Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New Years Eve

Tonight for millions of people will involve lots of alcohol, maybe some food, most definitely a 'Conga' and without doubt a few half hearted but well intentioned New Years resolutions.
You know the ones, stop smoking, stop gambling, no more chocolate, save more money, stop swearing, work harder, no more dressing up as a woman (men) and even no more New Years resolutions.
I will take on board the last two (I mean one of course!) of these examples.
For me the last fifteen or so New Years Eves' have been spent at home with family or friends bringing in the New Year quietly. The reason being of course Football. Playing on New Years Day is hard enough anyway but hung over is not great!.
Saying that back in the day, whilst playing for Grimsby, I remember going out partying one NY's eve. It started with a few 'social' drinks and ended with me throwing a few shapes in Pier 39 ( Cleethorpes premier nightclub!! ) and throwing a punches outside Pier 39 ( Cleethorpes premier nightclub!! ). Oh and I nearly fell out of a window that night.
You may be thinking how did the game go? The answer is very well. We beat Fulham 4-3 and I happened to smash one into the top corner !!!!.
I wouldn't recommend it though, looking back it seems crazy especially considering how disciplined you have to be now to stay in the game. If you have guidance, discipline and a portion of luck early on in your career it gives you a great chance of success. However if any or all of those traits are absent then it can be trouble. As they say hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I know one thing for sure I am more than happy to be watching 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' with my babes this afternoon, having a nice meal later on and seeing in the New Year at home rather than celebrating it by 'high fiving' someone I don't know in a club listening to 'Come on Eileen'.
Hold on though! no game tomorrow lets party!!!!.

Only Joking Happy New Year to one and all from all at Hargreaves Towers.

CH

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Credit Crunched

What a sad sight it is at the moment seeing Woolworth's shops closing around the country. I bought my first record( vinyl )from 'Woollies', all those years ago!. It has for lots of people, after countless shopping trips, been the final destination. I'm one of those people, in recent years being dragged in to buy gifts for someone, in past years being dragged in to get my new school uniform and pencil case !. A high street institution for many I'm sure.
Well, it's a 'goner', 200 branches going this week with the rest of the 600 due to close before Jan 5. I'm sure Frank Woolworth will be turning in his grave to see the brand come to an end. He was the man who while running his multi-million dollar chain of 5 and 10 cents stores decided it was time to go 'Big'. In 1913 he gave the go ahead and the money ( 13.5 million dollars paid in cash !!) for the construction of the Worlds tallest skyscraper ( The Woolworth Building ) to be built in New York. On completion it rose to 55 floors, achieving his goal of it being the biggest building and with it gaining some serious bragging rights.
The 'Brand' had started.
The Neo Gothical beast of a building obviously still stands in 2008, proudly sitting between newer but no less impressive structures. But poor old 'Woollies and it's thirty thousand employees does not.
Yes I have given you facts, yes I have given you heartache but at least one person was happy. My wife nipped in today for a few last minute bargains while I was being used for target practice at the bombing site (4 kids and me at the swimming pool).

By the way I saw David James out shopping today. I bumped into him in Office while looking at a pair if trainers. And what thought popped into my head ?.
Does he look at a pair of runners and say to himself "Do I really need these trainers and when is it pay day ".
Not wanting to pry I answered the question myself "Get a grip pal I'm living the dream, I'll have 2 pairs in white and 2 in black and I don't care when it's pay day baby I'm Mult...i".
I walked out empty handed, it's a five week month !. Still we will both be playing in the same cup competition this weekend, you can't buy that.

CH

Monday, 29 December 2008

Eden

I woke up still in one heck of a bad mood today but spurred on by the family took a trip out today to the Eden Project. It is something that we have always thought would be good to do but have never got round to doing. What surprised me about Eden was that the first major steps to creating this amazing place started in 1998 the year Cameron our son was born in Plymouth. It has taken that long to visit!.
If you haven't yet been I will try not to ruin it for you but lets get a few facts out of the way first. Ten years ago the Eden site was a used up China Clay pit, it has been transformed into a global garden housed in huge Biomes ( one of which is the biggest greenhouse in the world ).
The Eden Project includes landscapes,crops and wild plants as well as its own rain forest. It definitely makes you think about the environment and the stresses that we exert on our planet.
The best Stats of the day were those of the 'Seed'. Given its own mammoth 'Display Cabinet' this huge copy of a seed was carved from one piece of rock weighing in at 167 tonnes( the biggest single piece of rock ever excavated). Eventually coming in at 70 tonnes after completion it was lifted into place in a spanking new building, much to the relief I'm sure of the man who spent most of the 10,000 hours needed to carve it!!. Stats over.
All in all a good day out.
An extra bonus tonight as my bro Mark and his son Harvey have rolled into town for a few days. It will be great to catch up and have a few shandies. I may even look over some of the books he has brought with him one of which I have just seen titled Equity and Trusts( he is currently taking a law degree). Containing around 5,000 pages pages I should have that one polished off by Thursday!!!!.


CH

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Gutted is an understatement about today's result. Losing at home against a team that had one shot on target in 90 minutes is hard to take. We have been punished for not taking our chances in a big way. The performance was very similar to that against Histon at home last week and we won that 4-1. But if you don't take your chances, and we didn't this afternoon, this game that drives us all mad has a habit of hurting you. The Kidderminster players and their 40 fans celebrated at the final whistle like they had won the league and I'm not surprised as they should have been beaten by 4 or 5.
As a player you have to take it on the chin but I can tell you that losing a game like that is a real killer. I'm that angry I feel like wrecking the place and throwing my boots through the window but I don't think that would go down too well with my Wife and Kids. Having my family at games is great but trying to remain calm after losses is difficult. My boy takes it really badly in fact he kicked the seat in front so hard he thinks he may have broken his foot. I could go on all night and probably will to myself when everyone is in bed but the fact is it's done.
If anyone thinks that as a player you leave the ground after a match and turn off you couldn't be further from the truth. All the lads will be extremely low until the next training session and the next win.
For now I will be putting on a brave face and getting on with family life whilst suffering from a massive case of internal combustion.


Thank you as ever for your support.


CH

Friday, 26 December 2008

Home and Away games

A good victory, a bad game and a fantastic following. That about sums up today's match. Hope those who travelled to Weymouth have now thawed out and are tucking into some nice turkey sandwiches. Lets move on now to Sunday for more points and the last of the turkey.
It will be a quick training session in the morning and then it's back home to relax and crack on with Lego building, Wii playing and farmyard constructing. Bring it on.

CH

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

To all readers of the blog, T.U.F.C supporters, family and friends I hope that you have a great Christmas. Hope to see some of you on Boxing day at Weymouth or if you have had too many Quality Streets or need some fresh air feel free to pop down to the racecourse tomorrow morning to watch training, K.O 9.30 a.m !.

Thanks so much to all who have read the blog, I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. The Herald Express asking me to start the blog was a real bonus and I am really grateful for their support namely Andy, Guy and Dave.

I must also say Happy Christmas and a massive thanks to all the staff at the club especially Kerry, Sally and Ann who always go out of their way to help myself (a lot!), the lads and our families on Match days.

My children are buzzing with excitement, it will be great to see their faces light up (early)on Xmas morning. Lets hope Santa has been generous!. My wish list is the same as usual, lots of points a Chocolate Orange and a nice bottle of red.

Merry Christmas
Love Health and Happinness to all

P.S Regarding recent comments about dogs; I love them really especially Bella and Jake ( The Mansells pooches ).


CH

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Final preps

I'm currently knee deep in pressies and flat pack items so uber quick blog tonight. Myself, Steve Woods, Lee Mansell and Chris Todd went to Torbay hospital this afternoon to drop a few presents off and to see some of the patients in the children's ward. There really are some great people who work in that ward helping not only the children but their parents too. Quite a few of the guys we met today will be spending Christmas in Hospital which must be extremely difficult for both them and their families.
I hope that the New Year brings health and happiness for them. At least we made one young lads day with our visit. He had a Liverpool top on and so on receiving his gifts he was delighted to get a Torquay autograph book so that he could get the signatures of his favourite Liverpool players!!.

CH

Monday, 22 December 2008

Beach Babes

Maybe it's a Northern thing that my children have inherited the love of beaches and paddling in the water in winter. We drove to Blackpool Sands today, amongst other places, and within Ten minutes all three kids were waist deep in the drink!.
It started off gently enough with the three of them running in and out, avoiding the incoming tide, but as soon as one got wet they all decided it was a good idea to take a few layers off and wade in.
It definitely raised a few eyebrows with other well wrapped up beach goers as my lot steamed in regardless of the sub zero temperatures. When they eventually got cold ( it took about 30 Min's) we headed off home with the heaters on full belt. Must get another in car DVD player at some point because without some serious help, entertainment wise, there is only so long you can withstand the screaming, fighting and laughing in the back of the car. I did smile though when we were all trying to guess Isabella' eye spy question of " I spy something beginning with C ". After loads of tries we gave up and asked Issy to tell us, and her answer ?....... "Christmas"!.

By the way I have just returned from meeting Hilly ( Kevin Hill ). His Manager at Dorchester wanted to get hold of the DVD of our recent game against Bath as they play them soon in the league.
We had a good chat about football and work etc as Hilly now gets dirty twice for a living, playing football and working for his brother fabricating metals. What a top lad Hilly is. He is enjoying his football and his new home and is looking forward to getting married ( and the stag do !). True to form he didn't stop bouncing the whole time we were talking!!. See you Sunday mate.

