New Year with good friends

In a change to our previous New Year’s Eve arrangements, this year we went to Roger and Steph’s new home to see out the year. There were about 15 or so of us altogether, including Simon and Claire who were up for a few days so it was a nicely sized gathering. There was certainly plenty to drink, and besides chatting, there was the Wii for those who wanted to play, as well as a shot-drinking roulette game and later a logo quiz board game which was played boys v girls. Raji, Steph and Dan played the roulette game enthusiastically, knocking back shots of Cactus Jack (which looked revolting – especially the Jaffa cake flavoured one!) It was nice to see Raji letting his hair down, though he didn’t actually get that drunk. The board game later was made interesting by the fact that both question masters were under the influence and had great difficulty reading the questions, one of the girls seemed determined to help the boys, another moved to sit far enough away that the girls’ conferring could be heard by the boys enabling them to steal a question or two and best of all, the rules appeared to be made up as we went along πŸ˜€ It was a lovely night with lovely people – these people are amongst our closest friends and it was just so nice to relax with them and see in the New Year together πŸ™‚

When we got home at around 2.30 am, it was to discover that Stephen’s tonsillitis/cold had been bad enough that he was sent home to bed after dragging himself in to work, and Nel had been poorly enough that she’d had to cancel her own NYE plans. πŸ™ My poor babies are both now on herbs and working through the bug, which is a nasty one.

I was unsurprised that I didn’t sleep at all, as I had missed both my deep sleep cycles (I seem to have one around 11.30pm and one about 2.30 am ) so I just relaxed in bed (listening to Billy snoring πŸ˜‰ ) and got up not much later than usual really. What WAS a surprise was that I felt absolutely fine, unlike previous years, and yet I’d probably drunk slightly more! I wasn’t complaining!

We spent the afternoon with Pat, having collected Paul and Steph on the way, and once again we had a fantastic day with them, Natalie and Grandpa. We were stuffed after the roast pork dinner with all the trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding, profiteroles and later cheese and biscuits. Naturally the drink flowed freely too, and I had had some sneaky peeks at the MCFC Twitter commentary of the City 3 v 0 Stoke match and was delighted with the result. (MCFC’s 60-second highlights here and extended ones here.)

Between dinner and pudding we played the reindeer racing game which had come from the crackers – think some of the reindeer must have been sneaking some of Santa’s sherry!(If video clip doesn’t show, right click the blank area and click “reload“)

We also played Pat’s own variation of build-a-beetle with felt pieces assembled in to snowmen – a simple but fun game. I seemed to throw load of 6’s and Pat could only throw 1’s! We then played our Nasty Horse Racing Game which we took with us and that was fun with some devious moves and downright persecution for the most tenuous of reasons (yes, I admit it – I knocked Natalie’s horse out of a race simply because it was red! :D) We then managed a couple of quick games of Trivial Pursuit though this was pretty tame compared to usual (probably because Barbara now lives in Oz and wasn’t there.) The girls even managed to get all their pieces of pie in the first game but simply could get to the middle for the final question and then correctly answer before the boys cleaned up. (Of course if the girls would stop being preoccupied with landing on the pink questions all the time, they might do better – did I mention that I hate the pink ones? πŸ˜‰ )

Despite my lack of sleep the previous night, I did OK but was definitely very tired and ready for home by the time we got a call from Nel asking us to come home soon. Her cold had given her hearing loss in one ear and she was feeling a bit scared, so we wrapped up the game and walked home. Nel was fine once she knew we were home so we wished her goodnight (well, morning) and crashed into bed.

We do love spending New Year with our friends. Happy New Year.

Precious family time at Christmas

Having finished work on the 21st December, I had two glorious weeks off ahead and got it off to a good start with a couple of nights out. On the Friday night, the darts team got together for a few drinks and light-hearted darts games at the club – this is becoming a very nice tradition now πŸ™‚ On Saturday it was Billy’s work Christmas dinner and this was held at The Heart and was a wonderful night with fantastic food and company. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it put me nicely in the Christmas mood. I then had a couple of days staying indoors to potter around at my own pace preparing for Christmas so it was all very relaxed and un-rushed πŸ™‚ Since I’ve scaled down present buying considerably over the last few years, there weren’t too many to wrap and I’d just about got cards written and posted a few days previously, so I could concentrate on the house and food.

