Six Reasons to Buy this Apartment

If you are looking for an apartment to buy in Cambridgeshire then look no further.  Here are six reasons why this apartment could be the answer to all your dreams:

Ideal for entertaining – The open plan lounge/kitchen means the conversation need never stop. Your guests can be sat chatting on the sofa and you won’t miss any gossip while you make that brew or cook up a fantastic feast. Open plan living has many benefits, even if you are dining alone. You can cook your dinner and watch your favourite TV show at the same time.

Small is beautiful – Don’t let the size put you off. Have you ever heard the expression, ‘You don’t own your possessions, your possessions own you.’? Well it is true but this flat encourages you to be ruthless. Rid yourself of those useless bits of tat, live a minimalist lifestyle and travel through life lightly.  And, for those things you just can’t live without; just make use of the clever storage solutions. Also, fewer rooms mean less cleaning and it costs virtually nothing to heat!

No hassle from neighbours – The front door is accessed from the street meaning you don’t have to deal with dodgy unlit stairwells or make awkward small talk while passing neighbours on the stairs. Also, the building is old and built to last and the walls are thick. So, if the neighbours, or you, are noisy, who cares? You won’t hear them and they won’t hear you!

Prime location – There is a pub right across the road, a pharmacy, doctor’s surgery, nursery and community centre just around the corner, and two supermarkets within a 100 meter radius. If that is not enough, there are many more quaint shops and pubs in the town centre which is just a five minute walk down the road. Peterborough, St Ives and Huntingdon are just a 20 minute drive away and, if you hate sitting in traffic jams, a big bonus of rural towns is that the roads are empty!

Ghost free good vibes – Old buildings are full of character and quirks. But what if it is haunted? There is no need to worry about that here. This apartment has nothing but good vibes and happy memories, well for the eight years I have been living here anyway!

Investment – So we all know that property prices have dropped and are told they will one day rise again. Right now, this apartment is dirt cheap! I’m no mathematician but with similar local flats fetching around £400 per month in rent, this could be a nice little earner for any aspiring landlord or property mogul.

‘If the apartment is that good, why sell it?’ I hear you ask. It is a fair question. I love this apartment and have enjoyed my time here. The only trouble is, it is too far from my work. If I could pick it up and plonk it closer to work I would. So, if you are interested, what are you waiting for? Put in an offer and you could be the proud owner of this wonderful property soon.

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Another Real Women’s Football Match Report

As I was busy keeping a clean sheet in goal, the note-pad once again found it’s way into Laura Melling’s hands. The following report, taken from Lemming’s notes, sums up the match and other observations from today’s Huntingdon Town Ladies football match.

The match as Lemming saw it:

The game got off to a good start when Tash touched the ball with her new hairdo. Tash also surprised the spectators by getting her leg surprisingly high in a tackle.

Sian scored by cutting inside and placing the ball in the bottom corner and Lemming made all the substitutes and spectators jealous by showing them a picture of her breakfast.

Knoxie beat the left back and did an amazing cross. Everyone missed it but a corner was won. From the corner, the ball fell to Jenner. Jenner swerved and scooped the ball over the keeper, who looked like a tiger in her orange and black kit.

Sophie, aka Bale, curled a free kick into the goal. Hollie had a chance to score but decided not to as it would not have been a wonder goal.

Radders had a shot on target but the attempted headed clearance resulted in a goal. Both teams will await the decision of the Dubious Goals Committee to hear whether the goal will be awarded to Radders or go down as an own goal.

An opposition player went down injured just before half time and was receiving treatment throughout the break. Sian suggested moving to a different pitch so the game could continue.

The player recovered and the game continued on the same pitch. Stef appeared near the opposition goal, causing the spectators to worry she hadn’t realised we had swapped ends. Hollie dummied a cross from Jenner, leaving Emma a tap in at the far post.

Sophie collected the ball from a rebound and shot at goal but a defender appeared in a puff of smoke to clear the ball from the goal-line. The ball fell to Knoxie’s left foot but she missed as her left foot can only be used for standing on.

Town managed to hit the post and the cross-bar before Emma tapped in another goal at the far post. The referee deemed the goal was offside and disallowed it. The crowd could be heard calling for TV replays.

Bale scored from another free kick, Hollie scored with a cool finish and Radders did a Hazard by kicking a player who was lying on the ball. Megan then got on the score sheet after a lay back from Georgie.

One of the frustrated opposition defenders launched into an angry tirade of loud profanities, causing Jenner to reply with a ‘Good God!’

Emma scored another to end the game nine nil. Boom!

The official match report can be found here.

