the place back to the top.
It was of course a (very !) regular haunt of mine during my previous working life (my picture remains on the wall - a "Guardian" article from 1991), but since job change, I don't get in that often. However I'd known that John had been "not so well" for a number of months - a lifelong smoker (who was SO against 'the ban' !) admittedly, but so what ... a full life, a successful businessman (in the graphics trade before the buffet bar), and a well-loved and respected guy. He will be sadly missed.
Look Out !!! Brolly Boy (arty pic - click for big !!)
... OK a bonus game for me - but played in awful conditions (wet/wind etc) ... so wimpy snapper spent first half "under cover" before saying magic word (begins with "b" and ends with "x") and going for it in the second half. A comfy victory for the home side it has to be said ... and here's the pix Mossley Youth 3 Nantwich Town Youth 0
Home - dried out - set to with the pork meal - and I 'mSOOOO well organised in the kitchen that it's all cooking away (veg prepped etc) while I sort out all this stuff - just too good for you guys/gals ... .
... and before I get to the football, can I just say I had a bloody awful day at work today - a walk I've NEVER done before, 70% of which was social housing flats not unlike Hampton Court maze, added to which they were all in "controlled entry" blocks - I had no layout maps - and more to the point no bloody key fobs - which reduces you to hanging about pressing buttons hoping people are in to unlock the bloody entry doors - it happens a lot in t'Oldham/Ashton area but this walk - aaaargh !!
Arrived at the game at 1530 hrs (now you understand !) and was still "plumbing my gear in" when Glynn Blackhurst scored an absolute screamer to make it 1-0 to Stafford -a couple of mins BEFORE I arrived Ashton's Chris Amadi (who IS the danger man up front) had been red-carded - so I missed all that and only got a "blur" on the goal ! So - Ashton down to 10 men yet again (see the Spennymoor thread last week), and it all went downhill from there. Today I took pix (unashamedly) from a Stafford angle - and here they are ...
I'm sure it was a touch embarrassing for the Ashton fans - and I must admit, even as a born and bred Staffordian I myself felt a little uncomfortable about the whole thing, as I DO enjoy my trips to Ashton - great people, good craic and a very approachable and honest Manager in Danny. Let's hope that they realise that Stafford are in a unrealistic postion in the table - and they won't be playing a team like that every week - certainly not a time to panic.
Reckon I only took about 6 pix in the second half - that's how gripping/exciting/etc it was !! The first "Sack the Boss" message has arrived on the Mossley /Message Board ... a touch premature I feel (especially following a 5 match unbeaten run).
... a sort of "Ex-Mossley Woodley Sports" kind of day - whilst waiting for the bus into Oldham this morning (getting on in Uppermill, because I was expecting to work in Dobcross so was on my there when when I received the "phone call from hell" saying "Not required in Dobcross - can you come into Oldham ?"), spotted Ben Richardson on his way to work. Then, this afternoon whilst waiting in Oldham for bus back home, spotted physio Jo on her way into Oldham. Was this a sign ?? Should I be off to Ossett tonight ?? I think not !
Mossley v Bamber Bridge it is - and it's a "two camera jobbie" tonight as I'm expected to be a bit of a paparazzi for some of the sponsors of tonight's game (Britannia pub). Different I guess !
Work - tomorrow - Royton - definitely (I say definitely but ... !!) .
... blame it on the Co-op at Hurst Cross (near Ashton United) - nipped in there after the game to buy my tea (a pepperoni stonebaked pizza if interested) - and spotted what I can only call ..."The First Mince Pies of Winter"
Now the really scary thing is ... looking at the 'sell/munch by' date ...
... and the Green Man looks on disapprovingly ... ... yeah - 6 WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS !!!Anyway - we'll try and keep some sort of "thing" going on 'twixt now and Crimbo - first impressions on the Co-op offering - nice but no alcohol ...
Covers a lot of this week - certainly "seen the world" at work:
Monday - a walk in Royton Tuesday - day off - taken for the first time in weeks (!) Wednesday - different walk in Royton Thursday - walk in Ashton Friday - different walk in Ashton using one of these for the first time ever ever:
finished at 1700 hrs !
Saturday - heading into Oldham - phone rang - "Can you go to .... Rochdale ?"
... and with 90% of this being unknown walks (and in the case of Rochdale unknown bloody areas !) - and the weather being a touch unseasonal (!), it made for an "interesting" working week. Incidentally, my contract expired on 29th September - no official extension yet but have been "told" it's coming - probably lost in the post - ho ho !
Anyway - finished in Rochdale and got home in time to head for - Ashton United. Football-wise I was in a bit of a quandary today - Ashton United and Stalybridge Celtic both at home in't'Cup while Mossley were entertaining Prescot Cables in the league. Hurst Cross was chosen (I'll do Mossley next Tuesday !) - and the home side were given a footballing lesson by Spennymoor Town who ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
STS Bonus Pic - What the entire Ashton United team needed - a kick up the ...
Much emphasis was placed on the alleged "two level difference" between the sides - a meaningless concept when talking of Northern League teams. If only the champions of this league had joined the Unibond/Evo-Stik over the last half-dozen of so years ... then there would have been no excuse for this "too far to travel" rubbish - there'd have been at least half-a-dozen north east teams there - and no room for the likes of Chasetown etc etc ... but then again, I've always been an advocate of a three-way Northern Prem/Midland Prem/Southern Prem split ... Chasetown in the Northern Prem ?? Bishops Stortford in the Conference North ? When it gets that ridiculous you can almost understand the "excuses from oop North" - but all it needed was for a few teams to "bite the bullet" early on - and maybe this whole ridiculous position we are now in would never have happened (and that bloody Isthmian League has got a lot to answer for as well - a real anachronism !).
Anyway - enough of my wobbling on ... some pictures from yesterday can be found at
The "Ouch" in the title not only refers to aching joints and Ashton's loss - Stalybridge Celtic also bowed out of the FA Cup - as did Stafford Rangers (a real "ouch" here !). One other notable local departure saw Lancaster City knock out FC United of Manchester ...
Next week - Mossley on Tuesday, and probably (!) Hurst Cross again next Saturday - since their relegation from the Conference North I now only get one chance to see Stafford Rangers "up my way" - and this is it ...
One other pic from this weeks warm weather - a rather large (over two foot in diameter) spiders web in our garden - and it had certainly caught a few flies !