Led Astray!

Well it was my intention to write my blog last weekend……. but I was led astray by bad men! πŸ˜‰

Roger, being a freelance gardener, very kindly volunteered to prune the apple tree in our garden which hadn’t been done for a good couple (or more) years.

Tree in spring

By the time he’d finished, it looked like this:

Pruned!

Naturally, we wanted to thank him for his hard work so Billy proposed taking him for a drink and they asked me along. I regretfully declined as I had so much to get done over the weekend and planned to finish cooking then nip out before ironing all afternoon. I continued to resist and when I finished cooking said I was going down to Aldi to get a few bits and I left them clearing up the branches. I agreed they could drop me a text to let me know which pub they were in and I MIGHT pop in for a half on my way home. They then sent the text saying they were in Wetherspoons which I had to pass on the way home so I joined them for a quick drink. Before I knew it, Graham had joined us and I was on a second drink……. somehow the afternoon flew by as we moved to Studio to watch the rugby and by the time we went home, I’d had FIVE drinks! (Mopped up slightly by a hotdog from a van on the walk between pubs.) At first I fretted about not getting my chores done, about having scruffy clothing, no make-up or jewellry etc…… then I just relaxed and enjoyed a good afternoon in lovely company. If they were happy to take me as I was, then who was I to argue? πŸ˜€ You can’t buy impromptu sessions like this, nor good friends like ours.

So…… to catch up a bit……..

City: I watched these 3 games on TV
West Ham 1 – 3 City – Our first away win and well deserved I thought. It was also an enjoyable game to watch. MCFC’s 60-second highlights here MCFC’s Extended highlights here

CSKA Moscow 1 – 2 City – Dashed home from work just in time for kick off (Stephen had kindly turned on the TV and put it on the right channel for me) and I was pleasantly surprised to get this result. I was NOT amused at the racist monkey chants by home fans at Yaya. I’m also not convinced that the punishment issued by UEFA is much of a deterrent, though I suppose it is the 1st of the series of 3 punishments if they keep it up. Racism is not acceptable at any level, much less at Champions League level, and no-one should have to put up with it. MCFC’s highlights here.

Chelsea 2 – 1 City – good lineup, good tactics and good performance. One (stupid and frustrating) mistake cost us 2 points but that’s football. We take the many positives from it and move on. I was happy enough with this performance and that’s all I ask. I’m not happy with the media hysteria vilifying Hart and wish they’d get a grip! He’s still relatively young for a keeper, keepers’ mistakes are always very noticeable compared to those of outfield players, and jumping on his back isn’t constructive. MCFC’s 60-second highlights here MCFC’s Extended highlights here

Darts: Following on from my last report, we’re still doing well! We’ve won 5 of our 7 league games now and are STILL 3rd in the table! I’ve got a couple of singles wins under my belt too, including a satisfying one against a young lad who answered his phone during our game with “I’m in the pub playing darts. Against a BIRD!” πŸ˜€ (That was a very odd game in a pub with what looked like all those on pub-watch in our town having relocated to the next village. It was slightly intimidating when I was playing my singles with them all crowding round getting in my space a bit, but otherwise we actually had a fairly enjoyable evening as a tight-knit team.) Somewhere along the line, we I decided we should have a team theme tune to get us fired up for our games. Junior decided it would be the next song to come on the juke box. Flash! Hm, maybe not. OK, the NEXT song. Flash – the remix! πŸ˜€ Flash it must be then! Next to assign characters………. πŸ˜‰ )

Work – well this is just truly crazy, it has to be said. I spend all my time in each of my two roles, desperately trying to get everything clear in the 2/3 days I have at it before doing my other role. Then when I go back to the other one, I have it all to do again. We’re also having a Trust wide new computer system very soon so everyone has to be trained in the new software and pass tests so full and half day training sessions have to be accommodated too. (It WILL be a better system I think but it’s a massive change – like switching from MSDOS to Windows.) I really do feel like I am permanently chasing my tail but in general I do love my work, it’s just that there are never enough hours to get it done as the workload is ever increasing.

