Category Archives: Rugby

Changing of the seasons

So, lets get away from me, for one blog at least, and look at the change of the sporting seasons, both sides of the Atlantic.

Starting over here, the cricket season is nearly over, and though I dont like to brag too much, it looks like Yorkshire are going to win the County Championship again this season. They might also win the 50 over tournament, but as the semi finals for that only take place over the next couple of days, lets not tempt fate yet. Also, similarly (though less immediately) the Rugby League season is nearly done, which still amuses me, as I’m old enough to remember it being a winter sport! Personally, I think it works better as a summer event, but I’m sure there are some who prefer tradition.

That means the football (soccer, for my US readers) season is already under way, and all those overpaid, overhyped footballers who think they are so wonderful. International games this weekend, and it was a comment made by an ex workmate (we’ve both left Hills, him before me) about the team England are playing tonight, that probably led me to writing this. Yes, San Marino, that mighty footballing nation. But on a night, 22 years ago, after a mere 8 seconds, they scored against England. Fine, England won in the end, 7-1, but it was funny at the time, at least.

Rugby Union is also getting under way, and this year, very soon, is a World Cup event, being held over here, in England. It starts just before I get back from New England, and ends just after I get back from Hollywood, so I wont see a lot. I’m not a big follower of the sport domestically, but show a bit more interest in the international game, but not sure if I will see much, if any of it this time around. Being honest, I havent even checked which TV company has the rights! Fine, its ITV over here. Some coverage in the US of their games, and the last few matches, but thats it. Funny to say, given I will be 8 hours behind, they might be on at unsuitable times for me lol.

On the other side of ‘The Pond’, its also a changing of the guards. Technically, the baseball season is drawing to a close. Well, the first weekend in October is the end of the regular season, but some issues are beginning to get settled already. Mind, the play offs will stretch to the beginning of November! For me, Kansas City, and the LA Dodgers have performed well, Seattle (to the so called experts at least), and Boston have under performed. Personally, I think Seattle were over rated, so not as surprised as the experts are, by their demise.
At present, I plan to get to a Dodgers game, that last season of the weekend, with luck.

The sport starting up, is what the American’s call football, both in the NFL, and the college game. College season has already started, though the serious conference matches generally dont start for a few more weeks. The NFL starts next Thursday. The one thing that has pleasantly surprised me, is how fresh I found the CFL, the Canadian version, seemingly more action than the NFL provides, maybe the different rules work? And very soon, about a month or so, basketball, and ice hockey will start up over there too.

But in all honesty, apart from the American football, its the summer sports I prefer, so…

Right, video time. One thing about US Sports, especially Football, is the cheerleaders. This song is probably the most apt for them. Mind, this isnt the cheerleader loaded version, but what I assume is the original demo one, though the other isnt hard to find. Oh, its the extended version too.

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Never just assume…

Yes, I might have mentioned it recently, that wonderful group, Postmodern Jukebox are playing live this summer, and what’s more, they are coming to England, Manchester in fact. Fine, that seemed to be the good news, until I looked at the date, and things. Yes, its a Saturday, the busiest day of the week for those of us working in the betting industry. Not only that, but later that evening, England are playing their first match in the World Cup, so I assume things will be even more manic than normal?

So fine, my chances of getting an early finish, or even better a Saturday off, absolutely zero, you’d think? I know I did, but it seems I was wrong! Anyway, as they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I went across and saw Julie, who arranges all our shifts yesterday morning, and did the bit about ‘I know the answer will be no, but…’, and told her, expecting a prompt answer in the negative. No, got a ‘leave it with me, and I’ll take a look’, but still I wasnt expecting anything. So, even when I logged in, just to check next weeks shifts before leaving, and saw I had a message, I was expecting the decline. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Not only have I not just got an early finish, I’ve got the day off, wow! Being a good girl, unsurprisingly I went across and thanked her, just wasnt expecting that. I’m still not planning on going in a vintage style dress, but never assume…lol!

Oh, but by the way, thats not the end of the story. I’d seen on the site selling the tickets, that you could pay by Paypal. Brilliant, as I pretty much have enough in my account (writing royalties) to pay for the ticket, and the little bit extra was more than covered by my pre paid credit card. Yes, you could pay by Paypal, but it had to be via a credit card, not from any balance you may have on Paypal, aargh! So now, I’ve had to put the ticket buying on hold, until tomorrow, when I can top up the credit card. Hopefully it wont sell out overnight, so if you’re thinking of going, let me buy first, should be done by Tuesday morning at the latest.