CH

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Meldrew

The countdown to Christmas is here so it's lots of celebrations ( the sweets ), tangerines and nuts to get through and plenty of old school films on the TV. In fact as I am typing away E.T is on in the background, as usual playing to no one as the kids can't sit still long enough to watch anything.
My wife is in bed ill ( a smokescreen I think so she didn't have to get up early with Harriet, take the children out or cook the dinner ). I might actually go upstairs soon and quietly rush in, I'll probably find her relaxing eating Belgian chocolates whilst reading Hello magazine !.
Anyway me and the rest of the clan headed to the beach this morning to blow the cobwebs away. Twenty rolls down the sand dunes later we were ready for refreshments especially as the 'Devon dog beach meeting society' was beginning to grow in numbers.
I like dogs and eventually we will get one but when there's an eight foot great Dane bounding towards my little girl looking like it hasn't eaten in weeks it's definitely time to go. To be fair it's owners were shouting the obligatory " Don't worry he doesn't USUALLY bite, he's a big softy", but I couldn't take the risk. Harriet could have got away with riding it as a back marker at the Grand National it was that big.
We made it to the cafe, devoured a couple of thousand calories and returned home. Albeit on the drive back I think I may have been caught by a police camera probably for doing 32.5 in 30 zone!. Twice in a week, not good, my dislike for these devices is growing to Jeremy Clarkson type proportions.
That's the first rant of the day over, apart from the 'Beach dog club' of course. The second rant is about things that you buy that break but you can't take them back as you have lost the receipt.
The third is people that owe you money but avoid you like you have the Ebola virus. Don't stop me I'm on a roll, the fourth rant of the day concerns the 'Chavs' who have abused the local playground, it's now ruined, good work there!.
The fifth is the madness you have to contend with when attempting to buy a few pints of milk at the supermarket as the person in front is stockpiling for a possible nuclear disaster.
The Sixth is something I heard second hand that really annoyed me, a friend of mine told me he bumped into a local footballer ( no names mentioned I'm afraid ) and his wife doing some Christmas shopping. Whilst the lads were chatting the lads wife lent over and said " Isn't it great that the credit crunch doesn't affect the likes of us ".
Someone get me a gun. To think it is bad enough but to say it is a joke. Lets just hope she trips up on her Jimmy Choos', knocks herself out with her Gucci handbag and wakes up smelling the roses and joining in with the real world.
The Seventh rant of the day is about slow drivers ( you know the ones, when your in a rush they are feeding the wheel and indicating round a bend ) and the eighth and final rant goes to people who............ moan a lot!. Ignore all of the above, life is good!.

CH

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Winning Ways

Back to winning ways today in the league and in style. A 4-1 victory against Histon feels and looks good. We can really kick on from here and assert ourselves on this league. With the support we get each week from our fans and the ability and desire we have in the squad I know it can be a great season.
That's it ! No stories, no anecdotes. I hope everyone reading this has a top night and I will resume with my normal behaviour tomorrow.

CH

Friday, 19 December 2008

Jammin

It has been a couple of days since I have written on the blog so apologies there. We had a nice little 'Jammin' session at the club this morning. Big performances were put in by Wayne Carlisle and, from nowhere, our part time fitness coach 'Fletch'. Beforehand as a bit of a warm up the trainees gave us a few renditions of well known Christmas Carols with Grant giving a nice solo and Steve throwing some
hardcore shapes into the bargain !
Onto the main event and with Wayne having had his old guitar replaced with a spanking new one he was 'encouraged' by senior management to try it out.
For a bit of guidance and encouragement 'Fletch' offered to sit in and he just happened to have his guitar and full list of songs in his car this morning!!!!!!.
Lead vocals went to Damien Davey with Tim Sills on backing vocals( surprisingly Tim was reluctant to join in at first, his best work is obviously done at night !).
What a gig it was, we were treated to cameos of Oasis, Paulo Nutini and the Stereophonics to name but a few .
Wayne's guitar playing was great ( bearing in mind it was his first gig in front of anyone, he told me was more nervous than before any game!). The singers were spot on as well but it has to be said that 'Fletch' came into his own with both guitar and voice. He actually made me jump when he 'Joined in/Took over' from the lads halfway through one of the songs and belted out the remainder of the track like an old pro( the fact he is in a local band may explain it! ).
Top stuff though, a great start to the day. Training followed which involved final preparation for our game against Histon tomorrow, a big game, and a game that we are looking to win.
Finally, the head tennis duo of Hargreaves/Woods has now become a trio. A third member has been recruited and welcomed with open arms. His ability to abuse match officials, dispute all line calls and generally win at all costs impressed the judges enough to claim his place. Yes Lee Hodges come on down!!.
And the first game as a three (3 games up to 21 points) results as follows;

Hargreaves,Woods,Hodges 3
Mansell, Robertson, Nicholson 0 ( I'm keeping it quiet but 'Man's' and 'Robbo' want a new member. it's getting a bit much for Kev )

Next Please.

Nearly forgot in other news the newly formed 'Book club'( OK it's only me and Broughy, we were very bored at a service stop the other week !) has finished it's first book. The book was called City Boy and is basically the account of a (now ex)City boy on the scandal, wrong doing and massive misuse of money that has resulted in the mess we find ourselves in today i.e trillions of pounds of debt!!!. Great book, great banter, worrying pension fund !.

Next please

CH

Thursday, 18 December 2008

'DESTROYING THE WEIGHTS'

video

with Tarzan and the Bevanator

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Old mates

In the twenty years that I have been playing football I have come across some great characters and made lots of friends. Unfortunately the fact that I have had more clubs than Tiger Woods means that staying in regular touch can be hard. You know what it's like up at 7 with the kids, school run, training, coaching, athletics, dinner, homework etc its all go, I only just have time to argue with my wife before we sit down to relax about 9 p.m. So the thought of then making/receiving a long phone call can be a bit of a killer. Especially when you are allergic to phones calls like I am. My mates are used to my phone phobia excuses i.e. it fell in the bath, my son keeps losing it( that one lasted 4 years), the battery is dead, the signal is rubbish, I left it up North ( for 2 weeks ).
Imagine what I'm like with calls I don't recognise!!. In fact I have seriously considered sending it to friends abroad in the summer when I'm off, ringing with a foreign dialing tone would definately put people off and may buy me a couple of weeks of peace!. It's not that I'm anti-social I just don't like people!, only joking I love meeting people just not on the phone.
I once struck up a great friendship with a stockbroker who was anti phones while on hols in the Caribbean. Our respective girlfriends/wives were busy with the Hawaiian tropic. You know the one, eight hours already in the baking heat and if you step near them "Your blocking the sun, I'm in your shadow". So being restless anyway and having walked up the nearest mountain and nearly drowning 2 miles out to sea I crept away. Luckily for me I met this great bloke at the bar who ignored his phone as if it was poisonous, he introduced me to Gin and Tonic ( I've never looked back!)so most afternoons for us two were then taken care of!. We were also both safe in the knowledge that our partners were still welded to their towels, hooked up to a drip of factor -10 and committed as ever to their Sun God.
Whenever I go away with my mate Daryl and his family we have a great laugh when our wives rise up off the sun loungers to have a dip, in typical David Attenborough lingo " And here we have the female of the species venturing down to the watering hole, it's best not to approach at this stage as they can be extremely dangerous".
Anyway the there is a point to this story, phones can be used for speaking and not texting!. I actually phoned my mate Daryl back last night as he had left a message ( no answer from me again!) saying he needed my new address for Xmas cards etc. I was with Daryl at West brom and Northampton, our families have been away lots of times together and have had some great laughs, although our last holiday was this summer just gone, 2 weeks in a haunted villa in the middle of nowhere in torrential rain.... hilarious !!. We have been in caravans ( no comments please!), had trips to St Tropez, Pollensa and in fact most of Spain. It was great to catch up and talk about old times and stories, some of which I will talk about soon ( Yachts, David Dunn, bizarre circus acts, and fluorescent rain coats in Prague to name a few ) but for now I am going to have to go as I think the girls have destroyed the top floor of the house. Oh and while I have been writing this the home phone has rung 3 times and my mobile has rung twice, come on I've been busy!!.

CH

Monday, 15 December 2008

Fight Night

I travelled up to Bristol with Chris Todd last night to watch his bro James fight, and what a night it was. James is now fighting under the 'Calzaghe' gym and last night was his his pro fight.
Along with Wayne Carlisle, his clan, and our mate Barry we eventually sat down for the pre fight meal. Oh I forgot to mention the thirty or so Todd family and friends who descended on the Thistle hotel, a regular Bristol boxing venue, ready for action after their journey from Wales. The three tables filled were certainly going to create some noise!. For a bit of extra muscle throw in Enzo Maccarinelli as well who joined the group!.
We all had a good chat before the fight, even James popped in to say hello. The last time I had seen him was a few months ago at training and he looked a different person. He had dropped a few pounds to get in at the weight of 10 st for a light welter weight but he looked fit and ready.
Onto the fighting and the first two bouts were decent but we were all keen to see James in action, it was a long wait for his family and friends though when after these first two bouts the master of ceremonies announced that the auction would start!!. A few signed gloves, signed shirts and a couple of grand later it was time for the two fighters to enter the arena.
James came in to a great reception, it was a great sight seeing him bowl in wearing the Todd number 6 Torquay shirt, he jumped into the ring looking strong and ready.
Then his opponent came in, Adam Cunningham a local lad, also to a great reception.
A quick check and chat by the referee and the bell was sounded, 4 three minute rounds here we go.
It started ferociously and before you knew it pretty much all the punters were stood up with the the shouts of "Toddy, Toddy" ringing around the place. It was a great fight, both of the lads were full on in fact I can't remember a lull in any of the rounds. James moved round the ring brilliantly and reigned in some great combo's. He actually looked stronger as the fight went on, I reckon he could have done another 4 rounds !. The bell sounded for the end of the fight and the 2 sets of supporters obviously thought their own fighter deserved the victory.
We all obviously thought James took it because of his finish to the fight, the Bristol supporters thought it was their man, home advantage and all. And the result................a draw!. It was a big decision, the first two rounds were given to Cunningham the second two given to Todd, I can tell you that their would have been a near riot either way if victory were given.
Toddy was gutted, his family and friends were gutted but were also really proud as their boy had gone in their and really fought well. Both the lads were given glowing reports by the 'Ringmaster' who said he would be very surprised if either of them wouldn't be fighting for a British Championship at some point.
I went to see James after the fight to say well done, he was in the dressing room with another 'Away' fighter who to be fair had been battered in the last bout of the night. It reminded me a lot of football dressing rooms after defeats when your shattered and annoyed and you just want to get out and home to lick the old wounds. James was disappointed he hadn't won, he deserved to, but he must have been pleased with his first pro fight, his family and friends certainly were. James is 19, the lad he fought was 32 and had 60 odd amateur fights under his belt. It was a great performance from 'Toddy' and I think the lad he fought will definitely be pleased with a draw today!!!.

