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Lancashire Cricket Board - Special Announcement from the Heaton Household
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Special Announcement from the Heaton Household

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It’s Back - No not the gout – the Zoo

After a week of torment and anguish I am pleased to report the Good Lady has got her Zoo back and working. My heartfelt thanks goes to my granddaughter Sophie who worked the oracle this morning – Saturday – after we had completed our regular visit to stock up with Tesco goodies. She had formulated a plan to rescue the Zoo for her granny. The Tiny Friends Zoo went into free-fall last weekend and its woes seemed terminal. Every morning this week she who must be obeyed has sat in our lounge and attempted to get her special Zoo to function but to no avail. She has not been in the best of moods I can tell you. It appeared all was lost as the good iTunes Apps people sent an update on Thursday which we thought would have solved the problem – but oh no it did not. The attempt this morning was the final push for salvation. Well done Sophie. Smiles all round !!!


                       I am due to take delivery of two new animals this afternoon.

I did feel a touch embarrassed this week as my Zoo was working quite normally. You should have seen the looks I kept getting. I eventually found I had to do my updating and breeding whilst in the toilet. I am now freed to do this anywhere in the house. Mind you I am some considerable distance away from having a Zoo the size of the one now re-instated to the Mrs’s iPad. At least when she is working on her Zoo all things are peaceful and quiet. She had started to play an alternative game of Family Fortunes but unfortunately it tended to irritate her somewhat. This did lead to an increased need for additional Tesco Moments late evening. Now all is back to normal. Great. Once again Sophie you are my saviour.


Mind you Sophie has been struggling this week with a girly cold and missed out on goalie training with the legendary Marshie up at Walshaw Sports last night. We are hoping she is better for Sunday when Westbury Diamonds are playing Euxton Girls. They could do with a win. Whilst writing this Blog Tom is playing for Bury Juniors against Leigh Genesis at Goshen Playing Fields. They are not having the best of seasons so far and were not expecting to win today.


Correct. They did lose by nine goals to four. The rest of the family have now arrived so I shall break off from this Blog to head off into Little Lever to get our chippy lunch. For those members of Greenmount CC concerned about number one son’s fitness I can tell you that he does not participate in the Saturday chippy venture. He is determined to build his fitness up so there can be another 100 wicket haul in 2013. He was quite chuffed to inform me that on Thursday he walked from home into Ramsbottom – to the Baths there – swam 50 lengths and then walked all the way back (in the pouring rain). He’s crackers. Talking about crackers he also told me that captain Stewies’ pugilistic abilities were up to standard last Saturday. Is it possible Ricky Hatton’s advisor in chief might be recommending Stewie starting a boxing career.


Saturday afternoon has arrived but no Premiership or Championship football – and no Spanish footie tonight. All we have to look forward to is Crawley Town v the Shakers as the top match of the afternoon. Will we break our duck and win our first League game of the season?  We did beat Rochdale on Tuesday just gone in that thingy paint cup but even that was on penalties.


I got myself a little prezzie this week as the annual “Cruising & Cruise Ships” book was published by Berlitz. I have a rather large collection of these acquired over the years. I am a bit of a cruisie freak in that I do enjoy checking out internet sites and browsing through books and brochures. I have always fancied putting together my own website on Cruising and Cruise Ships but have not really got the technical expertise. I might have to talk to my good friend Dipesh to see if he can advise. I might persuade him to let me do some special Cruise Blogs which we can tack on to my Cricket Blogs. Mind you I have to wait until Sunday before I can post this Blog as he has banned me until then. He has been busy putting together his LCB News sheet.


