Sunday, 28 June 2009

Saturday Off

It still feels strange to be able to relax and actually enjoy a Saturday off!. Of course I love playing on a Saturday afternoon but it is nice to know you can go out with the family or friends for the weekend without worrying what the score will be!. Yesterday the Hargreaves gang visited Drogo Castle, near Okehampton, the last castle to be built in this country. Without boring you to death with my love of stats, it was, incredibly, built as late as 1931 for the Drewe family.
Part of it still remains a residence for some family members but it's incredible to think that so soon after it was built, in the 30's, it became part of The National Trust in the 70's. Don't get me wrong, if it wasn't we couldn't get to look round it and enjoy it, but I just think it's a shame that it isn't still someones house to be enjoyed and used as it should be ( you know party's, hidden plasma's, secret rooms etc ) at least for a few hundred years anyway. After all isn't that what normally happens with a castle!.
After Drogo we drove to Bude so that the children could jump in the sea to cool off. This Devon life has definitely got to me, I want a camper van, I love surfing, I wouldn't mind a beach hut, and I've even started saying "Get on" !.

There is just over a week to go before we start start back now and although things have been quiet at the Football club recently I'm sure that will change very quickly, especially when the pre-season games begin. Unfortunately I will not be able to play in the first few, on account of my nose being broken again ( twice, but this time straightened and under anaesthetic! ).
Before I return to training though, there is still the small matter of the family camping trip to contend with next week. The last camping trip involved a hurricane, the edge of a cliff, a rabid badger, lot's of rain, no sleep, no shower's and a broken back. Bring it on!.


Friday, 26 June 2009

The King of Pop

I bought his albums ( vinyl ), I danced to his music ( badly ) and like everybody else I was intrigued by his private life. Regardless of what anyone says about him though, you cannot argue about the brilliance of his music. It has always amazed me how his appearance changed over the years. Good looking and with the world at his feet but ending up broken, ill and unrecognisable from the person he once was.
Elvis Presley was 42 when he died and now Michael Jackson is dead at 50. Musical icons who did so much but whose lives ended, short lived and in tragedy.
I'm now going to dig out 'Thriller' and whack it on the B and O before bed.

The pictures I have been threatening to post have not made it again today, the effort has been there, but the combination of a malfunctioning computer ( and it's owner! ), a rubbish mobile phone and working conditions nearing sub-tropical proportions has put pay to any visual stuff tonight.

Good to see so many at Glastonbury, I couldn't make it this year but am aiming to 'go large' next year. In case your wondering if I love the camping, the rain, the toilets and the obligatory mud............. the answer is no ! the last time I was there, with my mate 'slip mat' Chapman, we cheated and stayed in a lovely hotel on the Saturday night, well all 4 hours of it !!!. It is not as bad as many think at the festival, yes there are lots of people offering you dodgy tickets on the way in, yes some of the toilets can be a bit grim, but the amount of bands you get to see in a weekend is incredible and, if nothing else, you can run naked through the healing fields for as long as you want!.


Thursday, 25 June 2009


The eyes are now black, the nose is constantly bleeding and I can't do anything, it is extremely frustrating. The children have been flying the flag though, a successful sports day was had. I know it is the taking part etc but someone has to win!.
Wimbledon is obviously in full swing, with all hopes firmly resting on the shoulders of Andy Murray. He has just won again, and comfortably, so good luck to him in round three.
I am officially in a bad mood, hard to explain why but you sometimes get days where everything seems to go belly up and you end up having achieved nothing - today is one of those very days!.
When darkness falls I may venture out with the family for a late night beach walk to blow the cobwebs away. After that I will attempt to post the pics of the road trip, holiday op picture!!.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Freddie is Back