CH

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Wembley trail

Our journey, hopefully to Wembley, has started today after our victory against Bath. It has certainly been a long week though and sat here now looking back at the last few days all I can say is I think the lads will really benefit from some time off. Being away from football to recharge the batteries, to spend some time with family and friends can be important. Then it's back in ready to train well and ready to beat Histon.
Personally I am a bit worn out at the moment, a combination of not feeling great and also having played 30 or so games already may have something to do with it. It is a long season and at the moment I am in pain but a few good nights sleep and some good food will sort it out. As well as feeling rough I am not totally happy with my game. Like a lot of players unless you are putting in Man of the Match performances every game it's frustrating but after all these years I know it can soon turn. I still have goals that I am aiming for, none more than promotion with Torquay, so it's a case of head down, dig in and most importantly win at all costs!.
Tonight like millions of other's its' X-Factor and tomorrow it's a Christmas party for the kids then a trip to Bristol to watch 'Toddy's' bro hopefully win his first pro fight.

CH

Friday, 12 December 2008

Match Day Video

video

A Chris and Cameron Hargreaves production!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Nativity

This evening we were treated to another performance of the Christmas Play. It was very good, a classic nativity play. The children have been in some bizarre Christmas plays at different schools before. I remember one play in Northampton being set in space and lasting for over one and a half hours!.
Stick to the original format, we want to see Mary and Joseph, three kings, baby Jesus and the innkeeper and his wife, job done. And so it was, as well as being super quick( it lasted 30 Min's ),the play ticked all the boxes and bonus points for Cam our son as he was Joseph.
He remembered all his lines but he refused to hold hands with Mary and was a bit intimidated by her size ( a foot difference ).
Isabella was spitting feathers in the back row, she was only an Angel. To make matters worse Cam was given a box of chocolates after the play. More bribes needed for next years lead parts I think.
I managed to video the show which was no mean feat considering the size of the camcorder I was holding. We bought it over ten years ago and times have moved on. People watching the play thought the BBC were in filming a documentary the camera was that big. I dread to think what the film looks like as I had the shakes for the final scene, my forearm was failing.
Still I shouldn't worry, Cams first birthday( He is ten now ) is still on a tape in the box with all the other Plays, Weddings, Christmas', Birthday's, holidays, and Bar Mitzvah's that we have filmed over the years with that Camcorder. In fact it's a miracle I found the box with the camcorder in. The amount of house moves we have had recently have meant that some boxes have remained up opened for years on end going from garage to garage. Which reminds me I must remember to look for the box marked "Kid's pets". Only joking they are safe and sound at Friends in Northampton!.
Hi to 'Flopsy' the rabbit if you have managed to unlock the gate, open the back door, turn the the computer on, oh and have learnt to read!!.


CH

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Move on

It has been a long time, in fact I think it's the first time I have posted on the blog after having played in a game in which we lost. I haven't talked in great detail about the wins and so I won't about the losses. What I will say is that their are no excuses, we definitely didn't play well and we didn't deserve to win. First and foremost as Captain I look at my own performance and I am far from happy. I am certainly not going to criticise my team mates, their efforts in the last few months have been massive. As a team we will look at what went wrong tomorrow morning in training. We have to make sure this is a one-off and go out to win the next two games, the first on Saturday against Bath and the second the following Saturday against Histon.
Finally I have to say thanks to the supporters who travelled to Eastbourne to watch. I know it wasn't the display and result you were hoping.
Returning home at 4 a.m this morning after losing has put me in the sort of bad mood that won't be lifted until we are sat in a winning changing room once again.
This may all sound like boring old spiel but I am not in the mood for cartwheels. I know that you have to move on though, and quickly, starting with watching the kid's performance in the school play at 2p.m this afternoon. No comments please on who will play the donkey.




CH

Monday, 8 December 2008

Brighton Pier

Arrived at our hotel last night after a journey of ridiculous length and heat. To rub salt into the wounds I was sandwiched in between Mark Ellis and Dave the driver for the our evening meal. The banter was very poor, I asked Dave to pass the water and he looked over to the sea and said "There's plenty out there" !!! and Mark just stared at us as if he wanted to eat us both!!. We are situated on Brighton seafront so it's a banker for hitting Brighton Pier today!.

CH

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Sunday

Yesterday's game could and maybe should have been won as we were the side who had the most chances. The reward of 1 point for all the effort the lads put into the game seems harsh but we know that in the last couple of months performances and results have excellent so as I always say we go again starting on Tuesday at Eastbourne.
Very 'light' blog tonight as the last 40 minutes writing a story about a family trip to Eastbourne have been in vain. The 'Beast' has just ripped the phone plug out of the socket, I hadn't pressed save, the battery was dead and so as they say 'Its a gonna'!. That reminds me is it bedtime for my little 'Angels'!.

I will 'Double blog' late on tuesday night when me and Red bull get home!.

CH

Friday, 5 December 2008

Fun and Games

We have a great game to look forward to tomorrow, Cambridge at home is a going to be a stern test but one that we are ready for. A return to a league game and hopefully back to winning ways.

Update on club 'Games master' Tim Sills' TV appearance. Forget 'Don't forget the Lyrics' that dream is over but say hello to 'Wogans' Perfect Recall'.
Yes the quiz master funk is at it again but this time it's for real. The Date ? 17 December, the day ? Wednesday, the contestant? T.Sills and the show ? 'Wogans' Perfect Recall', a game show on Channel 4 that requires contestants to show off their memory and general knowledge with prize money of up to 250 thousand pounds on offer. One for the diary there.
"Starter for Ten Points", How much money will go into the players fund if Tim hits the jackpot?,
Answer from Tim, " Your breaking up mate, gotta go I'm having Terry over for drinks"!!!.
Second bombshell of the Day, revealed in the weekly circle. Up steps a great lad, every ones friend, a real gent, Kev Nicholson!. And the revelation? He woke up this morning racked with guilt about a dream, a 'liaison' with one of the lad's wives. Were thinking come on Kev it can't be that bad, it happens. Then the revelation, "It was Fiona Hargreaves"!. Brilliant thanks for that mate, to be fair though the lads reaction was very funny!.
That reminds me, I really did enjoy those Exmouth days. Kev's Fiance Jenny, me and the strawberries oh and Kev walked in and ruined it!.



CH

Thursday, 4 December 2008

04/12/1998

Happy Birthday Cam Hargreaves, 10 years old today. We got Cam a new bike for his birthday as he had worn his other one out. As well as that he got some clothes, the obligatory computer game, footy boots ( like the lad's wear!) and an under armour. Yes even at 10 all the young football starlets have to have the designer thermals!. Issy got him a chocolate football boot but Harriet got hold of his tube of smarties and started destroying them at 8 a.m. Not a bad day for the boy all in all especially with Christmas to come.
The kid's also received their replies from Santa this morning ( Typed by the Elves! ) so they are excited. Santa may well visit again this year but when he does I ( I mean He !!!!) seems to take on a Welsh accent, must work on that one. Not forgetting the year 'Santa', after 'visiting' was locked out of the house for half an hour with only a pair of shorts on!. Cross wires and too much consumption of wine by my wife to blame for that one.
My Christmas memories as a boy are littered with bizarre events. Losing my brothers bike on Christmas Day was a bit worrying, but having the only customised chopper in the street( A glitter spray job ) on Xmas day wasn't bad. Another time I was fooled into thinking my new remote control car had a lead on so you had to walk it like a dog, it wasn't great ( Mum I bet your laughing now, I know it was payback for me being the Devil child!!). But when the joke was over on Xmas morning ( an hour later !!), and my real car was revealed a Corvette Stingray I blasted it round the neighbourhood for the rest of the day using about 20 batteries and traumatising my Bro who had chosen a Truck and trailer that crept along at about 0.5 mph. Your reversing was awesome though mate!!!.
Great times but I got up to so much mischief back then my Mum and Dad must have gone stir crazy. It was all worth it in the end though especially now some of the restraining orders have been lifted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

CH

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Express Delivery

Late blog due to a non stop day, this being the first time I have sat down at 9.55 p.m. Last night we lost 1-0 to Forest Green and the reaction?. No one likes losing but hopefully the positives of being out of that competition will far out way the negatives i.e fixture pile up!!.
I had the pleasure of watching the lad's last night and they put in a really professional performance, some after not playing much football at all this season, and although the result wasn't great the attitude was.
Thanks to Mrs Mansell and clan who looked after us at the match, much appreciated food, warmth and banter!.

Today I have been given gifts by mates and this is unusual for me. I met a freind for lunch who kindly gave me 2 things, firstly food!!, secondly and more importantly his advice, thanks mate. Then another freind of mine gave me a great early birthday present for my boy Cam, and the beauty is we can both use it !!!, nice one.
Got lot's flying around in my mind tonight but if I start going off on a tangent and blogging it 2 things will happen, I won't sleep and you will turn the computer off so goodnight and godbless.
Oh just 2 facts then;

1. 80 billion text messages sent worldwide every day

2. very cold tomorrow!

CH


Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Testing Times

I can't believe I managed to watch a whole episode of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of here without throwing the control through the TV screen. My anger levels watching the box these days are really worrying me. My wife already thinks I'm a cross between Jim Royle, Victor Meldrew and Jack Nicholson in 'As Good As It Gets' who basically is wound up by everything and only likes a few things.
I know watching the jungle antics can be addictive, but watching last night I was cringing at the pleas for votes by the celebs and the total 'Wetness' of Brian who reached the top in a hard profession but who on the show came across like a proper 'Wet Blanket' . He stood there hanging on every word from a singer from Blue and an Eastender, get a grip mate!!.

