Sunday, 30 August 2009

Laugh or Cry

So we set off on Friday in positive mood, a good weeks training and an unusually early 11.30 a.m getaway saw us fly for the first 45 minutes, then disaster. Some poor bloke had decided that enough was enough, he hauled himself over a bridge barrier and began what must have been a tortuous six hours.
It certainly was for the thousands of people stuck on the M5 for the duration. Women and children were in tears, stress levels reached maximum. It wasn't bad for us on the coach but for the single mum's with children and cars packed with families it must have been a nightmare. We had already hit a car by then though, a woman hit her brakes, the driver hit his brakes, but there was a timing issue and we soon had on board a woman with question mark whiplash and no back windscreen!. What a sight it was as Pete 'The Guru' Morgan leaped to her 'rescue' to give her a roadside massage ( It's the quickest he has moved all season! ).
The madness continued, the distraction of a woman, who lets say was thinking of alternative things to do in her car to relieve the boredom, kept our section of the motorway ( and the back of our coach ) occupied for at least an hour!!!!. We then decided to walk to the nearest services, passing a couple in their car who must have forgotten where they were, or who knew Ford KA woman!, a car packed to the rafters with three generations of Oxford fans and some Yeovil Town player's. Normal stuff really considering we were walking up what was normally a race track.
The services were having a field day, never before have they sold so many packs of crisps, cans of coke, £5 burgers and paracetamols.
We stayed there for a while, chatting to stressed out parents who were trying to cope with tired siblings and extortionate prices. After a quick trip back to our coach for an update it was decided that our evening meal was going to be a whopper ( no I actually mean a Whopper! ). The queue was a few hundred deep ( first exaggeration of the story! ) so it was again decided that just Brian ( a director and general top bloke ) would order for all of us - a good job really as it was a danger zone. The added bonus of someone leaving a 'present' on the floor in the queue of death just added to the gastronomic delight!.
Eventually at 8 p.m the traffic got moving again, a good job really as a near riot ( directed at the police ) was brewing on the hard shoulder.
We were re routed through Bristol and, after ten games of cards, thousands of **** type words, some shocking banter ( no names mentioned ) and 14 hours of naked coach life ( on board heat! ) we arrived. There was just enough time for my phone to break ( never, ever, ever get a 3 mobile ) before we all hit the rock hard sack at 2.30 a.m !!!.
Up at seven with a stiff neck, a loss to a team that we were better than, another 6 hours back and the weekend was complete. This tale would have been funnier had we have won - the writing style would have been a bit lighter! - or had there been a happy ending. In the end all the delays and motorway stress counted for nothing. The poor bloke ( who, as you can imagine, was the topic of everyones conversation ) on the bridge eventually made the decision that his time was up and, after six long hours on a ledge, decided to jump, a sad end to a life and I'm sure a very sad outcome for the people who tried to talk him down
Tonight will be spent missing my family, eating the entire contents of the fridge and flicking the control at will.

CH -4

Journey from Hell

The mother of all journey's has just ended at 12.30 a.m. I am just going to give you the facts until my sense of humour returns - we set off yesterday at 11 a.m and didn't arrive at the hotel until 2.30!. We then played well but lost, a bad goal conceded just before half time and another late on when we were pushing for an equaliser saw us off. I feel sick physically and mentally, a combination of too much time spent on the coach and the disappointment of working your 'proverbials' off for nothing has finished me off for the weekend. Returning to an empty house, as my wife and children have gone away, is the final straw. Do not approach for seven days.
Apologies if this is not what you want to read but that is the reality of life as a footballer, up and down. Thanks alot to all of you who travelled to see us today.