Mum had given us a food goody-bag in which there were really well thought out supplies such as chocolates and biscuits, savouries and beverages and even a treat for the cats and hamsters! (Thank you mummy πŸ™‚ ) We also had another thoughtful gift of an M&S gift card from another relative and this was spent on fresh foods such as dips, pate and cheeses. Finally, my Tesco Clubcard vouchers covered the turkey, a beautiful piece of silverside beef and the other Christmas essentials. All that was left was for me to bake so on the Sunday I made my shortcrust and puff pastries and on Christmas Eve I cooked the meats and did the baking.

Coleslaw and Sausage Rolls

Mince pies and Christmas cake

and set the table

Christmas table

When I went to bed that night, I was just drifting off when I suddenly remembered the kids’ stockings! ARGH! Stephen had gone to work and wouldn’t be home until midnight or after so I could put his on his bed and he’d find it when he came home. But Nel was still up and not likely to go to sleep until the wee small hours; what to do?! As I leapt out of bed Nel called out “Have you just remembered what I have?” and so I went in to her to discuss my dilemma. At no point did she deny that if I left her her stocking now, she’d immediately examine its contents πŸ˜‰ I suggested I placed it somewhere “just so” and she was to get a clock and take a photo to prove it hadn’t moved until after midnight, and she came up with the idea of hanging it on the hook under her clock, which also happens to be on the wall that backs on to my bedroom – so I’d hear her if she tried removing the clock to alter the time! For the final touch, I stapled the top of the stocking so she couldn’t try peeking without touching and we took a photo to show its exact position:

Nel’s Stocking!

She took another at midnight – though in fact Billy (who had spent all afternoon and evening in the pub) returned around midnight and vouched for the security of the stocking at that point πŸ˜€ I don’t know! You’d think when your children are adults, they can manage to wait for their stockings wouldn’t you? πŸ˜‰

The next morning I enjoyed some peace and space whilst everyone else slept and I prepared the veg etc before they emerged at 11 am. Nel sorted the presents and took her own upstairs to open alone (after her diagnosis of autism we started this last year and she was able to fully enjoy presents for the first time) and then everyone gathered in the living room to open our presents together – with Nel opening the cats and any family ones.

The cats enjoyed the wrapping paper pile in the middle of the floor πŸ™‚

As usual, we had some lovely and perfectly chosen presents, including these beautiful Christmas ornaments which a few of the secretaries at work had given me (so unexpectedly that I’d burst into tears when they presented me with them along with a couple of bottles of wine!)


After clearing up and making a couple of family phone calls, I continued to prepare dinner in a leisurely fashion, and it all came together nicely for a relaxed and enjoyable meal – with the usual naff crackers, lots of laughs and everyone enjoying the food (and drink!) After clearing up, Raji and I did the washing up and watched the Queen’s speech (unfortunately the main thing I noticed was that those poor Military Wives had been asked to sing in public a song they clearly didn’t know as they had to make up the tune to “In the bleak midwinter” as they went along! (Why, oh why do people feel the need to take a traditional song and mangle it dreadfully to a new tune? πŸ™ )

We then settled to an afternoon of playing The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game which we had been bought a couple of years ago and somehow overlooked. It was brilliant!

Nasty Horse Racing

By the time Billy won this (having kept a great poker face when Stephen was openly convinced he’d won πŸ˜€ ) we were flagging and settled in front of the TV for a short while before bed.

It had been a very relaxed and smooth running day and I really enjoyed spending the time with my family. We should definitely play games together more often and though they may all have started out just humouring me, I think everyone genuinely enjoyed it as much as I did πŸ™‚

This time last year – I laughed at Nel and her stocking!

Goodbye 2012. Happy 2013

Happy New Year

I shall be very glad to see the back of 2012 and hope that 2013 brings the beginnings of better things.

That said, once again, City has helped me through, kept me sane (ish) at times, and given me one of the very few glorious highs of the year. Agueroooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo πŸ˜€

I am also blessed with wonderful family, friends and colleagues, who have been there for me with support, help and love. I am very grateful to you all and wish you the 2013 you deserve. I hope that it will be happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous for you and your families.