Nel: Nel’s apprenticeship is going brilliantly now that she’s switched to admin. She has picked it all up so fast and does such a lovely thorough job that the secretaries are over the moon with her. She has made such a huge difference to the department and for their part they’ve really taken her to their hearts. She has her very own desk – with the addition of her own computer and printer just this week – and has personalised it with photos of the pets and a couple of plants given to her by one of her colleagues. I’m absolutely delighted that it’s worked out so wonderfully, grateful to the team for making Nel so welcome and appreciated and naturally am, as ever, very proud of my clever daughter. πŸ™‚

3 x 3’s for City

Villa 3 – 2 City Having found myself a stream to watch this online, I was about to settle to watch when my (canvas) wardrobe collapsed, depositing all my clothes all over the floor. (Again!) SO I ended up sorting out that mess whilst watching – and to be honest it was probably a good job I did. Although City played well, it has to be said that Villa woke up after half time and deserved their win πŸ™

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s Extended highlights here

City 1 – 3 Bayern MΓΌnchen I was snug in bed watching this game and though it always hurts to be on the end of a battering, I could only admire the beautiful and mesmerising football played by MΓΌnchen. They didn’t take second touches of the ball – it was all one-touch passing and movement. This was the first time since Maine Road (Arsenal), that I can recall, where City fans have applauded an opposition team off the pitch out of sheer respect. We may have lost this but it was a privilege to watch such quality football.

MCFC’s highlights here
Kippax Blue’s photos here

City 3 – 1 Everton I had an early start to attend this lunch time fixture and I was rather nervous about how we’d do against a team playing well, I confess. I needn’t have worried – although our defence did give me a scare or two, and both Kompany and Kolorov picked up injuries which is worrying. We played some nice football from the off, but the defence were too slow to spot the threat that led to Everton’s goal. Happily we responded straight away and proceeded to look comfortable on the ball with lovely passing and movement. It took us a little while to realise Sergio’s penalty had gone in, though we couldn’t quite figure out how and it wasn’t until the replay that it made sense πŸ™‚ We fully deserved the win and I particularly enjoyed it as I just can’t find anything to like about Everton and their fans. (I definitely prefer Liverpool and between games against Everton, I sort of forget why, and then we play them and I’m reminded how ManUre like their fans are – less about supporting their own team and more about the one they’re playing. I do like Liverpool fans by contrast as they support their team and have a sense of humour.) Lescott was the pantomime villain for Everton fans and they sang their usual songs at him, but I had to laugh when City fans responded with “He’s won more than you, he’s won more than y-ou, Joleon Lescott, he’s won more than you” πŸ˜€ (And later a variation: “He’s winning 3-1….” It was a good afternoon and again one of beautiful sunshine and I left smiling to enjoy a relaxed drive to mum’s. After a very fraught week at work I really needed some escapism and good cheer and this had hit the spot nicely.

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s Extended highlights here
Kippax Blue’s photos here

I was also smiling because before the match, I’d met up with the people from Iconic Autographs who had brought along my birthday present from mum – a boxed frame photo/ticket display which they’d created from my title winning season ticket and FA Cup winning tickets:

I was there!

More winning ways and ManUre get another thrashing!

After the unlikely win against Hull the other week and then a lucky draw away at Stoke where we continued to look poor, I wasn’t too confident going in to the derby. Okay, we’d had a great win with beautiful attacking football away at Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League but I worried that this would have the effect of leaving the players too burned out to perform. Nevertheless I eagerly looked forward to the game and got there nice and early.

What a fantastic afternoon it turned out to be! The sunshine was glorious and it was hot enough to need no jumper or coat. The stadium was packed – though I confess I did get a bit irritated with the tourist-types who were sitting in my area and who seemed to think they could just sit where they pleased, wander around throughout the game and so on. I was pleased with the starting lineup and was delighted that from the very beginning of this match, City looked up for it.

Who’d have believed what happened next? We totally and utterly out-played them on every inch of the pitch! This was the City we all love to watch and it was all so ridiculously easy! Just watch the highlights to see just how mouth-watering the football from City was.