Thursday, 27 August 2009


Sorry folks, well those of you who can't sleep or who are bored on night shifts and are sneaking onto the works computer!, I have have just remembered to blog!. A combination of visiting grandparents and excited children, combined with a late return to the house for yours truly, means that I have just sat down for contemplation, relaxation and anything else ending with 'tion'!.
Today was one of those days when everything seemed to be in slow motion apart from the most important thing, time, which seemed to be running at double the speed that I wanted it to. It's always the case, whenever you are in a rush you inevitably get stuck behind a learner driver, a tractor, or someone who knows you are in a rush and so makes every effort to keep his foot wedged on the brake and feed the wheel at an international level. I think we are a nation of 'rusher's' though, it's a given that you will get trampled on in any of the major cities such is the pace of life, bit even in the supposed sleepy backwater of Devon 'time is money'.
There is a saying that we spend the first half of our lives rushing around to save time, only to spend the second half wondering what to do with the time that we saved !!. Whoever said it may be right, and also had lot's of time on his or her hands !!.
Deep breathing needed tomorrow, so it will be a case of sweating on the team coach for seven hours whilst attempting to beat Hodges, Brough and Beavan at cards. Easy!.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009


So another player signs a new five year, forty grand a week, contract. And which glamorous club is it? yes you guessed it...Notts County. And which player is it? yes well guessed again..ex England and Arsenal captain Sol Campbell. If you are a Notts County fan I think it's fair to say you are in for a bit of a ride. How long it lasts, and how far it goes, is another story!.
Back to reality, and after returning from training I decided that our recent tour of Devon and Cornwall had to stop - for monetary reasons and weather predictions!. Instead, whilst Cam ( my boy ) was out at a friends and Fiona ( my wife ) was posting things to Croatia ( e-bay! ) I took the girls to the park. Hatty rode her bike believing that she could ride up kerbs with no problem and that roads were friendly places to be, Issy and I rescued her in turn. Once at the park we witnessed a sight that would be funny if it wasn't a bit of a worry. A girl of about six, kitted out in pink clothes, hat, and bike, was riding towards us, wobbling all over. Normal, you may be thinking, but no, the little girl was wobbling all over because she was texting on her phone!!!!. Then she actually made a phone call!!.
I wondered what she might be saying, maybe it was "Hi Britney, I'm at the park, I'm just about to try the roundabout" or "Hey Taylor shall we do lunch, bring your High School Musical pack up and I'll save us a bench" or maybe she was texting 'HI HOW R U? DID U SEE FI FI AND THE FLOWERTOTS THIS MORNING, IT WAS MENTAL!
Not satisfied with the one handed bike riding though, she then attempted one handed swinging, one handed climbing, and one handed roundabouting ( not a word I know! ). All this whilst still having a conversation!.
It only came to an end when she got stuck on the see-saw!, the poor little lamb was shouting for her mum to get her off. But her mum couldn't do it could she, of course not, she was texting away herself !!!!!!!!!. Maybe she was texting 'IM AT THE PARK, YOUR TEA IS ON THE SIDE BUT THE DOG ATE MOST OF YOUR POTATOES, AND I CANT BELIEVE YOU GOT OUR PRINCESS THAT PHONE, SHE IS TEXTING HER HEAD OFF' !!.
By this time we had done the zip wire ten times and the assault course ( albeit in a slower time than normal as we were all swan necking pink mobile mum and pink mobile daughter who at no point looked up from their respective 'walkie talkie's' ).
At the weekend I am being abandoned as Fiona and the grandparents go away for a weeks break, I have therefore been stockpiling dairy milk, red wine, prison break DVDs and will, for the next 48 hours be doing household chores on an epic scale!


Tuesday, 25 August 2009


I can't believe I haven't mentioned the cricket. What a performance in the last test, great stuff, Freddie and co will be partying for the next few weeks I'm sure - no invites to 10 Downing street this time though !!.
Short blog tonight as my wife is on an e-bay mission, it's sell, sell, sell. As always though after the sell, sell, sell, it will almost certainly be buy, buy, buy!.
Today we took the clan for a body board blast and a sandy picnic, Hatty has just 'retired' after running us ragged for twelve hours, and when the older two are dispatched to the land of nod ( very soon ) we can then exhale!!.


