Monday 28 December 2020

No rugby any time soon

Not that I'd be playing anyway but there's no chance of my old team playing any time soon. 

Before we were put into tier 4 they were due to start playing in January (no scrums or mauls) but the pitches are all flooded so absolutely no chance. 

Friday 25 December 2020

Dogs get presents too

Our friend Lesley bought her a new squeaky toy

She also got a Christmas treat from us.  Mmm... boiled giblets



What a big chopper

 This is one of my presents from April.  A kindling maker.

I think i've had a fire on in the front room most nights since October and go through a fair amount of wood.  This will come in handy if I ever run out of kindling.

Lobster o'clock

 I bought a couple of cooked lobsters on a whim in the week. Chilli butter lobster.  Yum!

Saturday 19 December 2020

Season 1: Klarpp's journey

After a non spectacular playing career in his home nation of Germany the media were perhaps surprised to see the announcement of Sturgen Klarpp taking on the vacant managers position at Danish side FC Nordsjælland.  

Introducing the new manager at Right to Dream Park

Sturgen Klarpp had to hit the ground running however, the board had given him a target of a top half finish with the additional requirements of use the team's well established youth system and only signing players under the age of 23. A tough ask as after a quick glance through the team's roster there were many holes to fill. 

Klarpp signed 3 players in the transfer window, 2 young stars for the future that showed signs of promise during trials and the aging Spaniard Raúl Rodríguez (32).  Despite the board not wanting signings over the age of 23 Klopp snapped up the central defender on the free.

The old adage you can't win anything with kids was certainly on the bookies minds as they gave the team a 25-1 of topping the league at the end of the season.

An away draw in the first game of the season against AGF gave the new manager much room for thought and tweaked his formation from an attacking 4-3-2-1 to a slightly more defencive wide 4-1-2-2-1.  This gave the team a more solid platform to build up attacks from the back and then hit the opponents with a speedy attacking front 3 of Atanga, Sulemana and Amon.  2 of which were excellent recruits by previous managers from one of the clubs many feeder teams.  They were from the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana.

Chastising a player for not tracking back

The change in formation lead to 5 straight wins followed by a draw with the league favourites.  6 more straight wins and two cup wins later Nordsjælland were looking good, leading the league at the winter break.  It wasn't to be though as 3 losses and 2 draws in the last stages of the preliminary phase meant they had to catch up a deficit of 4 points in the Championship group where the top 6 sides in the league would play off against each other for the title.

Klarpp's team were knocked out of the Sydbank Pokalen quarter final by a spirited AGF, it was a frustrating time but it did mean they could then concentrate on the league but after a valiant effort it was not to be and they dropped out of the running shortly afterwards and finished the league 10pts behind the eventual winners FC København.

2nd place was certainly deemed a very successful season however and Klarpp was offered a new contract to extend his stay and challenge for the title proper in 21/22 and chance his arm in Europe with a Champions cup 2nd round qualifying position.

His performance was also noted by the other managers in the league as he was voted the Danish manager of the year award.

One particular highlight of the year was a 9-0 victory over Lyngby.

Klarpp celebrating the 9-0 victory over Lyngby with the fans.

Next season manager Klarpp sniffs victory... 

Doggy meet two

 Steve popped over on the way back home with the kids and their dog Bobler.

Here's Arwen, filthy!

So's Bobler

Here they are having a great time!

Friday 18 December 2020

Podcast backlog

I haven't listened to a podcast for over a month now, it feels strange as they were a staple entertainment before that.

I can put it down to a few things.

Walking the dog:  I used to go for a walk after dropping Flo off in the morning and that was an ideal time to catch up on any podcast that i'd downloaded that day.  I still go for a walk but now with the dog.  I've got to pay attention to the dog so that it doesn't do anything it shouldn't but also I find myself actually talking to people along the way.  There's never a walk without someone stopping to give Arwen a pat on the head, I find it awkward constantly taking earphones out.

Audible: I started using audible again when the new Alan Partridge audiobook came out, and continued with some old D&D books, so when I do get a chance I listen to them.