As for the other 'Inmates' purely on her huge achievements and also the fact that she is a lovely person I won't have Martina criticised, fair play to Simon who tried to conquer his obvious fears in the water trial but who milks the old 'Righteous' one. George surely doesn't speak in 'Star Trek' mode all the time, Nicola's chest is going to blow up if she goes to close to the fire and Joe is more 'Cockney' than 'Chas and Dave' . Finally we have David, love him or hate him he is pure entertainment and is a dead cert for the baddie in Panto as soon as he steps out of the Jungle.
The worst of all though are the adverts during the show. Someone needs shooting for hiring Kerry Katona for the Iceland ads, I don't mind old Biggins, but no I don't want a box of 12 king prawns complete with plastic spoons and I'm not going to do the conga eating a frozen voluvant.

I have been tested to the max this morning by my awesome little 2yr old Daughter. I know what Fiona feels like now being home alone with 'Hatty'. This morning started early and went something like this" Read daddy"......... ten books later it was "Den Daddy'.........a displaced disc later and "I'm hungry Daddy". Her menu was scrambled egg followed by some cheese then 2 yoghurts, a bottle of milk, a lolly( couldn't help it she found it!) and 3 advent calendar chocolates ( never going to get to Christmas). Along with the food she wanted to watch cars on TV and also came out with lot's of mental phrases including; " Oh dod almighty", " I go to work now", " I won't blue jean's on", "Don't annoy me Daddy", "Don't wind me up", I lub you Daddy","Here's your hair clip Daddy"!!!!!, I need some sheese" and 5 cries of " I need milk Daddy, NOW". She is now across my lap with the TV control down her top, wincing while eating some Kiwi fruit... Life is good but please Fiona come home all is forgiven.

Game tonight and the same as normal is required, a win.



CH

Monday, 1 December 2008

Issy and Cam ( Guest Blog )

Issy; On Sunday we got the decorations out and without Dad getting frustrated we made the house look great. Hatty was wrecking the Christmas tree and standing on the baubles. I went upstairs with tinsel and lights and decorated my bedroom as well. I am looking forward to Christmas so much, I want it to be every day. Cant wait to break up from school and have peace and quiet. For Christmas I would like a big dressing table to put all my bit's and bobs on.
IH


Cam; Hi there!, Dad has just broken the garage door. I can't get my bike out, my football's out or anything else that I want. Grandad came to see me play football on Sunday, luckily we won 2-1. Issy has been yapping away telling me what to write and it is getting quite annoying. I went to watch Dad on Saturday, it was a bit rough. Soon we are going to be doing the Christmas play, I am taking on the part of Joseph so I need to learn my lines soon!. My Birthday is on Thursday, it's been a nightmare waiting. I have just started my Advent calendar, today I woke up to a big piece of chocolate behind the door of number 1!!!.
CH

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Draw

Double shattered!. No sleep at all last night, a combination of too much caffeine in the system and a new duvet that pushed the room temperature up to around melting point. This morning I dropped my son off at football with his Grandad, the girl's stayed at home with Grandma and my wife and I drove to the club for a bit of lunch and to listen to the 3rd round draw. Along with a few of the lad's and their partner's we all waited in anticipation...... "Number 56...Torquay Utd "............, Come on Ray Clemence say Man Utd, come on Ray say Arsenal,............"will play Blackpool". I never really took to Ray Clemence and I can see why now. It could be worse though, it could be away to Blackpool!!. Joking aside it's not a Premiership club which everybody had hoped for but it is a game that we can win, for now though it goes well and truly on the back burner.

On returning home it was time to get serious. Out came the Christmas decorations and for the next 3 hours we set about the house in true Christmas spirit. The Christmas CD went on, the baubles were thrown all over, each room had the 'Full Works', and that many lights have been rigged up that Dan ( next door) will have to do a full safety check ( He's a Fireman!!!) before they are turned on !.

Time to Chill out in front of the TV now, and it's a BBC 2 fest. I'll be watching The Long Way Down, Top Gear, Louis Theroux and then Match of The Day.... if my wife let's me. Very Doubtful!.

CH

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Home Time

Shattered!!. A great victory today, beating my old team Oxford 2-o and with 10 men. We were a bit tentative in the first half but scored a good goal before the break, unfortunately we also lost Roscoe Dsane to a harsh sending off. But with 10 men we rolled the old sleeves up and actually looked the more dangerous team in the second half, topping of a great display with a second goal to win the game. Well done to all the boys, they gave it everything, and along with some good tactical decisions it was a well deserved result.

We certainly needed our fan's today and they didn't let us down, great support in freezing conditions!!!. I think I tempted fate in last night's blog, talking about scoring an own goal in an F.A cup tie. It nearly happened again today, I was trying to defend a cross and headed the ball towards goal, but Scotty Beavan made a good save and it was panic over ( that's what keepers are paid for anyway!!).
What with the own goal scare and nearly walking out with Matt Green' shirt on before the game it was a relief to be sat in the changing room after the game, victorious and with the right shirt on!.
I am now sat watching X-Factor with an ice pack on, the kid's are playing junior monopoly with their grandparents and we have all just destroyed an indian takeaway and a few bottles of red. Bliss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

CH

Friday, 28 November 2008

Big Money Round?

It's the evening before the match against Oxford, the second round of the F.A Cup. We need to progress to the 3rd round where hopefully a big club awaits and some much needed ££££££. I have played in lot's of F.A cup ties over the years, lot's of highs and some lows.

High's include goals for Grimsby, Northampton, Hull, Plymouth and Brentford and other's!!!, and low's include a goal for Man Utd. Yes I did say a goal for Man Utd, it was during a great cup run with Northampton. We had beaten Rotherham away in the 4th round and were drawn to Man Utd at home. The club actually made over a million pounds from that cup run. Unfortunately I scored an own goal, just after half time and at 1-0 down, against the current Champions. In over 600 games it was, and still is, the only own goal I've scored!. A viewing audience of 60 million worldwide, about 30 family and friends at the game and a party arranged for the night.... brilliant!. I couldn't wait to do the press after that game.

The only good thing that came out of the game was that I gave Nicky Butt a bit of a slap for a late challenge. Another moment in the F.A cup, this time enoyable, was a goal I scored (In the right end this time!) at Reading in the 3rd round. We were losing 1-0 when in the last few minutes I managed to smash one in the top corner. Off came the shirt, I ran around the goal and celebrated in front of about 4 thousand travelling fan's. My brother was in the crowd that day and he said it was a great buzz when the goal went in as a bloke who jumped on him to celebrate had a Hargreaves shirt on, they did sell one that year then !!!!.
As I have said before though it is a great chance for player's to appear on Match of The Day. I will have to try and locate those old VIDEOS some day!.

CH

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Toddy's Blog

When Greavsie asked me to do this I was so happy to say yes .....


So were do I start, what a crazy and life changing week. I would first like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the support I have received it has touched me in so many ways. I don't think I have ever had so many frogs in my throat and I don't mean the ones out of water......

I will say this I have grown up so much in the last few days, it has made me realise so many things about life that normally I would take for granted. Believe me if everyone realised that one phone call could do this they would most probably look at life with a whole different outlook .

The club have been amazing and have helped me in so many ways already. I have the best Manager a player could wish for and his class backroom staff with him. A Physio who has not left my side, and who will be a big part in getting me healthy. A keeper coach who does just about everything at the training ground...... And Northy for winding me up all the time about the Welsh.

The lads have been a great help in keeping me smiling, not with their banter as it need some work especially Greavsie’ ha ha. On a serious note they keep me going and are true friends......


With the support I am getting from everyone around the world I hope and believe I will be back on the pitch in a yellow shirt very soon!

Chris Todd

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Another day at the office

Super quick blog as very busy today. Training this morning was excellent. The lad's came in after a few day's off and really put it in. We had a keep ball session that was fiercely contested, then we went into a game. It was played at full tempo with tackles, shot's and header's flying in. The morning session was rounded off with a few sprints, all the boy's being flat out at the end. Then it was into the gym for a blast on the weights( All the best with the golf tomorrow Kev!). I have to say the attitude of the whole squad was spot on, that's the way we all want it to be for the rest of the season, a togetherness and team spirit that will hopefully carry us through.

I'm thinking about having Guest blogger's on and it may start tonight, as well as this throughout the course of the next few weeks I will be giving you a little bit of info on each player i.e loves, hates etc so watch this space. Speak soon.

No guest blog as kids have gone to bed and my wife is online job hunting (again!!)

News Flash. On to tonights tennis now - Game, Set and Match Chris Hargreaves 6-2 6-2, 18 court violations shared between two players including 12 uses of bad language, 4 volleying of tennis balls with feet and 2 cases of clothing abuse (Dan). See you next week mate with a new racket.


CH

Monday, 24 November 2008

Today I tried to go shopping with the girls, my Wife and Daughter, but again I failed. Fiona wanted to buy a few things so I entertained Hatty but I was beaten both mentally and physically. Physically, 10 yards of being in her buggy and it's "Shoulders Daddy, the old body starts to creak after carrying 'H' for 30 mins. Mentally there are only so many shops you can be led into and asked "What do you think about this one, is it really me!!!". Harriet tried her best as well, she entertained the Xmas shopper's by waving and dancing from inside the window displays but after an hour ( and that included coffee) we were both broken so we abandoned ship and returned home, leaving Fiona to shop and relax! for a few hours.


I was asked recently by a friend if I wanted to try the Paris- Dakar rally. As much as I want to it's difficult while I'm playing football, and judging by Charlie Boorman's ( of Long Way Round) retirement in a recent rally due to a broken hand (he fell off his bike) it's pretty dangerous too. The journey is mammoth, around 5 thousand miles, and dangerous, this year's rally was cancelled because of the danger in Africa, it will now take place in South America in Jan 2009. As with all the adventures that I fancy doing they are firmly on the back burner for a few years yet ( hopefully!!). It doesn't stop me plotting and planning though, Everest, the London Marathon, the Amazon, even surviving an afternoon's shopping with the girl's are all challenges ahead!!!.

