Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A new start?

I'm liking the new Norwich.
I think I'm almost liking them alot.
I might even start believing in them again.

My reasons?

I'm no fan of the folk who run footy but Mr McNally, the Chief executive, seems to be a man who is keen to halt the dithering. The dithering that has been a big part of our fourteen year decline. Keeping Bryan Gunn on as manager after he had failed to keep us in the Championship was wrong. His sole aim when he took over in February was to keep us up.

He failed.

McNally came along and saw that. After the 7-1 defeat against Colchester he made a decision and carried it out.


Paul Lambert was hired and has introduced a new air about the place, the old guard are looking uncertain and I like that. When we were relegated I was telling anyone who wanted to listen that we needed an aggressive youngish coach who was not afraid to do things his way, a dash of the early Clough? A hint of O'Neill?

I think we've got him.

Another good point has to be some of the fresh, young talent coming in. This matter is best summed up by the silver fox. I watched City get beaten 4-1 by Sunderland last night, an entertaining game despite the result. Dad is becoming slightly besotted with a 17 year old boy. I would be worried but it's not all bad. Tom Adeyemi reminds my father of his first love, the World Cup winner and City's 70's icon Martin Peters. He sits there and mutters "He's the new Martin Peters". I've not heard my dad talk that way in years, if ever.

Old love, England's hero and City star, Martin Peters.

New love, 17 year old 'wunderkind' Tom Adeyemi.

In the car on the way home a caller to the radio offered mild, slightly ambiguous criticism of Adeyemi, My father's response?

"Piss off! You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about!!!" 

On another Adeyemi related note, I sat behind some of his schoolmates. I was only aware of this when the player was warming down after being substituted towards the end of the match. One of them shouted at him, he turned, waved and said hello and all that, then on about his business. I have heard all the tales about the old days when players used to travel to the games on public transport but have never actually seen a player with such a normal local connection.  He is, in every sense of the word, A Norwich boy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The way through the woods.

We're 'staycationing' at my parents house for a week as our kitchen is being refitted.

Last night as we were about to settle down to watch 'Frost Nixon'* we noticed a family strolling along the main road.
"LUNATICS! THEY"LL ALL DIE! FOOLS! SOMEBODY, MAKE THEM STOP! OH THE HUMANITY!" (and that was just father trying to find the remote control).
It's fair to say that we were alarmed by their seemingly carefree amble along the middle of one of Norfolk's busier 'B' roads until we remembered that the road had been closed for 24 hours for essential maintainance.

So Frau Random Doubt and myself took advantage of the live in babysitters and took a stroll ourselves.

*Mutually acceptable viewing
West, towards Wicklewood.
West, towards Wicklewood.
South East, towards Wymondham Abbey.
West, towards Wicklewood.
The B1135 towards Wicklewood.

Despite the sound of workmen in the distance there was an amazing sense of calm, It made one think of a world without cars.
It was beautiful.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Geekfest 2009!

A sneaky trip to Duxford.

The nephews loved the saucy artwork on the side of this B17, "She's got BOOOOBS!!!"
A full on lads day out was enhanced by the aforementioned B17 actually taking off.

And flying away...

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I've decided I don't like figs.
A kind neighbour cornered me with some the other day.

"Oh you must try them, they're delicious"

So I took a few and left them to ripen on the kitchen window sill.
Today, whilst emptying the kitchen in advance of next week's renovation I thought "better try one, can't live a life less travelled" and all that.

Not for me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Award winning Blog!

A medal for turning up at a regatta but not actually entering a race was not the only thing won around here over the last few days.

The top person's sailing Blog Propercourse
has voted TRDOWM's Hickling Broad Regatta post (see below) as it's best regatta blog post of 2009!

I'm not sure what we win and I'll be looking for the invitation to the glitzy awards ceremony in the post (once the postal strike is over of course). This award means a great deal to all of us here at Mondale House as it's voted for by the listening public and record buyers and not the record company fatcats.

Thank you, and thanks to Jamie, Will and Sim for making the weekend such fun.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hickling Broad Regatta 2009

It all started out as an idea over drinks. I had dragged some fellow dads along to see a film, only to find that the cinema showing the film was, well, not actually showing the film.
Having popped into a pub to discuss my inability to select a cinema the conversation turned to boats. It was suggested that a sailing trip might be a bit of a laugh.

