Monday, 30 August 2010

Hot McTavish

Fabio Capello is still annoying me, Carol Malone was spot on in the NOTW over the weekend, and I'm too hot too carry on. Much love to all.


Sunday, 29 August 2010

Gone Fishing

The time was 4.45 p.m on a Saturday afternoon. Was I playing a game, was I watching a game, was I even thinking about a game? NO, I was totally oblivious to the activity that has consumed my life for over twenty years. I was in fact in a boat fishing for mackerel, and I have to say it was great. We returned with a few freshly caught fish (caught by the children, as I steered the boat!) and it was only at about 10 o'clock at night that I realised I had no idea who had beaten who or even who had played who. Don't get me wrong my passion for football is as strong as ever and I really do want coaching to be my future, but just for one afternoon it was really refreshing (for my family) to be well away from the beautiful game.
On the topic of football though, well done to my old mates at T.U.F.C, top of the table and flying the flag for the South West clubs at the moment. As far as the Premiership is concerned the 'on the pitch stuff' has taken a back seat yet again. We are more interested in who crashed what car and how much it was worth. The answer is Dario Tagliatelle, or something similar, and the cost 120k.
Admittedly I have probably blown over 100k on cars in the past, but the difference being it has been over the last twenty years! and I certainly took it steady in the Vectra today as I headed towards the car boot sale laden with produce! Living the dream baby, living the dream - all proceeds going to Mrs Hargreaves and Mrs Miller's alcohol fund.

P.S Louix Theroux see you again soon!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Scatter brain

Its bad enough walking out of the supermarket and forgetting where you parked the car, but forgetting where your four year old daughter is, well that is just too much. Not only did I forget where she was though, I also asked my wife and children where she was (in a sort of 'honestly I'm not panicking my voice just sounds a little high' type of way). And their answer? their answer was actually just a look, a look onto my shoulders. Yes, that's right, my little Peppa Pig loving, Basagne loving, Basghetti Bolognaise loving little girl was actually on my shoulders. It must be tiredness!.

Criket poor, garden good, course good, children arguing, in-laws here, hair needs cutting, a glass of red would be good, chicken for dinner, have a good weekend.


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Whats for dinner

Just returned home, my dinner has gone down in one go, and I am now sat watching the Great British Waste Menu thinking of what we can produce tomorrow night with some out of date mince, a punnet of strawberries, a jar of gherkins, and an egg.
Hope you are all well out there.


Monday, 23 August 2010

Space man

We do love a moan about several things in our fine country, from the weather (by the way where has the summer gone?), to the cost of living (two pints, two glasses of white wine, two appletisers, one fruit shoot, all for the reasonable sum of £22!). One thing we also love to moan about is the traffic, whether it be on the motorway or in the City we have a near nervous breakdown if we are delayed for more than twenty five minutes.
Imagine the horror we would be faced with if we had to cope with the jams currently being endured by the citizens of Beijing. With queues stretching back a mind boggling 62 miles, the Chinese traffic jam has entered its ninth day. Caused by roadworks on a main route into the city drivers are being informed that the mammoth jam could last for a month. Apparently drivers have been playing chess or cards and the 'locals' have been opening up stores by the road serving much needed food and drink.
If it was here there would be a riot. We would only have about three traffic offices on the scene - Over 400 hundred police officers are at the scene in Beijing 24 hours a day to keep it all calm - there would also be stalls by the road in our country, probably selling duvets for £30, coffees for £5, and cans of coke for £2.50p, although most drivers would have abandoned their cars and headed for home on foot. In fact I actually think that if it were here the country would grind to a halt, politicians would resign, someone would become famous for filming it in their car, and three dogs being rescued would make News at Ten.
Imagine phoning in for work everyday "Hi there I won't be in again today, I'm still in the car".
To be honest though it wouldn't happen in this country, and how it has in one of the worlds major superpowers is utter madness.

I see Fabio Capello met FIFA representatives today to bolster our bid for the 2018 World Cup. Two pointers here I think, he won't be in the job in 2018, and I bet the lunch today for the thirty or so FIFA visitors was epic.

And finally! The Devon village of Beer is famous Yes, it has been proved that micro organisms (nearly a fatal spelling mistake there) found in the rock in the cliffs at Beer can actually survive in space, the first of their kind ever to do so. If they can survive the harshest conditions of all I wonder if sprinkling a bit of rock dust in my coffee the next time we have a day trip there will enable me to survive conditions at home? Someone get the chisel!


