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Friday, 23 May 2008

The week the Scots invaded!

Sport report

Nova United played soccer in a tournament last Saturday at Shifnal. Lovely day if a bit too hot to run around – but I was in a deck chair watching proceedings not running them (nice!). Adam ran around a bit, he played in goal for Nova B and kept a clean sheet all afternoon. It cost me a fiver for the pleasure, one pound for him being good and one pound for each clean sheet – I'm just glad he never made the final or it would have cost me a fortune!!

Things have been hotting up on the football front, my home town, Barrow, have been promoted back into the Conference (or Blue Square Premier League) after winning through the play-offs. Carlisle were leading 2-1 after playing their first leg semi-final to try and beat Leeds to play at Wembley – 2 promotions in Cumbria in one year could be hard to cope with! This is how it proved and our north Cumbrian friends rolled over and let the Yorkshire boys through to the final. I must admit though that I did feel robbed after the way that Leeds were allowed a goal at the end of each game well into injury time, especially at Leeds where they scored in the 6th minute of 4 minutes of extra time – work that logic out if you can!!

There could be golf scores after next week – the doctor tells me I must have a cortezone injection in my shoulder as it seems to be taking a while to get better. I am assured that I will be like Clark Kent very rapidly and can lift small cars and save cities from meteor strikes the next day – good job he's a mate of mine really!

I was there!

Manchester, 14th May 2008, 11:30a.m. - tried walking from Piccadilly train station to Waxy O'Connell's in The Printworks. Major effort needed to negotiate the crush of humanity that stood between me and my destination - Glasgow was in town! It was mpressive to see just how drunk people can be at that time in the morning, but I saw little trouble as they only needed to sing and drink. As we all now know, the whole thing turned on it's head when the screen failed in Piccadilly Gardens and a sad minority went mad. Shamefull that these idiots should have been allowed to spoil what should have een a great occasion.

I was enroute to a Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) reunion for those who worked in the “northern” offices (Warrington and Leeds really). It was a very impressive meeting of people who loved working for one of the greatest companies to have ever existed. Ken Olsen would have been impressed with the kind words people had for the company. It's the first of these I've been to, even though it is 16 years sine I left, people still knew me by sight – very impressive seeing that I'm older, about 3 stone heavier and grey now!

I left the heaving mass of Rangers fans behind and headed for a meeting in Leeds, then on to Newcastle – a long day by the time I hit the sack it was after 10 and I was really trashed. Sleep was difficult to get though as I was loudly reminded what the streets of Newcastle are like at night, even on the 4th floor away from the main area the noise was phenomenal – singing, shouting, sirens, music and car exhausts as loud as anything else! The bed I had must have had some history, it was totally finished – I complained as I left but think it will have been a waste of breath. Quality certainly is not the name that pace should have!

I got the chance to stand on hallowed ground twice while I was in Newcastle. Phil, my colleague is working in St James' Street, next to the best ground in the country. I stood and admired the Gallogate End of St James' Park as I waited for Phil and admired the sheer size of the place. In a way, the ground reflects some of the past of the city, the heavy engineering and the sheer scale of things that have been done there – a magical place.
Friday was another train ride and I met up with some old friends in Durham. Another ex-DEC gathering, but this time the main were former field service technicians. We were able to tak about tape drives and disks and oscilloscopes – all the bits that scare the sales people! Durham is a beautiful city and deserves all its accolades, and it has some great pubs too. Other than a bit of paint and maybe addition of a telly and a no-smoking sign, some of these hostelries have stayed the same since they were built. We had an afternoon with some real characters, visiting places of real character – excellent!

I must put a comment here about the trains. With the Scandanavian tank in the garage having major surgery I have been on the trains the last three weeks. Most of it has been fine, the trains have been on time and I've had a seat and power for my laptop too – not bad for a service that gets panned all the time. The conversations around me have been quite varied, and the journey back from Durham was most interesting with a group of young ladies discussing the various uses for a vibrating skin buffer being one of the most intriguing!

Anyway, I’ll drop some more in later. Don’t forget to check us out at JoraPh Consulting Ltd – www.joraph.com.

Phiz

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