With a bit of time, knowledge and the go ahead from Frau Random Doubt I set about organising a summer jaunt. I called my favourite boatyard and made enquiries, knowing that a date isn't a date until we've all got a) our wives permission and b) the date cut in stone.

Hickling holds an 'alternative' regatta every year in August. It's an occasion to meet and be merry, you certainly don't have to race which was handy as that might require effort and skill. We were happy just to get there, and with such light airs that was an achievement on it's own.
August 8th, 2009. Hunters Boatyard, Ludham, Norfolk. Buff Tip is ready to go. Four of us, Myself and Will (sailors) and Jamie and Sim (non sailors) were about to spend the weekend sailing, drifting and drinking and eating bad food.

Arty shot of Buff Tip's main.
One of my favourite aspects of the weekend was the enthusiasm of the 'non sailors' for getting stuck in, having a go and (pardon the bloody awful pun) learning the ropes. Both Jamie (above) and Sim did really well in some difficult (hardly any wind) circumstances.
It didn't take a pair of binoculars to see that Buff Tip was in a spot of bother.
Woodcut strutting her stuff on Hickling Broad.
The outward leg was tough, very little wind and lots of tacking up narrow rivers. I normally object to such things as mobile phones when sailing but it was nice to be able to text the race committee and let them know of our progress. It was also nice to receive their sarcastic responses.
A view of Hickling from Buff Tip.
A spot of civilised sailing. We swopped boats halfway through the outward leg but forgot to swop facilities. I was thus left gasping for my celebratory pint upon finally reaching Hickling Broad. Woodcut had all 6 bottle openers on board! We had to engage them in order to ask very nicely for a bottle opener so that the CO could have his customary pint.
Our gorgeous moooring at the top of Hickling. Woodcut on the left, Buff Tip on the right.
We had left Ludham at 10am. The plan had been to arrive at Hickling just after lunch. We finally moored up at about 5.30pm
The Hickling Broad regatta (NOT to be confused with the Hickling Broad Sailing Club regatta) was a delightfully laid back bohemian affair. An open b.y.o barbeque, a selection of benches, bunting and a tent.  Most of all a friendly, mildly disorganised approach to sailing and life and fun. A small spot for free spirits in the middle of a world of turmoil.
The view from the barbeque. If you look very closely you can see my barbeque speciality, banana bacon. I asked the gathered few what the 'rules' were for the barbeque. "Oh just bung it on, come back in half an hour". About an hour later the same man strolled over to us and pointed out that it might be worth checking out the barbeque as our food was clearly cooked and people were getting quite enthusiastic about the banana bacon.

I loved the old Land Rover with ketchup and stuff for people to share, I also loved the fact that there was a tinny little radio in the middle of the lawn gently playing Radio 3. 
Your host, Will with Woodcut's extensive bar.
Sundown at the prize table.
The weather on both days had been outstanding with only one slight problem, little or no wind. A sailing weekend needs a bit of a puff.
Dawn. Still no wind. (Then again there never is at dawn)
Sunday morning can mean only one of two things, Church Parade or black pudding!

We chose the black pudding option.

Sim gets stuck in.
I don't like to brag but I can throw together a bloody good brecky when needs must. The others laughed at the teapot when they saw it on Saturday. By god they were grateful on Sunday morning. Endless gallons of tea!
The regatta committee got the flag up a few minutes before the sailing club, thus 'claiming' the broad for the day.
Before we left on our homeward leg we were presented with medals. I love medals! 
Ross (regatta organiser) presents Will with his 'longest distance travelled to visit regatta but not actually enter a race' medal.
Woodcut on her way.
Jamie and Sim getting us through Potter bridge.
Heads down.
Geek shot of rigging on Buff Tip.
Yours truly  wearing that shirt. I had forgotten that the day before, Norwich had been destroyed 7-1 on the opening day of the season. even in the slightly rarefied atmosphere of the Broads I was happily heckled by a few well intentioned types.

All in all a truly delightful weekend, the weather could only have been bettered with a bit more wind, we spent most of our time sailing and the rest enjoying the company of some of life's better souls, boats and humans.


I'l do a proper post in a day or two.
I'll just say this.
I feel like an old wooden door, an old wooden door with blistered hands and a lot of sun.

And I'd do it all again tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Hickling water frolic

Lots of drunken sailing coming your way soon.