Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Well Thats That Then

Yes thats Christmas over for another year - back to work tomorrow morning for 7am.
Christmas Day came and went with it's usual Tinsel and Turkey. 
The temperature was somewhat different from last year. According to todays paper it was 1 degree last Christmas day at it's peak. Yesterday it was showing 11.2 degrees outside at my brother in laws house in Ashbourne at 1:43 pm.

As for presents I had already had the turbo trainer and the Garmin cadence monitor for the bike so wasn't expecting much. What I did get was a couple of DVDs, one of Sarah Millican and one of Micky Flanaghan - both should be good for a laugh as they are my two favourite comedians at the moment.
An added bonus was a 27" iMac which we picked up from my mate Andy who had got it through a points scheme at work. We got it for £400 less and it's still in a sealed box, never been used. All I need now is a copy of Office for Mac and some form of Photoshop.
Amongst the other items I got from the inlaws were a fluorescent cycling jacket, a book of football grounds Now and Then (5th edition, I have the other 4 already), and a Roy of the Rovers book. That brought back some memories of days long gone by.

After lunch my sister in law shouted me to come into the kitchen to photograph their cat Rossi who appeared to be saying "wheres my dinner then"

Boxing Day = football. Well not always as we have only played 20 times on December 26th since the club were reformed in 1952. All of the other games have been played around Boxing day  (or has been postponed due to the weather). No worries about postponements this year as it was 13+ degrees outside at 12:07 today.

This year we entertained the First Club in the World (or Sheffield FC as they are officially known). Despite taking a first half lead into the break we still managed to lose 1-3, which means that we ended the year much along the lines of what has gone before this season. 
Photos from the game can be see here: Belper v Sheffield
My Only Follower
Next up for the Nailers a trip to Ilkeston on Monday 3rd - not holding out a lot of hope for win there but you never know, stranger things have happened - like the time we beat them at our place earlier in the season.

Today I added another 15 miles to the cycling total for the year. Incredibly it was still 10.1 degrees at 1:30pm this afternoon.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Almost there

As the muppets would say 'one more sleep to Christmas'

Time for a quick catch up then.

Finished work on Thursday 22nd, did the 'Christmas shop' which is as traditional as the tree and the decorations. People were buying food like it was going out of fashion, the shops are only closed for two days for goodness sake.

Our cat has decided to let it all pass her by and left the message 'wake me up when it's all over'

Friday we had our Christmas hair cuts then to the garden centre for a quick coffee and piece of cake. After that we called in at Krishnas house to drop off a present. We only planned on staying for an hour but we ended up being there for 3 1/2 as we were entertained by son Dan on the trombone and then Sophie and Dan on piano - two very talented and confident kids who are great fun to be around.

They also have a rescue dog called Socks. Originally named because of his white paws. Sadly he had an accident a few days after they re homed him and he had to have a back leg removed. He's still called socks but also has the nickname Tripod. You'd hardly know he only had three legs when you see him rushing about.

I also noticed yesterday that we still have a poppy out in the garden. I thought it was unusual to have one on remembrance day, but two days before Christmas ?? Here it is:

As I type this there is a gale blowing outside and the temp is showing as 8.3 - todays weather forecast suggested temps of 13 tomorrow to make it the hottest Christmas day on record !

Hope anyone reading this has a great day tomorrow (that means you Ken) and hopefully Santa will bring us a win over the First Football Club in the World on Boxing Day.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

We Won !

Partly as expected we beat lowly Shepshed yesterday but it was more of a struggle that we expected it to be. Despite taking the lead we allowed Shepshed to equalise before two strikes from returning Jon Froggatt made it a comfortable 3-1 win.
The win moves up up to 14th in the table - a lot better than the 18th we sat in before kick off.
Before the game we arranged for young Will to have a 'behind the scenes' tour of the dressing room. I also took his photo in the home dressing room. After a bit of magic this is the result.

There were doubts that the game would take place at one point as it was really cold and an overnight frost left the stand side very hard. A thaw and some rain did the trick and the game went ahead. photos can be seen here: Belper 3 Shepshed 1
Match Our next game is on Boxing day when the First Club in the World pay us a visit. By then the big day will have come and gone and also the shortest day (next Wednesday) - we can then start to look forward to the return of the better weather and more pleasurable cycling times ahead.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Christmas comes to Sherbourne

We couldn't put it off any longer, We had to get the decorations out of the loft and make the place look a little more festive. I think we managed it.

