Thursday, 27 April 2017

The cub became a lion

This was Jamie after first becoming a proud junior at Aireborough Rugby Club.

And below centre, you can see him putting in a tackle last Sunday morning - five seasons on.

The photo was taken at Heaton Moor Rugby Club in Stockport where the Aireborough Under 9s and Under 10s were on tour.

I doubt that any other touring party at any level of the game has ever looked smarter prior to their departure.

Thanks to the generosity of local businessman Chris Gaunt at Select Uniforms in Rawdon, all 27 players were sponsored personalised hoodies, polos and tee shirts, plus specially made kit bags and caps.  Us coaches were kitted out too.  What kindness from an absolutely top bloke.

After dropping by to say thanks to Chris, we all made our way to Gulliver's World theme park in Warrington for several hours of fun.  Big people too.

Well, I say that.  Under 10s coaches Matt and Dom were nervous wrecks by the end.

Dom (in sunglasses) is trying to look cool but just notice how tightly he's holding on to that rollercaster.

Next, it was back to our pristine overnight accommodation at Terra Nova School near Jodrell Bank where much pizza was consumed.

Followed by nightcaps for the babysitters.

And then it was time for the focal point of the trip with two extremely competitive games the next morning. This was the combined Under 9 squads getting together afterwards, as is rugby tradition.

But I'm afraid this tale has a somewhat sad conclusion.

Jamie adores the club and all of his teammates.  However, despite the best efforts of the proper coaches and their coach helper (i.e. me), he's decided he wants a break from the sport.

After more than half his life spending his Sunday mornings chasing a rugby ball, he wants to try some other stuff and may well come back to it.  I hope he does.

In the meantime, I'm so grateful to Aireborough for all the club has done for him.  And the wonderful men, women, boys and girls there can be assured that I'll continue to do what I can (other than coach helping) to support them long into the future.


Monday, 17 April 2017

Post-Easter wine down

Greetings campers, and I hope you had a suitably restful Easter weekend.

Unlike me.

I've been decorating, you see.

If you're a regular reader, you may be aware that we got a new kitchen.  If you're a gullible reader, you might also think that it's up for an award.  However, if you read your calendar, you should've noticed that I revealed this startling fact on 1 April.  Gotcha? I suspect not.

I've now painted said kitchen (as modelled by Charlotte).


"Fresh Lime" I think you'll find.  Three coats of said stuff.

But that's not all.  Hell no. That would be far too easy.  It would've left much too much time to put my feet up and act my age.

So I did the bathroom too.

In "Cobalt."  


Plus ceiling, two doors, skirting boards etc etc in "White."  It's a colour too.  It matches our hole roll. 

Despite my Herculean decorating efforts, I feel inclined to make clear that I am not available to do yours. And neither will I be doing any more of ours for a considerable period of time.

At least not until I've rehydrated. 


Or when Vanessa decides that I have to. 

Monday, 10 April 2017

Wales Tales - The Last Part


Our week in Wales came to an end yesterday - in England (which is kind of Irish, if you think about it). 

And following on from my violent encounter with Winston, new pain lay in wait for me. More of that in a moment.

We covered a lot of ground since my last update. 

The photo you can see above was taken in Abersoch, a lovely little seaside town (although still not Portrush).

Prior to that, we took the kids for a spot of target shooting.


High-speed rallying.






Donkeying (much safer than horseying).




And stream training.


The views continued to be fab.


Even from outside our caravan.


And that was almost that.

I said our week ended in England. Chester Zoo to be precise, halfway between our house and our hired Welsh caravan.

Anyone for a meerkat?


Funny monkey, perhaps?


I said that pain was also inflicted. Lots of pain.

This occurred whilst we were still in Wales, just as I heading off to clean my teeth prior to departure.

Jamie had left a duvet on the floor and - surprise, surprise - I tripped over it and shot across the living room at speed.

It turned out that my toe bore the brunt of the impact when I crashed into a wooden panel.


Still, them's the breaks.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Wales Tales - Part II

I do like the Welsh people and the lovely land they so proudly inhabit.

I mean, look.


But I found out today that I don't like its horses, or certainly one of them.

Amidst lots of genuinely stunningly sightseeing, we thought we were taking the kids ponytrekking. But the woman in charge said they were horses, so horsetrekking it is.

Charlotte's horse was called Reagan.


She was guided by that renowned horsewoman, Vanessa White.


Meanwhile, Jamie's mount went by the name of Winston.


He was guided by me.


You can already tell by the look on his face when I first yanked his girlie pink chain that he didn't like me.

And things went pretty much downhill after that.

When he stood on me for the first time, I concede that I was mildly disappointed in him.

When it happened a second time, a sense of resentment was beginning to build.

It was only really when he kicked me that I wanted to eat him in a bap.


X marks the spot.

Such was the level of breakdown in our man and horse relationship that another dad was eventually dispatched to finish a job that, on reflection, I was never really suited to.


Damn you Welsh Winston. You've let your great nation down.


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Wales Tales - Part I

Good evening and welcome to Welsh Wales where even the local Tesco radiates national pride.


Porthmadog is our location of choice where the pace is, well, read for yourself.


I'm just relieved that we managed to find a spot on the beach.


Germans must hate it here.

There was a bit of local llifing last week.


But thankfully the worst areas are well signposted.


It's also very easy to parcio.


Indeed, all that's unnerved me so far are the Welsh birds. Some of them are massive.


It's a lot more noticeable when the sun is out.

Expect another update soon.

Saturday, 1 April 2017



We have some exciting news.

As you can see above, our kitchen is all but complete. 


I hope you like it as much as Vanessa claims to.

I mean, it's a kitchen. What else is there to say?

Other than, "do I really have to redecorate?"

Sadly I do.  Look at the wall on the left.


That's our new breakfast bar beneath it.

Or bar, as I much prefer.


The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted some gaps.  This includes a missing cupboard. But I already have a plan until it arrives in "10 days love."  Any time a guest arrives, I'm going to make Jamie stand in front of it.  


There is also a hole in the floor after the builders ran out of, er, floor stuff.

But again, Jamie (and a strategically placed mat) can easily cope with that.    


However, back to our exciting news.  

Such is the loveliness of our (almost complete) kitchen that the supplier has entered us into the Yorkshire Kitchen of the Year Awards. 


And if we're shortlisted, Vanessa gets to add to our debts by buying a new frock for the ceremony itself.

That takes place at the Queen's Hotel in Leeds at the end of June and presumably we'll have to pay for tickets too.

But here's the bizarre bit. 

Do you know what the winner gets?

A new kitchen.

I mean, really.  What fool thought of that?