Monday, 30 November 2009


Tonight's blog may take some time, so, for now, I will give you a list of topics to ponder over whilst I type away.

Coach Trip
Game Off
TV Awards
Weather(It's a Brit thing!)
Bike Theft
Track and Field

....and breath!

First of all may I take the opportunity to say whichever 'Chav' stole my little girls bike from her School last Friday had better start peddling very, very fast, because if catch as much as a glimpse of a 'hoodie' on a pink BMX over the next couple of day's there will be explaining to do of near biblical proportion. Receiving the news of the theft, and of Issy's tears, sent me into a rage that has yet to die down, so let's hope for every one's sake that I don't come across the culprit responsible.
OK I have now counted to ten. Last Thursday's weekly lunch not only broke new records, it also saw new faces. Incredibly, 'Bevs' decided to bring along the brother's grim, Chris Robertson and Mark Ellis, for lunch. This, after already keeping us waiting for 40 minutes, went down like the proverbial lead balloon.
After the initial shock the waitresses let 'Dingle' and 'Robbo' in, which was all the more surprising considering 'Robbo' looked like he was going to rob the place with his beanie hat and hoodie on, and that 'Dingle' didn't utter a word, he just stared at the girls with menace.
Anyway we eventually ate (shocking banter from the girls, you just can't get the staff nowadays!!!!!), 'Manse' was emaciated by the time his food came, I was freezing and ill (little did I know it was the start of the Delhi Belly) and had to resort to wearing one of Kev's knitwear specials, and Kev himself was just annoyed that I wasn't paying!.
As far as 'Robbo' and 'Dingle' were concerned the big 'ginger' one brought his own drink (we spiked it with fifteen lumps of sugar when he nipped to the loo, he drank it all!) and answered the shop's phone, and the big 'white' one said nothing, ate, and left! (to be fair to Mark though he has since bought a round of drinks and spoken).
That leaves the bill payer, Scott Bevan. It was actually my turn to pay but the big man thought it was his, and who am I to argue! After adding Maureen's coffee and cake to the total (Maureen is a lovely lady, future author, and widow to a former WW2 bomb disposal expert) the final bill came to.....well let's just say he dropped his wallet. See you on Thursday lad's, my turn.

The trip to Stockport was obviously a disaster, two day's wasted, two day's spent with Benyon, and two day's on and off a coach - The fact that the rugby had been postponed the night before should have seen us boarding the coach and driving back a day earlier but it wasn't to be.
Back in the engine room, and having the added bonus of returning earlier than expected on Saturday night, it was straight to the 'Chippie' for a fish and chip supper with the Miller's and then a slice of X-factor.
I then had to suffer an episode of the 'Celebrity Jungle' with Sam Fox exclaiming to her Mother "Yeah babe that's right" and Joe 'Pie and Mash' Swash telling someone that he "ditent believe it" (It's 'did not' Joe, my old 'mucka').

Last but not least, the TV awards. I was invited along by the BBC, and I dragged Lee Mansell and Kevin Nicholson with me. They were both horrified to hear that my name was in the hat for an award when we arrived, so you can imagine what it was like when my name was called out. 'Lamb' turned a funny colour and Kev refused to let me out to receive the award. Nevertheless we all had a good laugh, I mingled at an international level whilst 'Ant and Dec' destroyed the buffet and any respect that I had built up in the media world. Thank's lad's!.
Tonight it was father and daughter on the athletics track and tomorrow night it's Dad on the football field. A win is needed, that is what we have been training for and that is what can get it we all do it right.


Saturday, 28 November 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Howard Peplow. A massive big up to you and the boy's from myself and the team. Doing a really tough job in a really tough place.


Thursday, 26 November 2009


I am officially in remission. I am typing away in the knowledge that I may be called away at any point, and I'll give you a clue, it's not to go on international duty! I trained this morning and then, in hindsight, riskily met the lad's for lunch (report to follow at some point including cameo roles by a balaclava clad Chris Robertson and a sponsored silenced Mark Ellis). This was rapidly followed by a trip to the doctor, two prescriptions, and then bed. I am currently (for safety reasons) in very close proximity to the bathroom. Tomorrow, hopefully, I will board the old yellow peril and travel northwards with my team mates. Destination Stockport. Mission - to get to the third round.

