Yes it's the day before the big kick off - no not those overpaid prima donnas in the Premiership - the REAL football of the Evo-Stick Division 1 South (and many other non-league divisions).
The mighty Nailers are away at Newcastle - no not them Geordies on the Tyne - Newcastle Town in Newcastle-under-Lyme. They play at the Lyme Valley Stadium near Stoke on a pitch surrounded by a Velodrome (banked cycling track as if you didn't know). Last season was their first in our division so theres no history between the sides other than the three matches from last time. We went there on a very wet night and came away with a 3-2 win against a Newcastle side who were the only real contenders for the title along with eventual winners Barwell. We then met them again at Belper in the Presidents cup and won again before the second league meeting. Aaron Prides sending off on half time saw a 2nd half collapse as Newcastle cruised to a 5-0 win (one of too many 5 goals conceded at home last season). I think Newcastle will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season so tomorrow will be a very tough start for the nailers.
What of the rest of today ? Well we spent two hours sitting in the eye clinic with Mrs Snappers mum - bit of a busmans holiday that. After that we went to Melbourne for a spot of lunch. First stop was the Melbourne Hall Tea Rooms, but unfortunately it was too busy so we walked into Melbourne itself and had a lunch at a little restaurant. I had an all-day breakfast and Sally had a Pannini. Melbourne is a little town with a huge amount of really attractive Grade Two listed houses. The Hall itself sits of the edge of the town. Read more about it here:
It was a bit of a nostalgic trip as it always is when we visit that part of the county. These were the roads I used to spend hours cycling around when we lived at Sinfin Moor. Thinking about it today we realised it was some 20 years ago when I was speeding along those lanes, days when I was approaching 30 rather than today as I approach the big 5-0. No wonder it feels a lot harder to get around on the bike these day !! - where does the time go ?
Back to Belper for a haircut and then an 11 mile bike ride before a bath and a welcome sit down. An update after tomorrows game looks likely - but I'm making no promises ;-)