We were 1-0 up as half time approached and one of my season ticket neighbours muttered encouragement and asked for another before the break. Wish granted! πŸ˜€ I nipped to the loo during half time and everyone was celebrating in the concourses – this is unheard of! We’re City. We KNOW that 2-0 up with another 45 to play means anything can happen still! I’ve never seen our fans partying like this in anticipation! People were jumping up and down, cuddling each other, singing and grinning. It was pretty infectious even for those of us that weren’t quite convinced yet.

So on to the second half then and I expected more from the visitors who must have had a blistering half time talk………. or not! They carried on as they left off, and so did we – goal number 3 ….. And 5 minutes later, number 4! πŸ˜€

We could have had more and home fans were very happy to be singing “It should have been 5To be fair, for the first time ever that I can recall, a section of the visiting fans did actually continue singing and supporting their team even at 4-0 down. These were definitely not the usual breed of ManUre fans who have always been very arrogant and silently superior in the past. City fans ironically cheered with them at Rooney’s consolation goal (and it WAS a good free kick, galling though it was!)

What a brilliant team effort with everyone playing their part so that picking a MotM was very hard, but I settled on Navas myself. All our new boys look fantastic and seem to be fitting in nicely with our other creative players. Lovely to see.

So by the end of the match I had a blistered hand from clapping, a hoarse throat from cheering and a nice bruise on my leg from jumping up ……. but I was very happy πŸ™‚ I had a wonderfully relaxed drive home and although dead on my feet by the time I finally got there at almost 10.30pm, I was still smiling.

ManUre – MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
ManUre – MCFC’s Extended highlights here
ManUre – Kippax Blue’s photos here

I couldn’t get a stream for the Cup game against Wigan but I did listen to the commentary online courtesy of BBC Radio Manchester and my favourite match commentator, Ian Cheeseman, and it seemed like we just picked up from the end of the last game – despite the fact it was a different set of players πŸ™‚ 5-0 and we were through to the next round which will be a divorce derby – away to Newcastle! Still, at least I can hopefully get there even on a school night πŸ™‚

Wigan – MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
Wigan – MCFC’s Extended highlights here
Wigan – Kippax Blue’s photos here

Winning at home

Well we’ve now had a couple of weeks of the household chore regime and I’d say it is thus far of mixed success. Generally a move in the right direction though and mainly a matter of getting into a firm routine with what needs to be done and when. Billy and Raji have undertaken the shopping fairly successfully and will obviously take a little while to find the way that works best for them, but I’d say this has been a successful change. Billy hasn’t got the hang of the washing yet (pardon the pun!) but again, time should remedy that – I hope, ‘cos I’m hanging on to some stuff knowing I won’t see it for weeks if I put it in the basket πŸ˜‰ He hasn’t quite mastered ensuring a load goes in every single night plus an extra most weekends, so we haven’t yet had an empty laundry basket. He also tends to forget to get it in and sorted at night so we’ve had some that’s dew-damp when the next lot needs to take its place. But he’s getting better as the days are going by and Rome wasn’t built in a day, so that’s fine. Raji did some of the ironing last weekend but had a bit of a shock at how long it takes so didn’t manage it all – as I said previously, I don’t think other people realised how time consuming these jobs are and thus the reason why I didn’t have time for anything except chores. Raji’s been very keen to do washing up at weekends and he’s helped everyone as and when needed so he’s definitely bought in to the idea of sharing the workload. Stephen and Nel still have a way to go and are not getting their jobs done regularly so they need to work out their routine and stick to it. Also, so far, neither Nel or Billy has braved the Rayburn but that’s something that I am happy to wait until we get a chance for me to show them the ropes.