P.S Get well Danny Stevens, pick you chin up 'Bev's'(broken his own lunch bill record), and good luck to 'Toddy'- a top lad, a top pro, and an already missed 'Roomy'.
Gotta go as the contractions are starting, it could be a long night.


Wednesday, 25 November 2009

'A Hard Day's Night' !
In 'Beatle' form that lyric sums up yesterday's events. The day began in pain (stomach cramps) and ended in pain (stomach cramps). In between that we all faced, in no particular order, wind and rain, a five hour journey there, and a five hour journey back. Oh yes and we squeezed in a game of football as well.
It would not have flattered us to have been leading that game by 4-1 at half-time but it wasn't to be. Again, after leading a game we should have won, we were pegged back and had to settle for a point. We have to win those sorts of games and that was the 'strong' message that came form my mouth in the changing room afterwords - the combination being so disappointed for the lad's massive efforts and also having major stomach turmoil did nothing to lighten the mood!.
This morning I popped to see Ian at the Cary Arms in Babbacombe. I haven't been for a while and wow, what a place. Great coffee, great beer (too early for me though, just!) and the rooms are amazing. Ian didn't believe me when I said that our team 'warmdown's' were sometimes taken in the sea below. I think it's a log fire and an overnight stay for my next 'warmdown' though. Calling all babysitters!.

WELL DONE HANNAH on achieving your Duke of Edinburgh award. I am delighted that you made it through, and all this whilst wearing your T.U.F.C jacket. I know it must have been a bit nippy so next time I will have to try and source you some official club merchandise of the 'winter warmer' variety! (Club hat and gloves to follow shortly as well, so keep an eye on the post).

Thank your Mum so much for her beautiful letter (very difficult to write I'm sure) and give Mum and Dad a big hug from me. Well maybe just a handshake then Paul!!!.
Love to all.


Monday, 23 November 2009


Conditions at the racecourse were fierce this morning but we muddled (or should I say puddled) through, and although the lads lost at the weekend, the attitude was spot on. I am going to have to love you and leave you again tonight as I think I may have the onset of some sort of Swine flu/Man flu/Delhi belly type virus. My stomach is in knots(unusual), I am freezing(unusual) and I have a massive headache (unusual for me, very usual for my wife!). Humour is obviously getting me through! I did the 'punditry' for the BBC this afternoon and I really winced my way through it - god knows what facials I was pulling!
I am going to toddle off to bed now to try to sleep off, or sweat off, whatever is taking hold. Firstly though, as my wife is away, it's bath time, story time, and give me the control to the T.V time, for the rest of the Hargreaves clan.

P.S Love you Mum, don't worry I am still working on the BMW convert able!


Sunday, 22 November 2009

Too much, not enough

Too much driving, too much choring, too much noise. Not enough rest, not enough peace, not enough quiet. Back to work tomorrow, back on the sofa tomorrow, and back being cracked tomorrow. Gotta go, the children are in hyper mode(X-factor time).


Saturday, 21 November 2009

Same old story?

Same old story I suppose, played well but lost. I watched the game and we played really well and never really looked in danger, but after missing some decent chances there is always the threat of conceding a goal, and we did. I am really disappointed for the lads because a game we should have seen out, and at least drawn, ended up being lost. In the papers tomorrow morning it will look like a routine victory for Rotherham. It was far from the case, but if we don't kill teams off when we are on top, we must, at a minimum, not lose. We must learn from it though and bounce back, starting on Tuesday.


P.S Well done Cam for completing your week of tests, we are all very proud of you.

P.P.S Sorry I missed you Andy and Joe, thanks for today Jill and Paul, and see you soon Mike.

P.P.P.S (if that abbreviation exists!) Thanks for keeping me warm in the first half 'Mrs Manse'!.

