‘Time, gentlemen.’

I’m pleased to see that my cricket team, Derbyshire, have had an inspired end to the season that has seen them finish fourth in Division Two of the County Championship, after a final round win by over 400 runs against Leicestershire today.

One particularly pleasing aspect of this season has been the form of left arm seamer, Mark Foottit. He has taken over 100 wickets in all formats and been a virtual ever present, putting many injury problems behind him. I have to admit a few years ago I doubted he would be a decent county performer, but what a season he’s had.

However, man of the match must go to young opener Ben Slater. At just 23 years of age, ‘Slats’ scored his maiden first class century on the first day, and then today followed it up with his second, to contribute 223 runs in the game to the Derbyshire cause. Judging by recent events both his and his teams futures are bright!

The sad thing is that this is the first time in three years I’ve not been to a cricket game all season. I shall be getting down to the 3aaa County Ground as soon as possible next year!

Doctor Who?

As an avid ‘Whovian’ I have to admit to being a bit concerned when news of Matt Smith’s departure broke. Off the initial people on the bookies list of replacements my own personal choice was Ben Whishaw (the new tech buy in the Bond films), so when I heard it was Peter Capaldi, I have to say I wasn’t sure at all.

Now the series is five episodes in and I must say he’s excellent. Darker, with lighter moments, but excellent. Personally, I thought ‘Listen’ was the best episode so far, the idea of perfect hiding being so simple, but a stroke of genius. Other episodes have been less impressive in terms of story line, but overall I’ve enjoyed the series.

One nice thing though is that, with Clara being so much younger, it’s nice to not have a romantic will they/won’t they connection between the Doctor and his companion.

Bravo Mr Capaldi – it’s all good so far!

Nostalgia

Today, thanks to the wonders of Amazon Prime, I took delivery of a book I had purchased. Murray Walker’s 1987 Grand Prix Year.

Recently, I’ve developed an interest in the early 80’s and 90’s that shows no sign of abating. These were my formative years (born in ’84) and I’ve found myself increasingly interested in the goings on then. I want to know more about the football during the 80’s – hardly surprising as my other team, Everton, had it ‘going on’ back then – the railways (ok, I’ve ‘outed’ myself here, I’m a rail fan, not a spotter, but a fan… more of which in a future post I’m sure) and the world of F1.

With that in mind, the addition of the first edition of this book (I previously had from ’89 onwards), was a no brainer. Particularly at £1.89 including postage!

First thoughts; the cars look so heavy I think my Seat Ibiza would beat them in a race! However, I’m looking forward to reading through it.

Music was my first love…

Well, to be honest, Raynor was my first love. I was five. It was Year 1. I thought I’d marry her, but, anyway…

A while ago I blogged about how inspiration is a funny thing. Well, at my child’s beginner band last week a child (6 years old and been playing for about 4 weeks) approached me and told me she could play ‘Hot Cross Buns… even one a penny, two a penny’ and, lo and behold, stood there and belted it out, without music.

Fast forward 7 days (last night) and the same child walks up and says ‘I can play Tromp of the Romans now as well.’ Cue the demonstration. And she was right. She could play it. Absolutely spot on.

One hour later, at the end of the rehearsal, I mused over what this girl had done. It got the cogs ticking. Every year we enter two competitions. One is a local thing, the other is a national event (last year we were awarded the prestigious ‘Band with Most Potential Prize). The national event takes plenty of planning and this year I’ve been wondering about a focus point for the programme of music. Well, thinking about what this child had done gave me the perfect idea. Twenty minutes later and the idea was fully formed.

Like I say, inspiration really is a funny thing. Walk around with your eyes open – you’d could be missing out on the perfect inspiration for you!

P.S. I actually got to marry Raynor Pearce. I was 7/8. It was our Primary School Christmas play!

Going down?

You’ll have picked up on the fact that I’m a Crewe Alexandra fan. I’ve mentioned it once or twice (or lots). Well, you’ll also probably be aware that this season has been something of a car crash so far. Won one (Capital One cup game) and lost the rest. Really not great.

This has led to widespread condemnation. But then, let’s be honest. If last season you had a ropey defence (one of the leakiest in the league), release one of your first choice centre halves and ‘replace’ them with two squad players who weren’t good enough to force their way into the aforementioned leaky defence last season, then you’re always going to struggle to stop conceding goals.

Throw in the fact that the top scorer (on loan from Arsenal) returns to his parent club, another striker refuses a contract whilst another pushes through a move to Italy, leaving you with one striker. The remaining striker is 21, inexperienced and in his second season of league football, having scored just twice last season. Therefore, you’re going to struggle to score goals too.

Let’s look a the evidence; a team that can’t score lots of goals, and struggles to keep clean sheets. If you’re not a rocket scientist, don’t worry, as it doesn’t take one to work out that isn’t a great combo.

So, you might say, why didn’t the manager replace the defender? Why didn’t he sign more strikers (apart from a guy released by a club relegated from our league last season)? Well, it’s simple. He doesn’t have the money to. The manager is a guy who, in 2 and a half years in charge, presided over an 18 game club record unbeaten run that culminated in winning promotion at Wembley, and then topped if off with another victory at that famous stadium that saw us win the Johnstones Paint Trophy. He knows what he is doing. In turn, the board know that this is a manger that knows what he is doing. So why won’t they back him with money? The sad truth is they probably would if they had it available. If you aren’t going to back a manager with a record like that, who are you going to back? This leads me to the conclusion that there is no money to back him with, despite the club raking in deals worth upwards of £5 million over the past three summers. Where has that money gone? Only the board know.

Are Crewe going down? Without doubt. I can’t see any other outcome. I can’t even see us getting to 40 points, let alone 50. The only benefit this season can have is that, with such a threadbare squad, we get the chance to blood our young pros and help them get the first team experience that will see them blossom next season.

Sometimes, clouds really do have silver linings. Let’s hope, for my team’s sake, this is one of those times.

Back on the hamster wheel…

Well, in seemingly no time at all, the summer holidays are gone.

It’s been a good while since my last blog post too. Since then I’ve been to Menorca for a week with SWMBO (and what a super week that was), followed by two days at home to unpack and repack for a long weekend in Tenby (once again with SWMBO).

Not really anything else to report, so I’ll leave you, for now, with this picture, taken exactly a week ago, at around 7.15 on the beautiful beach of Punta Prima, Menorca. Take me back…