When we got back from shopping I thought I should stock the bird table up as the cold weather had left the garden looking a bit bare. I piled on mealworms & sunflower hearts. Thinking that it would keep our feathered friends happy for a while. As we were decorating the tree I looked outside to see the bird table covered in Starlings.

By the time they had finished the bird table was clear - as if a plague of locusts had passed through.

After the decorating I fitted the cadence sensor to the Peugeot bike. I had read that it was difficult to follow the instructions but it turned out to be a simple task and as far as I can see it is set up and is linked to my Garmin GPS watch ready for a trial tomorrow (assuming we can't get out for a few miles due to the forecast of snow).

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

As Expected

As soon as we saw the Derby County line up for the game it was obvious that there was no way we were going to win this game.
 1. Legzdins
 2. Leacock
 3. Buxton
 4. Witham
 5. O'Brien
 6. Riggott
 7. Croft
 8. Maguire
 9. Robinson
10. Doyle
11. Cywka
Far too much first team experience in the side for Belper, especially as we had the likes of Aaron Pride, Colin Marrison, Alan O'Hare suspended and Froggy out with a hamstring. 
By half time we were 1-3 down but the score could have been twice that with the missed chances.
Second half Derby stepped up the pace and as Belper faded they ran in 6 more goals to Belper 2 to leave the final score of Belper Town 3 Derby County 9
Belper did manage an equaliser through Ben Leonard following a free kick from new boy Aron Wint. The keeper couldn't hold it and Ben was first to react and head the ball into the opposite corner.
By the end of the game the score could have easily have been 15 or more. The biggest disappointment was not the scoreline but the crowd. Just 214 people turned up to the game.

Today the sensor for the bike arrived so I can see how far I have cycled when using the turbo trainer. As it was dry (although only 2.3 degrees) I went out on the Peugeot after tea. Enjoyed the ride even though it was a cold. a 7.5 mile ride in 31m. 
Now got 5 days off work - with the big game against Shepshed on Saturday to come 

Post match note: There was a box of programmes left over due to the poor turnout and the extra print run but on ebay I see there are copies up for sale at £5 each. These are described as 'rare' due to a short print run ! If anyone wants a copy I can get you one for £2.00 - all proceeds to the Ops Committe

Monday, 12 December 2011

Another bargain buy

Remember I said I had ordered another cycling shirt but it hadn't arrived ? Well it arrived today and it turns out to be the best one of the three I bought. In very good condition I was very pleased with my £7.14 purchase.

 Best part is that it has a full length zip - it's the only shirt I have that has this so will be great to use on those baking hot days we are going to have next year...
 Exactly the same as last Monday we got home, had tea and were all set to go out to get some exercise - looked outside to see it had started raining ! Decided the time had arrived to put the turbo trainer to the test. Set it up in the garage, put Planet Rock on the radio and set off for half an hours spinning. It's easier than being on the road as there are no hills but you also have to remember there is no freewheeling on a turbo trainer. The only thing missing is that you don't know how far you have 'virtually cycled' 
 As far as this issue is concerned a quick look on Amazon and I have ordered a sensor that goes on the rear wheel and hooks up with my Garmin 305 GPS watch.
Hopefully with that in place there should be no three week lay offs like last year when the snow stopped us exercising. Sally has the treadmill set up - all we need now is some decent sounds to exercise to.
Harping back to Saturday - I have just about got over my strop with New Mills. A 40 mile drive in the poor weather - reminded me that the real life was to be a cat. This was what our cat was doing while I was out in the cold and the snow on Saturday.
Tomorrow night Belper have Derby County coming to town - can't see us winning that, especially with all the players missing through suspension and possibly Froggy out with a hamstring. Weather doesn't sound too good so might be a miserable night - or might be a turn up for the books.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Postponed !