Friday, 20 November 2009


I am not playing tomorrow due to injury so my mood is very dark this evening. Being injured at this moment in time is not an option for me, but after an intensive week of Physio with Pete Morgan he has decided that there is still the chance of tearing the muscle further, and therefore being out for another six to eight weeks. I will of course be there though, cheering the boys on, hopefully to victory.

Tonight however there are far more important topics of conversation, namely Children In Need. Dig deep and enjoy!.


Thursday, 19 November 2009

Make it snappy

First and foremost, a huge congratulations to the T.U.F.C youth team who came through a tough test last night, they beat Norwich in the F.A youth cup last night playing really well and fully deserving their victory. Five hundred people cheered the team on, and they responded by fighting and scrapping for every ball. I nipped in to the changing room after the game to say well done and the atmosphere in there was brilliant. Next round Millwall and more of the same please lads.

Correct me if I am wrong, but is the role of the new GMTV fitness presenter not to fitness?. I know how harsh the conditions in the 'celebrity jungle' are but surely little old Camilla has cast doubt over her own health by leaving the show through exhaustion after only five day's. Anyway I really can't watch it this year due to my own health reasons, especially the after show section where Joe (can I be any more 'Cockney' if I tried) Swash locks horns with Michelle( I cannot pronounce 'Camaraderie' Heaton) and Janice (I hate everybody) Dickinson. Sorry Ant and Dec, even though you two are carrying the show, I can't do it.

I popped into Tesco this morning and the cat section alone had more stock in it than some third world countries, and the whole store had almost as many staff in there than it had customers - I actually (sadly I know) counted 80 until I got bored and left, fabric conditioner in hand!
If I had accidentally tripped over and slumped onto the floor down one of the bread or frozen food aisles I don't think anyone would have batted an eyelid. Such was the frenzy in there that I would probably have been gently walked over by staff on a deadline to fill the ciabatta section or by pre-Christmas shoppers buying frozen voluvants for the imminent arrival of Auntie Betty and Uncle Derek.

Apologies if tonight's blog has already offended anybody, I am like an old dog today, in pain and snappy!.

Today it was Lee 'Lamb' Mansell's turn to dig out his wallet and feed the five thousand (well Nicholson, Hargreaves and Bevan). 'Lamb' (kitted out in wool as it happened) showed great patience waiting for yours truly (who had a pre-lunch panic up of near epic proportion due to keys In 'Toddy's' pocket scenario). All the same we made it through another meeting of gastronomic delights and acidic banter. How strange that the table next to us was soon being filled by Anne Widdencombe plus one. The former Shadow Home Secretary, once tipped as a possible P.M, must have been riveted by the conversation on the table opposite! Still it could have been worse. Whilst she was tucking into her meal (Shepard's pie, peas and gravy I believe) I was considering shuffling over and mentioning to her that I too was now a published author!(her being a veteran of five books already). We could have swapped stories and compared notes, her on government scandal and world leaders, me on the condition of the racecourse and the best route to Stockport by coach. But no, I left her in peace. After all I had a much more important job on, the children needed picking up in twenty minutes!!


Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Strange but true. On Saturday it was Jody, our friends, birthday. It was the fourteenth of the month, I scored my fourteenth goal for Torquay and I had fourteen on my back. Add to that the fact that our house number is fourteen and the car registration has fourteen in it, it may well be worth buying fourteen lucky dips on Saturday!!.
Today I lifted a few weights with Bevan and Robertson, tried to get fit with the help of Pete Morgan, and then returned home to relax - well if you can call decorating relaxing (it's not!).


