Posted by sean on September 9, 2015 at 12:58 pm in Football, Have I Got News For You with No Comments

I was nearly late for work this morning, after having a debate on Twitter with a fellow Leeds fan about the monarchy. Yes, us football supporters do discuss other things besides sport! Today is the anniversary of the Queen’s reign on the throne – a record breaking one, by all accounts and I commented how, in this day in age, with a shortage of money to help the likes of the NHS and refugees, the money the Royal Family receive from the tax payer should be stopped. I received a counter argument that the monarchy bring in a lot of money to the country. Personally, while I don’t disagree with this, I still believe they can and should be self-sufficient. Yes, the Royals bring in a lot of revenue from the likes of tourism, but so does a lot of other attractions and organisations – it doesn’t mean as taxpayers, we need to help them out. It seems an outdated rule that us Brits need to give our money to whoever is on the throne. Everyone needs to make cutbacks in these hard economic times, so why not the Royals?

Onto a subject more fitting to my blog – crisps. With no shadow of a doubt, there are three Kings of Crisp. They is the brown hula hoop. I think it may be beef flavour. Frazzles – always a school tuck shop favourite. Finally, there is purple Nik Naks. Amazingly I haven’t seen these for sale separately and can only be purchased in multipacks, which also contain fish flavour crisps, which are an abomination and so wrong. Who eats crisps which taste of fish? Dolphins? If you asked me to pick my best, I would struggle. I would be like a parent choosing your best favourite child. I suppose I would go for the Nik Naks, which I thoroughly enjoyed this morning.

I watched the football last night. England against Switzerland. Is it me, or do England always seem to be playing them? Wayne Rooney scored a penalty and everyone lauded him like he had found a cure for cancer. There were parties in the street and a national holiday is planned. The reason for this hype is totally unnecessary. He has now scored more goals than Bobby Charlton. So what. Rooney never does anything when it matters. Goals against San Marino, Outer Mongolia and Vatican City count for nothing, when you can’t even manage a shot on target against the likes of Germany in the World Cup. If I was the England manager, I would call up Bobby Charlton to the England squad, for the next match and bring him on to take a penalty, therefore ruining Rooney’s record. Ha. What does matter is that last night, San Marino scored a goal. The first time have scored away from home in 14 years. Granted, they were playing Estonia, a country I wouldn’t want to begin to point out on a map of the world, but they’ve done well – I bet that I couldn’t score against Estonia. This was a genuine cause for celebration and reminded me of the time that Jamie Cook scored for Bath City against Tamworth in our relegation season. Well done San Marino!

Posted by sean on September 8, 2015 at 3:39 pm in Chocolate, Spiders, Video Games with No Comments

Ben has reminded me that the Mario Builder package for the Wii U is out this weekend. This is a game I am too excited about than I should be, considering I am a fully grown man. The game basically allows you to create your own Mario levels; playing them in traditional NES 8-bit style, with SNES ‘Super Mario World’ graphics, or in modern high resolution. My order has been placed with Amazon, and I’ll be hoping to see the game dropping no my doorstep on Saturday – or better still, Friday – morning.

I like chocolate and probably eat too much of it. Although let’s be fair, who doesn’t? I was offered some chocolate at work. Normally, I would gratefully receive and devour such an offering. However, in this case, I took a more cautious approach to consuming the ‘gift’. It was a Peppa Pig advent calendar. I seem to remember Julie bringing these into the office last Christmas, after buying them from Sainsbury’s for 15p. I left mine back then, as it didn’t taste very nice. For me to reject chocolate, it must have been bad! So not only was today’s chocolate offering of poor quality almost a year ago, it is now no doubt out of date. Despite having mid-afternoon munchies, I declined the offer. The advent calendar is now in the bin. I felt a little sad to do this to chocolate, but I didn’t really want to risk catching the bubonic plague.

With Autumn fast approaching, the nights are drawing in and the temperatures dropping. The spiders are also coming into our houses. To prevent this at home, I tend to leave our doors and windows closed, wherever possible. Ideally they would be sealed and air-tight, but I realised in doing this, that I would probably die. Ben is very prone to feel the heat, and would probably wear shorts and a t-shirt on a visit to the North Pole. As a result, he constantly has the office windows open. I raised my concerns this morning that this will attract all kinds of spiders into our office, with some huge beasts no doubt under our desks already. I was laughed at. This afternoon, we have noticed a new member of the team. Not a spider (luckily), but a cricket. He has been named Orelo – I have absolutely no idea why. I prefer to call him Batty. Batty… Bat… Cricket… Cricket bat? I give up…

Posted by sean on September 5, 2015 at 9:20 pm in Bath City with No Comments

Three months ago, I blogged about a campaign set up with an aim to allow the community of Bath to take over its local football club, Bath City FC. In order for the takeover to be a success, £750,000 needed to be raised and Bath City fans, members of the community and local businesses were offered the chance to buy shares and become owners of the club. Last night was the deadline for selling the shares and raising the funds needed to launch a bid by the community to buy Bath City Football Club. Sadly, as had looked likely for the last few weeks, the required total of £750,000 was not raised.

