Friday, 31 July 2009

In amongst...

...the personal events surrounding us at team have been edging towards the beginning of a new season. The last of the pre-season matches is tomorrow, against Bournemouth...and in eight days time, we'll know how our season has started.

Fans have been astir during the "quiet" months of summer. Unhappiness, nerves...and rumours have abound, with newspapers printing articles threatening us with administration...and more debt than would be seemly. The strain was beginning to show, as the official silence deepened. Now we have the second of the clubs official statements regarding the takeover...that it is still ongoing, but due to signed confidentiality contracts the directors of the club can't say more, which is understandable...and I hope those who were threatening protests take note of this.

During this time the management team has a new addition in the person of Tim Breacker, as assistant manager...and on reports a good signing for us. An honest, hard working man...with his fair share of experience, plus holding the UEFA Pro A licence as well as a sports science degree, he'll be a great addition. This leaves Mark Kinsella coaching the first team, and he's signed a new deal to this effect. With Phil Chapple revamping the scouting arm, and Damian Matthew taking care of reserves and their reorganisation.

Several other new faces have appeared on the playing staff...with Christian Dailly being the latest in signing today. Though not the only signature captured...with Darren Randolph signing a new contract at last.

Others are still pessimistic about keeping some of our key players...Shelvey, Bailey...etc...but, I think these deals hinge on our takeover talks. I'm sure whoever the new owner(s) will be, they will want those kind of players to stay...regardless of how much money they could make us in their sale, and that's why there's another form of silence over their futures.

I'm also going to be one of those sometime visitors this season, unfortunately no season ticket, but...I'll pick my matches carefully...with a visit to a local thrown in.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Seems so...

...long ago now, but on the journey home from East Sussex, we visited one of Henry VIII's love nests, Knole House near Sevenoaks, or rather we walked around the parkland that surrounds the house, it's something we used to do when we lived in Kent. You can enter via side gates, and the parkland is free. The house is owned and run by the National Trust.

You can get this close, there were children (supervised) touching the deer, they are that used to visitors.

The last photo shows part of the golf course, which wends its way through the estate.

No...not the lavender fields of Provence, but those of Kent(the tape and cone sort of give it away!)...the purple drifts follow your travels through the valley near Shoreham. This photo was taken at the beginning of this month, whilst on a visit to the Hop Shop on one of their special events weekends...

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

This is what...

...all the hassle's been about....

This is the back of the house we've been trying to buy.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Oh boy!!

...please someone tell me we've come through that!

Where do I start? We went to look at a little house locally on we just couldn't find anything else in Norfolk. Then went back on Saturday morning, decided to make an offer and then went to tell our which time we were told by them that they'd been in contact with the Norfolk agent and the lady there had found a house and made an offer. They didn't want to excite us and then have us disappointed again, so no one bothered to tell us. Later that afternoon we had a call from the new agents, if we raised our price slightly it'd be accepted...we did, as it was still below their asking price.

Today...I can't believe today!! I phoned Norfolk to tell the agent there, we were withdrawing our offer. I was then told their vendor had her offer on the table, and our situation had been explained, and she wasn't going to have the house surveyed and it was empty. I said I doubted it'd make a difference, that we were at the end of our tether....forty five minutes later we got another call, her offer was accepted, and she'd sign inside two weeks...we asked for time to think over what was being said... We talked over it, round it, through it...all the different scenarios, all the money differences...and came to the conclusion we'd kick ourselves if we didn't go to Norfolk...we can always come back, we'd never be able to afford to go back up in size of house...we can come down. So phone calls to Norfolk first...yes, we were back(he was off to see the vendor this afternoon to help her complete our documentation and then take it to her solicitor for her), then our agents to explain...our buyers go on holiday tomorrow for a week....then the other agent to say sorry(I hated doing that)...our solicitors to tell them... Then all the family to explain we were back to Norfolk...

Anyway, all that and not a strong drink in sight...other than my normal strength tea...standing spoon strength!

A good thing...I did pick up my new glasses this morning. Black and pink for normal wear, and black and pink with a hint of roses on the arms for sunglasses...I know, a lot of black and pink there! But, they're better in the flesh than they sound, I promise.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Been a bit...

...busy this week. I haven't even downloaded my photos from our they are still to come.

This morning it's being reported that Alan Pardew, my teams old boss, is now the new manager of Southampton. We don't have to wait long before his return to the Valley, as we play them on 12 September...that should be interesting. Will it be the battle of the minus ten pointers? Now having played their "fitness" games, things should get more interesting...with the run in to the beginning of the season. And no I still haven't got a season's a case of not knowing where I am, rather than not wanting to watch third tier football (I've done that before).

