Tag Archives: gregory richen

Sunday 13th March 2016 – PHEW!

When was the last time that I was up and about and eating breakfast long before the alarm went off? And on a Sunday too! And what has surprised me more than anything else is that after all of the travels that I was on last night, that I managed to make it back here in time.

But start as you mean to go on. And before you start, I perhaps ought to warm you that the sum total of my travels last night comes to something about 2200 words.

You have been warned.

I started off last night by falling asleep watching a film on the laptop last night and it wasn’t long after that at all before I was on the road. It started off at first as if I hadn’t done a great deal because I’d been away with a group of people. There was a timetable for us and on the first day we had to inspect half a dozen countries and on the second day another half-dozen, on the third, yet another half-dozen and so on. This didn’t leave me much time to be going off on a nocturnal ramble but then I found myself in Chester. I don’t know exactly where I was living but it was on top of a bunk-bed somewhere and this was quite a long way off the ground and difficult to climb on to. There had been a young girl that I had quite fancied in the past when I was younger, and so had a few of my friends, but she had started to go out with a boy who was older than us and quite a bit older than her. There was some kind of correspondence that had taken place between the two of them, and one of these letters had fallen into my hands. I was busy parcelling up this letter into a brown envelope and trying to write a letter to one of these friends of mine to tell him about this letter. Obviously the contents of this letter were interesting and I reckoned that it was worth a couple of quid for me to give him this letter to read and I could buy myself a pint of beer. The difficulty that I was having was to make my letter sound sufficiently encouraging and interesting to make him part with the money and it was taking me hours to think of the ideal form of wording.
The next port of call started off to be quite amusing. I was out and about with a dwarf and we were trying to book ourselves into a hotel. While we were there at the reception desk, a message came downstairs to the effect that a woman in one of the rooms required a companion. Of course, the ears of the dwarf and I pricked immediately up, imagining full well what might have been meant by that and so as soon as we had finished registering ourselves into our room, we shot off to the room that had been mentioned. In the room we found a girl who was totally surprised by our intrusion because that wasn’t the kind of companion that she meant. She wanted a companion to talk to and confide in. All three of us were taken by surprise at what had just unfolded. The dwarf then left the room to go back down to reception and arrange a room for himself I started to chat to this girl and it seemed that she was intending to stay not for just one night but until the middle of next week and so I jokingly suggested that I could check myself into her room for a couple of nights and see how it goes. I slid quietly into her bed (it was a big double-bed)while she was adjusting her hair and her night attire and she didn’t seem to mind at all.
I’m clearly going to have to keep up these injections and anti-allergy patches and so on if this is the kind of thing that happens to me during the night. I’ve never had this kind of luck when I’ve been on my travels in real life.
Anyway, after all of this, I made a guest appearance as Sherlock Holmes (not for the first time just recently either) in the case of a girl who had been murdered. There were five people who had been arrested in connection with this and the newspapers were making ever such a fuss about all of this, how there was some really rough street in Leicester (why Leicester?) where all of the criminals seem to live and how this case was connected with this. But it turned out that only one of these five people was connected with this street
I next found myself out and about with Terry and Liz, but it wasn’t Liz but my friend Helena from when she was quite young (and making her debut in these voyages too). We’d all been for a drive out and had stopped somewhere in the salubrious surroundings of somewhere that looked like a gent’s restroom and changing rooms for a sports ground, but somewhere that had clearly seen better days and was creosoted rather like an outdoor toilet of the 1950s. We were all hot and sweaty, having been for a really good walk and we were all thirsty. Terry produced a tangerine for himself and Liz (or Helena) said that she was going to have something else and no-one asked me what I wanted. This depressed me a little, but then Helena produced an orange, a really nice juicy one, peeled it and gave it to me, which I thought was really nice. She asked me to save her a segment, which of course I was only too happy to do. While we were here, we were listening to the radio. Speaking was Mike Harris, the chairman of the TNS football club. The club used to play at a ground in the village of Llansantffraid but had moved up the road to the old army football stadium at Park Hall near Oswestry. He’d offered to sell the ground to the local community on some kind of share basis, £10 per share. This was of course about 10 years ago and property prices had risen dramatically since then and now the local council was trying to buy the ground at the price that Mike Harris had asked for it 10 years ago, presumably to sell on for redevelopment and make a profit based on today’s values. It goes without saying that Mike Harris was not at all willing to sell it under those terms and conditions, and