Back from the operating theatre and looking like an extra from 'Nightmare on Elm Street', yes the 'nose job' is done. Full control of the TV control, lovely nurses on call, lot's of food and drink and uninterrupted sleep, when is the next op I ask myself!.
I must admit though it was a little nerve wracking being wheeled through to theatre -considering the 'Snout' dream/nightmare, but Mr Powells and his great staff put my mind at rest ( literally ).
It was soon done though and post-op I met a nurse ( not like that in case my wife reads this! ) and we got chatting about this and that, including travel. She told me that she had served in the Armed forces for two decades and had seen some great places and sights, none more amazing than a trip on the USS Midway, at the time the largest aircraft carrier in the U.S Navy.
Ok I can't resist.... launched soon after the Second World War at an immense cost of $202 million, it carried 4104 men and officers, it totalled nearly a thousand feet in length, at decommissioning it weighed 75,000 tonnes, it carried over 300 aircraft, it saw service in Vietnam......OK I could go on and on, but back to the story.
It had docked in Hong Kong harbour and, after seeing these military nurses, the old yanks invited the girls on board. Apparently the size of the ship was hard to comprehend, the anchor room alone was like a small house!. Then up to the kitchen, which never stopped serving food, the salad bar alone made Pizza Hut's look like the contents of a picnic basket.
Rumour has it that no drink was allowed on board, but, as in Prisons to keep the peace, that drugs were rife. There was even a section designated 'no whites', such was the intensity and amount of men on board. Amazing stories none the less. She carried on by saying that she couldn't imagine serving now, what with the random suicide and car bombs. At the time 'News at Ten' was on in the background and it was shadowing a troop of medics in Afghanistan. Treating troops injured in battle, by such things as said roadside bombs, these people, as many say, need medals as big as frying pans the work that they do- as of course do the troops. All this in 100 degree heat!!!.
I will try to lighten the mood now by saying that I will be attempting to keep a low profile, due to my scary appearance. It will be very hard though considering that it is School sports day tomorrow, the Doc's leaving party on Friday and next door's BBQ on Sunday. Balaclava needed!.


Monday, 22 June 2009

Football Talk

Ok first, let me explain the lack of 'football talk' posted on the blog during the last month. At the end of each season ( long hard seasons! ), in fact at the end of the last game of the season, all any player wants to do is get away from the ground and turn off for at least a month. This may seem strange, it is a fantastic job and I am so thankful that I have been able to do it ( for so many years!!). But after the ups and downs of the season, the living, breathing and eating of the game, it is great just to drive away from wherever it may be and just relax. No training, no pre-match meals, no travelling and no sleepless nights or sore bodies!.
I apologise if I have neglected the beautiful game or harped on about my family too much but that is the way it is as a pro, you give it everything for ten months and then totally switch off.
In saying that I can speak for the entire squad who went to Wembley, by saying that I could have easily spent at least another week in the bar at the hotel after our Wembley win!!!!!!!.
In saying that ( again! ) I have spent nineteen of the last twenty summer holidays on the phone, to agents or managers, much to the despair of my wife. I have kept on training during most of these summers and I have, like most, been glued to the European Championships, World Cup or Champions league for most of them - after all it's hard to turn off altogether!!!.
Tomorrow I go under the knife to have my nose re-broken and straightened and to have some of the cartilage removed as I can't breathe very well - this resulting from the smash to the face I received in the Cup game against Coventry.
I am not overly looking forward to it, especially since I woke up in a hot sweat having dreamt that the surgeon replaced my nose with a pigs snout!!!. No bacon sandwiches for me in the morning.


Sunday, 21 June 2009

Happy Fathers day

Happy Fathers day to Martin H, happy Fathers to Fiona's dad Iain ( plus Happy 65th B'day and happy retirement! )in fact Happy fathers day to all !!!. A top weekend is coming to end end, I just have to polish off a nice bottle of Chateaux-Neuf and a box of Green and Black choccies and we are there!.
Not much rest was had but that's the way we like it. A weekend at the beach , starting with Croyde yesterday and ending at 8 p.m - the children were still in the sea!!- on Fistral beach today. Not even a dog relieving itself on my shorts, flip-flops and ray-bans could dampen my spirits !.
They say the football world is small and 'they' are right. Someone shouted "Greavsie" yesterday on Croyde beach, it turned out to be Rob Ullathorne, an old mate of mine from Northampton. The last time I saw him was on the Mansfield pitch the night we lost on penalties in the play-offs!. He is now obsessed with surfing and fancies a move down to Devon !!!.
Then today I bumped in to an Oxford fan on Fistral beach, he said how delighted he was that we were promoted - Cambridge going up for an Oxford fan would, I'm sure, would have been too much to bear.
I know one thing, next seasons Blue Square Premier will be one of the hardest divisions to get out of - what with Luton, Oxford, Cambridge, Stevenage, Wrexham and Chester all chomping at the bit, plus the likes of Histon making unexpected challenges to the title - it will be an extremely tough ask.

Good job we won at Wembley then!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.