We had a lovely two days in East Sussex, and the bed and breakfast we stayed in was comfortable and friendly. It's Ranters Rest in Udimore, between Rye and Hastings, and not far from Winchelsea. The views from the bedrooms are beautiful, the rooms are comfortable, and the owners very friendly...and breakfast! Oh my! Cereals, juices, fresh fruit (out the garden), yoghurt, full English, scrambled egg and salmon...or any combination...and hot, homemade muffins... You were pleasantly rounded by the end! I do recommend the stay... There's a digital radio for those who need their fix, and tea and coffee in each room, of which there are two. A pub within reasonable distance, and we can recommend the food at The Plough, and several restaurants in Rye...we tried The Monastry Restaurant, and again...recommended. A proper post about Great Dixter House and Garden will follow, once I have those photos to hand.

Speaking about pubs and food, anyone within striking distance of Ightham in Kent, should try the George and Dragon...the food's great, the staff terrific...the atmosphere relaxed.

I went back to Norfolk on Wednesday, as it seems our lady hasn't seen anything she likes yet...and everyone is despairing of her ever finding anything! I actually went to look at another house, which was in a beautiful location, and very pretty...but there is a but...for the price, a no...all the windows needed replacing, as did the dormer window fascias...they and the windows had holes through, a working, and workable kitchen...a new shower (it had black mould, was dripping and made the whole house smell) and bathroom...the central heating replaced, and a new oil tank. It wasn't that large either, but that could've been dealt with, but everything? It'll make someone a nice little house, but not us. So, we're still here...still not moved, and no idea if or when...and still scanning the property pages, but hoping our lady will find something to excite her. She's impervious and totally oblivious to anyone else in this...

Anyway, we're boy sitting this weekend, as it's our son and daughter in laws anniversary today, and they're having a night out what to do with those lads!?

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Only we...

...could arrange a short break where they've had the highest rainfall over the last few days!

Hastings had a few drops of rain yesterday, 110mm fell yesterday(that's two months worth)...and where are we off to? A village between Hastings and Rye, only for a couple of nights, then it's a visit to Mum. But, with all the glorious weather we've had...we've chosen this afternoon to disappear. Our seller is in France, so no decision will be forthcoming from her and her viewings of last week, we have a phone if someone does need us, and we certainly do need those hours away.

I've always wanted to visit Great Dixter, it's one place I've never been to. Coming originally from Kent, I've visited most others in the area, but never there...I have the cameras primed. Whether we get to Sissinghurst too, or visit some of the villages and towns, I'm not sure.

Saturday, I'm out with my Mum and sister, there's a lavender farm near Lullingstone/Shoreham in Kent, and we're off to that as it's one of their event weekends. The Hop Shop started as that, a business which sold hop bines for interior design, but now has an award winning farm shop, and lavender farm.

In the world of football, Charltons two...Murray and Chappell, have cancelled their meeting with fans tomorrow evening, and I for one am not surprised. They've been given legal advice that 'at this time it would not be appropriate'. You can imagine that even more speculation abounds amongst fans, and maybe this time with more foundation. Expectation is now high. If we are about to be sold, this could answer the question as to why certain players haven't re-signed contracts yet. We all await an announcement. Of course, the statement continues with Murray saying..."It might sound strange, but I hope fans take this as a positive thing, and of course we will rearrange the event the moment we are able to speak more freely.". Does this mean we're being sold, or being invested in with an injection of funds, with Murray et al continuing in place.

Today is the first day of the Ashes, when England play Cardiff!! Usually the first Test is at Lords, but without Old Trafford hosting a match, the powers that be decided to go abroad... It's as strange as a stage of the Tour de France coming to England, but...ce la vie!

Thursday, 2 July 2009


...remind me to make an eye test appointment for next Wednesday...please!! I keep forgetting, so this should now remind me.


Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Today is... craft day.

The first Wednesday of the month...(and yes, it is the 1st of July!!), and a gathering of ladies claim the village hall for craft and lunch. We're an eclectic bunch...there are quilters and patchworkers...water colourists, card makers...embroiderers of varying styles, knitters...and other stitchers and makers. You take what you're up to at that moment...get a perfect lunch...again from the ladies. Homemade puddings for "afters" too. But, mainly we put the world to all gatherings do, and guys don't tell me you don't, because I know you do!!

This group have been meeting for about ten years, it was originally arranged by our local WI...ahem, when I was president...and it was decided to hold a few craft days to make things for our local fete...(which is very good, and if you want to come, just ask)...ten years later, things are still made for the craft stall, but amongst everything else...and although we've lost a few members, and I for one, have gone and returned, and new faces have arrived...they still gather and make...and have fun.

We did it again yesterday...we beat the Aussies!! This time by 55 runs... Sarah Taylor scoring 120, before being run out. England 259 - 6, Australia 205 all out.

The men have something to live up to, starting next week...