Monday, 24 August 2009

Crazy Games

I have been a bit preoccupied by my own sport recently to talk about any of our nations other favourites, but I have to mention the old 'rugger' controversy. Four Harlequin players have been caught on camera feigning injury, by bursting fake blood pouches and then walking off the field of play apparently 'poleaxed'( Definitely should have brushed up on their acting skills! ). Absolutely shocking play from the player's, directors, and all concerned with the club. What makes it worse is listening some of the 'big wigs' in the sport trying to wriggle out of it, dismissing it as a bit of 'foul play'. Then the player's come out and say they want to put a line under it and that in the future it will make them stronger!!!!!!!. Poor stuff from the 'big boy's'.
I'm sure my mate Ian, a former Rugby player and drinker of several crates of Bass after a game, is a bit miffed by it all. He is still trying to come to terms with my sport having the wrong shaped ball, now the 'diver's' in football have actually been overtaken ten fold by the 'wow I think I'll kid everybody by pretending it's Halloween' crew!!!!!.
And we all know what would happen if a football player had done that, I'm thinking a minimum punishment of a public hanging!!.
Football is still the craziest of sports though, in what other business would the controversy of a random stabbing of a defender, or the purchase, by a 'newly rich' club, of a £24,00,000 pound defender, hit the headlines in the same week!.


Sunday, 23 August 2009

Brownie points

A very disappointing and frustrating afternoon yesterday, losing at home to Barnet, a team we were well capable of beating, was really hard to bare. They defended very well, especially in the second half when we were totally on top, but we just couldn't manage to score that elusive goal. Combine that with us letting in a really poor goal meant that it was definitely three valuable points dropped. Again we will have to react well in the next game, it is proving to be a tough league but we all feel that this can be successful season.
Taking defeats is extremely difficult to handle but moping around all day is not an option, inside you are annoyed and wound up but for the sake of the family you have to carry on as normal. Today it was carvery, Go Karts and beach, all washed down with a 'glug' of resentment from the mums ( Fiona and Sarah ), as the dad's ( Jase and Christian ) had been on a mini ( two of us! ) 'stag do' last night. Cameo appearances from Scott Mills, Cyndi lauper, Big Bird and the 'yellow army' made us laugh, but today it was low profile and back to earning the all important brownie points !!!!!.





Friday, 21 August 2009

Life's a Beach

It's a nice change to be preparing for a game knowing that there is an older player than me in the oppositions team!. Paul Furlong is 40 and is currently still playing for Barnet, whether or not I make the big 4 0, or not, is another issue but I will be interested to know what keeps him going and how many supplements and vitamins he gets through in a week !!!.
As a family we have a sort of 'home game ritual' the night before a match, if Dad is playing at home then we all go for a late walk on the beach, have fish and chips ( not me obviously! ), and then return home and relax in front of the box. What a great life it is, as long as you win on the Saturday of course!!!.


Thursday, 20 August 2009

Tape it

A short sharp session this morning was followed by a couple of presentations and pictures. Myself and Kev Nicholson ( the only other lad at the club who will do it no questions asked! ow! ) popped in to see Frank Prince first at one of his courses, a great bloke and a ringer for an older 'Hilly'. A penalty shoot out ( well done Ellis!) twenty trophies and certificates later and we then shot over to meet Pete Morgan and some of the young golfing academy hopefuls at Dainton golf course. Smile please and it was done.
The age old argument though that golf is a good walk spoiled will always be remain, but those who argue against it are either impatient or can't hit the ball. If your both you are just plain bitter !!. I fall into the first category ( ok the second as well ! ), after five holes I am checking the mobile and looking at the watch, time is money!.
Pete has really settled in well at the club, even though he has removed his trademark moustache, the stories and banter remain. His epic journey through China in the summer was hilarious, diarrhea, sickness and sight seeing just don't mix !.
Today ( apologies Tyrone if you are reading this ) Pete used some of his new 'special tape' on Ty's face. After taking a new course Pete has come across some cutting edge tape ( currently being used by lots of athletes in the world championships ) that is great for muscle injuries ( basically heals, supports and kids your brain that your ok, Japanese again ! ). I am covered in it !.
Pete managed to 'persuade' Ty that his fractured cheekbone would benefit from some tape. So now, not only is he sporting a fancy 'Spiderman' pattern on his face, it is also pink!!!!!. Good luck with that one Ty, Pete will let you know the results in a couple of day's!.
Other than Wroey's five hour marathon monopoly game ( including homemade burgers! ) and Broughy's fright at the sight of a poodle, it is all quiet at the club.
Gotta go, Hatty is drawing on the rug and the kitchen is on fire!.