Saturday, 21 August 2010

Town and Country

I have just returned after a few days in the 'smoke'. As ever I returned with the same conclusion, what a place! The gentry must have had one hell of a life 'back in the day' living in one of the many thousands of town houses. Five or six stories of luxury, often having a little green in front of them in case you needed a 'bit of air' Granted for every thousand 'Mr's' there were you had ten times that who suffered poverty in the capital on a daily basis, but lets no get bogged down with the ugly stuff! The place is just ram packed with architecture and history, hustle and bustle. Yes the people are selfish and panic if you ask them anything i.e where's the tube station. But apart from that, and obviously the fact that your not getting change out of two million quid for your townhouse....flat, or that it's full of smog and gets a bit scruffy on the outskirts, it's one great city.
Returning back to Devon is like returning back to the 'Vicar of Dibley' but thats not a bad thing, its just a shame that all our properties are being snapped up (and are going up in price) by so many second home buyers from......London of course!

I am always amazed at how much love is in my little Hatties' body and how innocent she is. This morning she jumped on the bed beaming away and said "Give me a smile Daddy". You just have to love that. I did and then we talked about life in general, her wish to go swimming today and the fact that she had to give me lots of kisses. As we speak Hattie is giving us a 'breakdancing' show and then apparently its time for for 'a day of playing'. Just a different sort of playing on a Saturday! But first of all I have had another request "Daddy when can I have a huggy from you". Children are just great, they don't judge, they have no agenda and don't suffer from paranoia, they feel no pressure and are not embarrassed by nakedness, they openly show emotion and love, and they just want to have fun. A few lessons I'm sure we can all learn from, not least the nakedness.


Wednesday, 18 August 2010


Well the first weekends premiership games are done and Blackpool go and win 4-0. It is amazing to think that only a couple of seasons ago they played against T.U.F.C, and lost convincingly, in the F.A cup. Pretty much the same set of players, but a very different manager later and they are mixing it with the big boys. One of the lads who played in the cup tie for Blackpool that season was at pains to point out recently that he was still owed nearly half a million in promotion bonus. How times change eh!.
Not happy with the Newcastle players 'wearing' taches for their recent game. Come on lads its not the student union!
And I still think Fabio Capello's reign as manager is a joke. Ok that is the football world done.
World news in general; we all went crabbing today and it was great. Sorry not to be more informative but you don't need News at Ten twice in a day.
Love to all.



The washing is out on the line, and as usual it has started to rain, the pack up is done, the nets and crabbing lines are in, all emails are sent, the flask is full as is the car, and the bags are packed. Oh and the children are arguing (shock), my wife is in a mood (double shock), and I need petrol(treble shock). Off we go! I can only apologise about my recent blog blank, let me think, who can I blame...yes just me!. Will have a look at the world of football, and the world in general later, but for now its chocks away.

P.S I did make a spelling mistake in the last blog, it was I believe, across.


Sunday, 15 August 2010


A classic weekend was had by all. The wanderers returned - in the form of my parents and all the children - after their epic surfing/being spoilt rotten holiday. A huge thanks, and congratulations to Avy and Mart (grandparents) who must have nerves of steel to have coped so admirably with four 'lively' children for a week. We obviously missed our little beauties while they were away but it did give me and 'her indoors' the chance of a few nights off. First we had a bit of a rare night out together, normal stuff of a few scoops, an argument, a taxi home, and a reconciliation!, and on Friday night the Millers were over for the latest 'cook off'. It was our turn and with the economic climate as it is (worldwide and domestically) we all decided that a budget bag would be the order of the day. For the princely sum of ten English pounds we were given the challenge to create a meal for four. Not only did we (Fiona) do it, and do it well, we also included an alcoholic accompaniment to wash it down with. The menu (all homemade)included , Nachos with cheese, chilli burgers, chunky chips and fries, salsa, guacamole, coleslaw, and chocolate moose with chocolate chip cookies. The only cheats were the fact we had some spuds already in. Oh and it was all washed down with 4 litres of pear cider for £3.98. Come on!. The meal was prepared for 6.48 p.m and then it was time to get ready.....we were soon sat down, drinks at the ready, for 6.59 p.m.
It just goes to show that it can be done and with that in mind this weeks shop will be a budget shop, big time. The only mistake we made during the 'cook off' was staying in the pub too long beforehand (to be fair though we were on foot and it was raining!!). We didn't eat until 10!
On the 'footy' front and it was another weekend of good results. I was with 'Sparksy' for the Plymouth game and whilst I watched the celebrations after Argyle's last gasp goal I could hear the commentary coming through the headphones of the T.U.F.C game. Apparently, such was the battering they had suffered, that the home crowd groaned when the fourth official put up the extra 4 minutes of stoppage time, it was too long!!!.
Closer to home and all I can say is 'Great goal Cam, well played my little man'.
Finally, and much more painfully though, today signalled the start of 'school fees'. It must be the same in every household accross the country. It's not the private school fees though, more the three pairs of school shoes and three sets of uniforms needed (including Cams secondary school stuff, we have a list of items to obtain that Ray Mears would be proud of!). Add to that the news of two forthcoming school trips (coming in at around £800), Cam needing a new pair of football boots, a broken oven and a leaking shower (indirectly annoying) and this month is getting a little bit hairy. Oh yes and of course there is something else...I have no (full time) job!!!!!!!!!. Don't panic Mr Mannering.