Happy New Year Everyone.

Christmas wishes

I’m hoping to catch up with some blogging during the Christmas break as I’ve been caught up with work and preparations for the festive season. In the meantime though, thank you for your friendship, support, sympathy, laughs and company this year.

I wish all my family and friends a lovely Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.

Girls together at a wedding reception.

On the Friday night the medical secretaries were attending the wedding reception of one of our number and we all stopped to think of the happy couple at 12 noon, when we knew they would getting married. We’d agreed over coffee that we were all going to dress up but even so, as I got ready that evening, I hoped they DID else I’d be looking a bit silly having fished out a red dress I haven’t worn for a while – fortunately, they did stick to the agreement and all looked lovely. Raji had agreed to play darts for me, and Billy escorted me to the Beaumont Hotel.

I was the first of our group to arrive and after greeting a radiant looking bride I got a drink and grabbed the only empty table – which turned out well as we made it our own for the evening. The others arrived shortly after me and we proceeded to have a really enjoyable evening πŸ™‚ The music was quite good (lots of oldies), the size of the party was just right, the bride looked beautiful, the groom scrubbed up rather well and entertained everyone with his energetic (and not unskilled) dancing, the bridesmaids (and their (teal) dresses) were exquisite, and the food later looked wonderful. (My tummy didn’t fancy trying it, alas.) We had lots of laughter and comfortable banter, and there were a couple of retired consultants there which was nice – don’t people always look so great and years younger once they retire?

We took a few photos during the evening though none will be shared without anyone’s permission so you may have to content yourself with this one of myself and Nic (who has already said it is OK – but then she would, being such a pretty lady):

At about 11.30 Billy came to collect me and we went and joined Paul, Roger (Junior) and Graham in Studio – which may have been a mistake since we led each other astray! πŸ˜‰ The darts had gone well and the team had won this cup game 6-1, putting us through to the next round. (A rarity since we usually draw an A league team and get knocked out straight away!) Despite feeling somewhat overdressed, I enjoyed the company so much that it wasn’t until 2am that I fell into bed! Bad me! πŸ˜‰

Patriotic Weekend

On Friday night I cheered on England in their second group game of Euro 2012 and like most of the country haven’t been confident of getting in to the knock-out stages so was watching more in hope than expectation. It has to be said that the team had already done well to draw against France, (a game I’d watched in the pub after work which was rather nice) but Sweden have been a bit of a bogey team recently and it wasn’t going to be an easy game. However, as it turned out, it was an entertaining enough game and even took me through some of the range of emotions that City do as we went 1-0 up, 1-1, 1-2 down, 2-2 and finally made it 3-2 πŸ™‚ We don’t have a particularly strong squad and I’d say no world class players as such, but they do seem to have some grit and team spirit to call upon which is all to the good. This results means only a draw is needed against Ukraine next game and we’d go through to the quarter-finals.

The Olympic Torch came to town on Saturday afternoon and though I confess I can’t excited about the Olympics, it seemed a shame not go and see it since it was on the doorstep, so Raji and I wandered up to town for a look. Although it was drizzly it was warm enough and no hardship to stand waiting with the others in the fair-sized crowd. We’d picked a spot where we could see the torch as it came round the bend by the hospital and were satisfied that we could see the road clearly. First a bemused looking cyclist appeared, cycling slowly along the route to ironic cheers πŸ˜‰ Eventually a radio station car appeared and a man hopped out, told us the torch was 4 minutes away, then he (and the car) turned round and went back the way they came – bizarre. A good ten minutes later some police cars and bikes came along – the lead car raising a laugh when the driver held out a cardboard replica of the torch πŸ˜€ In drabs and drabs we had more police, a couple of floats and finally another car with a sign on it telling us the torch was “just 6 minutes away” ! Hmmmm. AT LAST! It ARRIVED! THE TORCH WAS HERE! Apparently! Thanks to inconsiderate people in front with children on their shoulders, suddenly I couldn’t see a thing. πŸ™ I think it did catch a micro-second’s glimpse of the torch but I couldn’t even tell you who was carrying it at the time or to whom they handed it! Still…. for the record I was there πŸ™‚