One adventure that may not take place is a one that another friend of mine recently completed. The annual Mont Blanc 100 mile run is not one for the faint hearted. It basically is a non stop, yes non stop, run over ridiculous terrain ( mountainous) in as quick a time as possible. Rob completed the run in around 40 hours, he said he was hallucinating towards the end and that stopping for a drink 6 or so miles before the end was a big mistake. The last few miles, up hill, took about 7 hours!!!. A great achievement and a very emotional finish I'm sure for him and his waiting family.

CH

Sunday, 23 November 2008

London Town

At the final whistle in yesterday's match against Woking the general feeling in the changing room was one of frustration with a 2-2 draw. Before the game we were confident we could win and at the end of the game we thought we should have won. Obviously at half time and at 2-0 down a draw would seem like a good result, but we were that dominant in the second half that it felt a bit disappointing that we hadn't taken all 3 points. I spoke to Phil Gilchrist their manager after the game and he was more than happy with a point !!!. The ground pretty much felt like it had been taken over by Torquay fan's which again was a massive bonus.


So the with the game over the squad travelled into London for the annual ( if early!) Christmas 'Do'. It was back to the hotel first though to change into the dancing old gear !! . Once the boy's had showered and shaved it was straight to the tube station and into Covent Garden. We spent a few hours there before heading to 'Clubland'. First it involved a quick taxi ride to the Met bar on Park Lane ( I'll come back to that), then onto another club back in the West End. Most of the lad's were already queuing when our taxi arrived. The queue was big, it was cold so...... why not!. Yep I nipped to the front of the queue and began the 'Blag'. Our names had been put on the guest list but when I asked the guy's at the door it was a negative, it may have been the sight of 10 or so of the lad's at the back of the queue 'livening' proceedings up that suddenly erased the names from the list. Time for Plan B, "Come on, the lad's have travelled up a long way, don't let them down, we will be little angel's in there", smile and wait....... The 'Rope' was lifted and to the annoyance of the freezing hopefuls in the queue the boy's marched past and into safety!.

As usual the clubs were a frenzy of celebs, wannabes, and footballers. Understandably there weren't many takers for the first round!. The remaining kitty was swallowed up in minutes rather than hours due to the price list at the bar!. It was that bad that the bar staff gave you a tissue and a get well soon card after each order. It could have been much worse though. As I said earlier we had already been to the Met Bar, kindly sorted by 'Hells Bells', but it was early and a bit quiet in there so we moved on. But I had told Damo, Kenny, Bri and Shaun we would meet them in there only remembering when I received a text from Damo saying he had just come round after paying 50 pounds for 4 drinks!, smelling salts anyone!.
Back to our watering hole and one of the lad's was having a bit of banter with a couple when the guy said " Tell you what I'll get a bottle eh, then you get one OK ". The waitress came over and beamed " That's 400 thanks". Shoulder officially dropped at that point!. Don't mess with bottles of Crystal is the lesson there !. It didn't stop plenty in there though, there were that many ice bucket's with sparkler's it was like firework night. What with the Ice sculpture and the chocolate fountain the credit crunch was nowhere to be seen!.
I have to say though I love London, the sights, the restaurants, the buses and black cabs and the town houses in squares overlooking little parks. I know for a day trip or a weekend it's a novelty but I think I could live in London quite happily as long as I had a few million in the bank!. The ideal scenario is a home in Devon and a pad to crash in London for the odd blast!. But for now it's the odd day or evening like last night.
A great laugh, a little cameo role by Phil Mitchel, a ten man race on rickshaw's and a faultless man marking display by one of the lad's and the night was over. Is that the alarm clock we've only just got in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.



CH

Friday, 21 November 2008

Here we are again a another hotel, another away game, and hopefully another victory.
The journey was, as per usual, horrific. Dave our lovable driver took us to London via Bristol Northampton ,Cambridge, and a small B road that he discovered not yet even on the ordnance survey map. Suffice to say the lads entered the hotel still in their sitting position having consumed 15 tins of travel sweets each!!!. Normal service is resumed though, yes my roomy is on the trip, and his cards skills haven't improved.!!!
We are thinking of having an 'eat off' next week. The three main contenders being Michael Brough, Scott Bevan and Steve Adams they have all shown, in the last 24hrs, extordinary appetites. Stevie Adams in particular, his 'Sport Billy' bag contains a surprising quantity of snacks! Three hours into today's journey he produced a whole cooked chicken!!!

Got to get some sleep now so speak soon.

CH

Thursday, 20 November 2008

What A Week

What a week it has been. 'Toddy's' news was a real blow and obviously nothing is more important than his recovery. He was cheering us on to victory on Tuesday evening, a victory that has broken records and put us to the top of the league. Although by recent standards we didn't play that well the result was never in doubt, the only thing in the minds of the player's and the management is that of trying to win games.
After my last two season's in Football I won't be making any predictions, all I will be doing along with the rest of the lad's is aiming to give the club and it's supporter's what it deserves which is league status.
OK for now I will sign off as I am taking my eldest Daughter Issy to athletics, Cam my Son is sat next to me shattered after covering some serious ground in a school match, as well as throwing a few 'Cryuff's', step overs and 'chops' into the bargain ( yes I know he is my son !). Harriet is 'helping' with the tea and my Wife is giving me the glare because I'm sitting down, so as the Governor of California would say "I'll be back" .

NEXT SITTING

Just a few short words on this evenings activities. I played tennis with Dan (Next door) again tonight, come on you know I'm going to mention it. It was tough, I was feeling tired and stiff, Dan had just been fighting fires for a few days!. The score is not important Dan, it's the taking part, it's the banter, the fun. For the record, sorry again mate, I managed to scrape through in a close 6-2, 6-2 victory.
I had 1 court violation for volleying (with my foot) a ball over the fence and onto a roof, after a bad shot. I also had 4 court violations for offensive language as did Dan!.
On the whole it was a good game and as I said earlier (as long as you win!) it's all about the taking part, the banter and the fun!.
See you on court next week mate if your still talking to me.

By the way is that Timmy Mallet I see in the jungle!!. I met him after a game at Oxford of whom he supports. As I'm sure you will see Timmy is as mad as a box of frogs but can he win it ?, if old 'Biggins' can anyone can ( It's very doubtfull though!).

CH

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

'Roomy'

Today as you may have heard the Football club called a press conference.
Present were Chris Todd, his Mum and Dad, partner Gemma and daughter Amylia. Also there were the Chairman, Manager, Chief executive and myself .
Chris announced that he has Leukemia. This, he explained, had only been discovered on Monday when the news was broken to him. 'Toddy' went on to explain a bit about the illness and his plan of attack. Further tests are to be done on Monday to find out more and to decide what form of treatment he will need.
Together with his Dad Steve he broke the news to his team mates before last night's game which was obviously distressing and a real shock for the boy's. It was surreal walking into a slient dressing room, usually the stereo is blasting and the mood is high, but for a while it was very quiet. Through 'Toddy's bravery in talking to the lad's and Paul Buckles' words afterwards we all knew the job in hand had to be done and it was. Tim Sills asked me in the warm up if he thought lifting 'Toddy's' shirt up would be appropriate and it was totally. It was fitting that Tim scored and raised it aloft.
Today, as with last night, Chris Todd showed he is a true man facing up to it, joking about it, and wishing the best for the lad's.
I have always had so much time for 'Toddy', he is a good laugh, as brave as a lion and a proper mate, the only thing that let's him down are his crazy tattoos, highlights and dress sense (only joking mate, can't wait to see Saturday's outfit!!!!).
As he said today, and last night, he will deal with this illness like he has everything in his life fighting all the way. I've no doubt 'Toddy' will beat it and soon be destroying people on the pitch again like he has in the past.
I actually phoned Chris on Monday night only 20 minutes after he had been told, my timing has always been shocking, he was very quiet and I'm not surprised. To be sat there watching TV one minute and then to hear you have Leukemia the next is not a normal experience but I couldn't think of anyone stronger to deal with it than Chris Todd.
To Chris, Gemma and Amylia, Steve, Julie and the rest of the Todd Clan.

We love you to bit's mate and you know our thoughts are with you and your lovely family.
See you soon
Greavsie and the lad's.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Top to Bottom

Top plays bottom tomorrow night as we host Lewes. On paper these games look easy but I can tell you there not, Lewes will be scrapping for their lives. A victory for us would be just as important as it would against a team at the top. We will need to be on our toes big time when that whistle goes tomorrow. It always feels like a really long day when you play an evening game, it's a relief when finally the kit goes on and the warm up starts. The day of a game and the day before a game feels much different to a normal day in that your mood changes and things become a bit more serious.
The other difference being that when my mates are preparing to relax for the weekend or chill out at night I am going to work, work that is stressful and emotional and tough at times but work that I know I am very privileged to be doing.

CH
I almost can't find the right words tonight. This isn't because there are no anecdotes or stories to tell or that I'm tired or fed up. The reason is that I was told something tonight that shocked me in a big way.
Early this evening I travelled to Plymouth to listen to a speech by Rob Walker a Freelance Sports Commentator. He has reported for the BBC1, BBC2, Channel 4 and Setanta. Most recently he was the sailing reporter at the Olympics and last Saturday you may have seen him commentate on the David Hay fight. I could talk about Rob all night he is a real character, in tonight's speech his passion and enthusiasm about his Media career and life shone through. It was great to speak to him briefly beforehand about Football and Boxing and I look forward to meeting him again.
After listening to his inspirational and motivating words I jumped in my car to drive home. I made a quick phone call before I set off and bang..... the words I am now struggling to find are about that conversation with a Friend. I can't talk about it but what I can say is that in my life and probably many others we worry about jobs, contracts and money, we get stressed out with the kids or argue about bills. The thing that we take for granted is our health and our families and to get home and hug mine and tell them that I love them couldn't come soon enough.