Beyondpod:  I was fed up with the app I was using, it was great 10 years ago when I first used it but I think they just stopped developing it and it felt tired.

I dread to think how many decent ones i'm missing out on, maybe i'll go back to it in the new year...

Wednesday 16 December 2020

I have a sneaking suspicion that i'm being watched

 Both cat and dog on top of me whilst eating my dinner last night.

It's as if I never feed them.

2.5 days left

 Only 2.5 days left of work this year, it's actually only 2 as tomorrow there is a half day training and Christmas 'extravaganza' in the afternoon...  After that14 days in January before my contract ends.  Not heard anything about another extension yet but we will see.  I'd renew if offered but might be nice to have a little time off again.

Channelling my inner Lenny Kravitz

 I ordered a new scarf from John Lewis the other day and it turned up yesterday.  Here I am doing my very best Lenny Kravitz impression.

The original

The Tonbridge Massive kindly said I look more like this

Or this

Monday 14 December 2020

On holiday today

 I've been thinking about it for a while now and have i've decided to take today off.  There hasn't been much for me to do at work recently and i'm just so bored. Normally this wouldn't bother me but I do like to have a couple of projects on the go at any one time, at the moment I have nothing.  My boss is off for most of the rest of the year so can't see things picking up anytime soon.  

In addition to this i've decided to take next week off too which if you include the week off in between Christmas and New Year i'll have a total of 16 days off in a row.  That will be nice!  Shame nothing's open and the weather's shit!

Actually today doesn't look too bad so i'm going to pop out for a long walk with the hound.

That was a surprise

 I've had dragon fruit before but the flesh was always white.  We cut one open to show Flo and had a big surprise.

Friday 11 December 2020

Well that was easy...

 I had Arthur and Arwen for a few hours yesterday as April had a few things to do.

Tuesday 8 December 2020

Look at me

 Paying my personal income tax early.  Over a month early.  I was going to wait till nearer the actual deadline but then I though I should just go ahead and do it.  It's not as if i'm earning much interest on it in my savings account.

One annoying thing about the whole thing is that you also have to pay their estimate of your next 6 months at the same time.  

Dog meet

 We met up with my brother and his new dog Bobler on Saturday and the two dogs had a great time.  It was Bobler's first time off the lead and both dogs behaved very well.

How awake was I this morning?


Friday 4 December 2020

Let's hope there's no more rain

 The banks have broken near the rugby club this morning, let's hope we get no more rain, the fields have hardly had enough time to recover from the last flood.

Thursday 3 December 2020

Christmas trees are up

Bungy corded to the roof rack Lampoon style

They both made it back in one piece

Flo's tree in her play room

My tree in the front room

Wednesday 2 December 2020

Lock down is over

Welcome to Tier 3.  

Let's hope it has the desired effect and brings down the infection rate across the whole of Kent.  It we get assessed again in a couple of weeks with any luck they'll shift us down into Tier 2 so we can eat out again.  Still no meeting up with friends indoors though.

Wine and cheese tasting

 To help out one of our local pubs we did a virtual wine and cheese tasting class last Saturday. 

One of the wines we were tasting was the same as some of the wine in my latest delivery. Chapel Down Flint Dry. Who knew I had such good taste?

Here's Arwen enjoying the fire

Here's April enjoying the red. 

I think we spend too much at John Lewis and Waitrose


It's almost singed off by John himself. 

Tuesday 1 December 2020

My brother's Christmas present has arrived

 He knows me so well.

I've bought him a fancy knife.

I don't really miss the commute

 I received a Whatsapp message from Shaheen this morning about Shaheen being envious of people that didn't have to commute.  

I sent him this

It still takes me an hour but I don't have to sit next to an overly fat person that decides to sit in the middle of a 3.

He says that his trains have been getting progressively busier each week.  My team is due to go into London next week for a get together but I told them I would not be able to as i'm in tier 3.  It would have been okay if I said no anyway but it's nice to have a little back up.  It would cost me money too and i'd rather not do that.

We've also just had it confirmed at work that tier 3 staff are not allowed in the office till March so that's nice too.  I doubt i'll ever meet my team in person.