And so I was able to leave for my weekend away hoping that I wouldn’t come home to my usual mountain of chores with which to catch up…

First up was football and I was SO excited to finally be going to a live game again πŸ™‚ I loved seeing people I hadn’t seen all summer – and even bumped in to an old friend from Maine Road whom I haven’t seen for years so that was great. Alas, the football wasn’t so great! City 2 – 0 Hull was the most dire affair, and HOW we won I have no idea! I had to keep reminding myself what league I was supposed to be watching! The day out and occasion was far better than the “entertainment” it has to be said. The atmosphere was also very poor and Hull fans were singing alone most of the time. I didn’t particularly like some of their chants but I did laugh when they went one further than the old stand rivalry of Maine Road with the furthest side of the away section sang “We’re the left side, we’re the left side, we’re the left side of City” and the right side reciprocated πŸ˜€
MCFC 60-Second highlights here
MCFC Extended highlights here
Kippax Blue’s photos here

After an enjoyable afternoon I drove to mum’s to join her and Nel. Nel had travelled down by train on the Wednesday before and the plan was for me to stay the night then bring her home on Sunday with me after having a lovely time doing the Chester ghost walk and visiting Chester Zoo with Granny πŸ™‚ For a rarity, Mum’s football team were on TV so I had the rare pleasure of a double header of football πŸ™‚ Whislt Nel escaped upsatirs, we watched Palace 3 v 1 Sunderland and what a game! That was more like it! Palace played beautiful one touch passing football and although Sunderland rallied in the second half (at 1-1 it looked like it could be anyone’s game) Palace stepped it up a notch again and thoroughly deserved their win. Brilliant stuff – especially after the lacklustre game I’d watched earlier. After the match we all shared Dominos pizza to make a near perfect day: A double whammy of football, lots of cuddles with friends, pizza for tea and time with my mum and my daughter πŸ™‚

After a wicked roast dinner on Sunday, Nel and I headed home and had a very pleasant drive – though she did try and disown me every time I shared grins and waves with Liverpool fans returning from their win against ManUre πŸ˜€ (In fact every football result in which I had an interest, (City, Palace, Newcastle, Norwich, Liverpool and QPR) went the way I wanted. Unheard of!)

All in all, a good weekend I’d say πŸ™‚

Cardiff 3 – 2 City

I watched this match on TV and was somewhat wary of it to start with, but once I saw the starting 11 felt we were going to miss Kompany a lot! I was not sure about our defensive lineup at all and prayed the boys would prove me wrong.

They didn’t! By half time I felt disappointed by how many passes our players were getting wrong though I was not taking anything away from Cardiff who played really well. I was also irritated with Sky – there’s nothing like a bit of unbiased, professional commentating, and this was nothing like!

Just after the break, at last, Dzeko scored! Phew! About time! But it went downhill from there and by the time Cardiff equalised I just KNEW it was going in. Shocking defending. Poor play all round. And still no pretence of being unbiased by the commentators! Two more soft goals gave Cardiff a solid 3-1 lead and we had no-one to blame but ourselves! A late consolation for us was not much of a morale lifter – too little, too late πŸ™

Words failed me! Did our players roll straight out of bed before the game? Stroll up and fancy a little Sunday park kickabout?
Cardiff fully deserved their win. Most noticeably from our point of view, was the shocking passing with so many misplaced passes and being second to every ball. I can only hope this will be a wake up call – you need to PLAY to win boys! We had definitely missed Kompany as I’d feared, and he’s out for a month at least πŸ™

Sky really annoyed me with their commentary though I’ve thought that the day they start being nice about us will be the day we’ve become something I hate – it’s still unprofessional though!

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here

Season opener: City 4 – 0 Newcastle

At last! Football’s back! Not only were City at home, but it was also the family derby to kick off the season.

And then came bloody TV and changed the game to Monday night! I hate Monday night football! And this meant that now neither Billy nor I could go to one of our most eagerly anticipated games of the season. NOT happy! πŸ™ Even less so once it was arranged that this match would be dedicated to the memory of Bert Trautmann, City Legend in the strictest sense, and truly inspiring gent to boot.