this discussion was the basis of the radio programme that was being broadcast. What was interesting about all of this is that from where we were, we could see the old football ground across the valley behind a shopping precinct in the distance (which incidentally bears no resemblance whatever to the actual site or situation of the ground). I immediately dashed to the car to fetch my camera because what was going through my mind was that if this broadcast was live, everyone would be down at the football ground right now and the ground would therefore be open. After all, the old ground at Llansantffraid is one of the places that I’ve yet to visit while I’ve been on my travels around the various Welsh football grounds (this is in fact actually the case). The others saw my camera and wondered what I was going to do, and so I explained. But I had to go to the bathroom first, and this was when I awoke – right at that moment, because I actually did have to go to the bathroom. And once more, I found all of my bedclothes all over the floor. Rushing to the car for the camera must have been the reason for that.
After the bathroom break, which was actually the Easter break for me, I found myself back at work. The first thing that happened was that one of my colleagues said “hello” to me, which took me completely by surprise. And all of the new vehicles had arrived – new white vans of various shapes and sizes (and “H”-registered too, which was something of a complete surprise). We were to swap our vehicles for the new ones but I couldn’t find the one that had been allocated to me, and I couldn’t find a place to park my own either as the car park was full. So I went back to my desk and started to chat to Anne-Marie, a chat that went on for ages while I was trying to do some work. And someone had put a pile of files on my desk with all kinds of post in there dating back to 12 months and even more, all kinds of legal stuff and so on, a problem that I solved in the good old-fashioned and well-tried way of simply “losing” the post somewhere inside the file and filing the file away on the filing racks, where they would be lost for quite some time. Once Anne-Marie had wandered off, I went to take my coffee things back but I couldn’t leave the office by the front as it was all closed in with windows rather like the front end of the upper deck of a double-decker bus. Walking back up the other end I came upon Anne-Marie and her two friends Caroline and Theresa, lounging about on one of the side-on seats that you find over the rear wheel of the lower deck of a double-deck Lodekka type bus. I said “hiya, girls”to them but they all turned their backs to me which I thought was rather impolite. What had I done now? So downstairs with my coffee things, I found myself out on the edge of a cricket ground where a match was due to be played sometime soon, somewhere out towards Stafford. There was a huge discussion taking place about this match and about the players. I hadn’t been selected (I don’t think that I expected to be) but it seemed that a couple of footballers from FC Pionsat St Hilaire, Gregory amongst them, were going to be playing and the person who was organising it, none other than Mark Dawson, was urging the rest of the team to welcome them. Mark had been waving around a yard brush which had a plastic handle, but people had been stubbing out their cigarettes on it and burning the handle, so I took it from Mark and put it back up against the wall. “It wasn’t me” said Mark. “I don’t smoke”. I replied that I knew that he didn’t, but nevertheless it was marked and so I put it out of everyone’s way. There was someone else there with a Velocette Venom which had become the subject of some discussion. The owner said that it had cost £129 new but now it’s worth about £66,000. The bike was being pushed around and so I put it up on a piece of hard-standing right by this little building where we were congregating. Someone said that we had been told not to park motorbikes up there but I replied that it was OK because it had its centre-stand up on a paving slab. From here I was heading off onwards down south past Stafford and I noticed that Mark didn’t have transport and so expecting him to be heading now for the cricket pavilion, I asked him if he wanted a lift. I was in my big old Senator so I opened the door for him and he told me to drop him off near the town hall in Stoke on Trent, about 10 miles away through the traffic in the opposite direction and that will cost me a couple of hours in time. But a promise is a promise so I bit my lip and set off.
And I still haven’t finished yet either. Because all of this ramble about me being at work seemed to have started off with me being on a wide-bodied jet aeroplane (and I do mean “wide” – it was rather like a cinema auditorium). I seemed to be the first on board so I chose my seat in the central part but against the aisle, and put my black fleece there. There were four air hostesses in a bunch over on the other side in the aisle and they waved me over, so leaving my jacket behind, I went over to see what they wanted. “Ohh, come over here and sit by us” they said. “Why? What’s up?” I asked. “Am I the only passenger on the aeroplane?” “Ohh no” they replied. “But you’re first on so you can sit here if you like”. And so I went and fetched my jacket, and then came back to sit by these air hostesses. I’d boarded this plane by chance, really, just looking to get away for a few days and this was the first plane in. It was flying out to the Channel Islands somewhere on this Friday late afternoon and was coming back on Sunday evening, which suited me fine for a short break.
No wonder it was a surprise to find me up and about so early this morning after all of that.