Monday, 16 November 2009


I was in the expert hands of Pete Morgan (T.U.F.C physio) this morning, a bit of sanding, buffing, zapping and rubbing followed before I headed off to join Nat on the BBC sofa in Plymouth. I witnessed some fancy footwork first (Natalie's charity 'Strictly' dance off!) and then it was "In 3-2-1..go" for some 'Lawrenceson style' punditry. It can sometimes be difficult to comment on my fellow professionals as I still know how hard it is out there, so doling out criticism in the bucket loads is not really an option!
It was then back home to pick Cam up and take him to see Miss Banner(Cam's tutor). He is in the middle of sitting the 11+, and has been, like many, having a bit of extra tuition. The test itself would challenge many an adult and Cam has only had a few extra lessons but I am proud of him for going for it whether he passes, and 'gets in', or not.
I noticed the front page of the Herald today followed with a story about the closures of many a country pub due to the extortionate rates being charged for the premises. As it happens I was in one of these fine establishments last week (and this week!), as luck would have it it was only for a coffee, but anyway I was chatting to the landlord and he informed me that before he could turn on a light, or pull an obligatory pint, the tidy sum of £125,000 a year would have to be found for the lease, rent, and dreaded rates. My limited maths tells me that he would have to make about two and a half thousand pounds a week just to break even. Even with the takings of a balmy summer, the combination of the bills and the rates and the supermarkets '20 bottles for a fiver' offers, it means that any profit is going to be very hard to earn. That lease in question is up for sale!.
What a shame though that the 'local' may become a thing of the past. Still if the government, together with the breweries, could sort out the £3.40 it costs for a glass (large) of red, it may help bring punters back in. Rant over, and drink only in moderation.


Sunday, 15 November 2009

Good morning

Another long trip and another draw. One point for nearly forty eight hours of preparation, travelling, and of course playing, doesn't seem like much but losing the game would have been disastrous, especially having played for so long with ten men (well almost nine really as I was basically hopping on one leg for the last fifteen minutes with a ripped thigh) . The sending off seemed harsh and although we did get a bit of luck with our goal the goal that they scored was a joke.
Up until then the referee had had a decent game, but when one of their players tried to play a through ball, which was quite obviously going harmlessly out for a goal kick, the 'ref', who had turned his back, got in the way, it hit him, landed to one of their players and from that they scored. I was absolutely livid and told the referee what I thought (several times). To be fair to him though he was really apologetic and he was actually a nice fella, but unfortunately when you are down at the bottom of the league that sort of thing seems to happen. We are all still fighting though and that includes the fans who were magnificent yesterday, thanks to all those who travelled to support us.
Today I will be mostly limping around Devon on a 'Hargreaves' family expedition. Report to follow.


Report; With the use of only one good leg the decision was made, no outward bound mission, just shopping! Yes, not only was I still limping, I also had to inflict some severe damage to the card.
Before this though we had all decided on a trip to the cinema (still called the 'pictures' in my book). We plumped for Fantastic Mr Fox and it was a great choice, although I think our presence in there was frowned upon a bit due to the six bags of crisps and sweets opened and demolished during the film.
I can only remember two books that I really enjoyed when I was younger, (obviously other than volumes of 'The Guinness Book of World Records' and the 'Roy of the Rovers' annuals), one was 'The Magic Faraway Tree' (no laughing please) and the other was 'Fantastic Mr Fox'. The film wasn't quite up to the standard of Roald Dahl's original but it was pretty good.
Tonight I will be joining the other 11 million people watching X-factor, the other couple of thousand enjoying a glass of red, and the other couple of hundred with a glass back, swollen ankle and pulled thigh. Enjoy.


Thursday, 12 November 2009

Lunch Break

It was Pharmacy time again today, not to collect the plethora of tablets that keep my body going on a daily basis (yes plethora is a big word!), no, it was our regular coffee shop/therapy session. The update so far; Hargreaves paid, Nicholson paid, Bevan paid, and now today, Mansell.......has not paid! Yes 'Lamb' accidentally forgot to bring his card (currently in the repair shop for constant misuse I think), so it was left to the lads to settle the bill. Well it was actually left to Kev to settle the bill. Before the buttons on the till could be pressed Bevan, Hargreaves, and Mansell were already out of sight leaving Kev to clear up the damage.
Well done to both 'Manse', for 'forgetting the bill, and to Kev, for paying, and once again for winning first place in the 'sweatathon' stakes.
By the way 'Bevs' did you manage to get to the stray hair?, because the lady opposite was traumatised whislt eating her soup and sandwiches!
A big thanks to Kayleigh for looking after us, and pretending to laugh at the shocking banter on offer, and a massive shout out to the boys at Newton Abbott Spurs, thanks for flying the flag on Soccer A.M and for giving 'Hells Bells' some decent night time reading!!!.
We are back on the road again tomorrow as we travel to Shrewsbury. These trips are always very long so it is vital that we return home with something, and I don't mean the hotel towels. We look a bit thin on the ground squad wise at the moment but the commitment is there as ever, as is our desire to do well.
Lastly, news that our local fire chiefs car is out of action has rocked the car school. Yes 'Toddy's' motor is poorly so for now the mercy missions to Halfords are on hold.