Well this should have been a report on the trip to New Mills but instead it will probably turn into a rant. Todays game was always going to be in some doubt due to the weather. Last night we went out for a meal at the Black Boy with Mike & Jenny next door, when we came out at 9pm it was snowing and the roads were starting to freeze. With the game being up in New Mills (near to Stockport) the chances are that the weather was going to be worse up there. That thought was confirmed when I got up this morning to find that the game at Buxton had been called off due to a waterlogged pitch.
Despite reading every appropriate website (BTFC, Fans Forum, Evo-Stik, New Mills) there was not a hint that the game was in doubt. Well there may have been a hint when Dave Laughlin posted on the forum last night that he had heard there MAY be a pitch inspection this morning. No mention of a pitch inspection this morning, no updates from anyone. I texted Ian Featherby at lunchtime and he said the game was on (by this time the supporters coach had already left for the game). We set off at 1pm. The Via Gellia road and Newhaven roads were ok but he fields either side were covered in snow. Just as we turned onto the Newhaven road my phone rang. It was match secretary Ian Wright ringing to say that the game had been called off by the match referee. Not frozen, not snow covered - but muddy goalmouths apparently. So a 40 mile round trip for nothing ! We decided to call and watch the reserve game when we got back but we only stayed until half time as it was freezing cold and we had seen enough. I snapped a few photos in the first half. 
Yesterday saw me getting a good soaking on the bike. I set off in bright sunshine although it did look dodgy over Crich Monument as I turned onto Whitemoor Lane. All the way out to Little Eaton I was riding in sunshine (although it was cold - just 5.7 degrees C with a cold northerly wind) but all the time to my right (back over Belper way) it was Bible black. I had just descended to the A6 at Duffield when I felt the first spots of rain begin to fall. By the time I had reached Milford it was raining much harder and the spots hitting my face were like small needles. Along the A6 the rain got heavier and back in Belper it was raining quite hard. Sally was out jogging in Belper, just 2 miles up the hill in a blizzard. I ploughed on and totalled up 16.5 miles making a weekly total of 24miles. Hardly world beating but if I can keep this up through the Winter as long as possible I should be ready for the Spring when the better weather comes back (hopefully). I have a feeling the turbo trainer will be in action before too long though, which reminds me I must order another odometer to use with the trainer.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

EBay Bargains

Everyone loves a bargain - and I got two recently (with another on the way hopefully). I found a shop on ebay who sell used cycling shirts. Prices start at just £0.99p although I always seems to pay about £4 for the ones I have had so far. Having said that the last one I bought (which hasn't arrived yet) was just over £7.

The first one I got was this one
I had no idea what team it related to when I bought it other than it has a distinct Italian look due to the writing on it - I just liked the colours (italbonifica were an Italian racing team back in the 1990's - italbonifica). Michele Moro is the only rider on the list that I have any vague recognition of.

Pleased with my purchase (£6.29 including postage & packing) I had another look on the site (they have literally hundreds of shirts including an option to buy 100 assorted shirts for £189) and came across this one:
The second shirt is this one from an amateur Belgium cycling team. This one cost the princely sum of £7.14 again including postage & packing.  

The third one (that hasn't arrived yet) could prove to be the bargain buy of the three. It cost just £4.98. I bought that one as I don't have a summer jersey with a full length zip for when it gets really hot (can't imagine that just at the moment). Hopefully that one will arrive in the next few days.
Finally I bought a DVD as a Christmas present from someone. It's from the 1980's and includes the 1987 Tour De France won by my personal cycling hero, Stephen Roche. It also includes the 1988 Tour won by Pedro Delgado. Hope the quality is good when it arrives.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Bad to Worse

Despite reports suggesting Belper played well again, to paraphrase Led Zeppelin, the result remain the same. A defeat at Grantham means we have lost 8 of the last 9 games. Saturdays trip to New Mills is another tough game, that will be followed by a visit from a Derby County XI in the Derbyshire Senior Cup then a definite Must Win visit from Shepshed Dynamo. Tough times at the Meadow.
Missed out on a bike ride on Monday as it started sleeting just as we were about to go out. I hadn't out the turbo trainer together so couldn't use that. I put that right last night by assembling it ready for tonight but thankfully it was dry so I got out for a quick 7.5 miles (33 m 08 s).
Won another jersey on ebay today. I needed one with a full length zip for when the really hot weather returns...wonder when I'll get to use it ? Not for a few months thats for sure.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Same Old Same Old

Another Saturday, another defeat (I think I've said that before recently). A goal down after two minutes in yet another game, we just cannot seem to switch on when the whistle blows. After that we were chasing the game and lost another goal to make it a 0-2 defeat. The game itself was not one of the best and Kidsgrove had won only 1 of their previous 10 games, so a very poor result for Belper. We need to get out of this run of defeats. Tuesday night we travel to Grantham (who sit near the top of the table and whom we haven't beaten at their place since I was 1 year old - thats 1964 ).
I still have to sort the photos from the game but I took these two during the 2nd half as the sun set on the Seddon Stadium.

