Premiership Trophy visits the North East

WHAT AN EVENING! πŸ™‚

As a member of the North East Blues OSC I had the opportunity to see the Premiership Trophy when the club brought it up for a visit. The Charity Shield accompanied it but it was clear which stole the show, and rightly so.

Me with the gorgeous trophy

It had been snowing all day and I was worried that it might prevent either the trophy getting up here, or me getting over to Blaydon rugby club which was where the event was being hosted. Billy usually gets dragged along to NE Blues meetings as I don’t like to travelling alone at night, and this was no different. I think in the end, he had quite a pleasant evening too, despite not being City. There were a couple of other non-Blues there too, but a good number of Blues turned out and between us we raised just short of £500 for City’s charities.

Charity Shield, Premiership Trophy, a long suffering Blue and her long suffering husband

The trophy is absolutely gorgeous and it was such a privilege to be able to touch it and admire it. The two security chaps who accompany the trophy on these visits were really friendly and relaxed and although both work for City and one is a Blue, the other is a Red. I asked if it was a bit of a bind doing this and the “red one” said “no” and that he loved seeing the what this trophy means to the fans and the looks of pure joy on their faces. He also said he thought it was great that the club shares the trophy with the fans. It certainly is and it’s so much appreciated by we Blues. We were a part of it when we were unsuccessful, a part of it as we finally achieved some success and the club recognise this which in turn ensures we’ll be a part of it forever more πŸ™‚

THANK YOU CITY! πŸ™‚

Thank you to Rick and the committee of the NE Blues for organising the event, and to Mark who took loads of photos on the night with his professional camera and eye. I love this one he took of Kitty with the trophy.

Kitty and HER trophy

Lost last week and we lost today (darts)

Last Friday we played Wetherspoons again but this was a very different team to the one we played to kick off the darts season; these were all good players.

Our random order was: Graham;Senior;Mark;Junior;Paul;me and I hoped it wouldn’t come down to the last game!

We lost both trebles – just, but then Senior & Graham won their doubles and so did Mark & Junior. Paul and I lost having been hitty-missy, and we could have nicked it but it would have been robbery. Graham just lost his singles,Senior won, as did Mark, but Junior, Paul and I were all beaten.

So we lost 4-7 to a good team, though we could perhaps have had another couple of games with a bit more luck (or skill πŸ˜‰ )

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.

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.

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.

A good win and up to SIXTH! (Darts)

On Friday night we played Studio at home – our first home game for weeks!

The random order was: Mark; Senior; Paul; Me; Graham and Junior. We lost our first trebles but won our second, no thanks to me as my darts were rubbish! (Thanks for winning it Graham and Roger πŸ™‚ ) We won all the doubles, and in mine and Paul’s I again threw poorly, but happily did manage to hit our double. In Graham and Junior’s doubles, they did well to win as they came from some way behind and one of the opposition players scored 180! We then proceeded to win three of the singles games too: Senior’s, Paul’s and mine πŸ™‚ (Finally I started playing well in this game, though I did still try and let my opponent win it by taking a few goes to finish!)

So we won 7-4 and leapt up the table to sixth place, Senior is storming up the singles table and I was pleased to gain points in all my games on the night πŸ™‚

New look!

I am sure you noticed that this blog has had a makeover! Isn’t it great? πŸ™‚

My lovely friend Jen at Six28 Design did it for me, taking all the things in my life/blog and the blog elements I most like and combining them to give me this nice clean updated look. She also incorporated some new toys which I hope to get round to playing with sometime.

Thanks so much Jen, I love it. If anyone out there has a WordPress blog and would like a makeover, you know whom to ask – she’s good!

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 City – West Ham to Real Madrid

West Ham 0 – 0 City: I watched this one in the pub in Newcastle with the North East Blues, and Billy kindly escorted me (as I won’t travel about at night on my own.) It was a decent turnout and we watched comfortably as the big screen was up so we got to “enjoy” every heart-stopping moment. After a poor first half, in the second we had lots of play and a few chances but it looked like being one of those days for us where we just couldn’t score. And so it proved! The Hammers DID score, but their goal was disallowed for off-side – incorrectly in my opinion, the goal was on and should have stood. This was a point with which I was relieved and in all honestly West Ham should have won that. Although I’m not a big fan of watching games in a pub, I did enjoy the evening and it was a novelty to watch with fellow Blues other than being at a game live.

MCFC’s 60-Second Highlights here
MCFC’s Extended highlights here

Ajax 2-2: I watched this one at home and was annoyed at the 2 early soft goals we conceded, but pleased with a better second half performance. In the end I was incensed that we had had two penalty shouts denied (one stonewall I felt) and the potential winning goal disallowed for off-side when it wasn’t. The referee further upset me when he blew the whistle 30 seconds early, when the last kick of the ball SHOULD have been a penalty and would have at least been a corner for City. I hate a game being decided by the ref and this was one of those games.πŸ™

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

City 2-1 Spurs: I went to this match and met up with Claire and Simon. You may remember that Claire is a Spurs fan and that the couple have now moved down south, so this was a great opportunity to see them again as well as to enjoy the football. It was brilliant seeing them and catching up both before and after the game (they were sitting elsewhere so we didn’t watch the match together.) Naturally, the Remembrance Day two minute silence was perfectly observed before kick off. I felt City were average at first and conceding from yet another set piece early on was typical of late! Fortunately we did pick up and in fact Maicon came on for the last half hour or so and made a huge difference – Spurs didn’t know what to do with him. Ade was playing for Spurs and was up against Zaba – and what a battle they had – however I can’t believe Ade got away with the stuff he did. Then again, the ref gave City NOTHING! Every decision went against us, we had several incorrect offside decisions, and even Claire agreed he’d got an awful lot wrong! Another game where the ref was poor (to put it politely!) Home fans joined together to sing “You’re worse than Clattenburg” which says a lot. In the end though we managed the win we deserved, despite the officials, and that made it doubly pleasing. πŸ™‚

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

City 5 – 0 Villa: I struggled watching this one as my usual webstream site was down but I did manage to follow most of it, albeit with streams stopping and starting. Annoyingly, this was a game I’d have gone to but circumstances dictated otherwise. We looked comfortable from the start to be honest and our first goal was no real surprise. However our second was a penalty which really wasn’t one! Even the City players were bemused when it was given. The third, also a spot kick, was much more of a penalty and after that we simply cruised.I wouldn’t go so far as to say the ref gave us the game as I think we’d have won anyway, but it did make a change for decisions to go our way after the recent spate of poor refereeing costing us. Once again, Maicon played well and for me, he was the MotM. A very pleasing result and performance.

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

City 1-1 Real Madrid: Not being a fan of the Champions League, as you know, I fully expected us to lose and to exit the competition, but I did want a decent performance so we could hold up our heads when turning attention to the domestic season. And in the second half I got it! We conceded another soft goal in the first half (though at least it wasn’t smug-face Ronaldo who actually had a frustrating game and was most upset πŸ˜‰ ) but after that we looked like the City of last year and I could just sit back and enjoy. Eventually we got a deserved a penalty and Real Madrid went down to 10 men. In the end the draw wasn’t enough and we are out of the competition, for which I’m grateful – it would have been worse to have had to keep our minds focussed on a miracle next game. As it is we COULD still end up in the Europa League if the last game goes well – and I don’t want that at all. I know club’s need to do well in Europe as it’s good business, but as a fan I would prefer to succeed domestically before widening horizons too far. I do think, however, that if we make it into Europe next season, we should have learned a few valuable lessons from our first two seasons there and might be able to get a little further as I think we’ve grown up slightly over these games.

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

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˜€

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