Back from two weeks with the Queen – again
To Blog or not To Blog – That is the Question
Well it has been a funny sort of time for me. Every now and then in life you make a decision which can have a far reaching impact not just on you but on many others near and dear to you. Way back in May I did just that when I said that the time had now arrived for me to step down from my life with Lancashire Schools and to focus on other things. Over the last few weeks as the season of 2013 disappears in the mists of time my mind has switched to other things very rapidly indeed. In past years whilst away on holiday I would have checked my emails most regularly and would indeed be expecting matters of great import. This was not the case this time and it felt odd. I expect as we pass the LSCA AGM date of October 31st matters will probably get odder and odder.
One particular problem for me is whether to continue blogging or not. This business began a couple of years ago when I was persuaded to have a go. I had really little idea of what was going to be the reaction – and indeed I was not at all sure what I was going to write about. My focus was obviously going to be about age group cricket and the ins and outs of life with LSCA. As it turns out the whole thing mushroomed to include the “Mount”, life in the lower reaches of the Football League with the “Shakers”, life in the Heaton Household including the “Gout” and the business activities of my good lady and her “Zoo”, and many, many other aspects of life in general. I suppose “Cricket” was the theme which linked everything to date in a peculiar sort of way. I have managed to gather an unbelievable number of followers with thousands of hits for many of my blog articles. I suppose I could continue to post the odd blog here and there, if allowed, and would obviously make cricket the main thrust but trying to amuse as well. Let me know what you think by email or by responding to this article.
I do know that my friends in Lancashire Schools are well aware they will have to attract some additional volunteer support for their activities especially with the increase in Development Squads. In the email I sent out in early October announcing the date of the LSCA AGM I did mention this fact and said that if anyone was interested then they should give me a ring. I promptly then went away on our cruise. I have had one email from an interested party but if there are any others of you interested in putting your name forward for consideration then please give me a ring and I will pass the details on. In particular I know LSCA will be looking for additional volunteer assistant managers to help with the age group programme. All you need is a massive interest in cricket, some spare days to get to matches and the chance to be there as the potential stars of the future begin to make their way. The wages are nil apart from some travel expenses but the excitement makes up for that.
Talking of excitement the Good Lady and Yours Truly have just had a splendid time with Queen Elizabeth in and around the Greek Islands, Turkey and Italy in glorious sunshine and almost dead calm seas. Cunard again lived up to our expectations with outstanding food, great service, splendid entertainment and ports of call amongst the best.
That statement should get me some extra bonus points with the company and a few quid off our next cruise ???
Shall I bore you. Why break a habit at this stage.
We flew from Manchester to Athens with none other than Jet2.com – a first !!! Five days followed with five ports – Mykonos (a first for the Heaton’s), Kusadasi (shopping paradise), Rhodes (yet again), Santorini (cable car not donkeys) and Heraklion, Crete. Now regular readers will know that I have had recent gout problems. Five ports in five days was not good for my tootsies. Following advice from my son and his good lady we had invested in some “orthisoles” courtesy of additional advice from that well now Essex Lad, Ronnie Irani. Now he would say they would help my gout as his day job is now selling the things. They did helped and Ronnie can have a complimentary phrase from me for his literature.
A day at sea took us to Katakolon, Greece – the very first port of call ever for us way back in 1968 on the good ship “Fantasia”. In Katakolon, 2013, there was some serious hardware with Costa Pacifica alongside our Queen – over 200,000 gross registered tonnage. Way back in 1968 the Fantasia measured just 5,500 tonnes.
Corfu Town was next on the list with Messina, Sicily following after a day at sea and then our final port was Naples where there was even more tonnage on display including the Norwegian Epic – “Just like a block of flats” was the terse response from guess who. Our voyage concluded in Civitavecchia, Italy from where we re-located to the Leonardo Da Vinci Airport for Jet2.com to fly us, eventually, back to Manchester.
Rather a busy little adventure for us with just two sea days. There were 1,999 guests on the QE with a crew of 1,006 – not a bad ratio. Over 250 of the guests were from Japan, and they had a hell of a time. They may be little but my goodness they can eat. Our little corner of the dining room had 10 Japanese and 6 Brits. Our waiter, Richard, and his assistant, Elvira, conjured up additional portions to help relationships with Japan impressively.
I have just sorted through my collection of pics taken whilst with the Queen. I have picked out one from the list which I have shared at the intro to the blog. This was taken in the spectacular port of Fira, Santorini. Ships have to anchor and all passengers get ashore via launches. There are three ways to get to the town which is some hundred or more metres from sea level – one is via cable car, one is via a donkey and the other is to walk. Amazingly even though there were four ships anchored in the bay everyone made it to the top, and I am presuming back down again. We chose the cable car which in comparison to Sugar Loaf and Table Mountain was a mere tiddler. My Good Lady found the ascent “difficult” but the thought of avoiding the donkey poo on a walk down got her into the cable car again. My advice to face backwards was sound.
Whilst away the sporting activities of the family have continued with Tom playing that silly Rugby game for Woodhey. Mind you a 30 to nil defeat of Bury GS was a stunner. Sophie’s football has also continued with some good goalie performances. In her case she has been getting crocked a lot recently. The Shakers have had two home matches whilst we have been away to which Number One Son bravely decided to take the kids. His description of the final of these matches was unprintable. The Manager departed soon after and we are now on the lookout for another. No win in seven matches is not good enough.
To Blog or not To Blog – that is the question.
I did mention the Good Lady and her Zoo earlier. She has continued with this activity although in a more background role. The Cunard Internet Minutes we have earned over the years helped with her ventures in this department. The Eyepad has, however, been used for other pleasures ??? Some couple of months ago my dear granddaughter introduced her to a game called “Candy Crush”
I was told at the time that it could become an addictive activity. It has – and involves the Good Lady, Number One Son and Sophie amongst hundreds of others. The Missus has been stuck on one level for an interminable time. I hear things like – “**** one jelly *****” and “This is doing my head in *****”. The “*****” are not printable. What really gets to her are the messages saying “I am on to the next level. Are you still stuck”?
By late evening when Corrie, M’erdale and West Enders are over she gets to work crushing the candy.
This leaves me with just one option.
To Blog or not To Blog.
That is the Question.
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It's not my intention in this blog to go into the finer points of the statistics and detail coming out of the findings from Sport England's Active People's Survey, more detail will no doubt follow and we will ensure the finer points are communicated in due course. ... Full story