Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Running again

After a few days of over indulgence, it was back to a more spartan regime today with a more sensible diet and plenty of exercise. Two dog walks, a bike ride and a 4 mile run in just over half an hour. That is the run in half an hour. All of them in that time would be pretty good going.

Christchurch river race

It was a busy weekend with lots of visitors from Plymouth up for the long weekend. As well as three nights of celebration we were out on Monday for Paul's birthday which once again coincided withhis wedding anniversary. It seems to happen every year! We hired a couple of boats and set off for an hour's jaunt up the river Avon which took us past some fantastic looking properties. It wasn't long before it became apparent that the boat Captain Andrews had selected was considerably slower than ours. Pirate Aquilina loved revving up and past his rival, leaving poor Paul in his wake. It soon became obvious why they had a slower vessel after Mitch and Paul tried to swap over the duties at the helm as they crashed into trees, hit another boat and had several near misses despite going more slowly than an asthmatic ant with a heavy bag of shopping. Even more amazingly, Jamie missed the opportunity to enjoy a pint in one of the pubs in Christchurch but he did find the world's strongest beer it appears as he spent a good deal of the evening after the barbecue spilling cans of stella. Hopefully everyone's fully recovered now - our weekend celebrations were far more fun that anyone else's that weekend, I am sure.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


In what threatened to be another rain soaked game, Werder came out on top on Monday night with the heavens thankfully sparing us a similar drenching to the previous week when we'd lost 4 - 3 in the midst of a huge storm. The conditions had been so poor that all of us were quickly on the way home immediately after the match rather than enjoy any trip to the pub. The tree blocking one of the nearby roads indicated just how bad things were and it came on top of an unlucky defeat.

This week we seemed to click in a way we haven't for some time despite starting with just 5 of the expected 6 players. Unusually we were on the front foot from the outset and dominated the early exchanges even though a player down. We then had the two missing men arrive and didn't look back.

Dave in goal
Dom and Doug in goal
Matt C and Damo in the middle
New Matt and myself up front

The first goal caused the ref to comment on what an accomplished goal it was, perhaps in surprise! The ball fell to me in the middle and Matt burst down the right and into space. His strike found new Matt on his own with a simply tap in to round off a fine passing move. The impetus we gained was even greater as Damo quickly followed up with a shot from a little way out that seemed to catch the keeper out causing him to fumble the ball in hopelessly. The two goals rapidly became three with a very similar move to the opening goal seeing me release new Matt down the right. On this occasion his shot arrowed into the far corner and he was poised for a hat trick before half time.

Damo's quick throw provided the opportunity for new Matt to get his third as he headed strongly over the keeper for a 4 - 0 half time lead. It isn't often we've turned round with that kind of lead and there was a memory from years ago of having lost a lead like this. However, not this time.

This time I was able to nutmeg a defender for new Matt to run on to and smash home his fourth of the night. We were safe and continued to play solidly for the remainder of the game.

Sadly for Dave, his clean sheet disappeared when a throw in was taken as a corner by the opposition and the fierce cross was hit home with barely a protest from us as the referee let the goal stand.

I think we'd take 5 - 1 any day though and it could be a sign of success to come with the annual pub quiz Christmas get together on for tomorrow evening.

Monday, November 28, 2011

We had a day off in lieu today and I took the opportunity to get out and about on the bike for the first time in November. There is a link below to see the route which was just over 16 miles with a break in the middle to walk around Blashford Lakes.

I came back through Ringwood Forest which was pretty muddy and pot holed in places as I followed the footpaths through to Verwood. Thank you iPhone - it's nearly impossible to get lost with the map function and I could see which turnings I had to take. The forest is pretty nondescript as it's forestry commission land and therefore just full of featureless trees and gravel paths.

Bournemouth beach in the sunshine

The incredible weather continues with a beautiful Sunday morning in the sunshine on Bournemouth beach. Maria played in the sand whilst we had a coffee and could even sit in shirt sleeves.

The odd thing is that we were then going Christmas shopping which just felt strange given the unseasonal weather. We've got a lot of it done now but have some busy times coming up with a trip to Leeds next weekend for starters.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Werder disappointment

It was a disappointing 3 - 1 defeat in the game on Monday as the untypical weather of recent weeks continued. It was a lovely evening again and we were strengthened by the return of the regulars so that we had two subs despite Dom being unavailable.