So with all of this effort I had another day of sitting and vegetating. I mean – it took me all morning just to type up my notes from through the night.

But this afternoon, I finished all of the notes from September 2015 and I’ll soon be ready to start on the ones for August. And then, I have 2014 to do. Then, I can take the 2013 notes and merge all of them together in the appropriate places. It’s not going to be something that will be over in a day or so.

But with it being Sunday, Liz has been cooking. For lunch, we had home-made mushroom soup (made with real home-made mushrooms of course), followed by vegan carrot-cake for our afternoon snack, and then for tea we had home-made nut roast followed by home-made vegan chocolate chip ice-cream. As I have said before … "and you’ll say again" – ed … whenever (if ever) I’m fit enough to leave here, I’ll immediately try to find something else wrong with me.

And so on that note, I’ll leave you all. I’m not even going for a walk because I need the early night as I’m off to Montlucon and the hospital early in the morning and I’ll be doing more than enough walking while I’m there.

And if you’ve managed to read down this far then congratulations because it’s a mere 2474 words, a new record posting for a blog entry, and by a country mile as well.

Good night!

Sunday 14th December 2014 – GRRRR!!!!

Guess who forgot to turn off the alarm this morning?

And serve me right too.

Mind you, a quick visit to the beichstuhl and then back to bed and back right into my travels at exactly the point where I had left off. That’s twice this week.

I’d been talking to David Cameron about his plans to leave the EU. I was driving a lorry with tonnes of EU papers for filing. He argued that none of that would be needed – it’s just a waste of space – and so I invited him to go into the lorry and throw out any papers that he considered unnecessary. he said that he was more than willing to do so but that he didn’t have the time – and spent an hour or so saying it.

I then ended up in a coastal town in the USA back in the 1880s. This town was on a promontory of a wide river estuary and on the other side of the river was untamed Indian country. However, a huge railway tunnel had been built under the estuary, and my response was that it was a superb avenue into the town for a marauding band of Indians. First through it though was a wagon train, pulled byn would you believe, reindeer, and they had a difficult time in passing through the tunnel as their antlers were too wide. We then spent a lengthy time discussing how to defend the tunnel against Indians. And do you remember that woman and her daughter who appeared the other night? They were back again too.

So after all of the excitement, I was up and about by 10:15 and had a very leisurely morning doing not very much at all.

This afternoon, FC Pionsat St Hilaire’s 2nd XI were playing Haut Combraille. Somewhat short-staffed, Pionsat ended up playing Michael in goal. he was formerly the 2nd XI’s goalkeeper but broke his shoulder four years ago and has been forbidden to play in goal. Still, he bravely volunteered and showed everyone just what the club has been missing since those days.

This was a top-of-the-table clash and rightly so – Haut Combraille were the best team that I have seen in Division 4. They relied very much on speed against an ageing Pionsat defence and I really did have to run, rather than walk, the line this afternoon. So much for my cleanliness after my shower of Saturday.

Yes – running! I was linesman again!

Pionsat won 4-3 and quite rightly so. Anthony finally broke his duck with a brave and strong run through the right wing, and Florian, the young lad about whom I spoke the other week, scored another goal – again running on to a loose ball in defence like I’ve been telling him to do. Julien and Gregory scored the other two.

So a good weekend, finished off by my having to search out for some events to broadcast on Radio Tartasse tomorrow as, once more, they’ve forgotten to send us any.

Saturday 5th April 2014 – WELL DONE PIONSAT!