Friday, 19 June 2009


I have just removed a blog saying how Harriet had beaten me today, because, as I sat down though and really thought about it, she hadn't. 'H' has been awesome, she has had me in fits of laughter most of the day, our banter is very similar! and I haven't even had to go for a run because it's been non-stop all day - most other children may wake early ( as Hatty did at 6, nudging me, saying "Come on Dad it's time" , but nearly all then have a little cat-nap mid afternoon. Not the beast, she is currently running a fourteen hour day of running, scooting, playing, laughing and obviously eating! - even then it's a mission to get her in to bed.
To evaluate my time with all three children I have a couple of conclusion, it's either a tough job made easy or an easy job made tough, but what I do know is, whether it's at work or at home, don't fight the system just play the game !.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Hands Full

Hands full tonight, and in fact today, yesterday, tomorrow and Saturday!. Fiona is visiting her sister for a few days, so I am in charge of the clan. A huge bike ride/train journey was the first activity completed in Mum's absence, then today we popped over to see the 'Nicholson's' for a spot of rounders ( shouting and hitting ) and some dinner ( same thing ). This followed an hour at school for 'H', a trip to see the animals and a trip round the house with a hoover!.
Back to the story, baby Jessica was lovely, Jenny was too, but Kev only confirmed mine, and many others, view that he is very, very strange!. You would think that an old Christmas card that you wrote at the age of ten would normally be a lovely memory of years gone by, but no. The scene depicted by Kev was nothing short of mental.
Santa had six bullet wounds to his chest, an axe in his head as well as a needle, a knife in his side and a medieval 'ball and spike' wedged in his skull. An elf lay in a pool of his own blood, battered to death. Finally a psychotic, obviously envious but bizarrely chopped in half Rudolph was stood next to the grotto with Santa's name crossed out and his own in it's place 'Rudolph's Grotto'!. Who may you ask was this card for ?

To Mum and Dad
Happy Christmas
Love from Kevin

Need I say more!!!
It had us all in stitches though, Harriet's facial expressions summed it up and she didn't even see the card!.
Tomorrow Harriet will continue to dominate me, probably demanding a frothy coffee and her nails doing ( reminds me of someone !), then we will pick the older two up, go for a mammoth sea side walk and demolish some fish and chips. Finally on Saturday we are hitting the waves. By the time Fiona returns home, late on Saturday, the house will be immaculate, the children will be fast asleep and I will be ready to go, I just need a sister to visit !.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Signed up

Signed, sealed and delivered. I am delighted to have signed a new contract at the club. The last five months of the season was an uncertain time, especially for my wife who asked me every day if I had heard anything!, but it didn't come down to money and contracts at that time. It just came down to achieving promotion, the rest, as is usually the case, takes care of itself - it's a good job we won though !!!.
I want to thank everybody for their tremendous support, it's been a real honour to Captain this club and I am really happy to be staying.
Hopefully that same group of lads can kick on and do well again next season, no predictions, but there is no reason why it can't happen.
With the fixture list coming out tomorrow I'm sure the excitement will build, but, speaking for myself, I'm still loving the relaxation and enjoyment of this summer break!. In saying that, after being at the club today I decided to get the old ( dusty ) trainers out and give them, and me, a bit of an airing! - apart from the odd blast at tennis, a bit of surfing, and a few kick-ups with Cam, the ball, boots and trainers have been firmly put away since Wembley - in fact it's the first time in twenty years I have given myself more than a week off.
I set off as I always have ( on a six mile trek ) on the country roads. It's a type of old school mentality of mine to hammer it on the first run, a sort of 'you won't break me' theme!. The first two miles or so went well but then I kicked my own calf ( bizarre I know ) which started to burn, then I got a bad blister which grew with every step and finally my hip shouted "Replacement" at me. I finally got home, ( no stopping on runs, it's a no no !) walked straight in to the back garden and put my legs under the tap for ten minutes - steam was literally coming off them!.
I am currently hobbling about and in desperate need of a dog basket to lie in for a few days!.
Don't be alarmed though, it's the same if you are twenty seven or thirty seven, you have to go through the pain first before your body can say "What else have you got then, bring it on!". For the moment though I will be getting some great usage from the outside tap.

P.S Pictures of road trip will surface, just not yet, as I am cream crackered.

P.P.S Sorry I couldn't play tennis Jas, anyway it will give you time to learn to serve overarm!!


Monday, 15 June 2009

Camping..ish !