I have actually reminisced about a couple of episodes from my past when I took school parties on cruises. I looked up the other day where we visited on these travels and who we cruised with. Believe it or not we did eight of these between 1970 and 1980. The first was in 1970 but then we had a break so we could produce our number one son or rather the missus did with a small amount of help from me. We re-started in 1973 when we took a group from Totty High on a banana boat to the Canaries and back. That was quite an adventure. That ship was the Monte Ulia operated by Aznar Line and it was a banana boat. It was a cargo ship that took 90 plus passengers to the Canaries and back. I am not sure what cargo we took out but it was definitely bananas on the way back. In 1974 we flew out to Venice with another party from Totty and did the Greek Isles with Chandris. The Northern Star (Shaw Savill) and Ellinis (Chandris) followed but Hayward School had replaced the venerable Totty High in being participants. Our Russian adventures then took over with CTC Cruises and four memorable cruises on the Shota Rustaveli (2), Mikhail Lermontov and Taras Shevchenko.


I still meet up occasionally with Nicky Hudson, a regular at the esteemed Totty Con, and a regular traveller on the Heaton inspired cruises of the past. He had an interesting cruise with us when he cut his foot on our first day ashore in Palma and ended up visiting the doctor on board ship every day with the good lady until his cut had healed up. Along with Brian Scott he was the sickest ever on board the Queen Frederica when we had to dress both of them for dinner in our cabin. Like Brian he got to within five yards of shaking hands with the captain before Mal De Mer sent them running back to their cabin. We had to have Brian’s suit dry cleaned in Malta after that.


The TABAC WEBYEHKO OR "Taras Shevchenko" in Lisbon in 1980. The little fellow at the front swam 50 lengths in Rammy Baths this week.

I must stop reminiscing. The problem is that I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms as I am no longer eating, drinking and sleeping cricket. Apart from some meetings coming up and waiting for next seasons fixtures appearing from the ECB there is not much to do. All the dates for Skills Sets and Squad Coaching are now public. It will be nearer to December when we will look at Levels. We will have to wait for my good friend Stanny to go through the process of identifying the Academy players so Titch can sort out the EPP players.


Until then I have a little cruise to look forward to – maybe that is why I have had the reminiscing brain head on. I shall now pause in this blogging and complete later when the excitement of will they or won’t they win their first League match will be over.


Well what can I say?? We have just returned from a meal out with the family at the old Three Arrows in Radcliffe. This is now a carvery plus restaurant and it was very good apart from the bar prices. It was like being in London.


We had to do something after the afternoon with Sky Sports Saturday and Jeff Stelling. By half time the news from Crawley was not good as the Shakers were two goals adrift. Other teams around us were doing much better. Now during the second half there came one of those moments. You know when you are waiting for a bus and two come along at the same time – although to be honest I am unable to remember the last time I have been on such a vehicle – but you know what I mean. Two goals in as many minutes and we were on level terms. Now I can remember times when Bury scored vital winners in the dying minutes of a match but not for a while. When Jeff Stelling said there had been a dramatic development in the game between Crawley and Bury we all knew what the outcome was going to be – and we were spot on.


We are now marooned at the bottom of League One with just 4 points from 11 matches. The only saving grace was that Jeff Stelling’s Hartlepool were gazumped by a late equaliser which prevented them being catapulted out of the bottom four.


Faithfull as ever we, Sophie, Tom and me, will gather together at Gigg Lane on Tuesday for the next instalment of the Shakers season at home to Carlisle United. Now Carlisle got thumped at home today and have not scored for some time. Guess what – wait for Tuesday.


Come on Sophie and the Westbury Diamonds girls. Tomorrow against Euxton you are now our only chance of a win this weekend.


No Spanish footie tonight. I am going to annoy the most famous Zoo Keeper in Radcliffe (re-instated) by watching something called Transformers on Sky Movies. At some stage she will say it is like (“poo from China”). I will just raise my glass of Tesco, smile and tell her to get back on her Zoo.


I am still operating under an embargo from Dipesh about posting this on the website until Sunday so I may be able to give you good news about the Diamonds – but only if they win.


Just checked the time and here I come – it’s a Tesco Moment.



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