I got it into my head that since I couldn’t be there, I’d like to watch the match in the pub instead, even if it meant I’d be the only one in a City shirt amidst all the Toon ones. Having brilliant friends, my idea became a reality and so I watched in Studio Sportsbar with Billy, Paul, Roger, Roger, Steph, Graham and Shaun. Shaun had even (at Paul’s behest) found some Espresso Smirnoff which I have been wanting to try. I tried it both on its own and with lemonade – it works better alone which is absolutely lovely and would make a gorgeous after dinner drink πŸ™‚ (Thanks Shaun and Paul πŸ™‚ )

The screen at Studio is nice and big and clear so I could enjoy every bit of the match and was soon lost in the magic of a flowing ball, skilful feet and the general beauty of the game. The two Roger’s being Sunderland fans were naturally siding with me and the rest were watching with resignation and little hope. Alas for them, their fears were borne out.

City 4 – 0 Newcastle: City’s starting lineup for looked exciting and they lived up to this, despite not actually having to step up from 2nd gear. It wasn’t a top performance from my boys, but it was plenty good enough against a team that didn’t really look like having much desire or opportunity to score. Krul made 5 top class saves, we should certainly have had 2 of the 3 penalty claims (I didn’t feel Yaya had complete control of the ball for his so wasn’t a penalty in my view) and then we had a goal incorrectly ruled offside so this scoreline could easily have been 10 – 0. I didn’t care, I was happy with 3 points, a clean sheet and lots of attacking football. Naturally I did cheer our goals but I did restrain myself a lot to keep it down from usual πŸ˜› Nobody could argue Stephen Taylor’s red card – what a stupid thing to do! The only worry for me from City’s point of view was that in reaching for a ball, Kompany hurt himself and had to go off – he’s now out for a month and he was a big loss last season when not playing πŸ™ Dzeko looked reborn which I think is likely to be the new playing style (using wingers) suiting him nicely. It was ruefully amusing that the poor bloke did everything BUT score – it was just one of those nights for him – but hopefully on another occasion he’ll get the goals his play deserved. (Goals then: Silva 6 mins after lovely build up play by Dzeko; Aguero 22 mins after a beautiful backheel pass from Dzeko; Yaya 50 mins with a sublime free kick (which the wall ducked!) and Nasri 75 mins all on his own.)

There’s a lovely long season ahead so I can’t and won’t get too carried away, but it’s wonderful to have the beautiful game back and I was happy with what I saw of Pellegrini, his style of play and the new boys’ contributions. Top of the league after the first round of games πŸ™‚

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here
Kippax Blue’s photos here
NUFC.com report – well worth a read for a Toon persepctive

Coming to the end.

This last week I have had a sense of the summer coming to its end. It isn’t feeling autumnal quite yet, but there is a feel of it being late summer now and although I am exceptionally pleased that we’ve had a summer, this cooler week has made me dread the return of the cold. It’s been so liberating not having to huddle for warmth, turn on heating, light fires, get into bed with a hot water bottle at a ridiculously early time just to keep warm or having to don layers of clothing.

However, it’s not just the weather. I’ve enjoyed having two whole days each weekend to get all my jobs done at home. Once the football season re-starts, I’m back to having to plan around matches. If I’m going to the match I tend to be away for the weekend which means somehow getting things done before, or having extra to do the next week. If I’m not going to the games, I still have to plan around taking a couple of hours out to watch/follow the match live. Don’t get me wrong – I’m pleased we’ll soon have football back and excited about the new season. But being a woman I have the extra challenge of still getting things done around my hobby. (It’s a good job I don’t share Billy and Raji’s love of cricket isn’t it? That takes up entire weekends plus most weekday evenings between playing, practising, umpiring and watching it!)

What’s also potentially coming to an end, is being able to blog about whatever I feel like at the time each week, and I have enjoyed that over the closed season. I haven’t been able to do as much as I’d like but I have definitely felt my blog regain some of its self-therapeutic role in my life. Maybe I’ll try to continue with this and just mention football rather than trying to post about each game. We’ll see. I want to be able to enjoy writing each post, rather than feeling it a chore, which it did become a bit at the beginning of the year. The problem, of course, is that I am now working full time which vastly reduces the time I have available for anything so blogging more than once a week is not possible and during the football season, I can really only manage it fortnightly. So it needs to count. I think I will just see how it goes but it feels like my blog has to change with the times and somehow find a new place in my ever busy life.