When I returned I sat down to watch the Trooping of the Colour which I’d recorded earlier. This year it was the Coldstream Guards (dad’s regiment) trooping their colours which made it even more special for mum and I (we were exchanging texts about it even though Mum had seen it in the morning) I hummed along and foot-tapped to the marches (especially Figaro which is the slow march of the regiment and my favourite.) The coverage was somewhat extended with this being Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year – what an amazing lady she is – so I got to enjoy it all in full.It was wonderful πŸ™‚ I had a few tears, but thoroughly enjoyed it and felt very proud to feel a part of it all.

Proud to be patriotic? Me? Heck yes! πŸ™‚

Jubilee Mood

On Friday at work, we had a little Jubilee tea party to get us in the mood for the long bank holiday weekend. We each took one food item on the theme of the Jubilee – Coronation chicken pies; a red and white salad/veg dish; Victoria sponge; etc. We had a Union flag table cloth and one of the girls brought in a little girl’s dressing up tiara and accessories each (it wasn’t me this time and our fairy godmother came clean later on πŸ˜‰ ) I wore red, white and blue and painted my nails in the same colours and we had a very nice little interlude toasting the photo of the Queen, having a laugh and a tasty lunch. The poor consultants who risked sidling past us into their offices didn’t stay long before deciding they were best leaving us to it – though they were invited to join in. It broke up a very busy day for us all and helped us through. πŸ™‚

Then on Sunday, we had another Jubilee party to attend. Our friend Graham had won the local Iceland store’s Jubilee party with all food and decorations provided. The day before, the food was farmed out to us for cooking – though I was only expecting a couple of boxes of food to prepare, not 3 carrier-bags full and we had one of the least amounts to do! Billy managed to get it all cooked on Sunday morning and at 3pm he, Raji and I went up to the Studio bar with the food, laid it out with the rest (enough to feed an army!) and then settled for the afternoon. Once again I was wearing red, white and blue and I’d added dad’s regimental pin for good measure πŸ™‚

Our host:

Roger Junior and Steph brought up their new baby boy, Marc, who was born 5 weeks early weighing 4lbs 15oz and had been let out of hospital just the day before. He rather stole the show and (almost) everyone was queuing up for cuddles – when they could get a look in when grandma Joyce let him out of her arms for a minute πŸ˜€ Billy bravely asked for a cuddle and I love this photo of him holding Marc.

Senior decided, when he actually got a cuddle with his grandson, to lecture him on the evils of Newcastle – the first of many I suspect as poor little Marc’s paternal family are all Sunderland fans and his maternal family Newcastle fans πŸ˜€


The food and drink went down very nicely and the afternoon sped by chatting, playing and relaxing with our friends. There was a band booked for the evening and I had anticipated leaving around that point as I’m not fond of loud music. However, the band were quite good and the volume bearable and we were just enjoying ourselves so we stayed for the evening as well. With Studio being a sports bar, there were 3 TV screens up so there was cricket on one, tennis on another and then in the evening, I found myself enjoying watching the Queen’s pageant with half an eye which was good, even without sound.

Congratulations on 60 years Your Majesty, and thank you for giving us something to celebrate πŸ™‚

The Diamond Jubilee
A day in the life of the Queen

Best of Four (darts)

After the darts league fixtures had finished there were cup finals to be played, including the Bottom Fours Cup. We are always in this competition though this year it was only just! πŸ˜‰

On the Friday night before Billy and I had our holiday, we both elected to step down from playing so that Claire and Simon would be sure of a game as they will be moving this year and therefore this would be their last game with our team ever. I was busy packing and sorting, but Billy went up to cheer on the team for us both, and somewhat miraculously, we went on to win the cup! (No disrespect intended to my team mates who did very well – it’s just this cup is a horrible format which no-one enjoys playing!) πŸ™‚

On Friday our team had an evening get-together at the cricket club with a buffet and a few drinks – and a hilarious evening of 5 v 5 darts πŸ˜€ Senior had brought the cup and we took some photos of the team with it, even managing one decent one:

Back left to right: Raji; Simon; Paul; Billy. Middle left to right: Me; Senior; Claire. Front left to right: Graham; Junior

As Billy and I had missed presentation night when we were were on holiday, we were brought our individual cup which every team member received and we get to keep πŸ™‚

We had a really great night just relaxing, laughing, and being silly together. We’ll be sad to lose Claire and Simon and will miss them, but we’re looking forward to a new season and hoping to finish above the top four this time and not be in a position to retain our cup πŸ˜‰

Premier League Champions the hard way! City 3 – 2 QPR

I had been getting more and more excited about the final game of the season the nearer it got and by Saturday, couldn’t wait! The media hype about it was unbelievable though I didn’t like the way they pretty much assumed we’d win – I’ve been a City fan too long and know my club! After the Newcastle match, many of us said that we could just see us losing at home to relegation threatened QPR!

Billy was going to his last game of the season too – away to Everton – so we planned that I’d take him down to Manchester nice and early and he’d join his friends there to catch the final train together. We therefore left early – 6.30 am – but since we were looking forward to our respective days we were quite happy. We had a very easy drive down and were at the Etihad stadium by 10.30! I walked round to Asda with Billy as he wanted to buy a couple of bits before going to the station and then I went in to the City store. This is normally so busy on a match day that it’s impossible to look, but at this time it was empty enough that I could wander leisurely and choose a birthday present for my brother – and I succumbed to a new set of darts flights for myself too πŸ™‚

After a picnic lunch in the car, I went to the pub and met Don – who was very lucky to be alive, much less be at the match, having suffered a nasty head injury – and also saw Phil, Blither and a couple of other friends πŸ™‚ We were all a buzz, enjoying beers/soft drinks in the sunshine and pretty much an even mix of hopefulness and dread – with only a few confident of success. The nerves were already tuning up nicely.

Not wanting to miss a thing, I was in my seat early and I don’t know if it was good or bad when the game finally got underway – all our hopes would be dashed or fulfilled within a couple of hours! SWP and Ned got warmly welcomed by the home fans, but predictably (and deservedly after his comments on leaving us) Barton got booed roundly. I hoped that QPR would survive for Ned and SWP’s sakes, but of course, wanted it to be by virtue of Bolton losing rather than QPR winning today!

I can’t tell you the game pass-by-pass (and I usually don’t anyway, I let you read the match reports for that) but I can tell you about the ups and downs of the emotional roller coaster! As the first half went on, it looked like a stalemate; though we had the possession and forward movement it seemed no-one wanted to shoot,trying instead to tippy-tappy the ball in, and since QPR were defending in numbers we couldn’t break through. The mood was starting to get a bit tense. About 5 minutes from the half time whistle Zaba scored to send us wild with relief (and delight that it was him as he’s such a modest but solid player) so we could smile at half time, especially as ManUre were 0-1 up in their match away to Sunderland (to no-one’s surprise) At this point, we were top of the league, equal on points but 8 goals ahead.

Feeling more relaxed, though far from blasé, after the break we couldn’t believe it when Lescott erred letting QPR equalise! 1-1 was not good enough and handed the title to ManUre. We were a bit worried but hopefully there was enough time to retake the lead. We then had a major incident when Barton and Tevez clashed and Barton was given a straight red card (to the delight of City fans) What happened next though is what really lets this nasty little man down so badly: he deliberately and calculatingly kicked Aguero from behind (apropos of nothing!) and then tried to head-butt Kompany along with refusing to leave the field! (He went on to say later on Twitter that he hadn’t lost his head, and that it was a plan hoping to take a City player with him!)

Eventually the game resumed but I have to say that since QPR were defending so strongly, their lack of a player wasn’t particularly discernible in the main. Things went on much as before and we really were starting to wonder where our next goal might come from. At this point, QPR still needed to win as Bolton were ahead of Stoke and so both sets of fans were nervous. Then the unthinkable happened – QPR scored! We were trailing 1-2 in our final home game of a season in which we hadn’t been beaten at home by anyone! We were stunned. We went quiet for a spell, until we rallied and got behind the team once more. We tried and tried, but the keeper made some great saves and we couldn’t get past him to score.