Match photos are here: Kidsgrove v Belper

Off to Kidsgrove Athletic

With tension mounting after 5 defeats in 6 games todays trip to Kidsgrove makes for a pressure match. Kidsgrove are below us in the table and looking a poor side on paper but do have Dave Walker who always seems to be able to find the nest against Belper. In the past 9 trips to Kidsgrove we have won 3 and lost 6. The last time we came away with the 3 points was the 2007/08 season when Ross hannah scored two and Ant Wilson got the third in a 3-1 win in front of just 91 people. I assume there will be more there today on a sunny but very windy Saturday in December. Two things about Kidsgrove - it always seems cold there - although as we have only ever been in October, November, December, February or March thats not surprising. Another thing is they are so tight with programmes - hardly any in the boardroom and only print a few so it's always a battle to get one for the archive (which currently stands at (2013). Hopefully Tony T will be there in time to grab one for me otherwise I may have to pay for one !!
Yesterday I completed my longest bike ride since returning to the saddle in July. 22.1 miles in 1H 38m. The significance of this mileage was that it took me to 500 miles in total. A cold day but very enjoyable although the last few miles were hard going. It's hard top believe that I have cycled almost 5 times that distance in one day before - ok only the once but I did use to cycle 40-60 miles on occasions without too much trouble - I fear those days are gone although I do think I will try and cycle 50 miles before 2012 is out (while I am still clinging to my 40's). I can't wait for the warm weather to return, when I can get a pair of shorts and a jersey on and be off rather than the 30 minutes of getting into warm gear, hats gloves, three layers of tops, overshoes etc. 
Ok - time to go and get some dinner, Hugh is picking me up at 12:45 before we meet up with Scribbler for the 1h 15m trip over to Staffordshire. Catch you later.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Another Home defeat

Things just don't seem to be getting any better down at the Meadows. Another home defeat means we have now lost 5 of the last 6 games, 4 at home. A 1-2 defeat at the hands of Sutton Coldfield was no disgrace but the way we lost was typical of this season. A goal down after 8 minutes (again) and then chasing the game. Got an equaliser in the 86th minute (again - see Curzon Ashton) only to lose a goal in added on time (again - see Curzon Ashton).
Something is not right with the team as we have some very good players but not enough to stop us losing silly goals at the start and the end of games. If you want to see some photos from the game they are here: Belper v Sutton Coldfield
Not been out on the bike again this week - plan is to go tomorrow. I did get some more cycling gear in the sale at the Outlet village in Rowsley on the way back from Chatsworth yesterday - including a neck warmer thing that it looks like I'll need tomorrow (especially after having had a haircut in the morning, as the temp is forecast to be no more than 5 degrees at best !)
Colin Marrison fires in an 86th minute equaliser
Back to football and Saturdays trip to Kidsgrove is a must win game as they are one of the 7 teams still below us in the table, although our record at Kiddy is not a great one.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Another Home game

A quick update before the match tonight. Three times we've played Sutton Coldfield before tonight and three times we have been beaten - on current form it will probably be 4/4 but football being that funny old game you never know - we shall see in about 5 hours time.
Yesterday we finished decorating the bedroom in the morning and then I went out on my bike for a 20 mile ride - it was cool in the wind but dry (more than can be said for this afternoon when we had about 30 minutes of very heavy rain and strong winds). Completed the ride in 1 hr 25 minutes. I'll try and get out again tomorrow for a few miles depending on what we decide to do.
Just after the rain I mentioned this afternoon I snapped this shot out of the bedroom window.
A football update later in the week.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Another Home game another Home defeat

Previously I joked about 'fortress Christchurch' well the home trouble goes on. Yesterday saw us host Carlton Town who have been having a good season so far (4th before kick off). An entertaining first half despite the 0-0 scoreline turned into a 0-2 defeat thanks to former Belper player Ruben Wiggins-Thomas scoring both goals in the last 12 minutes. Photos from the game are here: Belper v Carlton photos
Isn't it wonderful how these old folks have taken to modern technology
This morning we started decorating the bedroom. Three walls in Laura Ashley Soft Truffle paint. Tomorrow we'll do the other wall with wallpaper and then hopefully I can get out on my bike for a quick ride round as the forecast for the two days after that are not looking 'bike friendly' - guess I'll have to put the turbo trainer together and try that.
Sad to hear the news today that the Wales manager Gary Speed was found dead at the age of 42. The radio were reporting that he had apparently taken his own life, which if it is true is a tragic ending to a man who was still playing professional football up to a couple of seasons ago. 

