Monthly Archives: May 2016

Catching up and a realisation of what’s important…

A brilliant Bank Holiday weekend.

It’s weird, sometimes you get a smack around the head and realise just what is important.

This weekend did just that. It was a regimental reunion on Saturday night, the first one in a generation. The old and bold turned up in their droves and a fabulous evening was had by all.

It was this that made me realise what is important. Friends. More than that, family, because my Royal Signals mates are family. We do not see each other from one year to the next, but drop us all in the same room and we are back in our 20s and immortal again. It was the best evening I’ve had in years. I really do love them all.

It was made all the more poignant when the Boss proposed a toast to absent friends, we are all in our 40s and 50s now and some of the Senior folk when I was a youngster are now in their 70s, sadly we have lost a few.

MessThe Motley Crew…

But the last 3 weeks have been marvelous/funny/moving/hysterical/pressurized/motivating/inspirational/piss taking (delete as appropriate) as we have had a task that needed our attention.

One of our very good mates was in the middle of rebuilding his 1973 Triumph Spitfire when he fell seriously ill. No need to go into into details, but suffice it to say he was in no condition to complete the build.

This was causing him unnecessary stress, so our old Sergeant Major got on the phone/social media/email and rounded up the lads to get the car complete for him by last Saturday’s reunion, where we hoped he’d be well enough to sit in the thing and go for a little spin around the car park.

The car was a bare shell and in various boxes 3 weeks ago.

This was the car on Saturday after his old Signals mates gave up time/Holidays/family stuff and rearranged work schedules to do this for their old mate. 3 weeks from knacker to a top looking running motor. I have to say, I enjoyed working on this car loads, it was just great to be on a task with the lads again.

s engineEngine Bay



Finished motor.


The team who made it possible.

Special mention must go to the Triumph Sports Six club who supplied the venue and a goodly amount of knowledge. Top blokes to a man, who bought into the Squaddie banter and way of doing things brilliantly!

Unfortunately our mate was too ill to attend the reunion Saturday night, but his wife came down and accepted the keys on her husband’s behalf. Moving wasn’t the word.

Onto my knee injury stuff, MRI was done, it is now a 2 week wait to get the results. The knee is still officially in bits and getting steadily worse. The last physio I had resulted in the physio peeling me off the ceiling and saying “Oh, I think there may be something else going on in the knee!” No shit Sherlock…

A great weekend!

After a bloody brilliant weekend, which was one for the memory banks, it’s Monday. But let’s be positive, it’ll soon be Friday.

Saturday was all about celebrating special times with special people. The morning was a trip over to Cheswick Green to help celebrate my Uncle Doug’s 80th birthday at his son’s Steve’s house. Steve’s brother Adey was there with his son and lady and we had lovely time sitting in the sun and watching our sons play in the stream at the bottom of the garden catching poor unsuspecting frogs. The sight of 3 9 year old lads, fishing nets in hand and Steve’s dog all mucking about in the water was wonderful, kids playing how kids should play. Not a screen or a PC in sight.

The evening was our very good friend Tracey’s 40th birthday bash at our local. The now legendary Park Gate Inn at Dodford.

An 80s themed party was an excuse for me to deploy the loudest of Hawaiian shirts and Raybans and generally reminisce about how great 80s music was. Her hubby Leigh did the DJ bit and I had great fun supplying the tunes to him a few weeks back.

The only problem was choice paralysis. Too many tunes and too little time! Add on lots of food on sticks, great ale and mates and music and alcohol worked its usual magic to ensure a fabulous evening.

Paid for by feeling a tad fragile Sunday morning.

Sunday afternoon , was North Midlands Cup Final day for my old club Birmingham & Solihull against Newport, played at the neutral venue of Dudley Kingswinford Rugby Club, which is handily close to me. In a close fought game, which finished (embarrassingly for the officials who seemed to forget the competition rules) in a win on try count back for my beloved Bees. The final score was 20 – 20, but as Bees had scored 3 tries to Newport’s 2 the game was a Bees win. The ref and touch judges were preparing the 2 sides to go into extra time when they were reminded that there is no extra time in a North Mids final…Ooopsie…

Anyway, I met some fantastic old friends, had a great catch up with the players, who are great lads to a man and enjoyed seeing quite a number of lads who I have coached at age group level turning out in their club’s 1st team in adult rugby. Which is deeply satisfying for me and the reason why I coach.

For Bees after a disastrous start to the season, where to be blunt, the newly appointed Head of Rugby was so far out of his depth it was untrue, the club around Christmas time, parted company with him and appointed a pair of great coaches and more importantly leaders to turn the season around.

With actual coaching, leadership and a bit of old fashioned Rugby spirit, congratulations must go to Willy and Spanner, the performance team and the players for turning the whole season around and finishing on a cup final win. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of people.

But it was also an afternoon where due to one incident, that I realised my time at Bees is now over for good. I have other coaching opportunities in the pipeline that I may or may not pursue yet, but I wish all of my friends at Bees nothing but success and good fortune in the future.

A great Rugby club with great Rugby people.

I actually start treatment on my injured knee this week, tomorrow actually, which is getting steadily more painful with every passing week. But as I have alluded to in previous blogs, I do not think that physio alone will sort it out. My MRI scan at the end of the month will decide the course of treatment for certain.

The food discipline must be working as quite a number of folk at the cup final yesterday said they thought I had lost weight, which is always nice to hear.

Crack on eh?