P.S Get well soon 'Wroey', don't think you can score a hat-trick and then pull out the Havana's!, you are needed on the fun bus.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


A battle of wills is now commencing. Harriet is currently, already, 2-0 ahead. We are watching 'Peppa Pig' instead of breakfast news, and we are then going swimming instead of relaxing with a paper and cup of coffee. Three year old girls can be very persuasive! I will report later on the day's events, for now though I have to go.."Yes Hula Hoops on a silver platter coming up".


I think we all know who got the better of who today. I will give you a bit of a clue, I lost and Harriet didn't!


Already a day of reflection, it was really sad to hear the news that the Hanover goalkeeper and German international, Robert Enke, had committed suicide. He had, it seemed, fought depression over his fear of failure - after a few turbulent loan moves had ended badly. His doctor believed that the player had shown signs of recovery but after his teams draw at the weekend Enke left his car beside a railway line and walked in front of a train. His wife had said that football was his life.
The news has shocked his home nation and it's players.
For me the whole thing brings back the shock of James death. James was so young, he had the world at his feet and his life was cruelly taken. In the case of Enke perhaps he didn't realise what he actually had.
The pressure in sport can be huge but I have said before, and today of all days should confirm it, that, although it can seem all consuming at times, football is not more important than life or death.

P.S Does the figure of £45,570,835.50 ring any bells? Well if I told you that Lee Scadding changed his original selection of numbers in favour of two 'lucky dips' and that he then subsequently hit the jackpot, it may give it away!
With a half share of Saturday's £91m lottery jackpot, Mr and Mrs Scadding are now very rich. They are planning to buy a Range Rover Sport with 'Ivory trim' and a holiday home in Barbados - I wonder what they will do with the change.
By the way I recommend a trip to Gwent from now on to buy your lottery tickets, as apparently Mr and Mrs 'Jammy' (Yes I am bitter) are the seventh set of lottery millionaires to come from the area. I'm not bitter really, I would gladly take the 570,835.50. In fact with Santa 'coming' I would gladly take the 835.50!!!!!


P.S A days interest on £45m is about five and a half grand, chin up!

Monday, 9 November 2009


As a parent you often end up promising things to you children that you either just don't get time to do, or that you simply forget to do. My aim this week and next is to tidy up some of those little promises, so in no particular order, take Issy to the track for some one on one sprinting (Done-tonight!), let the children each paint a wall in their bedrooms(Hatty excluded of course!), take Cam to crazy golf, let the children sleep downstairs for a night, make hot chocolate for breakfast (again!), and take them to London to see a show (I will need a few more win bonuses for that one though!). Getting an Aston Martin and buying a country mansion may also require a few more (years) win bonuses.

One thing I have promised the children that will be happening, albeit in the summer (as promised), is a road trip in a motorhome. We are bulk buying pasta, cereals, biscuits and chocolate (plus medicinal red, medicinal G and T, and medicinal travel guide to decent European hotels!) and heading off in to the sunset. We aim to conquer Europe, but in reality my wife and I will probably fall out before we have conquered Devon!.
In the football world (T.U.F.C) all is quiet. A bad draw, but a good chance to progress in the cup is how I view the next round. Fines start again in earnest at the club this week in readiness for the Christmas 'Do', so, no more wearing the wrong kit, no more lateness, no more cleaning boots in the shower, no more weeing in the shower(no names mentioned), and no more forgetting you have had a birthday, therefore forgetting to bring the cakes in.