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Carlton come to town

After meeting them 3 times in two weeks earlier in the season we have a visit from our friends from Carlton Town today. They beat leaders Ilkeston in midweek to sit 4th in the table so a tough game is ensured. So far there have been over 20 goals in the three games we have played this season so today will either be another goal fest or possibly a 0-0 draw just to contrast the previous matches.
Will be good to see Simon & Tim Harris (assuming they both make the trip) - and yes would you believe Tim is the club photographer too !
Yesterday we went over to Decathlon as planned and I picked up the Satori pro trainer at the nock down price of £129.99 - all I need to do now is work how how to put it together ! 
next issue I'll have is if I set the trainer up with the Peugeot then I won't have a bike to go out on if it rains - oh well I guess I'll just have to buy another bike then...
In the afternoon I did some real bike riding. The weather was a mix of sunshine and showers so I took the Peugeot out rather than the Boardman. Did my 15.5 mile circuit through Little Eaton and the Chevin. Time ? 1 h 8 m 12 s with a headwind for parts and some rain too. 
Thats it for this update - need to go and sort some dinner out before heading off to the aforementioned match.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A win at last

Although I didn't make the trip (or possibly BECAUSE I didn't make the trip) to Goole, I watched the game on text. They (the texts and goals) came quite quickly to begin with, 1-0 Wright, 2-0 Froggy, 3-0 Longstaff. 3-0 at half time and game over. As so often turns out that was the end of the scoring. A 3-0 away win is impressive whoever you are playing and a long trip to Goole on a cold night was even better.
Sets us up nicely for a visit from our friends at Carlton on Saturday.
Tonight I got out on my bike for the first time in a week (missed Friday due to the trip to Stratford and Monday because I was at the Nuffield). Completed my 7.5 mile circuit in 31m 23s one of my better times. in fact just 10 seconds behind my fastest time for that particular circuit.
I read in a cycling magazine that as we get older we have a tendency to cycle slower in a bid to ride further. One thing that sticks in my memory was the sentence "as we get older we cycle slower because we cycle slower" and it's true that its psychological. I need to remember that there is no reason that I can't cyce as fast as I used to - faster even thanks to the new lighter bike and better wheels and tyres. Obviously I can't cycle as fast for as long but I need to be ensure I try a bit harder rather than giving in and admitting defeat on the grounds of age.
Off to Decathlon on Friday, one of the things I'll be looking at will be an indoor trainer to ensure I can keep riding my bike when the really bad weather kicks in like last year. I see they have one on offer at £130 reduced from £170 hopefully there will be some left - watch this space and find out.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Interest addition to the Programme Collection

A couple of game back I was given a few old Belper Town programmes by a chap at the ground who I know by sight and to talk to but don't know his name.
There was only one that wasn't already in my collection (currently standing at 2009) but one interesting find amongst them was this one:
Nothing special in the programme sense, just a typical 1960's issue from Belper. An A4 sheet folded into three and printed on coloured paper. What makes it interesting, at least to me, is the date. 31st August 1963. Not only my birthday but my actual DAY of birth. As far as I am aware I was born at 3pm on that Saturday so just as Belper were kicking off against the Tulips I was making my entrance into this world - bit of a coincidence don't you think ? For those who are interested Belper won 4-2 with goals from Lakin, Wallbank, Jones & and own goal.
After work today I visited the Nuffield Hospital again and had the Exercise Tolerance Test (or treadmill). The results were as expected, the ectopic beats disappear as the heartbeat increases so exercise is not a problem. I was given the all clear as such and advised to contact the Cardiologist again if any other other symptoms turn up - sounds good to me.
Tomorrow is the trip to Goole - still haven't decided whether to go or not, I'll decide tomorrow.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Another Defeat

It appears I didn't miss a lot by missing the trip to Market Drayton. A 3-0 defeat to a side below us in the table is poor - although a new manager has seen an upturn in their fortunes of late (we've been there, done that etc). Instead it was an afternoon putting the garden to bed for the winter, listening to the football on the radio and watching the texts coming through from Shropshire.
Next up is a Tuesday night trip to the Victoria Pleasure Grounds of Goole - not sure if I am going to make the trip yet or not. 
In the evening we were out at Derby Assembly Rooms watching Vin Garbutt. As always it was a great show from Vin - never seen anything else in all the times we have been going to see him live. 
The show finished at 10:35 and we had the 'pleasure' of walking back through Derby Town centre on a Saturday night to get back to the car. The sights you see are unbelievable - or is it just that I'm getting old ?
Talking of getting old - tomorrow night I have my treadmill test at the Nuffield Hospital - hopefully that will be the end of the tests etc. My Cholesterol came back as 5.6 which is above where we'd like it to be but better than expected. No bike riding tomorrow due to the trip to the hospital so Wednesday looks like the next time I'll be peddling round Belper.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday

It was a week ago now but I thought I'd just post this photo I took on Sunday morning. Although it's not a red one it is a poppy, growing in our garden on Remembrance Sunday (November 13th 2011)

Friday, 18 November 2011

Stratford Upon Avon

A cracking day in Stratford even though the weather wasn't brilliant. Met up with Ron & Pam, Ron was as entertaining as he ever was on the holiday. After a walk around the marina we had a look in the Royal Shakespear Company hall and then went for an Italian meal just around the corner. Ron told us about the time he was doing 160 mph on his motorbike. He looks the most unlikely person in the world to be riding motorbikes at over 150 mph but what an entertaining man he is. I will upload some photos including the biggest gathering of swans i've ever seen in one place.
Typical Stratford scene

Even the Bank is Olde Worlde

The Royal Shakespeare Company Swan Theatre

Swan fountain

Looks like someone is getting very wet

Count the swans

View up the River Avon

View from the RSC

The RSC Tower

Waiting for the Ice Cream Barge to open

Out of another cup

Tuesday saw us beaten in the Doodson Cup by Worksop Town. A 3-1 defeat after extra time ended another cup run leaving just the Derbyshire Senior Cup left this season. 
Peter Duffield fielded a much changed side with the likes of 'Purito' and new boys Greg Knight and Jordan Turner in the starting 11.
A cracking goal from Jordan equalised another early goal Belper had conceded (3 minutes again). The scores stayed the same until the full time whistle so it was extra time. Two goals from the Tigers (one a dubious penalty, one a suspiciously looking offside goal at the death saw them through.
Photos are here: Belper v Worksop 
As previously mentioned I'm not going to Market Drayton tomorrow as we're out tomorrow night seeing Vin Garbutt. So no photos from the game from me. 
Today we're off to Stratford upon Avon to meet up with Ron & Pam who we met on the Treyn holiday earlier in the year. They live in Reading so thats about half way between the two. Hopefully it'll stay dry as the forecast says and we'll have nice stroll around the park - i'll let you know what happens.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Fortress Christchurch ? - Not at the moment it's not.

Another home game and another home defeat - it's getting like the old days down at Belper. A goal down after just three minutes and two down after about twenty was always going to make it hard to get anything out of a game against the side starting the day in 2nd place.
Having said that Belper put up a real battle in the 2nd half and just about deserved a point, but as I have said before you don't always get what you deserve in this game.
Lest We Forget
We started with a minutes silence as the game fell between Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday - not surprisingly it was impeccably observed - well apart from one rather loud lady who came from behind the stand obviously not realising what was happening, she was soon told to be quiet.
One bright note was the performance of Jordan Turner who cam e on as a 2nd half sub. He really injected some pace up front and deserves a starting place on Tuesday in my mind. The photos are here: Belper v Stamford
Next up - Worksop Town in the Doodson League Cup on Tuesday night. Former Nailer Mickey Harcourt scored a last minute equaliser for Matlock against them today - if Mickey H can score against them ANYONE must be able to (sorry Mickey couldn't resist that one).

Friday, 11 November 2011

400 Up

No game this midweek due to our loss at Cuzon Ashton and Leek (our scheduled opponents having an FA Trophy replay thanks to a 90th minute equaliser on their part).
Got out on the bike Monday evening - what a horrid night that was too. Went on the Peugeot to try out the new mudguards for the first time, they did a cracking job of keeping the wet stiff off the bike and more importantly me !
Wednesday another miserable night although just about dry after a damp old day. Again the Peugeot was the bike of choice and that 7.5 miles was enough to click up 400 miles since I returned to cycling in July. Next target is obviously 500, averaging about 30 a week so should just about do it before the end of the year weather permitting (I know I'll miss the big Friday ride next week due to a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Might be touch and go if the weather kicks in like it did last year about this time (well actually it won't because that will be the end of the cycling if the snow returns).
This morning I went to see the Cardiologist who agreed that I had quite a lot of irregular heartbeats (ectopics as we call them in the trade) but wasn't too concerned about them (easy for her to say they're not HER ectopics). I had high blood pressure so I need that monitoring and I have to have a Cholesterol check due to a family history of hyper- cholesterol. I also have to have an exercise tolerance test (or treadmill test) to check what happens when I exercise - that should be interesting given my heart gets up to about 170 bpm when I'm attacking some of these hills on my rides.
Talking of rides I was given the all clear to carry on cycling - which will be good news to Ken, you can stop worrying now Dad ;-). With that in mind I went out of the Boardman this afternoon and racked up another 20 miles in 1 hr 22 mins. Pulse hit 173 on the way back up Mill Street, A really miserable day today with drizzle and light rain but the new coat (see previous blog re new cycling jacket) was great - worth every penny !
Tomorrow it's another home game - against 2nd placed Stamford. NTLM has left the club citing 'internal politics' as his reason for leaving whereas the manager has suggested he was being paid too much to not score enough goals - not in those exact words but reading between the lines...
Off to Andys for some (not so healthy) Bangers & Mash - will have to check the Cholesterol content first tho..
More after the game

