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.