P.S Looking forward to my long lunch 'lamb', bring your chequebook!.
P.P.S Wayne, you must be ashamed of John and Edward!


Sunday, 8 November 2009

Cup Run?

The cup run is on! A good team performance, a great hat-trick and a great following. Our aim now is to get to the third round draw and then we cross our fingers.

Yesterday, before the game, we had a minutes silence in memory of the 'Fallen'. The wind was howling and the rain was coming in as we huddled together waiting for the referee to blow his whistle. That minutes silence always seems like a very long minute and yesterday was no different. I looked down at the grass and I couldn't help but think of those poor souls who have died on desolate battlefields, open to the elements, cold and afraid. I know it's a bit solemn but for a few seconds my thoughts were definitely not with football. That is what the minutes silence is about though, remembering. As I write this piece, a list of those who have died in action in the last twelve months is being shown on TV. The amount and the age of those men who have died is very sad.

Today is a day for wrapping up and blowing the cobwebs away with a long walk, with that in mind I am now on the hunt for coats, scarfs and gloves for five.


Friday, 6 November 2009

Big Bang

I was very close to being banned from using fireworks again after last nights events. Again it was bad luck, Jase and I thought that a rocket we had planted in the ground was held firm. Unfortunately the rocket decided on another direction, next doors garden! The bush that it eventually landed in seemed to be smoking forever but in the end the clouds subsided and the panic was over. After another box or two of fireworks, a couple of burnt finger's, and another close shave, we were back in safety. Jase and Sarah had made a chilli to end all chillis, the children had a 'Wii off', and we all toasted a successful Nov 5. Next stop Xmas.
Today we finalised our preparations for tomorrows cup game. It would be fantastic for the club to have a bit of a run in the cup so lets go for the same result as last week, a win.
The 'Bevanator' felt the pinch this afternoon. He somehow summoned the strength to spend some money on the lads - lunch courtesy of the big man. We obviously went 'big' and ordered as much as we could but the added bonus was that we had also invited Pete 'guru' Morgan. 'Bevs' now has the new lunch bill record.


P.S I love you Hatty Hargreaves.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

'Lamby', aka- Lee Mansell

Contrary to what has been written by the "Vain One", I was unable yesterday to produce my debut blog as I was taking in the annihilation that Australia gave Gloucester at Kingsholm Stadium last night, accompanied by my extended family and Wroey ( A fellow egg chasing fan ). I will not be going in to the details of the score but my mother in law Trish is a very happy woman (major grief to be taken in the future, not only by her, but my wife and sister in law as well).

Thinking of things to write about is tough. I can go down the Hargreaves bashing route, as done by my fellow underrated full back Kevin Nicholson, but I think enough has been said about the man who walks around looking for mirrors to look at himself in. He must have been in his element when life size posters of him were made for his book launch and I am still speculating as to whether his bedroom holds one! So, as being longest serving player at the club, I have decided to go down the "My time at Torquay route" (easy option I know).

Three season's; relegation, play-off pain, play-off jubilation, cup runs, sendings off, Wembley heartache, Wembley ecstasy, promotion, that in itself would be a normal players career but not here not at Torquay! The thing I have learnt about playing for this club is that we are all down here together, through thick and thin, good times and bad, and I think that this is what gives the club a uniqueness. I don't think you would find a closer knit squad. It is the best I have been involved with by a long stretch and within our squad there are some real characters.
To name but a few, Benyon-the wrong un, 'Toddy'-the fake clothes seller, 'Sillsy'-the king of the quiz, 'Robbo'-Scottish , Ellis-the shower man (no wonder he can never get a tan). The list could go on and on but behind every good team is a good family base, the ladies and children who pick us up when we're down (which has happened a few times this season). The fact that the girls socialize more than the lads could be the reason for this! The way the club has transformed itself, from the debacle of when I first signed, in to the club it is now, in nearly 3 years, is a testament to the consortium and staff who work tirelessly behind the scenes.