Richie - goalkeeper

Dougie, Craig, Dave, Phil, Matt C, new Matt - swapping between defence and midfield, even attack on occasion

Iain - upfront

It was a close game and one which we would not have been flattered by a draw. There were a few chances to both sides but we turned round a goal down to a slightly fortuitous goal from a corner. There were chances to level with me going round the keeper but firing into the side netting as the defence closed in for example but it looked like one of those nights. Phil let fly several times and was unlucky not to score.

However, an equalizer did come and it resulted from a bit of dribble for a change before I hit a left footed shot home across the keeper. Matt C had a stab with his left foot but it went wide and suddenly the game became very open. Sadly for us two left footed strikes were hit home in quick succession to leave us 3 - 1 down but we were still creating chances, the best of which saw the big fella at the back at the front but his shot went narrowly wide of the empty goal. He was unfortunate not to join Dave and Dom in opening their accounts for the season(s). Perhaps next week?

Bournemouth beach

Maria and I went out for a walk along Bournemouth beach this morning. Earlier I'd taken Joseph out for a walk trying to make the most of the lovely weather. It was a windy day on the pier and there were big enough waves for the guys in their kayaks and on their surfboards to be out and about. Although the beach itself was quiet, the path along the seafront was packed with families and couples taking the sea air and then sitting down for a coffee.

The woodpecker was in Joy and Robin's garden. We were there for sunday dinner and were able to watch the green woodpecker on the lawn for a something like quarter of an hour as it searched for ants.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Kingston Lacy

A noticeable change in temperature but a lovely sunny day nevertheless. We all went out to Kingston Lacy for a walk around the woodland paths this morning and collected lots of leaves for a crown for Maria to wear. It was a perfect morning and we found time to stop and grab a coffee or ice cream before doing some early Christmas shopping on the way home.

Werder win

Having suffered a real thumping the previous week, it was good to play in the balmy late October evening last Monday. The 9.30 kick off saw us line up with

Dave in goal
Dougie and Dom defence
Phil and Matt in the middle
New Matt and myself up front

The new set up means there is always confusion at the start about where the touchlines are but once we'd got over that, and who was on our side, as Phil passed a corner straight to one of the opposition, we managed to prise a win from the fixture. This despite having fallen behind at the outset to a flicked corner routine.

Dave was unbeatable in goal thereafter and the defensive solidity meant we rarely looked threatened in spite of the quality of our opponents' passing.

It was a wonder strike from Phil which levelled for us as he thumped home a great shot which took the slightest nick past the keeper and into the roof of the net. From that point on the unexpected truly happened with a corner played in low by Matt C causing much confusion and bouncing off me and onto Dom. I don't recall too many goals from him but he pounced and finished like a pro with a sharp finish from almost a foot away from the line! I might have exaggerated how far out it was! But it put us ahead and without his presence it would have been cleared and who knows where we'd have ended up without the goal.

The second half was quite even but there was time for new Matt to pull off one of the passes of the season as he thumped a pass across goal to find me unmarked and able to tap home and secure the points. Whether it was a shot or not, it fell perfectly and left us with clear daylight.

Our first three points in the new championship division. Perhaps we'll survive at this rarefied status after all?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Moors Valley

We've continued with our busy half term and enjoyed a visit from Chrissie, Jamie, Grace and Lily. It was a very late night for us after the children were tucked up in bed. Several bottles of wine had disappeared by 2am as we sat by the wood burner llistening to music and chatting. We were then up with the girls bright and early and Alison made everyone a cooked breakfast before we went off to Moors Valley. The sky was blue and cloudless after the heavy rain yesterday and we had a lovely walk round the play trail as shown in the photos.

From there it was time for coffee before they set off back to Plymouth and we went home for Alison to have a nap whilst Maria and I played.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jack's christening

We had a weekend in Yorkshire for Stuart's baby's christening. Jack is 5 months old and very different from Joseph who is just 5 weeks old. It was a lovely weekend with a chance to catch up with a lot of family including Joe and Glen who are lving the good life in Leeds.