I really have loved having a summer this year though so for now I’m just going to try and enjoy the last of it before it slips away….

And so the season comes to an end

Well eventually we had it confirmed – Mancini was sacked! Whether or not it was the right thing to do I leave for better heads than mine. However, regardless, this was badly handled by the club and whoever leaked the news wants shooting! Certainly something hasn’t been quite right this season, especially towards the end, but whether that was Mancini, I don’t know. The bigger question is who comes next and is he better? Pellegrini is the strongly rumoured answer to the first part of the question; the jury is very divided on the latter!

Reading 0 – 2 City – I made do with the text updates for this one, being another Tuesday night game. It sounded a very comfortable dominant display from City and a deserved win which secured second place for us for the season.

MCFC’s 60-Second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here

City 2 – 3 Norwich – I was back at a match at last, having turned down a Christening and a family anniversary party which were happening the same day. I’d stayed with mum the night before and left in good time to pop in to the store for my brother’s birthday present and then meet up with friends for a quick drink. (That’s the busiest the bar has been so we ended up having to drink rather fast by the time we were served!) I also met with another friend at half time and saw more after the game so this final game was a sociable one which was lovely πŸ™‚ The only disappointment was that I didn’t see any of my old Norwich friends, though the Canaries had brought a good number of fans all in the mood to enjoy their day. It was certainly an entertaining game with plenty of goals – our defence was clueless at times, tripping over each other almost and it was therefore no surprise that Norwich scored 3! Ironically, Joe Hart had been presented with his Golden Glove before the game – his second successive win of this award.

I was not impressed with the number of people milling around between seats throughout the match – you get a seat allocated to you when you buy your ticket. Just sit in it! But no! First I had a fella asking if the two seats further along were taken and in replying that they were season ticket seats so I presumed the occupants would turn up at some point, I missed out on whatever led to a corner. Worse, two others wanted to get by to those same seats and made me miss the first goal! Then they turned round and came back so I commented to them that I’d missed the goal for nothing then! There were also a lot of people that left before the game was over – bad enough ordinarily but for the last home game of the season when the players were known to be intending coming back out and showing their appreciation of the fans after the match it’s downright rude. Naturally, I went nowhere and enjoyed right to the end. I love my club, my team and my football and didn’t want the day/season to end.

This match was Mark Halsey’s last game as referee and I thought it a nice touch that he stayed on the pitch to receive applause from fans of both clubs and was awarded the match ball. We love to criticise referees but without them there would be no game and I think everyone wished him well especially after his battle with cancer.

I shouldn’t have laughed I suppose but I did like the Norwich fans’ chant in response to home fans: “Mancini woah. Mancini woah. He thought’s he’d won the Cup. Then he f’d it up…” πŸ˜€ In fact I think they were good throughout and would have enjoyed the day even without the surprise of a win.

MCFC’s 60-Second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here
Kippax Blue’s photos here

And so another season ends. A strange season in that there were so many underwhelming performances along the way – though this affected all teams and not just City. Overall I was happy enough with 2nd place and an FA Cup Final. It doesn’t really do to think that with one or two better performances and wins we could have achieved more. I didn’t think we’d win the league again and I certainly hadn’t dared hope to do well in the FA Cup. I don’t think we strengthened our squad with the few transfer dealings we did last summer (in fact I felt we weakened it) and we did nothing in the January one. It will be interesting to see what we do this summer, but regardless, I will be here cheering them on again next season, no matter what……

The return of Typical City

City 1 – 0 West Brom -I watched this one online in bed and unfortunately my seat was empty! The idiot commentators angered me saying that the stadium was “half empty because City have only finished 2nd” and suchlike. Er, no! This game was rearranged twice so no-one knew when it was actually going ahead and then it was played on a Tuesday night! THAT’s why it was half empty! Grrrr! Blithering idiots! It wasn’t a particularly exciting game bu a good enough performance to get the job done πŸ™‚

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here
Kippax Blue’s photos here