Yes, for once, a competent and workman-like display from Pionsat’s 2nd XI this evening saw them deal effectively with a St Maurice side that, it has to be said, would have been good enough for most teams in Division 4.

The team was reinforced this week by Julien and Gregory, and it was really nice to see Matthieu back on the field after an absence of two years due to injury.

matthieu malnar fcpsh fc pionsat st hilaire biollet st maurice division 4 puy de dome league 5 avril 2014 football franceNot playing in goal but in the outfield and though clearly unfit (which is no surprise after what he suffered), he was out there doing his bit.

He scored a screamer of a goal from a free-kick which went through the wall and right through the keeper’s hands, and probably would have gone through the net and the hedge at the back too had it not hit the stanchion in the corner. A superb effort.

gregory richen fcpsh fc pionsat st hilaire biollet st maurice division 4 puy de dome league 5 avril 2014 football franceThe other two goals were scored by Gregory who was playing on the left side of the attack – and he had the ball in the net a third time too but was disallowed for a foul on the keeper.

He’s small and quick and holds onto the ball well, and Pionsat’s tactics were to lift the ball over the defence into space down the inside-left channel for him to run on to – and it worked like a charm.

It can also be said that for the first time for years, Pionsat’s defence held up really well. Didier dropping back as an extra full-back whenever Pionsat lost possession, but the highlight has to be Julien, who played in the centre of defence
(he’s a winger for the first team) and didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the match.

fcpsh fc pionsat st hilaire biollet st maurice hit the post division 4 puy de dome league 5 avril 2014 football france
St Maurice hit the bar and the post, and Christophe tipped a shot over the bar, but while they had plenty of possession, it all broke down in the final suarter of the field thanks to Pionsat’s good defending tonight.

So well done them. Let’s hope that they can keep it up.

So what else has happened today?

With no pressure on me to do any gardening or any radio work, I had a quiet morning on the website. And at lunchtime I went to St Eloy to do a little shopping.

But what I encountered there may well mean that I shall set a world-record for a Saturday shopping trip, depending upon the result of a phone call that I will have to make on Monday morning. And if I receive a positive response, you won’t be hearing much from me for a while as I will be recovering from the shock.

I carried on with the website again when I returned, and then seeing as it was warm in the verandah and I had plenty of hot water, I had a shower, a shave and some clean clothes.

I’ll change the bedding over too (I forgot the other day) and have a nice long lie-in tomorrow morning. After my exertions this last few weeks I deserve it.

Saturday 6th March 2010 – Well, we’re back.

fcpsh football club de foot pionsat st hilaire beauregard vendon puy de dome franceWe had a football match tonight – the first since early February, and only the second since mid- December. Pionsat’s 3rd XI played Beauregard Vendon and were one man short, yet they scored five goals – and still finished on the losing side.

But back in December you remember that Gregory Richen turned out for the 3rd XI as he was unavailable for his habitual 1st XI game and scored 2 of their goals – well that seems to have started a fashion for Christophe Larue who also plays for the 1st XI in attack is unavailable tomorrow so he turned out for the 3rd XI this evening and scored all five goals.

fcpsh football club de foot pionsat st hilaire beaurgard vendon les guis virlet puy de dome france All of this in thoroughly freezing conditions that are threatening snow. As if we haven’t had enough!

Also back is the Pentax – unrepaired and still struggling along. I’ll be happy though when someone round here pays me a pile of cash they owe me and I can think about a replacement.

I went shopping around Montlucon today and did the usual rounds. Some 12 volt LED bulbs at €3 each at Noz and a max-min thermometer at €4.99 from Vima were the highlights. Piles of gardening stuff including my seed potatoes (earlies and normals) and two blazing rows at Brico Depot – firstly when the girl in the building material section tried to sell me the wrong (and more expensive) plasterboard despite being told, and secondly when they refused to open the bulk purchases till so I had to struggle with an enormously-loaded trolley up a shopping aisle. Someone in the car park helped me get the wood on Caliburn’s roof rack to which I replied “it’s a good thing that the customers are more helpful than the staff!”

And then a freezing cold ( and I mean COLD) hour in the swimming baths only to find that the private shower was out of order. That put the tin hat on the day.