P.S Nearly forgot to mention that we had some great entertainment on Friday night and it was also free. Thanks again Sarah, see you next week for the wet T-shirt competition. Just don't forget to bring the T-shirt!!!!!.

P.P.S Congrats to Fiona who at the moment has more jobs than Pat Butcher (no comments on the resemblance please)

P.P.P.S No spell check, V rushed, will check in morn.


Thursday, 12 August 2010

Adam Stansfield

Today's blog is purely a tribute to Exeter City player Adam Stansfield. As I'm sure is the case with everybody I was extremely shocked to hear the tragic news of his death. 'Stanno' was a top player and for all those who knew him, a top lad. He was a fantastic player for Exeter scoring 37 goals in his time at the club. Everyone I have spoken to about him said how much of a great person he was, on and off the field. It is just horrendous that such a fit, young footballer, and father, has lost his life, and my thoughts really go out to his family at this time.


Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Rubber face

Currently very bored watching the England game! Today has been a day of writing (Where's Your Caravan) with a total of around seven hours completed, totalling around five or six thousand words. As you can imagine my mind is a bit frazzled, especially having written about my early days for most of the day. Very traumatic!!!. I am at about season 1996/97 with the book, so only another 14 or so years to go!. Other than that I have tried to keep my OCD in check, I still had to clean every window in the house inside and out but you know these things need doing.
Anyway my wife is in a very bad mood (usual stuff) and she is heading downstairs so I will check out now and bid you all farewell.

P.S Goal, Gerrard! I like old Stevie G, he is a top lad. Wow just about to sign off and he has scored again, what a goal, what a player!. Capello's expression has not moved, it is still rubbery.


Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Monday, 9 August 2010

John Joyce

And the winner is......John Joyce!. A signed shirt, a signed book, and a personalised blog rant are on there way to you my friend. For those of you who entered the competition thank-you very much, you will not be forgotten!!. The answer of course was Scott 'I can't get a girlfriend and love weights, protein, and Greavsie' Bevan.

Well, as I have said before, this weekend was a first. It was the first time I have not been playing in the first game of the season in a long time. The truth is though that with the Premiership starting next week, and with England's shocking performances in the World Cup, I have been in demand from most of the Premiership clubs agents. I will therefore be kicking off the new season next week with the big boys, I can't tell you who I am signing for yet as I am just fine tuning the contract details but it is nearly done, I have accepted the basic wage of 50 grand a week (I had to be realistic as I am 38!), but the signing on fee really is the sticking point. I'm not being greedy but with the kids school fees, the 'porker' (Porsche to those of you who thought I was referring to my wife!), the new house (a snip at 900,000), and our holiday home in Marbella, it has to be right.
To get ready for the new season I had a run out for a Hospice care eleven yesterday against a Topsham Town eleven. My mate Jase asked me to play (and get a signed shirt of course!) and I really enjoyed it. There were a few very stiff players on that pitch and that was before kick-off but it was a great day, lots of money raised and a fantastic finish from Mr Miller (although the exertion nearly finished him off, stick to five-a-sides mate!).
Today I am back on the sofa with the lovely Natalie looking at the regions clubs performances at the weekend. Must go now though as Lawrence Llllweeeelllyyyeeennnn Bowen is making paper chains on This Morning.


Saturday, 7 August 2010

Winning start

Great results today, especially for my old mates at T.U.F.C winning convincingly at home (Stop smiling Kev!) and for Plymouth Argyle who had a great victory away at Southampton. I have also had some good news today but that is more to do with home life than football. I am now going to listen, talk, eat, drink, and be merry. Have a good one.


Friday, 6 August 2010

Bell ringing

Bizarre, my wife is currently watching Doc Martin on the TV (we are obviously heading out later to party as our life is just all go!!!!!!!) and we were actually on set earlier!. Yes today was a sightseeing tour of Port Isaac, followed by a quick jaunt to Padstow (I mean Rick Steinstow of course). It has been a bit weird not preparing for a game tomorrow (in fact it's been terrible) but I will just have to settle for watching a game at the weekend instead. Anyway must go as I have left a bottle of plonk in the freezer to cool and I don't want it blowing up - and no I'm not turning into an alcoholic ex-footballer, yet!.
Have a great weekend one and all and good luck to everyone who will be pulling a shirt on at 2.50 p.m and waiting for a bell to ring. Last but by no means least good luck to all you supporters out there hoping for a win tomorrow and a successfull season, for once it can't be my fault if a team loses!!!!!