The word, or should I say words, 'motor home', can, for most ( me included ) conjure up nightmarish thoughts of engine failure, leaks on rainy afternoons, sleeping conditions similar to that of a squirrel and of course major toilet disasters. All those thoughts have been banished after a weekend spent in said vehicle.
Jason and Sarah arrived in our 'home' for the next few days, we bid the children ( not happy children ! ) farewell and shot off, guilt ridden, destined for Newquay.
The hats were donned, captains and co-captains, and we were soon trundling down the highway. Then disaster struck, after no more than 25 minutes the passengers needed a refreshment break, we had to pull in to a lay-by and pour several large G and T's ( very good for travel sickness ! ).
Eventually we arrived at our site, it took a lot longer than it should have because the 'Sat-Nav lady' with the heavy American accent decided to say left every time we needed to turn right!. Once there we hooked up the 'lecky', set up the BBQ, and started to enjoy camping life - although, judging by the looks we got from several people struggling with there tents, our luxury Motorhome complete with flat screen TV and lounging area was really cheating the 'camping experience'.
Oh well!, the decision was made to take it 'easy' on the first night and so we dug in, threw the Tesco Finest 'sausers' on, tossed the salad, cooked the pork to perfection, gave the chicken an extra boost in our on board 'power oven', and finally took in the liquid refreshments.
It was a good laugh sat outside, and when, eventually, we decided to go indoors it was reassuring to turn on 'Johnny Ross' just to have on in the background!!!!. A full play through of both couples i-pods rounded off the night before it was time to head to bed. Jas and Sarah slept in the top double bunk for the first night whilst 'the wife' and I chose our bunks at the other end.
Shutting yourself away in these dens for a good nights sleep is the way forward!!. It wasn't to be though, as Jas decided that we should all get up at 7.30 because he was hot!!. He had been up since five fidgeting whilst we were dead to the world in our 'den's'
A full fry-up followed, then it was time to 'do' Newquay. It was here that the first major setback occurred. No one would go in the sea !!. It was left to me, board in hand and obligatory wetsuit undone half way, to toddle off down to the waters edge and then fight the waves, fall off a lot and drink gallons of sea water - I did it well and thanks again Jas for abandoning me at the last hurdle ( What rhymes with lickin, lays oval objects and has feathers ?).
On my return, two hours later, we jumped on the 'tuk tuk' which dropped us back in to town, where a spot of lunch and a few well deserved 'Reds' eased the pain. Next stop, whether it was this alcoholic boost that helped or not, Sarah decided to get a new tattoo.
We entered the parlour and before you could say "a tattoo is for life, not just for Christmas" Sarah had braved the needle and Fiona's 'supportive' banter and was the proud recipient of a new 'stars' design tattoo on her foot. It looked great, although Jas couldn't help but look resentful as he wanted a 'full sleeve' doing - we would have still been there now I think!.
I then realised the guy at the surf shop had kept my card, did a two mile doggy, and had another blast in the Tuk Tuk, before we all returned home, back to base.
A quick shower and we headed back to town for a night out ( a traumatic journey on a bus with a stalker sat next to Fiona ) . Anyway, in no particular order, four bars, four clubs, some 90's house music, lot's of 'shots', a bizarre but successful quiz machine interval, a midnight Indian, more 'shots', champers in a bistro, and some epic dance moves then followed. We got back to base, revisited the i-pods, and then crashed into our respective beds for some mush needed sleep.
Early start again as, no names mentioned, someone had a 'movement', Sarah !!.
We then unhooked the 'lecky' and drove to a nice spot for another full 'brekkie', before heading home. The combination of drinking, and having two fry-ups and an Indian the night before meant that the on board members felt like they were licking salt on the return journey but, all in all, it had been a top trip.
Apart from the 'major' after effects of Jas having had an Indian and a chilli in the same day, and the lack of a surf buddy, it was a brilliant laugh.
With that in mind, the warmth, the TV, the beds, the fridge, the lounge, the shower, the toilet, the oven, what have we decided to do as a family in around a week.....yes you have guessed it, we are going camping with a tent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
Fiona will pack the GHD's, the duvets, lots of food, a few bottles of plonk, and of course the tent, and, while me and the children zip up the tent at night, she will be rolling back the covers and relaxing with hello magazine in one hand and a 'Kir royal' in the other at the nearest decent hotel!!!!.

P.S Pics to follow tomorrow


Friday, 12 June 2009

Road Trip

Apologies about another night of 'non posting', the evening seemed to disappear, time wise, as two major events took place. Firstly my 'cook off' mate Jase and myself went to pick up the RV ( Motor home ) for this weekends road trip, and secondly, and obviously most importantly!, me and the children then picked up Mum/ Grandma/Avy from the train station - a babysitting and weekend break mission combined. I'm sure the young clan are excited ( sweets, treats and late nights here we come !!!
The children begrudgingly returned to school this week, and were pleasantly surprised to find out that their first day back was an outdoor day, complete with tent building and cooking over an open fire. Gone are the days when an outdoor day at school meant 15 minutes of 'Air' in the playground!!.
So in around an hour we set off on the road trip. We will, in no particular order, be surfing, eating, getting lost, drinking ( moderately of course ), laughing, and exploring. All this safe in the knowledge that we have a copy of ' Meet the Fockers' on board to guide us through.
I will sign off now and on Monday, fingers crossed, I will have two good pieces of news to report.