We despaired and I had my head in my hands getting used to the idea that typical City had chucked it away. I really should know by now not to expect anything less and yet for a while I’d let the mood carry me in to belief that we could actually win this thing. πŸ™ The despair was not quite so much for this though – I know my club after-all – but it was just so bloody galling to hand the title, gift-wrapped to THEM! Conversely QPR fans soon had more to cheer about when they heard that Stoke had equalised, meaning Bolton were relegated and QPR safe. A couple of times during this spell of despair, the PA system aired requests for fans not invade the pitch at full time – greeted by a unanimously derisive “F Off!” from the home fans – on some of the TV footage I could clearly hear that too!

Full time loomed alarmingly close and still we trailed – it wasn’t going to be possible to score twice in what little time remained. Thanks to Barton, there were 5 minutes added time, but still, as things stood ManUre were Champions having finished their game 0-1 victors. (We were pleased they hadn’t clocked up a huge goal difference still, but it was now a moot point.) A few City fans started to leave – absolutely incredible! As you know, I hate this at the best of times, but to not stay and applaud the team’s efforts after a season of the most amazing talent and entertainment we’ve witnessed since the 1960’s is unforgivable. The rest of us got behind the team and screamed them on – more in hope than expectation.

And then, in the most crazy few minutes of football since 1999 and our Gillingham play-off game with its legendary extra-time goals, City proved once again that there’s no way quite like the hard way! Dzeko finally got the ball in the back of the net and the stadium roared encouragement. I will never know quite how it happened, but somehow we got our miracle and Aguero made himself a City hero when he got the winner! We went absolutely crazy and the next several moments are a bit of a blur of screaming, cuddling, jumping, laughing – and a little crying. (I found out much later that the QPR fans had also cheered our goal and were celebrating with us πŸ™‚ )

Despite earlier requests for fans to remain in their seats, there was a full scale pitch invasion and actually the club handled it well I thought. There was no heavy handed stewarding or policing, though the remainder of us were booing them and telling them to get off the pitch, but once some of the madness settled a bit, the PA announcer asked them to return to their seats otherwise the Champions Trophy couldn’t be presented and eventually order was restored. The stadium remained filled (ha ha to those who left early!) for the presentation and celebrations which followed – which seem surreal. After 44 years we had finally gone and won the league again – 44 years of disaster, near-misses, and derision, survived mainly with the help of wry (sometimes gallows) humour and unwavering loyalty. Not only this but we’d snatched it out of the grasping paws (in Fergie time!) of ManUre who thought they’d won it themselves but found out they hadn’t courtesy of Sunderland fans politely pointing it out πŸ˜‰ And finally, we had grabbed a victory from the very hungry jaws of defeat, testing our nerves to the max before dispensing the ecstasy πŸ˜€ Only City!

City has a gift for taking you from despair to delight in mere moments and this really was one hell of a trip! As with last year’s FA Cup win, I did have a brief tear wishing dad was here to see it though I’d like to think he and all those other Blues who’d gone before were watching in from afar. I stayed until the very end singing, clapping, and cheering ( as did many of the QPR fans who received their own applause from us in recognition) and I almost didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want it to be the end of the season, and yet it had been SUCH a season that I probably need a break – and my poor nerves certainly could do with it. I lingered another moment or two wondering if I could afford next year’s season ticket, whether I’d be back for more, whether my seat would still be MY seat, as it has been since we first came to this stadium. It was too unbearable to think that it may not be so I pushed it to the back of my mind and focussed on the unbelievable fact that my beloved Blues were Premier League Champions πŸ™‚

The party atmosphere remained as fans left the ground and I knew I wouldn’t be getting away any time soon! I sat in the car and exchanged texts and messages with family and friends. I had congratulations from fans of various other clubs – Newcastle, Leeds, Palace, Norwich, West Ham, Sunderland… and even one ManUre! When I eventually got to mum’s, I parked the car and then ran in yelling (actually, croaking a bit now) “Wooohooo!” and was met by Billy who had beaten me back by half an hour. (Sadly, Newcastle had lost though over all he was happy with their season if not this match.) Mum, who had watched the game on TV and gone through all the emotions with the rest of us, had champagne on ice – in dad’s regimental ice bucket – and even had a City card for the occasion for me. (Told you she’s the best!) After eating, we even sat and watched the game again though it was much more comfortable viewing this time round πŸ˜‰