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

St Trinians

The return coach journey form Burton was, again, emotional. The coach we had used for our previous game was 'out of service' and so we were supplied with a St Trinians style one, complete with overflowing facilities !, and missing a vital ingredient for the card school, tables !!.
By the time the stagecoach rolled into town bodies were lying everywhere. A 2.a.m stop at MacDonald's kept the lads spirits up but by the time we returned to Devon it was like the set of 'The Living Dead' on board, just without the Ghoul and Mark Ellis !!. I must say, whilst on the topic of ghost like figures, a big 'all the best' to Mark and Stevie Adams who have both gone to Forest Green on loan. They are really good people who I hope do really well, in saying that though they are a terrible advertisement for the English Riviera. You couldn't have chosen two whiter lads to go out on loan !!!!.
Back to the trip and with Broughy cleaning up at cards, Bevs constantly taking pictures of himself and Ricey pushing the boundaries of bodily contact, it was time for me to take a 'Prison Break' ( good play on words eh !!!).
Before I forget, modern lingo has definitely reached new levels, in football anyway. Not content with 'Phat', 'Dark', 'Safe', "you dig me", and other 'hood' slang ( Danny and Muzzi can roll with the best of them ) a Burton player broke new ground last night. As Muzzi walked in to the changing room he saw a mate and said hello to him, the lad in question turned and replied...... " You blessed yeah" !!. What is that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I don't think the reply " Yes old chap, C of E, 1972 St Peter's church " was what he was looking for !.
Onto the new boys and firstly Ben Joyce, silent but deadly, limits his words to seven a day. Secondly Scott Rendell, scores goals, spends a lot of time on the old 'barnet' and hates talking about Wembley !!. Finally Kieran Charnock, loves " Uniiiited", loves weights and hates hotels. Seriously though they have all settled in really well and we are delighted to have them at the club.

In the middle of the night !!

I'm back !, it's 3.10 a.m, my left groin is burning ( nothing untoward ! ), my left leg is currently in ice as I can feel a constant stabbing pain, and my head is spinning, due to four back to back episodes of Prison Break ( return journey )three games of cards ( return journey ) and 90 mg of caffeine ( needed it tonight ), other than that though I feel great!.
Well done to all the lads tonight, those who played and those who didn't, it was an important result for all the right reasons. The train rolls on regardless.
Thank you to everyone who made the trip to support us, again a fantastic turnout, considering the trek and the day of the week !!.
Tomorrow I will be mostly thinking, that is after I have clocked off as entertainments manager to my three little monkey's.


P.S Next blog; report on journey home and 'the new lad's'.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Cut off

For fear of this blog becoming a site for a ranting old man I will ignore the fact that I am in one hell of a wound up mood today and just continue through gritted teeth.
In fact no I won't!, I think sometimes in life you reach a cut off point, mine is now. I will though be back on 'blog' late on Tuesday after the game or on Wednesday morning, both determined by the result and the hour !.

P.S Well done Jessica Ennis, top stuff.

Late Blog: I'm annoyed with myself big time, forget all of the above, I have just seen on the news that two more young lad's have been killed in Afghanistan. That is a wake up call to end all other's. Life is hard sometimes, but it is life, and I reckon that should definitely be enjoyed.