CH

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Family Fortunes

I mentioned in Friday's blog that during the long journey to York we played a 'Legendary' game of Family Fortunes. Tim Sills the games master brought along the FF board game, the two 'Families' were picked and soon it was hands behind backs, fingers on buzzers and those famous words "We surveyed one hundred people" kicked off the game.
Family one consisted of Woods, Hargreaves, Benyon(someone had to have him!),Mansell and Brough.
Family two consisted of Sills, Nicholson(those two were a banker to be on the same team),Hodges,Beavan and Adams.
Nicky Wroe was the host, Bob Monkhouse , Les Dennis or Vernon Kay whoever you prefer.
And so we started "Steve meet Lee".... "Hi Steve".. "Hi Lee". "Name something you can read" etc etc. The early rounds were fiercely contested , then we came to 'Big Money' which we decided both teams would play in.
Family One chose Hargreaves and Woods(we have experience and are sad enough to still be watching Family Fortunes on a Saturday night!!!!!).
Family Two chose Hodges and Adams( purely for banter).
'Woodsy' went first while I put on the headphones and went into the booth(coach toilet!). He did well, a few top answers and a good score. I followed and I've got to say was a bit nervous facing 'Bob', but it went well and we a decent score had been set.
Now up stepped Lee Hodges to face the questions, here we go ;
1. Name something yo can play by yourself , you said "Cards"
2. Name something you can polish, you said "Shoes"
3. Name a pet that is easy to keep, you said "Dog"
4. Name something that might follow the word 'Don't' you said "Do that"
5. Name something a boss may give to an employee, you said "A pay rise"
The lads gave a small ripple of applause and the score wasn't bad.

Up stepped Stevie 'Ghoul' Adams, an intelligent lad and a real gent.
"Steve, Lee did well you need 97 to get the big money.
1. Name something you can play by yourself ................"Football"!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
2. Name something you can polish ............... "A bald head"!!!!!!!!!!!!.
3. Name a pet that is easy to keep............"A Biro"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
4. Name something that might follow the word 'Don't'.............."Cry"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
5. Name something a boss may give to an employee................"A bottle of wine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

The 'Buzzer' we used nearly ran out of batteries it was pressed that much, and for only the second time in 'Family Fortunes' history there was 'surprisingly enough' no score.
Stevie let's break the answers down. Yes if you like playing one player football, shaking your own hand at the start and celebrating with your 'mates' when you have scored then no problem!.
If you lose your hair in a few years and want to get the old pledge out then cool!. If you are a little bit sensitive at the moment and think ' Don't cry' is appropriate that's fine. If you had your own business and wanted to give one of your staff a nice bottle of Claret, great . But if you think that an easy pet to look after would be a 'Biro' then I think we have got some serious issues!!.
In your defence mate you thought it was 'Pen' not 'Pet' and so I suppose 'Biro' would be a good pen to look after!!.
It just shows you the pressure that these Game shows can inflict on people, in fact on a recent TV edition of Family fortunes when asked " Name a part of the body you can open" the panicked celebrity contestant answered "*****"........ Say no more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
Stevie be prepared next week Tim is bringing Mastermind!!!.


CH



Night Shift- Again!

Just returned home after a long trek back from York. It is 1.05a.m, all is quiet, I cannot sleep so it's time for late night TV and a few words on the blog.
A great result first and foremost, York hadn't lost at home this season. The team played very well and were rewarded with a big victory. Although the journey back was long the banter was high quality, helped by a refreshment break mid-way!. To have as many fans at the game as we did was a real boost, winning was the least we could do!. The fact that it didn't rain must have been a bonus as well, uncovered away stands are not great!.
We looked a little bit different today due to our enforced 'shorts' change. The ref seemed to think our light blue shorts clashed with York's dark blue shorts so something had to give. Instead of the home side changing to their away shorts as we had no spare set they 'Kindly' lent us their youth teams away shorts!!!. Great effort with the old psychological games but it turned out that York beat York today. It didn't bother us at all, in fact we had a good laugh in the changing room watching some of our lad's squeeze into those claret bad boys. No names mentioned but there were a few toffees being eaten in those shorts!
My Mum and Dad were at the game which was great as was my old mate Michael 'Slipmat, Chatty' Chapman. Sorry I couldn't stay over you guys but you know what it's like, a wrong move at this point could result in warfare at home, couple that with the fact that the cost of a flight back had doubled it was always going to be 90/10 against. I knew I should have booked that flight on Wednesday instead of trying to be clever and chancing it !!.
I'm suddenly extemely tired, my body is rejecting all form of movement and I can hear someone stirring upstairs, I have to blog off. Please tell me 'Hatty' hasn't sensed I'm home because if she has I am facing a night of torture!. 1.45a.m and out.


CH

Friday, 14 November 2008

Children In Need

I am relaxing my hotel room in Leeds watching Children in Need and thinking ahead to tomorrows game against York. An important game that we are of course looking to win.

I now have a new roomy in tow, with Chris Todd still injured and Wayne Carlisle on the treatment table I welcome the latest victim, Michael Brough, with open arms.
'Broughy' is a top lad who is obviously disappointed that he is not in the team at the moment. That aside he is still as committed as ever in training, and fully behind the lads who are in the team. 'Yep tea would be lovely Broughy - thanks mate!'

The trip up was a usual very long and very hot. We came by stagecoach and by the end of the journey there were parrots flying down aisles. Needless to say Nico has now gone for a refreshing shower!
Our on board entertainment consisted of a legendary game of family fortunes and the very long discussion regarding Elliot Benyons' mental state (it's unstable!!). I will reveal more about Family Fortunes at a later date.

This evenings meal at the Hotel was pretty good, a roast dinner followed by a bowl of Rennie's- looking forward to breakfast!!

PS Cam and Issy put those sweets away and stop driving mum mad.

Love you crazy lot, see you soon and as Del Boy would say ..... Bonjour

CH

Thursday, 13 November 2008

First Installment

Super quick post for now as time is of the essence. My Wife has gone out, as soon as I arrived home in fact!, and the children have destroyed the house so it's mayhem in the Hargreaves household. Harriet has just thrown a milkshake all over and is throwing tennis balls at me, the tennis balls were a recent purchase for yesterday's game between me and Dan(next door) and the score 6-0 6-1, sorry mate I had too get it in !!!!!!!!.
Isabella is at athletics at 6.30 but is currently making 'Potions' in the bathroom. Cameron is at football at 6 but has currently got three TVs on the go and I am currently trying to make a snack for them all while trying to find a black sock, a pair of leggings and my phone which 'Hatty' has been using!!. Got to go it's all kicked off upstairs, excuse me while I go and batter the Kids !!!!.

Second Installment

OK home now at 9.15 so a bit more time to blog. Had training today in what has to be said were torrid conditions. Any more rain and we are going to have to train in Tesco's car park. The mood in camp is good, in fact Scott Beavan and myself are considering an approach from WWE wrestling. Our 'Pumping iron' obsession has finally been recognised so don't be surprised to see a new Tag- team on the box. 'Tarzan' and the 'Beavanator' are coming soon!!!!.
Obviously we are focused leading up to the York game, a game that brings back memories of last seasons semi-final. No doubt it will be a tough test but we will looking to win and keep up the momentum. I actually made my F.A cup debut for Grimsby at York........ 19 years ago!. I was 17 yrs old and full of it!, I'll take the same scoreline a 2-1 victory with both goals coming from a short(ish) haired lad called Chris Hargreaves. To be honest the time actually has flown by in my career and would I change it......Absolutely!.
I would have stayed in and watched Match of the Day on Saturday nights instead of partying like Liam Gallagher, I would have stayed at some clubs for longer instead of making rash decisions, I would have left some clubs earlier instead delaying decisions! and I wish I knew then what I know now. I think that's all called experience though and for now I will settle for success on the B-roads!!!!!!. I am going to have to go now as Danger Men: Red Arrows is on channel 5 and I need to take in some more facts.

CH

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Fight Night

I drove in to training yesterday with Chris Todd. We got talking about Joe Calzaghe's fight with Roy Jones Jnr in New York on Saturday night. A great victory for Joe especially after he had been Knocked to the canvas in the first round. Toddy's brother James has turned Pro and is now Boxing under Enzo Calzaghes gym, a massive step towards making a name for himself. James was actually there on Saturday to watch the fight, in fact it turned out he was sat in the second row at the biggest fight of the year, not bad eh!.
It gets better, James was reading some programme notes when he looked up and turned to the left.....he was sitting next to Coleen Rooney. He then turned to the right and hello Mr Ricky Gervais !!. He turned round and clocked Danny De Vito!!. You know what its like, you've gotta be seen in the right places!!!.
James was telling his brother about all this and asked 'Toddy' why he hadn't answered his phone on Sunday morning. 'Toddy' explained that he had fallen asleep, a bit of a shame really especially as James said that Joe wanted to speak to him after the fight, Chin up !.
When I was played for Oxford Jim Rosenthal kindly gave me and three of the lads tickets to watch Calzaghe in Manchester. He was fighting Kessler in what turned out to be a very tough fight, it went the distance and involved a lot of blood.
On arrival at that fight we were approached by one of Jim's P.As who walked us into the massive M.E.N arena. To our shock we just kept going until the lady stopped and said "There you are lads" - we were front row!. So here we all were, me and the lads, Phil Taylor, Lennox Lewis and Amir Khan all mucking in on the front row!!!!!!!!.
Joe Calzaghe won and deservedly so, it was crazy being that close to the action, you could literally see the fear in the fighters eyes. I think it must have helped him no end me shouting "Stay on your feet Joe, jab, jab!!".
A great night though. It must have been brilliant for James in Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, then mixing it at the after party with the 'Big boys'.

Back to business and James first fight is at the 02 arena on Saturday the 6th of December, one for the diary.
All of the Todd's are decent boxers, even Mr Todd is considering a kick Boxing career. On a recent stag night out for Toddy's other bro Liam, a mad man pulled out a blade and threatened the whole group of lads. Up stepped Todd senior who in a flash had floored him with a Kung Foo Kick, go on Toddy's Dad!!!.
It turns out the mad man in question did have a knife, a butter knife!!!.
He may have to serve a few years inside for trying to 'Spread' the lads!.

Back in Swansea, where home is, the Todd clan have been in a few scrapes. The highlight for me being the Christmas fancy dress night out that ended in a brawl. Some of the local bouncers tried to exert some unneeded force on the Todd's. It must have been a great sight seeing Mrs Claus, an Elf and Rudolf the red nosed reindeer all getting stuck in.

