A win and a 180 (Darts!)

A couple of weeks before Christmas, we played away at the Ex Service B, having not played there for some time as they’ve had no team based there. I’d forgotten what a nice throw it is there and we had a pleasant evening. Billy had been collared in to going to the cinema with Nel to see The Hobbit, so I walked up with Paul (via the off-licence where we sampled some sloe vodka which was gorgeous!)

Our random order was: Senior; Paul; Mark; Graham; Junior; Me and we won both trebles, Senior & Paul’s doubles, and then Senior, Paul and Graham’s singles to give us a 5-6 win πŸ™‚

Talking point of the evening though, was Paul hitting 180! Very well done to our captain πŸ™‚

My own darts took a while to get going but were good by my singles game. Sadly for me, I was playing a very strong player though I could have just pipped him had I hit my double first time of asking. Nel and Billy turned up at this point, their film having finished, so it was great timing to join us for a drink before we all walked home together.

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A cheap night out at the castle

Last week it was once again time for Billy’s cricket club‘s annual dinner at Langley Castle and as we’d paid for the tickets a while back, and there was a free bus to take us there and back, we decided to go and have a relaxing evening out and just enjoy. Billy wore his trusty suit and I wore a dress I’ve worn before but teamed it up with winter white this time, as I’d worn black with it last time.

The food was beautiful as ever, and in fact Billy and I both anticipated leaving the starter as it really wasn’t something we liked – but we polished off every scrap and loved it! It was pea and ham soup – a vivid green soup with ham hock sitting in the middle and half a boiled quail’s egg to top it off. The main course was roast beef and accompaniments and the dessert a pear tart with ice cream. I could only manage half of my main and dessert so Billy had to finish them off for me (it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it πŸ˜‰ )

After the meal the Mayor congratulated the club on the 1st team winning the league and the league knock-out cup, and the 2nd team coming runners-up in their league and league knock-out cup. The individual prizes were well received and warmly congratulated and the guest speaker seemed to amuse everyone satisfactorily so the evening was as successful as the club’s season had been I think πŸ™‚

It was a much smaller gathering than it’s been in previous years but still enough people to make for good company. However there were little signs of the economic times – no little party favours for the ladies, no drink on arrival, smaller than usual wine glasses, and so on, so the pinch is being felt everywhere. When it came to time to buy raffle tickets, Billy happened to have a £1 coin to hand so we bought just the one strip of tickets and to our delight, won a case of 6 bottles of wine (3 red, 3 white) which will do us nicely for Christmas πŸ™‚

We were ready to leave by the time the bus came to pick us up but we were very glad we’d been able to go.

Hexham Leazes Cricket Club website

November’s darts

On Friday 2nd November we had a cup game (the Greenwood Shield) against the Unionist Nomads, which should have been a home game but we had to swap venue so played away instead. The random order was: Junior; Paul; Billy; Graham; Me; Senior. The format was doubles and singles only with the winner being the first team to win 5, and we won: Junior & Paul’s and Mine & Senior’s doubles; Junior’s, Paul’s and my singles. So we won a cup game – that’s two cups we’re still in, and without any byes! πŸ˜‰

On the 9th we were away in the league at the Rose and Crown, Slayley. Random order was: Raji; Graham; Mark; Senior; Me; Paul. We won the first trebles comfortably with Graham hitting tops, nicely left by Raji, but I cost us the second trebles sadly. We lost all the doubles games unfortunately, and then we won Raji, Graham, Senior and Paul’s singles giving us a loss but with the consolation of another 6-5 margin. I played such a strong player that I knew he’d trounce me – and he did, though my darts were also rubbish, it has to be said!

We were back at the Unionist Nomads place again on the 16th – in the league this time and against a changed team (we obviously scared them last time so they brought out their stronger players this time πŸ˜‰ ) The random order was: Me; Graham; Paul; Billy; Junior; Senior. We won the first trebles and lost the second and then only won Junior & Senior’s doubles though could have nicked another. I came against another very strong player in my singles and once again knew I would be thrashed – though actually I threw well and made it a good game which was nice. In fact only Graham and Senior won their singles though again, we could have pinched another one or two, and over all we lost 7-4.