Sunday, 16 August 2009


No blog Friday and no blog last night. We arrived quite late at the hotel on Friday, and with the Internet charges running into the 20's I decided to opt out. Last night we returned home around 11 p.m but I was in a very bad mood, so anything written would definitely have been in haste!!.
Having had time to reflect, the mood hasn't lifted, but the thought process has had time to simmer. After having had such a good start in our first game yesterday's showing was well below par, in fact I can't remember seeing five goals go in against us for a long, long time. As always I look at myself first, and I am far from happy, a few choice words were said after the game followed by a few more this morning.
While most people were in bed relaxing we were all at the training ground, what was left of the weekend ruined by 90 bad minutes!.
We all now have to react well, as we have done over the last two seasons, and look to beat Burton. Some things have happened at the club, close season, that have been far from perfect and yesterday's performance seemed to reflect that to me. There are no excuses on the pitch but we all have to make sure that the club is going in the same direction and that everybody is singing from the same page. If not it will be a long, hard season.
A big thanks to everybody who made the journey to London to support us.

Today, as is usually the case after defeats the tension at home was at a high level!. The added combination of job hunting, the recession, wage cuts, rental properties, as well as the obvious loss, doesn't mix well. A walk on the beach, a strong coffee and four big hugs has soon sorted that !!!!.


Thursday, 13 August 2009


It was smiles all round this morning as we 'modelled' the latest kit for the annual team photo. Before I forget I must mention the game the other night. A 2 1 loss to Crystal Palace may seem like a case of 'unlucky eh' but the general feeling was that we deserved more. Anyway it doesn't matter now, it's back to the capital this weekend to face another team, this time in the league and this time at a slightly different ground !.
Back to the photo shoot and a few of the lads were sporting new hair cuts ( Kev ) and some, new suntans ( Bev's ), otherwise it was business as usual.....mess about, abuse all the cameramen and complain about the seating arrangements!.
Once training had finished I dragged Scott Beaven and Mark Ellis to the opening of a butcher's in Babbacoombe called 'Save On Meats' ( we are open to offers, haberdasheries, grocer's, hardware shops, we do the lot! ). Run by Bob and Sue it's an old school style butcher's that I think will do well ( I can't do any more plugging than that! ). Once Bev's had been abused ( just harmless banter ) and Mark and stared at everyone ( the words are nearly there! ) we trotted off home with our goodie bags of 'sausers and steaks'. Sorry Kev there were only three bags !.

I must apologise to our friends Carl and Ange who have been staying with us. I have hardly had time to see you guys. I know you will have been 'really disappointed' (both of you ) about that as I haven't been able to drag you halfway around Devon and Cornwall, but at least the liquid refreshments ( Fiona and Ange ) have eased the pain !.

Finally, I have two small 'topics' of conversation tonight, British Rail and Car Stickers ( No connection ! ). I travelled to London on Wednesday by rail, I paid a fortune for my ticket of which the price increased the later I booked it. The bizarre thing about it was that, once I was on board, a nice man upgraded me to First class, which would have cost three times as much. I'm not complaining but I did feel like I had abandoned my fellow 'squashed in' passengers, that is of course until I reclined the chair and received my complimentary coffee !!. But my point is that First class was totally empty, so why on earth don't British Rail do the decent thing and let more passengers in there ( elderly passengers, mums, etc, etc ) instead of ramming everyone in 'cattle class'. Or at least reduce the price !!. That said, I was pleased that on the way home I was back with my fellow hardy comrades, as an elderly couple got a fit of giggles so bad that it made everyone else laugh as well. They still know how to party!.
Oh yes, and car sticker's ! You know what I mean, ones like 'My other car's a Porsche' and 'Don't mess' etc etc. Well today I was behind a car that receives my award for 'Chaviest car sticker of the year award 2009'. It read....... 'DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT', inspirational stuff eh !!!!!!!.


Butcher of Devon

A big slap on the wrists for yours truly, no blog on Tuesday or Wednesday means that I am actually giving myself a final warning!. In all fairness though we only arrived back in Devon at 3.a.m, following, the Palace game and last night another very late return ( this time to see a man about a dog )put pay to any literary delights.
I'm shooting out the door now, this morning we have the photo call and traning, and then this afternoon I am opening a butcher's !!!!!! tough at the top eh !.
I will share some snippets with you of the last few days activities but for now it's "Smile please" !.


Monday, 10 August 2009

Wembley.....again !