P.S. Sorry Dan, I know you thought the time had passed but.......... I must mention the latest tennis score. We biked to the court, Dan tried to tire me out by setting of like Lance Armstrong and once there the fireworks started. In the first game of the first set we had a major court violation ( Dan volleyed a ball on the country club roof !), the pace of the match was frantic with the first set being fiercely contested...and we could go on, but lets just cut to the chase!. 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. Don't let it get to you mate, see you on court next week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.


Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Back home

Back on Terra Firma, back home, nice to be back, Burt Bacharack, yes we are home. After a late flight back and an even later 'early morning' drive home the Hargreaves clan arrived in Devon. The flight wasn't actually that bad as a friend from our Birmingham days, who we hadn't seen for ages, was heading the cabin crew on board. There was a mixture of bemusement and slight, but understandably tired, envy from other passengers as an array of toys, food and drinks, and blankets came our way for the duration of the flight, thanks again Shazza !.
Well back to the hols, a great time was had by all. The Hargreaves, Sills and Mansells all descended on the the same place. It was great to reflect after the season we have had and just relax. Obviously holiday rules apply 'What goes on tour stays on tour' but with children everywhere it was a case of donning the 'Red Coat' and digging in. I actually got roped into ( literally ) raft building around the pool after only ten minutes of being there, but it had to be done.
In bullet form 'Sillsy' ate the most, Hattie had the least sleep, Alyssa had the most baked beans with her, Baby Sills got the best tan, Issy had the best slide run, Cam spent the most time underwater, Manse had the most tattoes, Lisa ( sister of Manse, and rumour has it a better player, had the most children -none of her own !!!, Mandy Mansell ( Mum of lee ) got the most drinks in and had the most Birthday's, of one, her fortieth !, the non Wags of Fiona, Shelly, Hannah had the most ( by a long way ) sunbathing time, and finally I did what I do best, moaned, about the 'Owt for nowters', the football shirts, the endless supply of skull and crossbones, love and hate, Chinese, Japanese, back and front tattoos and the 'If I don't get twenty seven pints in, eat my own body weight in food, or eat at least four ice-creams today this all-inclusive will have been an absolute waste of money ( and that was just our families !!!!!! ).
Cam and I managed to get in record scores between us of thirty headers, sixty kick-ups and seventy-two 'pat-pats'. Job done. Back to reality now and schools must be attended, houses must be tidied and sold, and hopefully contracts must be signed !!.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Air Time

Still alive!!!!! Only just though! For some bizarre reason whilst everyone else was tucking into lappings of beer ambre solair and cheese toaties by the pool the Hargreaves clan decided to go Paragliding !!!! Oh my god we chose the windiest day of the year and the boat was in dire need of a service. Add to that the fact that we were held on by a reef knot at three hundred feet I think we all had thoughts ABANDON SHIP!.
It was traumatic but a good laugh all the same and hey we live to tell the tale!. I cant find any commas or in fact any other abbreiviations barring a full stop and an exclamation mark hence lots of both!!.
In fact if you are reading this it probably sounds like I need to stop for air!!!.
Must got now as Turkish Bob is on the warpath someone has splilt an unidentified drink on one of his keyboards!!!.
I will sign off now until Tuesday when I shall elaborate more on the last few days and get back to grips with the footballing world.


Thursday, 4 June 2009

Fingers on fire

Back on.....................Testing times trying to blog as currently over run by the facebook and MSN mob. Thier fingers are literally burning such is the speed of the typing. Anyway good times here lots of sun lots of kick ups with boy lots of dunking with the girls and lots of arguing with my wife = so yes a normal break away!!!!. I am struggling to find the right keys so apologies about my grammatical Faux pas !!!!!.
Must go as Turkish Bob is approaching with a menacing look in his eye.


Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Far Away

Tarzan lives on..............Yes I have found access to the internet. In loyalty to the readers of the blog it's the least I could do although the location I'm in and the duration I am 'live' could be affected by the big boy charging me five pounds for five minutes. I will try again tomorrow if I can sneak away without being spotted !!.