Chris is a great lad, the sort you would always have in your team, unless it was a quiz team !. Sorry mate but the Blueberry shout yesterday was special, I just don't think Blueberry phones are out yet!!!!!!!.


Anyone interested in sponsoring Chris Todd's brother James please contact the Herald Express
Sports Desk.


CH

Remembrance Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. This marked Armistice, the end of the First World War. Today to honour those who died in both World Wars and those who have died in action for their country since we hold a 2 minute silence at 11 a.m.
Both World wars cost the lives of more than a Million British men. The facts about these wars are unbelievable. During the infamous Battle of the Somme British casualties totalled 420,000, on the first day alone 1st July 1916 there were 60,000 injured and 20,000 dead. This was the worst single day in British army history.
When the battle was finally won in mid November Britain had suffered nearly half a million casualties, all this to gain 5 miles of land !. Germany had 650,000 casualties and France 195,000.
The Second World War was was far more devastating in loss of life.
I was looking at some information about this War yesterday and the figures are truly shocking.
Lithuania , Latvia and Germany lost more than 10 percent of their population. The Soviet Union and China both lost more than 20 million lives and Poland lost nearly 6 million, 16 percent of their population. The Holocaust alone resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews.
The 2nd World War, the 'Total War' involved 55 countries and between 1939 and 1945 a total of 72 million people had lost their lives.

It makes grim reading I know but the freedom we have today is down to these young men and women who suffered beyond belief.
Hatty has just jumped on me and given me a big smacker and hug, a nice way to end the blog I think.


CH

Sunday, 9 November 2008

So it's Oxford or Dorchester in round two of the F.A Cup. Could be better, could be worse but it's at home meaning we have a great chance of making it to round three and a potential money spinning tie.

Yesterday started early as normal but for different reasons. My wife wanted to do a car boot sale with a friend so it was up with the lark and off for her. As soon as the door closed Harriet arose shouting "Wheres my mummy?", it was 6.00 a.m.
I actually attended the one other car boot sale my wife did but was that traumatised I had to leave early. Queuing to get in, a ridiculous start time, crazy people attacking the car as you park up and that's before you get to the selling!.
While I was there a woman approached us and picked up a pair of jeans , she haggled my wife down from around £10 to probably us paying her. That same pair of jeans that I was forced by my wife to drive all round London to find, it was for a club function at Brentford, that same pair of jeans that cost more than a flight to Spain, by a long way!.
It's mayhem at car boots you end up taking £1 for everything, "How much for your car?, I tell you what I'll give you a quid pal!".
Saying that my wife made a small fortune yesterday. In the first ten minutes she was offered £30 for a bag of jewellery by a Man but a Woman next to him said "I was here first will you take £80".........the man didn't get it!. The rest of the stuff in the garage can go but there's that much in there it would take months of car boots, so bigger garage it is then !!.
Yesterday I joined thousands of people all over Britain. Yes 'tidying the garage' has replaced going out with the lads to watch the footy or taking the motocross bike out. It involves shuffling around the garage in a bad mood and coming out 2 hours later having achieved nothing!.

Last night I went to see the new Bond film. I was literally man marked at the cinema for the whole night, firstly in the queue to get in. A couple were that desperate to get to their seat that I may as well of given piggy backs to both of them. Calm down the trailers will last half an hour anyway!.
Then in my seat the bloke next to me was leaning that far across his seat into mine I thought about offering him my jacket to rest on. That one didn't last long though!!!!!!.
The Film was good, Bond escaped from the baddies, fell from a plane 10,000 feet into a crevasse and fought like a trooper but his collar was still always immaculate, he could fall into a rubbish tip and come out with a dinner jacket on, that's why he's James Bond. I was a bit disappointed with the villains in the film though, no dodgy teeth, bowler hats, piranha fish or spikes in boots anywhere to be seen.
I also know that you were in there last night, you know who you are!. I'll give you a clue, the heating was a joke, I lost around a stone in weight watching the film, people were dropping like flies in there, even the chair tapper behind us stopped tapping to take his shirt off!.
Yes Dave(our driver) it was you, somehow you got into the building and turned the heating up to Volcanic, nice one!.





CH

Remembrance day

Today being Remembrance Sunday we honour the millions who lost their lives in WW1 and WW2. This morning I was reading an article about Clara Woodroffe, the mother who lost three of her sons on the battlefields of World War One. Only one of Clara's four sons survived because he was too old to fight. Her youngest son Sidney sent this letter to his mother from the trenches.
"Dearest Mother. Here we are in the jolly old trenches !. Thank goodness we are getting out of them tomorrow night . That will make nine jolly days of it, thanks very much. For one thing I shan't mind getting my boots off and changing my socks!.
"Hooray too for a wash all over in ( possibly!) warm water. I should like to go to a nice farm well away from the sound of guns and racket and miles away from this ghastly gas ".
Sidney never made it home he was 19 .
Clara's second youngest Kenneth 22 sent this letter dated Boxing Day 1914.
" I am in a billet which is the only room left in a completely shattered village about 900 yards behind the trenches. Really mother, you people in England should just see what all this means. The church is in ruins, graves are blown up, the school is blown down and you can see the desks
and books standing all ready for lessons. I had my first wash this morning since last Sunday. Everything is plastered in mud, I wonder if you would recognise me if I came home now, I doubt it".
Kenneth was killed during the Battle of Aubers Ridge.
Poignant letters that must have been extremely hard and upsetting for their mum to read.

Conditions in the trenches were said to be that bad that during floods the soldiers were shoulder deep in water
These two boys graves were never found along with 359,150 others whose battlefield graves were lost in further fighting. A total of 658,700 British serviceman lost their lives in World War One alone.
Clara's other son Leslie lies in a grave in France. All the boys received honours. Sidney the Victoria Cross, Leslie the Military Cross and Kenneth was Mentioned in Dispatches.
Clara lived till she was 89, a tough lady who suffered terrible grief but who it was said took some comfort from the medals of her boys.

On Tuesday we have Remembrance Day again for those who are honoured in both the 'Great War' and the 'Total War'.

OK I know Life has to go and until Tuesday I will stop talking about War.
In Tomorrow's blog I will talk about the 'standard' Sunday and car boot madness but for now it's
Roast Beef, Yorkshire Puds, Roasties, mash, a few veggies and lots of gravy. Followed by sticky Toffee Pudding. Then it's Bond, James Bond, about £15 worth of plastic pick & mix, and a few litres of flat coke. If anyone throws popcorn I am liable to snap!.


CH

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Shocks

Torquay 2 Evesham 0. That's what the papers will say tomorrow morning, although credit to Evesham who really gave it a good go. We certainly were not at our best today but the F.A cup throws up shocks so the important thing was that our result wasn't one. I am watching today's F.A cup highlights while typing away and as usual there were teams that came unstuck.
Let's hope the 2nd round draw is a good one. The player's need to test themselves against teams in higher divisions, after all that's where we as a club want to be.
Financially it goes without saying that a home and away tie against a big club and big crowd would be great.
All that said promotion is the main aim as far as I am concerned.
Short blog today as I'm in a bad mood, a combination of tiredness and frustration about today's game . A big thanks today to all our supporters , much needed support today on a difficult day.

CH

Friday, 7 November 2008

F.A Cup

Time for the F.A cup again and we are all looking forward to tomorrow's game against Evesham. They will be coming down to Devon full of confidence meaning we must be on our toes to avoid any problems. It is important to the club financially, and to the players it's always a great way of appearing on Match of The Day!.

I took the family to the Fireworks at Plainmoor on Wednesday, great spectacle and a big turnout, but please no shouts of 'best display of the season' . The Hargreaves clan are going to another display with friends tonight so the kid's can have their fix of sparklers, toffee apples and toys which break as soon as they get them home.
Unfortunately I been banned for having fireworks at the house. The last 2 years have been close shaves for different reasons, I admit there may have been a few slight safety breaches. One year when I had lit the new 'turbo rocket' it dislodged and flew past the kids about a foot away, the children loved it but my wife didn't as it found it's way into the house through the patio door!!!!!!!!.
The second incident was just bad luck, a combination of high winds and three of our guests finding a bottle of Absinthe. Consequently I am banned from lighting anything this year, my wife even raises an eyebrow when I light candles at home but she can rest easy as our next door neighbour Dan is a fireman, winner!!!.

Happy Birthday to Raith Gwinnet, 18 this weekend . He brought a great selection of cakes in this morning , it put Toddy's 2 for 1 Mr Kiplings effort to shame. Raith is a top lad, he takes a bit of a battereing but it's all in good faith, a few square meals and he will be fine!.







CH

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Awards

I have just been watching Sky Sports News and the Managers of the month were being announced. League 1's award went to Paul Trollope at Bristol Rovers. I was at Northampton Town with 'Troll' and he is a great fella. At first the fans at the cobblers were hard on Troll but true to character he carried on doing his job and deservedly won them over. When Colin Calderwood took over the club it suddenly became ultra professional and myself and Troll thoroughly enjoyed playing there in our last season, and but for the most bizarre decision by a referee that I have ever seen in football we would have been rewarded with a play off final, and the way we were playing probably promotion.
I was surprised how soon 'Troll' committed to management because he was very fit as a player but the opportunity arose and he took it. With the help of Lennie Lawrence he has done extremely well with a tight budget. In fact when we played rovers in pre season troll was saying he had no assistant, no youth team and no physio and with 30 players looking at you for guidance its a big ask. But he has a good manner about him and I think he will do very well.
I have certainly had a broad spectrum of Management styles over the years having worked with 18 or so managers!. All managers have to be motivators, it just depends on your style.
At Brenford Martin Allen had a fearsome reputation but he was actually just very committed and he certainly got the best out of his players, whether it be John Salako or a 17 year old trialist. We had a great season the year I was there finishing 3rd at a club that had been tipped for relegation. Martin always looked after the players, we had a great trip to Dubai that Christmas, what goes on tour stays on tour! . Had the commute of 5 hours a day not have been killing me I would have stayed. Colin Calderwood was milder but no less committed.
Then you have the old school style such as Alan Buckley and Jim Smith. I was with Alan at Grimsby and West Brom and if I had a spare week there would be many stories told. Maybe another time.
I had plenty of run ins with Jim, we certainly had our differences but it did make me smile seeing the old cigar smoke wafting down the team coach after games win, lose or draw.