Apologies about the lack of posting yesterday, a very late return to Devon, for a very tired father and son, meant that it was just a case of 'lock up and bed down' last night.
I took my son Cameron to Wembley yesterday to see the 'Community Shield'( although we all still call it 'Charity Shield' ). I have to say that, for both of us, it was nice to be approaching Wembley stress free for a change !. On to the game and, in the 'Cliche' world of football, it certainly was a 'story' of two halves. Man Utd dominated the first, Chelsea the second. The biggest surprises of the day though were that of Man Utd getting a late equaliser, and of Didier Drogba getting abused each time he 'went down' after every aerial challenge ( that he lost ). You may be saying "What are you talking about he always gets abused" , and to that I say, yes he does, but this time it was from the Chelsea fans !!!!!.
Cam was obviously delighted that Chelsea won, after seeing them lose last years semi final in the last minute, and the final the year before that on penalties, he was really fearing the worst !. To celebrate the win ( and to kill time before the 9 p.m train ! ) we took the tube into Covent Garden for a bite to eat and to take in a few shows ( street entertainer's! ). The food was good and the acts even better, a half naked Aussie juggler, laid on a bed of nails and suspended fifteen feet in the air definitely deserved a clap!.
After being squashed into numerous red hot tube train's, walking ten's of miles, and spending a small fortune I was relieved to be home. Added to the fact that I had a bit of whiplash after Saturdays game ( spiking incident ), and that the Black cab driver at the station decided the best speed to go on the way back was 17 mph, and that the best route to go was past his mate's Dave's house, I was almost whimpering up into bed.
All in all a good day but, am I being greedy, if I do return there I would prefer to return as a player !!.


Saturday, 8 August 2009

League Football

It was a proud moment to be leading the team out today, back in the football league and even better, at home. I thought the lad's were excellent this afternoon, some great individual performances and a real desire to win. You might know that, after weeks of rain, the weather for the first game of the campaign was 'oven like', no air and a severe lack of lung activity meant for a pretty torrid first twenty minutes ( for me anyway! ). The atmosphere in the stadium was fantastic though, it is something we are going to need this season more than ever.
And so here we are again, sat at home in my boxer's, with an extreme 'dab' on, my body in turmoil, and with the prospect of another fifty or so games. It's great to be back!!.
Tomorrow the girls hit the beach for some ray's and waves, while the boy and I head off for somewhere quite familiar ( for Torquay fans anyway ), yes we are off to Wembley to watch Chelsea v Man Utd. I hope for Cam's sake, and for the sake of my wallet, that we at least return to Devon with a Chelsea win!.
Must go as there is a large glass of medicinal red wine calling me over.

Thanks again for your support.


Friday, 7 August 2009

Back to Work

It's that time again, the night before the first game of the season, and it feels like it always has, a mixture of excitement and relief. Excitement that you are soon going to be hearing the 'bell' sound, and relief that that the build up and talk will soon be over. It is time to go back to work.
As I always say there are no crystal balls or tea leaves and no predictions, all there is is a determination to do well from a group of lad's and set of staff that want success. I hope for the fans that tomorrow is an enjoyable day, for that to happen, as always, we go to win the game.
For now though it's a Berocca, a slice of 'Prison Break' and an 'earlyish' night.


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Fatherly love

Belated congratulations to 'next door's', yes Paul and Amanda, our 'other' next door neighbours, are the proud parents of baby Molly . And their three year old son Will has cause for double the excitement. Not only does he now have a baby sister to play with, he also has a proper girlfriend. Yes Harriet Hargreaves is in town !!!. They are currently taking it easy at this stage but 'woe be tide' any toddler who comes between 'Willy' and 'Hatty'. 'H' is not to be messed with !.
Obviously at this stage I can make light of the fact that one of my daughter's has a boyfriend but, and it is a big but, when the day comes that a testosterone filled youth knocks on the Hargreaves door, offers a limp, warm handshake and then attempts to drive her off in a car that looks like it has just reversed into Halfords, then 'Houston' we have a problem.
I have already decided to install CCTV in the 'games' room I am planning for my clan. In true 'Meet the Fockers' style I will use high tech gadgetry to hide my camera's and, if for some reason I miss something but still suspect wrong doing, I will not hesitate in using a highly concentrated dose of 'truth serum' on the accused. A quick jab in the neck, a five minute wait, and then some answers !.
I dread to think what my father in law to be ( he didn't imagine that scenario would happen! ) thought when I used to screech up in my car at seventeen, pick up his little girl, and then screech off again. Not only that, I was also a footballer !.
It hasn't been that bad though, they say the first fifteen years are the toughest, and, since we have had children, and certainly in the last couple of years I have really been welcomed with begrudgingly open arms !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Only joking Iain, you are a true gent, a top father in law, and a wonderful grandad, and mine's a pint of Guinness next time we are up !.


Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Signing on ?

A huge thanks to everyone who came to the club tonight for the book signing. It was also a good chance to talk about Wembley one last time before this season starts! I met some great people with great stories, I must give a special mention to Graham and Karen who will know why. Thanks also to Melanie for the massage cream, it will come in handy ( I know that sounds a bit dodgy but it's all above board ! ).
Football is all about opinions, and so, I think, is writing. Some people will like it/you, and some people won't. But as my wise old mate always says "Don't knock 'him' until you've tried it", "If your ears are burning, don't worry you just have itchy ear's " and my favourite "**** *** *** *****" ( Don't read into the last one too much, really it says 'Hear all you want's' ).
It seems a while since I have spoken about my little 'firecracker' Hatty, you may be wondering why I don't call her 'Hatty Beast' any more. Well recently she had a little visit to her pre, pre school. When the teacher asked her to introduce herself to the class she shouted "I'm Hatty Beast" !. We have all now started the weening process!.
I actually had a nice bit of time with 'H' the other day, you know, den building, pillow fights etc, and then we told each other stories. I told Hatty one and then she began..." Once, a once, a once a time, Helen ( ? ) went to the shops, she bought some food, some dog wellies and some cat biscuit's and then she jumped out of a ditch and then we all had some food ". Work that one out ! to be fair to her though my story did contain a lot of that information, just a different way round !!!!.


Monday, 3 August 2009

To be or not to be

*Slight technical hitch ! I thought I had posted this blog last night, never mind I will add onto it later on *

Huge thanks to everybody who popped into Torbay bookshop tonight. It was a small gathering of friends, who have either helped me with the book, supplied material for the book, who are involved at the club, or who just wanted a to get out of the house!.
As I am now an official author!, joining the likes of old Bill Shakespeare and Roald Dahl, I must start planning my next book. Lot's of ideas have already crossed my mind, the latest being ' The Top 1000 Rants' ( I like the title but it's not very light hearted is it !).
Just a very small 'finally' tonight.....Finally, a mate of mine, no names mentioned, popped over to a friends 'ish' ( hence no names mentioned ) the other day. As both sets of children began playing together the friend 'ish' in question's mum ( stay with it ) excitedly called the children over saying " Who would like a milky button" ? Kid's being Kid's they shot over to the sweetie tin. Once there the mum opened the tin and handed her children a button each, they then mooched off trying to make them last longer than 4 seconds. Then my mate's little one was handed 'a' button, she ate it but this time just stood there in total amazement saying "more". But no, the tin was shut and everyone carried on as normal!!!!!!!.
They are either on war time rations, they are pretending to be little doggies, or they are used to being on the receiving end of one of the sadistic acts of cruelty to children I have ever seen because at that rate a small bag of buttons would last them a month!!!!. It's a good job Hatty wasn't there. On her Birthday morning we gave her a big bag of giant buttons. I don't know whether there was a hole in her
bag but by 9.30 a.m they were gone !!!!.

LATER ON.......