But I’m clearly moving in the wrong circles, much to my regret. As you know, at Noz I browse through the CDs and DVDs that they have on sale (I bought two twin-packs of Bela Lugosi films for 69 cents each pack today) and saw a CD entitled “Handel’s Organ Works”. Well, so does mine but no-one ever wrote a song about it!

Sunday 7th February 2010 – We’re back in the usual routine.

A nice lie-in on Sunday morning interrupted by a torrential downpour. So out of bed by 09:45 (which is early for me as you know) and breakfast followed by tidying up the verandah. After that it was back up here and try out the new power supply for the old Lenovo that gave up the ghost back in the summer. Hunting around the other day for a replacement I came across one on eBay at a grand total of £7.45 plus £3.50 postage. And much to mysurprise it actually works! So now I can recover the data that wasn’t included in the last back-up.

st eloy les mines nord combraille football club de foot puy de dome franceThis afternoon it was down to St Eloy to watch Pionsat’s 1st XI play the Miners. And they lost 4-1. Mind you the scoreline is a totally unfair reflection of the result and they were so unlucky – they hit the woodwork three times. But in truth they offered litttle up front with no Cedric, even though the Nord Combraille goalkeeper was a pretty busy man rushing out after all of these through-balls. Pionsat had a patched-up defence and an injury to Yann made things even worse. By the time the final whistle went, Pionsat’s back-line consisted of Gregory the left-winger playing at left-back, Sebastien who plays midfield for the 2nd XI at centre-half partnered by Pierre from Brico-Depot who usually plays on the right wing, and someone who I had never seen before playing at right-back. Nevertheless it was a really good match and I quite enjoyed it despite the scoreline. Two of Nord Combraille’s goals were absolute peaches.

That wood-burning boiler that Terry bought does not weigh 270 kilos. In fact it weighs in at well over 300 and it’s blasted heavy and awkward. But with the aid of two scaffolding planks and a carpet we got it into the kitchen. It’s just as well as it’s Claude-moving starting tomorrow and Terry’s van needs to be empty!

Sunday 13th December 2009 – the secret is out!

fcpsh football club de foot pionsat st hilaire 3rd team kebab effiatI now know why it is that Pionsat’s 3rd XI struggle in the 4th Division of the Puy-de-Dome league. Here they all are in the pre-match warm-up!

But seriously, I battled my way across the Combrailles through the heavy snow around St Pourcain to get to Effiat in time for the 13:00 kick-off. Pionsat’s players had beaten me to it, and there we were, kicking our heels. Effiat had changed the time of the kick-off to 15:00, but had omitted to inform Pionsat. And so we all had lunch while we were waiting.

Last night, leaving Pionsat’s ground, I bumped into Gregory who was just arriving. He plays up front for the 2nd XI and sometimes for the 1st XI and he’s a pretty useful player. But he wasn’t playing last night.
“I was working 2-10” he told me when I asked.
“Will you be playing tomorrow (that is, today) then?”
“No” he said, with an air of bewilderment as if no-one had ever asked him to play for the 3rd XI before when he was unavailable for the 1st or 2nd XI.

So at Effiat, who should be in the dressing room but Gregory who, having made enquiries and discovered that the 3rd XI were struggling to raise a team as usual, had graciously offered his services.

fcpsh fc pionsat st hilaire effiatHe didn’t break much sweat, it has to be admitted, but then again he didn’t need to. He scored the first two goals in the opening couple of minutes and then concentrated on spraying the ball around to the other players to give them a chance. After Pionsat had scored their 5th goal (remember, this is the team that does a lap of honour if they ever manage to win the toss) he decided that he had done enough and went off for a shower, leaving the rest of the team to it.

I’m hoping that this might set some sort of precedent and maybe encourage a few of the other 1st and 2nd teamers to help out the 3rd XI whenever they are available. They could certainly do with a helping hand every now and again. Pionsat’s 3rd XI scoring 5 goals and winning at a canter! Who’d have thought that?

And so it was back home though the doom and gloom and snow and ice and sub-zero temperatures (it’s minus 2 outside just now) and low batteries (I’ve had no charge at all for a few days now). I’ve got the fire on and I’m not moving now!