Now that my rant, or whatever you want to call it, is nearing an end, I think a word or two about our own 'Captain Selfishness' who once again had to ruin something, this time lunch at the Pharmacy today. This was much to the disgust of my fellow Pharmacists, Bevan and 'Nico', and it is not the first time in the five years I have known the "King of his own way or the highway" to have let us down, although it is normally when he is paying (although when he does join us he conveniently "forgets" his wallet, many a time!)

But I will save the insults for another time as I am in a happy place at the moment. We have just returned from seeing the next addition to the family at our 20 week scan. I got to see him/her for all of five seconds as Alyssa had seen enough of 'Crispy Cakehead Cookies' (her name for the baby) and found exploring Torbay maternity ward far more interesting.

Peace Out !!!!!!!


So there you have it, the second bitter and twisted fullback to have poured his heart out this week. Well done though mate, the editing was much less painful than with Kev's blog. I will drop a poster off for you mate, although I did sign one for 'Shell' in the summer!
P.S Good brownie points for mentioning the staff, a new three year deal anyone!!!.


Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Lift off

What a cruel game football is. My mate Jase will, I have no doubt, be crying into his San Miguel after witnessing Liverpool concede a last minute equaliser, costing them three valuable points, possible Champions League qualification, and heaping more pressure on their already under fire manager Rafa Benitez.
Never mind Jase I will be round tomorrow night with some heavy duty fireworks to liven the proceedings up (we are having a late night supper and explosion fest) - My wife has finally lifted my ban on all things dangerous and loud, therefore I have purchased a variety of pyrotechnics.
I admit that over the years my track record on firework night has not been great. It all started when I was about ten. I put a firework in my new 'Parker' coat pocket, but I was lighting that many at the time I hadn't realised that the one in my coat was alight . The next thing I know my leg is quite hot and my pocket is glowing. You can guess the rest. I had to wear that coat with it's burnt out pocket until my parents were satisfied that I had learnt my lesson - about a month in all!.

The runaway firework in Northampton was actually just bad luck, I couldn't help it if there was a sudden gust of wind could I?. Admittedly it was a large display firework on the loose but all the same the children thought it was all part of the show - horizontal fireworks are a novelty after all!.
Let me assure you though that tomorrow night there will be an exclusion zone in place, no one will be allowed anywhere near me! What with the excitement of Halloween, Bonfire night tomorrow and then Christmas, I (I mean the children of course) can hardly contain themselves.
Be safe one and all.


Tuesday, 3 November 2009

School trip

Due to unforeseen circumstances, namely that he needs more time, Lee 'lamb' Mansell's guest blog is delayed - indefinitely!.
An Uber quick blog tonight as I have just returned home. I visited Churston Grammar School this afternoon to talk to the GCSE/A-level students about sport, nutrition, and the world of publishing. I was made to feel really welcome by the staff and the young guns in the library also gave me some really good 'footy' tips. The older students were a top group of people and had some really interesting questions to ask, the problem arose when I gave them the answers! In all seriousness though I hope that the students obvious desire to play, and enjoy, a variety of different sports continues. I only had one complaint, and that was that I didn't have time to ask them my question.. "What is it like to feel good when you wake up in the morning"!


Monday, 2 November 2009

Kevin Nicholson - Uncensored..ish!