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Private Peaceful

Just got back from a surprise trip to see Private Peaceful at the Derby Assembly Rooms. What a fantastic show - I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's the story of two brothers who go off to fight in the first world war. One of the brothers is eventually shot for cowardice for refusing to leave a bunker in no mans land for a certain death. The story is told by author Michael Morpurgo from the point of the younger brother (Thomas Peaceful) as he spends the night before his elder brother Charlie faces the firing squad at 6am. He spends the night recalling their lives from childhood. Interspersed with the narrative are acapella songs from local group acapella group Coope, Boyes and Simpson.
Although it was dark in the auditorium it was obvious that there were tears being shed as Michael described how Charlie walked out to face the firing squad, singing Oranges and Lemons as he went.
I hear that it is being made into a film - it is likely to be a great hit.
Go and see it - tell them Snapper sent you  - won't get you in any cheaper and to be honest they won't have a clue who the heck you're talking about !

Out of the Cup - Again

The 110 mile round trip resulted in a cup defeat for Belper. Curzon were just about the better side over the 90 minutes but the fact that we equalised in the 87th minute only to let in another goal a minute later was galling to say the least.
The initial drive over to Ashton was somewhat of a drag - just 52 miles according to the Sat Nav but that was via Buxton, Glossop et al. Although it was quite scenic I would have preferred to drive the 75 miles to Brigg on the motorway and be there in just over 1 hour rather than the 1 hour 45 it took to get to Ashton. Thankfully Carts had his iPhone as the sat nav took us almost all the way there before getting us lost in a maze of one way streets near the ground. Thats the problem when they give you a postcode that is 'approximately' near to your destination. When we got there the place was packed - looked like a real good crowd until you realised that 90% of them were at the 6-a-side complex next door. Just before kick off the majority had left and we were left with 137 hardy souls watching the match.
The set up at Curzon is really nice, two large stands and lots of barriers that would suit a league set up but with all that concrete it does come across as somewhat souless - especially with less than 150 people rattling around inside it. 

This photo of Harry Pride (Aarons dad) stood in the stand opposite the Main Stand probably illustrates this point better than I am describing it. Now admittedly this was before the kick off and he was stood there to get some welcome rays but you get the idea.
The main Stand is where all the action is, the bar, the facilities and at the top the boardroom where we get a refreshing cup of tea (and especially welcomed DARK Chocolate digestives).
At either end are open terrance where the travelling Nailers fans stood behind the goal that Belper were attacking in each half. It's great to see a good turn out at the away games since Ian & Neil organised the buses - top men both of those guys. Curzon Ashton v Belper photos
So we are out of all the cups now except for the Derbyshire Senior Cup which usually starts around the middle of December for us (3rd Rd stage). Last time we had a Monday night trip to New Mills (A place we past about half way into yesterdays journey to Ashton) - I missed that one !
Talking of missing games there will be two i'll miss in the next few weeks. An away trip to Goole on a Tuesday night will be the first then the Saturday trip to Market Drayton Town. We have tickets to see Vin Garbutt at the Assembly Rooms that night and the show starts at 7:30 so it will be too much of a rush to get back. Having done Market Drayton on a midweek night it will be a shame to miss a Saturday trip there as it's a nice place - if a little wooden (people who have been will know what I'm referring to).

Friday - haircut time followed by lunch and then a quick spin on the bike (very predictable eh ?). Decided that I needed to take it carefully until we've sorted the 'dicky ticker' situation out. Therefore kept it down to an easy 15 miles with just the climb back up to home as the challenge. Pulse got up to 174 on the final climb and the usual shortness of breath at the top but otherwise uneventful. That was the only cycling this week so the total now stands at 385 miles - should make it to 400 by the end of this week all being well.

