Got to start with a grumble
But the season is almost upon us
The grumble first. I did tell you in my last Blog that the Gas Board was about to turn our lives, the Resident Zoo Keeper and me, upside down. Well they have done a good job of doing just that.
Friday of last week as we were informed our gas supply ceased at around 9.00am. Millions of men in yellow jackets descended from on high with a variety of machines and long yellow plastic pipes – some thick and some thin. Turks Road began to resemble a dog’s breakfast of barriers, holes and workmen. Traffic conditions were chaotic but I did manage to get my car on to the main road. The only other available place for the good lady’s vehicle was probably somewhere near Asda Radcliffe, so it remained in situ on the drive.
Nothing happened to number 59 until late morning when a yellow jacket spray painted a yellow square at the end of the drive. About 2.00pm Mr Balfour and Mr Beatty appeared and started digging a hole. I enquired about the car and was assured that the hole would be covered with a metal sheet. Bless them the work was completed by 4.00 and a bright yellow cover was placed over the hole and our gas supply was turned back on.
They had a serious problem with the thicker yellow pipe which connected us to the mains supply. They had to dig a massive whole at the end of my neighbour’s drive to achieve success. He was not a happy bunny as he does not use gas at all. The rubbish from his hole was dumped on the pavement outside our house.
Now I have to report that the hundreds of yellow jackets are now nearing the top of Turks Road but our hole still has a yellow cover. Some other Messrs Balfour’s and Beatty’s have flitted back and forth filling some holes. It appears one gang – the Balfour Gang – fills the hole with soil, and the other gang – the Beatty Gang – comes later with the tarmac. By the way the rubbish from my neighbour’s hole was cleared away yesterday.
Have you noticed that the word “yellow” has been a dominant feature of the Blog so far.
Enough grumbling for now.
Last weekend saw the Shakers virtually seal their place in League One for next season. Quite an achievement. There were not many people who gave them a sniff of staying in the Division, including I suppose me, and of course John Hood. Well done lads. At least unlike someone close to me I did not back them to go down.
Sunday was a long, long, long, long etc day. Domestic family arrangements meant that our grandchildren were with us on Saturday night. I was up bright eyed and bushy tailed on Sunday to take Sophie for a footy match in Great Harwood. Her team won by 5 goals to 3 and she performed quite well in goal. It was quite a parky morning but fortunately I could sit in the car to watch.
We made the journey home via Bury to drop off a team mate before snatching a quick lunch. She was due at Old Trafford for the final Under 15 Girls Squad Training Session starting at 4.00pm. Now those of you with a passing interest in the Premier League will remember there was an important game at the other OT starting at the same time. As there were going to be some 75,000 people descending on the area we set off early and met little traffic. The return journey was, however, a nightmare. I dropped Sophie off at around 8.15 having taken just over two hours for a 30 minute journey. If only Derek and Jenny had finished 10 minutes early. Never mind the Squad Sessions have gone well and everyone has enjoyed them and is now looking forward to the season.
I was back at Headquarters the following evening for a meeting of U14 to U17 Coaches and Managers set up by Steve Titchard. It was a good meeting and gave me the chance to meet up with Nathan Wood again after many years. Nathan will be the Assistant Coach with the Under 14 boys squad. I will be back at OT on Thursday for the last Under 16 Squad Session.
Wow. The LCB Handbooks have arrived – the earliest ever and the LCB Fixture card final proofs arrived this morning. I agreed to collate all the different teams and age groups – quite a massive task in the end.
Now then – my colleagues will tell you that I am date and day crackers – I can get them mixed up. I feel it may be something to do with a misspent youth. My Bursar at Hayward School always used to warn newcomers in the office that they should check any letters I sent through to make sure the day and the date matched. Over many years Eric Linford, the extremely disappointed Sage of Everton (not Liverpool) has saved my bacon as well on a number of occasions.
Well I have doubly and trebly checked the proofs but to be on the safe side I have asked my good lady to set aside Thursday morning’s task of mucking out the elephant enclosure to check my facts and figures closely.
I would hope that the latest Fixture List will be up on this Website by early next week and soon after the Fixture Cards will appear.
A quick word on the “Excellence Intranet”. This was what we used last season to enter Performance Details replacing the old Log Sheets for the Levels of Excellence. This worked very well last season. Martyn our Web Meister has been working on a few ideas we gave him to make the site much better. He is almost there and we hope to make it “live” pretty soon. One of the features of the upgraded site will be the ability to send bulk emails. I hope that the first use I make of this new facility will be to email everyone with the news that the site is now live. I have to say there are still some who have not got an email address or have just forgotten to pass it on.
I have deliberately not mentioned THE MATCH or THE BOOK. Detailed discussions and debates are in progress. I am grateful for those of you who have now raised the level of orders but the next few days will be crucial.
The weekend lies ahead and the start of the season for the Mount – the triple champions of 2011. Stewie and Number 1 Son are now a year nearer to the Knackers Yard, but Andy Kerr and most other members of the team have light years ahead of them. The first match is on Sunday against Bradshaw. And the forecast is more Arctic than Mediterranean. Time for a Tesco Moment.
Mention of the word “Tesco” reminds me that they have just announced a major re-vamp to buck up sales. Now the Heaton’s, the Resident Zoo Keeper and her lacky, have always done their bit to keep Tesco profits up as you will have noted. Indeed as I survey the wreck that is Turks Road I feel that maybe a second Tesco Moment is appropriate.
“Every Little Helps”