I am sat in my living room desperate to think of something interesting to write for my second guest blog appearance.
Again its an honour to be asked to do this but the first time I did it was a lot easier as I enjoyed exposing Mr Hargreaves for the self loving, circumstance twisting, manipulator of all things that he is.
A lot has changed since my last venture into the world of blogging. Last time I tapped away on this laptop we were starting a decent run of form after a poor start in the Blue Square Prem', our focus back then was promotion at all costs.
What a season it turned out to be although I'm still not sure if it was worth it now that Tarzan can throw his "Hands up if you've scored at Wembley" shout in to end any football debate he may get into.
I am now a dad, father to a beautiful little 'accident' called Jessica, whose first public outing was on the open top bus tour after our promotion. It was an amazing experience for us all and the following day both Jess and my (very lucky to have me) fiance Jenny were on the front of one local paper, they also had there picture in the Herald. That pretty much means they have both had more pictures of themselves in the paper than I have!
This is mainly because most nights it seems its either the 'Herald Evening Sills' or even more common and sleep inducing the 'Herald and Hargreaves'
Both the players mentioned take great delight in this fact and I for one want to see a bit more of the real peoples players, i.e the Nicholsons and the Mansells of this world!
My two years at Torquay had almost drained me of any memory of what it was like to have bad times in football, three games into this season and it was looking like we were going to just carry on where we had left off last year. Unfortunately football isn't like that and September and October brought everyone crashing back down to earth.
Being a footballer is the greatest job in the world, getting paid to keep fit, running out onto a field and getting cheered on, and having your name sung whilst trying to beat your opponents, but when results don't go your way, and things seem to go against you, I doubt there are many jobs that stay with you as much as football does when you get home.
When you have lost on a Saturday there is nothing that can be said by a loving wife/fiance/girlfriend that can lift you out of some very dark places. You lay in bed going over the game, what you could have done differently or any mistakes that you may have made, (unless your 'Greavsie' who goes over everyone else's mistakes instead!) you just can't sleep.
You get up the next morning and find yourself drawn to the papers to see how many stars Ross Reid has given you and then hold your breath the next day in case big Dave Thomas has destroyed you in his four page pull out. (if you are me or manse you ring each other to ask why Dave only seems to have pictures of our feminine looking number 14 or our big time number 8)
You slide under the changing room doors on Monday morning before kicking each other all over Newton Abbot race course.
Then the rebuilding begins and the focus starts again ready for the weekend, you look at the league table and realise that a couple of wins will have you back in the mix and that all will be forgotten by 3 o'clock on Saturday when you are ready and raring to go again. The problems begin if you don't get the result you want as the whole cycle starts again.
I know some fans just think that you go home and put your feet up and forget what just happened but I assure you, it doesn't work like that.
However we WON on Saturday, it was a great game of football, end to end stuff, two good teams smashing head on into each other, two inspired goal keepers and a great team performance from us, with what sounded like a lot more than 2700 people screaming us on.
And so I sit and watch MOTD without hating football looking forward to the Football League Review show and all three and a half seconds of highlights that they dedicated to our great game.
I got up on Sunday buzzing and checked the papers only to see that Ross Reid had accidentally put a star meant for me in front of Hargreaves' name. On Monday I skipped, stiffly, into training, before getting the Herald, opening it up, and. . . . . seeing a big picture of Tim Sills and Chris Hargreaves!!!!!
I'm on my way down to Mansells shortly!!!
Onwards and upwards we go now, starting with a cup run and then we climb this league like we did last year, I want a month of nothing but positives.
Im watching Spotlight tonight to see our game, as apparently its Steve Claridge on the couch, listening to him talk is painful at the best of times but he is a lot better than that older guy who I've seen on there lately x x


So there you have it, proof that Kev is a bitter and twisted young man. Only joking mate, great stuff. However, it would have been posted much sooner had I not had to correct your grammatical errors and spelling mistakes for the last 20 minutes. I gave up in the end. Miaow!


P.S Lamb's debut blog unveiled tomorrow.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Sunday Bliss

I have actually enjoyed a Sunday for once today. My parents have just left after spoiling us all rotten, I cooked a roast(extreme sweat on!), we did some removals, and now it's time for X-factor. Why can't it be like this every weekend!!!.
Thank you Avy and Martin and the big man up top.



Victory at last. I suppose it was inevitable that it would come against my former club Northampton but to score was probably rubbing salt into the wound for 'Cobblers' fans!
As we all know though sentiment can only go so far in football and with our league position as it is any win against any team is vital. To get a good reception from the away fans was great, I saw some old friends ('Sammo' included) and will always have a great affinity with the club.
But, and there is always a but, my club is Torquay Utd and we have had a really special time over the last two years, fans, players and staff alike. That two years effort cannot go to waste and so this season is very important. If we play like we have in the last two games from now on we will do well and the way the fans got behind us was fantastic, it was a cup tie type of atmosphere.
Well done to all of the lads for their efforts and thanks again for your support.