However, despite this, over £300,000 of shares were sold, and given the fact that this was achieved in just 3 months, gives much cause for optimism. The Bid Team have today released a statement, pledging to everyone that despite not achieving the initial target, the future of a community-owned football club is very much alive.

As somebody who, along with my wife, has personally bought shares in the scheme, I am very encouraged by the news and thrilled that over £8,000 was raised during the final hours last night, in between me going to bed and waking up in the morning!

The statement from The Bid Team is below. More information and updates can be found on their website. Hopefully, I’ll be able to blog some more good news about The Bid in future weeks and months.

Statement from the Big Bath City Bid Team

“In just three months the Big Bath City Bid has attracted £303,276 in community funding from a wide range of individuals, local businesses, community groups, celebrities and Bath City supporters. Thank you to everyone who has supported the Bid – while we may not have reached our target just yet, we feel the genie is well and truly out of the bottle. The Bath City Supporters’ Society and the Big Bath City Bid team remain committed to community ownership as the best way to create a secure and prosperous future for Bath City FC. We are hopeful that we can build on the success of the last three months to continue to move towards that goal, and to inject new energy and enthusiasm into the club.

The share offer has closed, pending consultation with investors and supporters. An open meeting will take place at Twerton Park at 7pm on Monday 7 September. A questionnaire will also be circulated from 12th to 17th September to ensure that all investors have the chance to be heard. Based on this feedback and negotiations with the Board, a proposed way forward will be put to investors no later than Monday 21 September.

As always, no money can be taken from the community share offer unless we hit our target or otherwise receive the explicit consent of the investor. Anyone who wants to withdraw their pledge may do so, and may request that cheques and bank transfers are returned. We hope that investors will attend Monday’s meeting or await consultation prior to making any decision on what to do with their investment.

We would like to conclude by thanking our team of volunteers for all their hard work on this exciting project, and the people of Bath for their help and support as we strive to give this city the football club it deserves.”

Posted by sean on September 3, 2015 at 11:29 am in Spiders with No Comments

It’s September. The time for children to go back to school, the shops to put up their Christmas decorations and spiders to enter our homes. Big, hairy, man-eating spiders. You may laugh at this description, but I think it is fair and accurate.

I visited my Mum’s last night for tea. We ate in the extension on the side of her house. I was cooked a very nice meal. What wasn’t very nice, was my Mum forgetting to inform me that a very large spider had been spotted in the extension the previous evening. Maybe it was a good thing that I wasn’t told. I certainly wouldn’t have eaten in the extension, had I known, and would have considered even visiting the house at all!

Last night, when I was safely home, my Mum posted a photo of the biggest spider I have ever seen, on Facebook. It was huge. If she had a pet cat, it would have made a delicious meal… for the spider! What’s worse, is it was my wife, Claire, who showed me the Facebook post – I was tucked up in bed – the place you never, ever, ever want to encounter a spider; so just seeing the beast on her phone screen freaked me out a bit.

I won’t post the photo on my blog, as I don’t want to see it every time I check my website – or subject it to any of my readers.

Posted by sean on September 1, 2015 at 9:36 pm in Tesco Cock Ups with No Comments

I am getting a bit fed up. Not with blogging – although my recent lack of blogs would suggest otherwise. No, my recent discontent is with Tesco – mainly their online delivery service.

We buy our groceries online every week, as going to the supermarket on a regular basis is not an option. One of the reasons for this is Claire’s shifts don’t always allow us to go shopping when we would like. The other reason is that the main supermarkets near to where we live are in Bristol. It is always a risk going shopping in a superstore, as our fellow customers are a liability. I try to forget the number of times I have nearly been mowed down by a trolley, being pushed by someone who is more interested in a special offer on Laughing Cow Cheese, than controlling their basket-on-wheels.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of doing an online shop too, and laughed at the jokes about a lemon being substituted for citrus washing up liquid. I get it. Mistakes happen. Products go out of stock. What annoys me is when there is an issue almost every week with our online shop.

It isn’t even the substitutions – Tesco can’t help that. It is when they think they have delivered a product and charged us for it, but when coming to unpacking our groceries, we find the said item missing. Then there are the ‘use by dates’. Tesco kindly warn us on their invoice if a product has a short shelf life. A nice feature. Except it would be, if it was accurate. There have been a number of times where we have been warned that a sandwich (for example) is out of date on Thursday, although on closer inspection, discovering that it has to be eaten by Monday.

Every time there is an issue, we ring, email or Tweet Tesco. Every time we do this, we get the usual response. “We’re sorry”. Followed by. “We will advise the store manager”. Before issuing a refund on the missing or unsatisfactory item. The apology would be fair enough in most circumstances – as I have already said, mistakes happen – but it keeps occuring, so much so that “sorry” doesn’t really matter anymore. In fact, the people making the apology are the poor customer service staff, who, to their credit are always excellent, polite and helpful.

I don’t want an apology. I don’t want to be contacted about the issue, and I don’t want my product refunded. I want this to stop happening. Therefore, to highlight how much this does occur, I will be blogging about it, each time Tesco cock up. Hopefully, this will be the first and last blog on the topic.

By the way – the latest missing item which triggered this rant was fresh country ham. It was supposed to be delivered yesterday. We paid for piggy, but no piggy was to be found. I now have nothing to put in my cheese topped rolls.

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