The other delight of the weekend, is a rugby league one. The Challenge Cup is the big knock out tournament of the year, and normally, in the first round that they can face better opposition, Keighley draw a top Super League name, and go out of the cup, being that we are a league below them. This year, we had a stroke of luck, and drew a team lower than us in our own league, Barrow, and won. So fine, with all those mighty teams in the last 16, we were bound to draw a good team, and go out. Again, never assume, we drew Swinton, admittedly away, but again lower than us in our league. Keighley beat them yesterday, 33-20!

Now might get trickier, the other 7 teams left, are Leigh (same league, but better team), and 6 Super League sides, but…one of those sides, is our near neighbour, and ‘loved’ rivals, Bradford, who surprisingly beat Catalan today. Well, we all hate the local rivals, dont we, lol? But more so with them, the Rugby League have protected them through administration, and the local council (Bradford) support them greatly, and ignore us, even though we’re in the same council area.

So what could be more fun, than playing them, at home in the quarter finals. If I say it wont happen, then just maybe…!

Anyway, the video. Something that lower league rugby teams shouldnt do, and seemingly call centre operators shouldnt either. Great song, great group, no idea why I havent used them before!

And so as one year ends

Hopefully a new one begins tomorrow! Yes, as of midnight officially, and about 2.30 in the afternoon literally, I will be a year older, reaching the grand old age of 56. Not so long ago, that would have left me 4 years away from a Senior Citizens bus pass, but given they are changing all the rules, due to everyone living longer, it would seem its going to be 9 years now before I get one! Phew?

Yes, 56 years ago tomorrow, in a hospital, a baby was born, who grew up to be me! One change of name later, one change of gender later (at least, but more on that shortly), and I’m still going strong…of sorts! Two crocked knees, one less than perfect wrist, but despite all that, I’m still standing, and no, that isnt the video! 😛 Something far more silly, from my formative years, for that tonight.

Why do I say at least one gender change? Well, its because, around the time I was born, there were several thousand (at least) hermaphrodite babies born, with both sets of genitals. Yes, the drugs given to pregnant women back then were a delight, as one of the ones that followed soon after was Thalidomide, and we all know the consequences of that! Allegedly, doctors, with or without the guidance of parents (though I would imagine the latter) selected which gender the baby should remain, with all the consequences attached.

Now, I have no evidence I was one of those babies, the hospital I was born at was demolished in the mid 1960’s, so even if there are any records, they could be anywhere, besides which, it was probably all covered up anyway, as it was less of an obvious physical issue than Thalidomide victims would be. But, it seems a fair chance, especially given the undeveloped womb I have. But hey, I’ve survived it all this far, and hopefully will a few more years yet.

From a different perspective, something else ended today, the international career of an Irish rugby player, Brian O’Driscoll. What’s more, it ended in the perfect way, with Ireland winning the 6 Nations championship, though they did their best to throw it away, thats for sure! And a new event starts tomorrow, the 20 over cricket World Cup, with Ireland’s first game on Monday, a most apt date. Hopefully events of the same day, 7 years ago can be repeated. Funny, that started a few days earlier, against Zimbabwe, with a tie, and thats the team we are playing on Monday.

Oh, and for the one of you that might be wondering, that Cheltenham competition at work? Guess what, there were 4 prizes, and I came 5th! Ah well…

My birthday treat to myself, a few days break from work, not back now until next Saturday. 3 days off, 2 days holiday, and the fact they give you a day off for your birthday, add up to a 6 day break, even if my birthday break is only on Wednesday, due to the complications of Cheltenham! If nothing else, I should have a new hairstyle by the time I go back to work! And no, no decision made on the dress for tomorrow night yet, either.

So, as a 55 year old, I leave you with a very silly video, care of those wonderful Muppets. This song (not their version) was a hit when I was a teenager, ah well…

I’ll see you again, at 56!

City to City

As some on here at least know, my regular commute is from my current home town, Huddersfield, to the place I work, Leeds. Today, I was fortunate enough to be finishing early, because of a sporting event tonight. Rugby league, the proper rugby, as we Yorkshire folk would call it, has a super league match between those 2 cities, and I should imagine the early evening trains, as well as being full of commuters, were full of rugby fans too.

No, I dont have any real problems with either (well, if commuters dont allow me to get a seat lol, but otherwise…) but the trains are overcrowded enough, thanks to Trans Pennine Express’s incompetence, without even more people trying to force their way on to the trains.