Thursday, 5 August 2010


It is great to have the children at home at the moment (and to be at home myself!!), Issy has a couple of new pets, in the form of Burt and Bill her new dwarf hamsters, Harriet is on the verge of moving in with Will next door (sorry again Amanda) and Cameron is on a sponsored Top gear watching session, whilst knee deep in Lego and Kinnex. We have just managed to get them all to bed!
After all that parenting though, as well as a bit of coaching and reporting thrown in for good measure I am absolutely shattered tonight and so without further ado I will leave you and tune in to Miami Ink with an industrial sized alcoholic beverage and a man sized portion of melancholy.

P.S Massive thanks to the 'in-laws' (Iain and Joan) who have looked after us all in a huge way for the last week.


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Does my bum look big?

It is heartening to read that the use of air brushing may soon have to be labelled, especially for the young girls reading the latest 'glossies', wanting to be like the unrealistically trimmed, buffed, and slimmed models on show - and for my wife who moans that she is morbidly obese every time she picks up a copy of Hello or OK magazine.
There is one exception to the rule though, poor old Sol Campbell (again) who was recently snapped in his new training gear at Newcastle. The fans saw the picture, which let's say added a few pounds to Sol's frame, and all hell broke loose. He had to publicly explain that he had been away on holiday and wasn't fully fit and he also added, which I thought was hilarious, that the new kit 'did nothing for him'. If only he could have had the picture 'proofed' before hand and subsequently airbrushed he could have escaped any grief, because now any wrong move on the pitch will no doubt result in a chorus of 'YOU FAT *******, who ate all the pies'!!!!.
I wonder if he will turn to Nicky Butt in the tunnel before his first game of the season and say "Does my bum look big in these shorts".


Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Cheer up!

Cheer up Peter Reid? Well actually I met him today and he was not only a top bloke but he was also in a very good mood. I interviewed him for the 'beeb' this afternoon and it was an absolute pleasure. He has won almost everything in the game, achieved promotion as a manager, and even won the Player of The Year Award, and yet he still wants to win as badly as ever. It will be a tough test for Plymouth next season, with the budget, the inherited squad and coaching staff, as well as the debt, but I for one hope he does well.
Other than that I was still very sad to watch a team train knowing that this Saturday will be the first Saturday of the first game of the season that I have missed in over twenty years. A combination of factors has meant that I am still in limbo, I know I can play on, if the club is right, and I am sure that I can coach or manage a first team at a pro club, but for now it is a case of head down and earn money. I am a firm believer in grafting and if that means working for the BBC then great, if it means being a coach that's great as well, but if it means getting up at 6 a.m and digging in until 7 p.m, doing some hard graft, then bring it on. I will do everything in my powers to provide for my little clan as any man would.
Time for a medium to very large glass of red and a sit down.


Monday, 2 August 2010


Yesterday was a chance to get together with a few friends to have some great food, build some sandcastles, play some boules, but most of all to celebrate Hatties birthday - Beating Nicholson and Miller at Boules was also a high point.

I don't know whether at the moment I am a little bit short of patience and I'm not sure if this sort of thing only affects me but at the weekend I was on the verge of having to physically move someone who had stepped well inside my exclusion zone (no it wasn't you Kev!). It's the sort of thing you come across when you are talking to someone (usually non family and non close friend) and they step past the 'three feet away is a comfortable distance thank-you very much' zone. These sort of people are a menace to society and rationality (if that word exists) and this occasion was a prime example.
I was in a queue at a well known shop ( the one where you order your product, get a ticket, wait for your number to be displayed, and where, when you were younger, the Elizabeth Duke jewellery section took a hammering for Birthday's and Christmases ) Anyway I was about third in the queue to order my product (Gazebo in green) and, as normal, the customers in front would move towards the till after each order. But for some reason the man behind me, surprisingly complete with girlfriend, decided that the best place for him in the line was 17 and a half inches behind me. Every time I edged forward he breathed down my neck within a foot of seeing what the label in my top said (as it happens it said 'H and M').
In the end, such was his excitement to get his hands on his order, which was either a his and hers foot spa or a back, nose, and ear hair strimmer (he would have needed a heavy voltage) that he almost stumbled into me. I had no choice but to turn round and explain my views to him in the form of a heavy stare and a rolling of the shoulders to imitate my desperate need for space. I think he got the message and in the end I picked up my sixty seven piece Gazebo and walked out comfortable in my own space. Am I a weirdo? have I got issues? are you the same? Please discuss!!!!!!.


Sunday, 1 August 2010

Harriet Rose Hargreaves

Happy Birthday to my beautiful little girl who is four today. In Hattie's own special words..... we love you 'lots and lots and lots, and a million pounds'.

Friendship, innocence, and unadulterated love.