City 0 – 1 Wigan FA Cup Final – I watched this one at home on TV and was GUTTED not to be there this time round, though at least a fellow Blue was getting the use of my ticket. I was in a bad mood anyway after a bad week and I just couldn’t settle to anything though texts from friends who were there did help me feel a part of it. When it finally got to match time I was still fed up and could have done with the lift of a good performance, but it wasn’t forthcoming. In the first half I didn’t think City played well but was confident that they had more gears and could/would up their game. I was so wrong! What an insipid performance as a team! There were pre-match rumours of Mancini being for the sack which won’t have helped, but professionals should be able to ride above such things I feel. Towards the end I felt that Wigan deserved it and looked the more likely to score – and they did! An ex-Palace player too! What I AM very proud of is the reaction of the team and the fans there – they were magnanimous in defeat and congratulated Wigan players and fans, staying behind to see them get their medals and the cup. As City fans, we know only too well the joy of winnign something after years of winning nothing so cannot begrudge them their well deserved victory. Well done Wigan.

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here
Kippax Blue’s photos here

Smoothly back to earth

After my wonderful week off, I had a surprisingly smooth week back at work in the main. I soon picked up what was what again in my orthotics role and even the secretarial work went okay the second half of the week. At least, until Friday which is always a manic day with everything needing doing before the weekend plus the usual hunt to grab a consultant to answer a query from a GP, patient or colleague etc. Unfortunately this is always time consuming and this particular day, everything turned into a project. But I survived πŸ™‚

On the Friday evening it was the darts league’s annual doubles competition – any pair of league members can turn up on the night, register and play in a knock out competition. We were supposed to be playing a rearranged cup fixture before hand and had made the effort to get there early but the opposition team arrived too late to play in time before the doubles competition. At least we were there early to get a table πŸ˜‰ Billy and Raji were at cricket nets but the rest of us entered – Paul got the short straw and partnered me (“short straw” because once you are knocked out, one of your pair has to mark the next round on that board), Graham and Mark paired up and as usual Junior and Senior joined forces. As we’d expected, Paul and I were soon knocked out (and indeed, played poorly) but Mark and Graham were unlucky to lose and Senior and Junior stayed in for a couple of rounds. It turned out to be a really good night, with the club being pretty busy but no uncomfortably packed, and the faces were all familiar and friendly so the atmosphere was relaxed. Our group then went on to the Skinners for a drink and there was a live band playing jazz/rhythm type stuff on a sax, double bass, drums and guitar . We’d had a couple of drinks and joined in miming playing instruments which was a bit of harmless silly fun. Billy, Paul and I then wandered on the Heart and the others went to the Fox to play pool. What a great night out with my best friends πŸ™‚ With the end of the darts season nigh, I said I would miss them each week so it has been proposed that we have our little league competing against each other over the summer. But then we’ve said such things before……

The weekend was a nice long one with the bank holiday πŸ™‚ It was wonderful! I spent the entire 3 days home-making – but as the weather was rather gorgeous (late spring weather suddenly arriving over night after the cold!) I managed to enjoy a cuppa and a lunch or two in the garden. The garden is sprouting a new plant/flower every day and it’s interesting seeing what will pop up next. The apple tree has gone from being bare to being green, the flower beds have come alive with veritable triffids and big furry bees are buzzing happily in the flowers and the trees. (Zeb keeps chasing them and he’s going to come a cropper soon I think!)

Awakening garden

Patio area

The Rayburn’s hotplate cleaned up nicely with a little aptly named “Astonish” and a lot of elbow grease:

The Rayburn


Hotplate – Left side cleaned

After cleaning, I enjoyed the next experiment – Scotch pancakes πŸ™‚ There’s something naughty about pouring food directly on to the cooker, but wicked fun! (Any yummy results!)

Scotch pancakes

On the Saturday, I watched Swansea 0 – 0 City online but I badly needed to sort my clothes and toiletries out too (still in unorganised boxes and bags from the move!) so I did the two things together. I was rather glad I had managed to do something useful with the time as the game was pretty tame and a bit of a non-event. Still, a point is a point.

MCFC’s 60-second highlights here
MCFC’s extended highlights here