The next morning I woke up with no voice at all! Not even a croak. I had to whisper. For 2 days. My voice did gradually improve, though it’d go again first and last thing, and as I type this 2 weeks later, it still isn’t quite back. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m stuck with a croaky voice for ever…… it’d be worth it though πŸ™‚ I need the summer to recover now – as someone on Twitter commented – it’s a good job City only do this every 44 years πŸ˜‰

There are so very many fantastic reports, videos and comments about this game, but here are a few to start you off, and of course I have dotted some in with the actual post above:

MCFC’s 60-second highlights.
MCFC’s extended highlights.
Kippax Blue’s photos.
Manchester bus tour with trophy.
Aguero’s goal and what it meant to fans
A round-up of some videos of commentary on this match
QPR fans at the game – jump to 2 minutes then 4 minutes 10 if you don’t want to watch it all.
Dual screen – the last 5 minutes – loved the Sunderland fans doing the Poznan πŸ˜€

St George’s Day 2012

This year for our St George’s Day celebrations, mum came to stay with us and have them here so that Billy, Raji and the kids could join in to suit – we’ve been saying for a couple of years that we need a bit of help with the boozing side of things since we’re pretty light-weight πŸ˜‰

First order of the day, after exchanging cards, little gifts and greetings, was to collect our rose button-holes from Dillies – and they did a fantastic job for us, even supplying pins with red beads at the heads making them absolutely perfect πŸ™‚ We then wandered up in to town and had a coffee whilst admiring the roses (and my nails!)

Billy was working just the morning, Raji had plans for the day, and the kids were sleeping, so we pleased ourselves for the morning before returning home for lunch, popping back in to Dillies on the way, where we sampled an exquisite wine called Apricot Velvet Mmmmm (think we’ll be buying some of that in the near future!) We’d planned to visit the Old Gaol in the afternoon, only it doesn’t open on Mondays πŸ™ So we decided that The House of Correction looked interesting – only you have to arrange a visit in advance πŸ™ This wasn’t looking great and the weather was pretty grim too (what a contrast to last year!) so we were running out of ideas. I had wondered whether mum might fancy The Roman Army Museum on Hadrian’s Wall, and when Billy came home he gave us the push we needed and that was where we (Billy, Mum, Nel and I) went. It was very much the kind of thing dad would have loved and he always had a special interest in the Romans so it was an appropriate activity for the day. It had changed a bit from last time I was there and the new 3D film was excellent – it really brought history to life and gave a wonderful bird’s eye view of along the length of the wall. After a cuppa in the tea shop, we drove back along the Military Road so as to continue the sense of history and to admire the views – an excellent idea of Billy’s.

After freshening up, Billy took mum, Nel and I up to town where we met Paul and the men showed us girls how to place a bet – something Nel and I had never done before, and Mum had not done herself before. We had thought to bet on a horse in the day’s races at Hexham, but were too late for that, but there was racing at Windsor which was apt as dad had been stationed there. Mum and Nel bet on a horse each but I decided I preferred to stick with something I know and bet on football instead – Leicester v West Ham. For the grand total of £1 I bet on it being a draw at half time with a 1-0 win for the Hammers at full time. My half time bet won me £2.25 so I won on my first attempt πŸ™‚ (Mum and Nel’s horses didn’t come in sadly, and mum’s football bet on Leicester v West Ham finishing 1-1 didn’t either.) The five of us then went to The Coach for the first drink of the day and toasted St George, King Harry et al, plus absent friends and any other relevant toast-worthy things/people we could think of. It was really nice of Paul to join us and much appreciated. Raji came in just before we left to meet up with Stephen and have a meal at Wetherspoons.

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After a very enjoyable meal, Stephen disappeared to meet a friend and the rest of us went to the Globe for a couple of drinks, and then on to the cricket club for a couple more. Nel got pleasantly tipsy and very loquacious and all in all it was a perfect end to a day that dad would have enjoyed very much. πŸ™‚

Happy St. George’s Day πŸ™‚

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