On the 23rd, you’ll never guess the venue! πŸ˜‰ Yep, the Unionist – but this time, the B team not the Nomads. Billy and weren’t playing as we were at his cricket dinner but once again, without me, the team had a very convincing win 2-9 πŸ˜€

Too Foxy Darts

On Friday night we played darts at The Fox – one of the best throws in the league I think. The random playing order was: Paul, me, Junior, Senior, Graham, Mark and we won: both treble; Rogers’ doubles; Junior’s singles; and Graham’s singles. Once again it came down to the last game but Mark was unlucky.

My own darts, in a reversal of the normal pattern, were OK for the trebles and went downhill for my other two games! Nevertheless, Paul and I could have nicked our doubles, and I had the chance to take my singles game, but when I missed my double I knew I’d blown it.

It was an enjoyable evening though and we like the home team so weren’t too disheartened. We keep losing 6-5; surely we can manage to start WINNING 6-5?! πŸ™‚

As usual, there was domino card run by the home team and on this occasion I was asked to pick a domino at random from a bag to decide the winner. It happened to be Billy that won! πŸ˜€ Couldn’t have done that if I tried!

The pub had the Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds match showing and we all glanced up at it now and then – but our game came to standstill when we saw the incredible assault on Kirkland (Wednesday’s keeper) by a fan. In a week of football getting bad press, this was the icing on the cake! What IS wrong with some people? Thankfully he’s been arrested, though apparently already has 2 banning orders, but what about all the idiots that welcomed him back in to the stand like a hero? πŸ™

In other football….

Newcastle 3 – 0 Bordeaux – I watched this game online whilst Billy was at the match, and thoroughly enjoyed it. What a great performance by Newcastle against a very poor visiting side, with some very pretty football at times. Cabaye and Obertan stood out for me.

Newcastle 0 – 3 ManUre I watched this one on TV with Billy and Raji and hoped (against expectation) that Newcastle would return the favour City had done by beating Sunderland, but alas, it was a below par performance from the Toon I felt.

England 5 – 0 San Marino This was a Friday night fixture so we were playing darts in the pub and I could only keep half an eye on the game. It seemed a very poor game and I saw the first 4 goals but missed the 5th. A win as expected, but nothing to crow about really.

England P – P Poland I settled down to watch this game and couldn’t believe the farce that followed! Poland have a purpose built stadium, with a roof. The forecast was for rain, and indeed, 4 hours before KO it was pouring. The Polish team chose not to close the roof and the pitch was too sodden to play. Then the roof wouldn’t close because of the heavy rain and yet, with roof still open and rain still pouring, it was decided to wait and see if the game could be played an hour later! You couldn’t make it up! I did actually keep the ITV coverage on throughout all this as the team, especially Adrian Chiles, were hilarious! Fair play to them, they had me in stitches with comments about the absence of any groundsmen (and their forks) and understandable bemusement at the ref throwing his ball in every corner of the pitch (just in case one corner was playable?) πŸ˜€

EnglandU21’s 1 – 0 Serbia I didn’t watch this one but was HORRIFIED by the shambles after England scored and the racism directed at our players. Serbia need banning UEFA – no excuses! πŸ™

England 1 – 1 Poland At last the game was played on Wednesday evening but it was very poor. I felt it was a case of “let’s just get the game played and get home lads” (for which I couldn’t blame them) though I expect the pitch condition will have played some part. It’s also rumoured that our players were given sleeping tablets the night before – unbelievable if true, but it might explain their slowness! At the end of the day, the game is done with, we got a point which will hopefully do.
ITV Highlights here

5-6 again – Cafe Enna this time (darts)

On Friday we played newcomers to the league, Cafe Enna, and we were joined on our side by Mark, a friend of Senior’s who had played in our cup game last week.

The line up was: Billy,me, Paul, Mark, Senior and Junior and we won: 2nd trebles, mine & Billy’s doubles, Paul & Mark’s doubles, my singles, and Senior’s singles – it came down to the last game again but sadly the ever tricky x1 eluded Junior but not his opponent.