Here at Torquay Paul Buckle is also a real motivator. He has created a great work ethic, he is approachable as a person but also has the respect of the lads as a manager. Training is very good, everything is done very professionally and we are all striving for the same thing.


CH

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Danger

Day off today so a few of us players visited South Devon College for a bit of rehab/massage. Pete Morgan and his team battered and pummelled us, in a good way. I was fortunate enough to have a massage with Mel who is incredible, real tears to the eyes stuff but very very good. We are treated really well at the club and between Damien and Pete and the rest of the sports therapists the care is excellent . Thanks also to Gareth, Jen, Tammy, Amanda, Jodie and Charlotte who all pop into the club from time to time to give their help.
I met my wife and the 'Beast', she is a very pretty beast!, afterwards and while my wife bought a few things I took Hatty to a play centre to eat and dominate the place. It's always the same in these places and today was no exception . Hatty was playing and laughing as normal then while she was resting another fellow player moved in for the kill. He thought no one was looking so he started launching plastic balls into Harriet's face from around 1 foot away. At first Hatty smiled, she was either thinking it was a game or was thinking is that all you've got pal it's gonna take more than that to defeat me. On about the 15Th strike to the face I had to step in and give the young lad the death stare which had immediate effect.
I looked round to see where his Mum or Dad might be. I found them when the boy in question had run back to base crying 'she hurt me mummy'.
His Mum who was elbow deep in Now magazine shot up to 'protect' the 'poor baby' and came over and spoke loudly " Try to play nicely everybody otherwise someone will get hurt!!!!!".
The only chance of her boy getting hurt was if one the many missile's thrown were to ricochet of Hatty's face and roll onto him rendering him poleaxed!.
It wasn't long before the Mum was again eating the pages of Now magazine while the boy was ramming kid's at top speed with a baby walker. We are all blinded by the love of our own kids though and I'm no different in fact on one family holiday my boy had managed to tame a real 'Beach bully' after days of being battered. Cam had him floored, he looked up at me for instructions and the words that came out of my mouth were truly shocking "Finish him". True to form the sand was displaced into the lads face and we walked back to our sun loungers victorious. That really was a massive one off though honestly!!!. It's knowledge not power, that's the way forward.


I'm not feeling great at the moment , I would never admit to man flu but something has got me and my body is rebelling today as I also got another big bang in the ribs last night . Whenever you don't feel great or have a 'knock' as a player your mood changes a bit, it really is 'Bear with a thorn in his paw stuff ' so do not approach or try to feed as it will pass.
Really bad nights sleep as well. I finally nodded of about 3 and the kids started getting up from about 6.30. I don't know what's going on with my pillows at the moment but I'm having a real crisis. I must have lost my normal combination of 2 identical soft pillows during a house move but at the moment 1 pillow seems like a leaflet and 2 pillows seems like I'm resting my head on a Cow!.
Fireworks tonight, come on!!!!.


CH

Christmas Lists

It's 12.15 a.m I have just returned from the game against Weymouth, it's all quiet here so I thought I would take the opportunity to type away!.
The game went well, a very professional display, a clean sheet, 3 good goals, job done now onto the next game. Again thanks for the support tonight, on a weekday and with work tomorrow it's obviously a big ask so we all really appreciate that.
I was a bit reflective last night, the children had decided to write and post to Santa their Christmas lists. As they were busily writing away I was watching the news , the crisis in Congo was on, basically tens of thousands of refugees needing water food and clothing. Some families there hadn't eaten for a week !.
I thought to myself that I start having hot sweats if I haven't eaten for a few hours never mind a day or a week. Then there's the annual pilgrimage everyone makes to the supermarket to load the old trolley up for Christmas. A bizarre rumour usually starts somewhere that all shop workers are striking for a week so it's panic stations. The queues at each checkout are 20 deep and the trolleys are filled with 8 litres of coke, a 48 pound freak turkey, a 48 multi bag of crisps, a sack of potatoes , 12 loaves of bread, a torch, some candles maybe a flare and don't forget the roses, quality streets , nuts and satsumas.
Back to the lists and without me saying anything I think the kids had picked up on the news story, well the girls had anyway!. The boy was cracking on, his pencil was on fire. It was refreshing asking Harriet what she wanted, her list was as follows,
Some Baby bells(cheese)
Some hammy(Ham)
A warmy top
A lollo(lolly)
A fi-fi
Some milky
Hatty would be delighted if we just wrapped up a pack of ham and a six Pinter of milk!!!!.
It just comes down to food when your a baby. I'm no humbug I love giving out pressies but I definitely think we could survive without sets of bubble baths shaped as fruit or a Santa in a desert in a glass ball being fanned by a monkey!.

When everyone had finished we put Santa's address on the envelope and prepared to post them. Great sight seeing them all beaming away posting their lists in their pyjamas. Let's just hope the credit crunch hasn't reached Lapland!.
I may read this blog in the morning and think 'wow delete, delete' as the old mind races a bit after games. I am now going to attempt to reduce the sweet mountain we still have after Halloween whilst watching late night TV.


CH

Sunday, 2 November 2008

APOLOGY

The apology is regarding blog;Rushden game.

I happened to mention that my parents were eligible for cheaper fares. It was a misprint , it was supposed to say cheaper shares, they are both keen stock market followers, my mistake.
My lovely mum Averil , have I mentioned the ex beauty queen title, is often having to dress down so not to upstage her friends and without bias is beautiful, funny and intelligent.
My Dad is my Dad, you know usual father and son stuff , don't mess with me or I'll break you son, a great man end of story.

I hope that has been cleared up, love always see you both soon.
P.S Keep up the good work Mark(My Bro) it will be worth it mate.

Onto to Football and we have a break from the league in order to play 2 cup games in 2 different competitions. Firstly we play Weymouth tomorrow night in what I'm sure will be another hard game. Not too far to travel though which is good for us players and for our fans. Then we face Evesham on Saturday who I'm sure will be coming into town hoping for an upset. These two games will be approached the same as any league game, we aim to keep our run going.


CH

Winner/Coffee Time

Winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE HARGREAVES HOUSEHOLD HAS JUST GONE CRAZY. It was lost then it was won, a last lap victory to Lewis Hamilton, sport at its best . Even Harriet our 2 year old baby was jumping up and down shouting " Come on Hammy, come on Hammy". Massa was in tears, his team thought he had won it, but no it was Lewis at the death who took a great victory. 6.58 .

As mentioned in the last blog I have a few stories to tell about the time myself and my team mate Kevin Nicholson spent 'lodging' together last season. We had both just signed, my family were still in Northamptonshire and Kev's girlfriend in Derby. Initially we both joined Chris Robertson at a local Hotel, but after a few weeks we decided to move into Chris Todd's House, he was about to move out so it worked very well, or so we thought!.
The Hotel was fine to begin with but after a month of eating out and seeing the same four walls of your room the decision was made. Add to that the fact that Kev was still in his 'Dungeon room' and my Suite was roomy but minus 5 at night, it was time to go. I think Robbo stayed because he had negotiated a washing up rota in the kitchen!
Chris Todd's house was just what we needed. A base while we both house hunted and a bit of extra space as well as a cooker!. I had been used to full on days in Northants what with the commute to Brentford and then Oxford, as well as a soccer school and a new baby. My wife also worked full time so moving to this house and kicking back was bliss, I mean bliss while missing everyone!!!!!.
So mine and Kev's days together began. Training first followed by our daily trip to the shop where the 'big decisions' happened. What was for tea and could Kev force himself to have a pudding!.
Back at the house it would be a quick game of darts, pre dinner, and then the main event Gordon Ramsay eat your heart out. The food produced was top drawer although I thought you overdid the pasta a few times Kev!
Then the games began. I'm not talking PlayStation here, not my era too old, I'm talking psychological games. I learnt in the early weeks of Kev's loves and hates. The huge love of showering 3 or 4 times a day, the love of shutting doors and turning all lights off, the love but denial of chocolate, and the love of answering the phone.
And the hates, not showering 3 or 4 times a day, me driving with my knees, me leaving the lights on, me not shutting doors, me eating chocolate, me walking about naked, me swearing, me not answering my phone and anyone wearing dangly jewellery, yes can't explain that one!.
A special week for me began with a visit from Jenny and while Kev was upstairs setting up his 2 hourly shower routine I searched out the cold water tap under the sink. With Jens permission it was turned off and the nightmare started!. Kev would shout down that the shower was melting him while we giggled away like schoolkids. I would turn the tap on and off for a few Min's then leave it off. He would usually have to run a bath and wait an hour and a half for it to cool down. It would still be red hot though, Kev would return sweating, not good for someone who is shower dependant. I would then sneak it back on and shoot upstairs shouting down " Your not going to believe it mate it's fine now". There was even a few nights that Kev would have to go to bed 'dirty'.
I kept this going for a week but in the end it was breaking him so I stopped only telling him when we both moved out!!!!!.
We had the darts, the fine food, the shopping trips, the TV nights, then came a bombshell!. One afternoon Kev said shall we go for a coffee!!!!!!!!!!!.
Now we already looked like a couple but for a northern monkey and non coffee drinker that I was this suggestion was big. But I did it and I have to say it was good. A cup of coffee, maybe a cake and a read of the papers, relaxing was the way forward. We had the odd strange glance but otherwise it was spot on.
It had to come to an end though especially when Chris Todd took the TV and turned the heating off!. Our spouses had also made the move to Devon but we definitely learnt alot from each other during those times.
I learnt that you don't have to swear constantly, that you can answer the phone, that doors and lights can be shut and turned off and that being fully clothed is also good. I am now a better driver and a coffee drinker and for Kev?.
Well he can be found driving about naked and swearing in the middle of the day while leaving all the lights and doors on and open at home. So it has to be said we both benefited from the experience. Great days though Cheers Kev.


CH