No game on Tuesday evening now as our opponents Leek drew their FA Trophy game and are involved in a replay on Wednesday evening. So next up is a rare home game against Stanford next Saturday. Watch this space for more updates.

Oh by the way my favourite shot from yesterday was not of the action on the pitch but in the sky behind us.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Back On Track

Jon Froggatts 25 yarder
A decent if not brilliant,performance from Belper on Tuesday saw us win 2-1 at Quorn. A fantastic strike ,from Jon Froggatt after just 11 minutes set Belper on the way to a hard earned victory. Despite Quorn equalising 7 minutes before the break there was still time for the Nailers to take the lead again when  keeping error left Andy Rushbury with an open net to fire into. Like the game at Brigg we came out with a victory when a draw would have been a fairer result, but thats football as they say. Quorn v Belper photos
Not see the bike since Friday, had to go to the doctors on Monday evening, then it was football Tuesday and the All Souls church service last night. Tonight (Thursday) back at the doctors and then shopping. Hopefully a bit of a ride out tomorrow weather permitting but have to be a bit careful at the moment until I get the results of some tests I've had for a bit of an irregular heartbeat. Hopefully it's just a case of a few tablets and I'll be back to my best with a view to the Tour De France next year (well sitting watching it on TV anyway).
Saturday it's off to Curzon Ashton in the FA Trophy. A new ground (number 62) for me this one. Kick off is at 2pm due to a large bonfire display near to the ground which means roads being closed. We'll be setting off at 11am - should be an interesting day.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Friday 28.10.2011
Decided it was time to purchase some winter cycling gear as it is getting colder and colder, especially on the days when I can only get out at 6pm after work (normally Monday & Wednesday). Had a good look on the internet but the sizing of these sort of stuff can be very variable, as it turned out I needed to buy Large in the trousers and Ex Large in the top which is definitely Not what I would have ordered on the net !
The trousers (or tights as they like to call them in cycling speak) have a warm lining and are designed to be partly waterproof – at £50 a pair they need to be ! The top has a special windproof front but a breathable back with ‘zips in the pits’ to allow the release of heat – all very technical and again for £75 it had better work. I won’t get to find out until probably next Friday a I am otherwise engaged on Monday & Wednesday this week (and Tuesday too with the football). In the afternoon I did a 15 mile ride based on my original circuit to Little Eaton and back via the Chevin. I changed it slightly to avoid the middle section into Little Eaton to avoid the worst of the tree debris. On the way back up from the A6 I decided to try another alternative route by turning left at the top of Field Lane and going up Mill Street. By the time I got to the junction with Cemetery Lane my pulse was up at 170 !! The stats for the ride: 15.63 miles in 1 h 03 m 51 s (total cycling so far: 414.32 miles)
Friday night we went out with Jan & Steve to the Bulls Head in Denby for a meal. A great night (as it always is with our old friends), when we got back in the car the temperature was 0.5 – good job I got that winter cycling gear (not that I’m planning much cycling at 10:30pm at this time of year – or any other time of year come to think of it).

Saturday 29.10.11
I said it had to end sometime and we thought that was Tuesday night with the late equaliser from Loughborough, well that was just the start. A 1-5 thrashing at the hands of Hucknall Town brought back memories of similar poor performances and results from Andy Carneys time in charge when we were trounced by the likes of Quorn and Glapwell at home. At least Hucknall looked a good side who will probably be in the play off places come April – scant consolation for the fans who were looking forward to only the 2nd home game in 11 matches.
My mate Matt came over for the game, the last time he came we won 5-1. After about 7 minutes he predicted another 5-1 but not in Belpers favour. At that point in time Corey Gregory had put Hucknall ahead. Corey had played one game for us in Duffields first game at Carlton and looked completely out of his depth, he looked anything but yesterday. Matt had to leave with the score at 1-1 as his wife Vicky was unwell so he missed seeing his prediction come true !
The substitute substituted
The referee was very fussy – spending a lot of time talking to players and holding the game up. When he wasn’t talking to them he was booking them, I think we ended up with 4 bookings, 2 for things that were said out of frustration. We can’t blame the ref for the result though, that was down to the players alone. We were treated the unusual sight of a substitute being substituted. New signing Michael Simpkins replaced injured Dan White and was then substituted himself by Luke Chambers, presumably because of an injury. Photos can be seen here: Belper v Hucknall
Next up – another away trip, this time to Quorn on Tuesday night.