City to city, in this case, should take just under 20 minutes. I say, should, because we’re talking TPE here, and their timekeeping is about as good as their provision of carriages for passengers! To be honest, apart from the trains betweem them, the 2 stations have little in common. Huddersfield’s station is still pretty much the original look, which makes it well over 150 years old. The internal offices are a bit more modern, but the building has a generally old fashioned look. Oh, and despite have platforms numbered up to 8, there are only 6, no platform 3, or 7. I presume both disappeared with the mass line closures of the 60’s, but dont quote me on that!

Leeds station, is very modern, less than 20 years old, and it shows! It does its job, but in terms of atmosphere, there’s only one winner! At least Leeds actually has platforms all the way from 1 to 17 lol!

Shopping wise, Leeds has never grown on me, over all the years of my life, not just since I moved back up here. Probably just a personal thing, I guess? Huddersfield is nicer, but as regular readers know, Wakefield is my favourite around here.

Yes, as some might point out, both places are also in the same division in football, but as I dont care for that sport, lets leave it there! 😛

No prizes for which team I want to win tonight, though neither are of course the team I support, thats Keighley! But, one is my home town, so…

2 videos for the price of one tonight, so take your pick. The first is the genius who wrote this song, and sang it originally, but is clearly mimed

This is the Proclaimers live, from the Gerry Rafferty tribute concert

Yes, Huddersfield to Leeds, isnt 400 miles, more like 15, but who’s counting?

Expecting the unexpected

Thats fooled you, you’re never going to work out the video from that title without looking down this blog! 😛

So, the meaningful subject for tonight, you could say its work related, of a sort. Sport!

This weekend, in both versions of the rugby game, saw the start of a competition. In rugby league, generally more my sport, both the Superleague, and lower leagues got under way this weekend. Talking of lower leagues, I support the Keighley Cougars in the Championship, and they lost today, not even narrowly, 42-10! I gather from the forum they were as awful as the scoreline suggested, so lets leave it at that, and just hope they improve from here. However, my home town now, Huddersfield travelled last night to St Helens in the Superleague, and general conclusion was that there would be a comfortable winner. There was, 40-4 in fact, but not to the expected favourites, instead Huddersfield wiped them off the pitch! No, I’m not a big fan, but its a home town thing, so…

Rugby Union, I can really only get interested in international stuff, and that generally means the World Cup, and the 6 nations championship, and of course I support Ireland. Last season, any day I was working when they were playing, I wore green to work. To be honest, they were pretty awful. So yesterday, I wore a pink top to work, given I had no great expectations of a result away to Wales. So alright, when the phones calm down enough to look at the score, its 20-0 to Ireland! It ended up 30-22, whether because Wales fought back, they eased off the gas, or a combination of both, I have no idea. But yes, I enjoyed the victory.

Then today, France travelled to Italy, clearly with expectations of an easy victory, despite losing in Rome 2 years ago, the last time they were there. Hadnt learnt, started off very slowly, and Italy were soon 10-0 up. France righted the ship, and led 15-13 at half time. But then, instead of pushing on, and winning, they eased off. Soon after that, 23-15 to Italy! France only really woke up in the last 5 minutes, but it was too late, what a shame, not!

So next weekend, England come to Dublin, and though the winner wont have the title sewn up, it would put them in a pretty strong position. Go Ireland!

No, its not the Irish national anthem, or even Irelands Call tonight, its not that classy to be honest. But shall we say it sums up the Italian performance today, and leave it at that.

And yes, that is Noel Edmonds! facepalm moment lol

Beyond Yorkshire

I’m told there are rumours of life beyond the Yorkshire boundaries, will have to find out if its true or not? Yes, I am joking btw! Though if you talked to some people, you might believe otherwise. As for their feelings when Lancashire won the cricket county championship yesterday, I dread to think lol!

Time permitting, I intend to keep this blog going while away in Boston, but absolutely no promises are made, so if it goes quiet (or quietish) here over the next week or so, you know why. I’m just the type of person who would rather you knew, rather than just have you wondering where I’d gone.

Irish cricket has the last 2 games of the season early next week against Canada, and given the new qualifying rules for the 2015 World Cup, it adds more importance to victories that should be achieved by the full team. Not that the IC Cup team did too badly this week lol! Other than that, Ireland play Australia in the rugby world cup tomorrow, and I’m not expecting an Irish victory there somehow.

Beyond that, not much to say, other than wishing my readers a good weekend, and speak to you again soon.