I know I don't often talk about the old 'fuzball', and that may annoy some people, so I will give you an idea of how the week is shaping up for the first game of the season. Monday was tactical, defensive or attacking work depending on who needed what !. Today we had a hard day, long runs, short runs and then a high tempo game. Tomorrow will be a strength day for those who need it, Thursday will involve more high tempo games and set pieces and Friday will be a short combination of everything.
The mood in the camp is good, we have seen some new faces join which makes the competition for places fierce. Personally I feel like I have only just recovered from the efforts of the last two seasons, the summer break seemed to fly by ( for everybody ), but the old body has finally recovered enough for battle !.
As far as the lad's are concerned Bev's is still lifting weights semi naked ( with me ! )and talking to himself, Wroey is still cycling the Devon and Cornwall coast in his spare time, Elliott has now matured enough to be trusted with sharp knives, Toddy is still wearing belt buckles encrusted with diamonds, Hodgy and the Ghoul have recieved a new car school member who refuses to speak ( Ben Joyce ), Muzzi and Ty are still approachable with extreme caution!, Danny and Robbo have started saving already for next years 'Danny and Robbo go large in Ibiza', Manse, Sillsy and Kev are back in the circle of trust after their video diary attack on me, Mark Ellis is now mingling, Ricey is turning into Liam Gallagher, Wayne is considering starting a band ( Ricey lead singer ? ), and finally I...well you only have to read the blog to know how mentally disturbed I am!!!!

P.S welcome to Scott Rendell and to Pete 'the Guru without a tache' Morgan.


Sunday, 2 August 2009

Party Time

A great guest list, lot's of food and drink and good entertainment, Harriet's birthday party went like a dream. Big thanks to her 'mates', Ruby, Piper, Alyssa, Ethan, Morgan, Maddie, Jessica, Will, Joe, Morgan, Phoebe, Joseph, Imogen, Shae, and Ellie, not forgetting her big brother and sister. Big thanks also to their parents for Hatty's gifts !, of which she loved. Although it has to be said that the most excitement shown by 'H' was towards the remaining party bags ! ( edible ! ).
She is now asleep, a weekend of partying has seen her off. I am now going to play Dan at tennis, my wife is going to look for part time job's ( for both of us ! the overdraft is at breaking point ) and the other two are 'playing' a game of noughts and crosses involving both of them saying that they have won and ending with them both falling out !


P.S I can't do it to you Dan, I just can't do it !.

Saturday, 1 August 2009


What about this !. My next door neighbour Dan, a fireman and improving tennis player, rang me to say he had been called out to a fire ( no shock there then I hear you say ). Before I forget I must mention that the local planners have done a fantastic job creating a children's park in the neighbourhood, complete with zip wire, football/basketball court, slides, swings, den's, tunnels and climbing frames etc, etc, etc.
Back to the story though, and, as I say, Dan phoned me and, as I say again, he told me about a fire he had attended. But no, it wasn't a house, no, it wasn't a car, nor was it a bike or even a bush!. No, some local 'chavs' had climbed up on top of the huge wooden climbing frame and set fire to the 'carved' owl sitting proudly above the park. Not being satisfied with the way it was burning they decided to put a plastic bag over the top of the owl, put their hands in their pockets, ( full of Rothman's stubs, knuckle duster's and badness ) pull out some matches and give it a real good go !!!!.
So now as you pass by there is a lovely reminder or their handy work, a half burnt owl !!, good work lad's, next time why not bring some petrol, a few flamethrowers and have a party to remember. Meanwhile the excited schoolchildren can carry on watching as the procession of fire engines pass by !!.

Is it just me or am I getting old !!!!!!!.


Birthday Girl

Tomorrow ( well today really as it is now 1 a.m! ) is Hatty's 3rd birthday. Having Harriet was certainly a surprise ( as were the other two actually !!) and the first year was a real test, a return to sleepless nights and nappies after a six year break. But I have to say that she is an absolute star ( I know I am bias, I am always so thankful though to see my little clan when I return home after games ), Harriet has kept us all on our toes and constantly has us all in stitches. Tomorrow will be no different, she will come downstairs dressed like a Russian 'dancer' ( Lot's of leggings, denim and jewellery ) , she will ask for a hot chocolate with "muchmallows", she will have made three or four 'calls' by 9 o'clock ( "Erm hi yes it's me are you going to the game "?)!! but most of all she will have given out at least twenty huge hugs and kisses.
We love you Hatty, Happy Birthday.

CH, FH, CH and IH