My darts were horrendously rubbish in the trebles (as ever) but improved a bit for the doubles giving Billy and I a win we shouldn’t really have got. We were 250 behind at one point and never looked like catching up to be honest. Then once we got near, one of my darts shafts broke and I’d given Billy my spare earlier in the evening so I had to use one that was too long and the throw was weird. Billy got us down to x9 and when I came to throw, I was wondering how I’d manage with the odd dart out – but happily got the double with my first dart! Phew! πŸ™‚ In my singles (having pinched back a shaft of the right length), I was playing a good player but I was holding my own and then scored 140 which made him visibly wobble – and I managed to get my finish πŸ™‚

The away team were a nice lot and they made us laugh with their “fines” system. There doesn’t seem to be an awful lot they can score WITHOUT incurring a silly fine so we joined in asking if every throw was a fine πŸ˜€ It better not catch on with us as I doubt we could afford to play πŸ˜‰

The rest of my team all like to be competitive about who has more points than whom, but I tend to lose track and know the others are better players than I am. However, by fluke, I am currently doing OK (we’re only 4 games in to the season!) so for posterity, and since they brought it up, I have had to take a screenshot of our team’s table – it won’t last so I’d better get in whilst I can πŸ˜‰

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˜‰

Birthday girl

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t expect much as we don’t have any money.

Nel had already said she was going to draw me a picture as my present, but I certainly wasn’t expecting her to actually CREATE a character especially after me for her comic. She is called Angelena and she is the Goddess of Nature πŸ™‚

I just need to buy an A4 frame for her so she can go on my wall – might see if Nel will autograph it first πŸ™‚

Billy had also told me he couldn’t manage much, but then he and Raji astounded me by clubbing together to buy me something I wanted but didn’t expect to own for a few years – a Kindle! I was so surprised and pleased πŸ™‚ (So far I am resisting temptation, other than to download some books) and am finishing the actual book I am reading at the moment, but can’t wait to use my Kindle.) My colleague, K, gave me an Amazon voucher so I bought a couple of downloads with that too πŸ™‚

I wasn’t expecting anything from Stephen as he’s always skint and I’m just pleased if I get a “Happy Birthday” from him, but he did give me a present – a bottle of vodka πŸ™‚

Mum had already given me my new City shirt but she also gave me a bag of “silly little things” – I didn’t think they were silly (or little) but they were all very well chosen and I loved them – everything from fluffy socks to a pack of Costa coffee πŸ™‚

Two of my colleagues gave me a bottle of wine and the girls in the secretarial department gave me a card which they’d all signed which was another unexpected surprise. I received lots of lovely cards and was feeling loved. I had lots of birthday messages on Facebook too – my virtual cards πŸ™‚

I was working all day, as were Billy and Raji, but Stephen had managed to swap his evening shift so that we were all at home for tea – and we treated ourselves (by clubbing together) to takeaway courtesy of the chip shop. I don’t often get to have a family meal with everyone together so it was really nice, even though we did then all go our separate ways afterwards.

So I had a lovely birthday with more treats than I expected πŸ™‚

First win of the darts season: 3 – 8!

Just as the new football season has commenced, so too the darts season is back πŸ™‚ Claire and Simon have moved away, but the rest of us remain and Raji has joined us too.

Our first fixture was away to Wetherspoons – it’s a slightly strange place to play darts – with people eating and drinking around and the board set up in a corner. When we arrived we had to wait rather a long time for our hosts to sort out the playing order and indeed, who was playing for them. Our random order was: Billy; Graham; Me; Junior; Senior; Paul.

As the night wore on, our hosts became more and more inebriated (having already been on the way when we arrived) and at one point, one just went home, before the doubles and singles games, giving Senior a singles win by default and Senior and Paul an easy run in the doubles. My own opponent was evidently new to league darts as things had to be explained to him but that said – he could throw!

We won both trebles, though had to come from behind so they were jammy wins. There was one very good player in the other team and he was also sober and unfortunately Billy was drawn against him. Billy and Graham lost their doubles as did Junior and I – I was annoyed with myself because we could have won that had I been on target so I cost Junior the win. The only other game we lost, unsurprisingly, was Billy’s singles against the strongest player, but we won all the other games giving us a 3-8 win πŸ™‚

I was throwing reasonably well but I did almost blow my singles game, having been well ahead but then fluffing my finishing, however I did eventually hit the x4 to win. Phew! For all that this was a strange fixture, it was lovely to be back with my team-mates and Simon was up for a visit so he came along too which was great πŸ™‚

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