Gig Goers

Live music gigs are popular for many reasons. People enjoy the music, the atmosphere, the venues, the dancing and the crowds. Personally, I enjoy the people watching. Most gig crowds will be made up of many different people of all shapes, sizes and creeds but there are certain types of people you can guarantee will be found at EVERY music gig:

The Randy Couple – Impersonating a dog on heat, the man is usually embracing the woman from behind. Hands clasped around her waist, he swings her around in time to the music while nuzzling into her neck. A space always clears around this couple as people attempt to offer them some privacy.

The Photographer – This person wants to capture every moment and wastes gig time looking at the small screen of their smart-phone as they hold it above their heads and snap away.

The Giant – There is no escaping the giant. Whatever gig and wherever you stand, the giant will always be standing in front of you.

The Restrained Dancer – This person really wants to bust some moves. They feel the rhythm. It is in their bones. But some strange force stops them from letting rip. They make short sharp movements to the beat and jerk their head violently from side to side.

The Tip Toe Viewer – This person is usually shorter than average. They stand on their tip toes, peering over the giant’s shoulders, looking for a sight line through the crowd to the stage. They catch a glimpse of the guitarist’s hair and think they have found the right viewing spot. Unfortunately, someone will always move in the way forcing them to seek out another gap.

The Parents – These have been dragged along as a taxi service for their teenage son or daughter, and can usually be found in a less crowded space at the edge of the room or by the fire exit. There is no pressure on the parents to look cool. They appear quite happy leaning against the wall with their rucksack and munching on a pre-packed sandwich while the band plays.

The Awkward Toe Tappers – Not a natural dancer, this person would love to just stand and watch. But they are surrounded by fellow gig goers who move, clap and dance in time to the music with ease and confidence. The non dancer feels pressured into making some attempt at bodily movement. They hope their one legged toe tap is in time to the music and will be enough to blend them into the crowd.

Next time you are at a gig keep a look out for these people. You never know, one of them might be me!

Great Excuses to Get Out of Work

The weather is improving and temperatures are expected to rise to a balmy 10⁰ C this week. This means the snow and ice is melting, along with your chances of taking a weather related day off.

Managers across the country will be breathing a sigh of relief that they won’t hear the words ‘I’m snowed in’ this week, but they shouldn’t be too complacent; the nation has plenty of other great excuses to miss work:

Sick days

Pulling a sickie is always a popular choice for that last minute day off but the illness should be chosen carefully. There are some fail-safe options:

1. Illnesses that pass quickly – Migraines that can come on in a flash and can leave just as fast, or linger as long as suits your needs, are a good flexible option. That 24 hour bug that has been going around is another good choice, as is the allergic reaction which has caused your face to swell so much you can’t see. Use these and you can return to work as spritely as you like without arousing too much suspicion.

2. Highly contagious illnesses – Declare you have one of these and your boss will be begging you to stay away. No one wants an outbreak of swine flu, or whatever the latest epidemic is, to wipe out the entire workforce. Saying you have head lice is another perfect choice. Who wants head lice anywhere near them?

3. Embarrassing conditions – Mention you have diarrhoea or use the phrase ‘coming out both ends’ and no one will want any more details. If your boss is male, and you are female, you could always announce you have menstrual cramps or anything gynaecological to guarantee no further questions. Haemorrhoids are a good unisex option as is an emergency appointment with a therapist.

And of course, if you have kids, you are laughing. Just apply any illnesses to your children and you won’t even have to put on a sick voice.

Transport issues

The snow may have cleared but there are still plenty of other travel related problems to pull out of the bag when you fancy a lazy day:

1. Car problems – If your boss is not the mechanical type you could baffle them with a whole host of vehicle problems. Those sub hydro connectors can be a real pain in the damp, hot or cold weather. Or if they know a bit about cars, then state you have a problem with your brakes. No one will ask you to risk your life just to get to work.

2. Travel delays – If you have exhausted your car problems, do not despair. The roads could be blocked by a fallen tree or your keys could be locked in the car, or even locked in the house when you are locked outside. If you live close enough to get on your bike you can of course use the excuse that you have a puncture or that your bike has been stolen.

3. Public transport – If you use public transport it would be quite believable that the bus or train is late or the service has been suspended. If the service is generally good you could always claim to have fallen asleep and missed your stop or say you were too engrossed in reading up on some important notes that you went to the end of the line. Don’t forget to add that the buses and trains going back the other way are running late or cancelled.

Emergencies

There are many other emergencies which would require your absence from work:

1. You can’t leave the house – Maybe the water pipes have burst, the house is flooded and you have to wait in for the plumber. Your pet may be lost or escaped and you need to be there to let it in when it comes back. You could be locked in the house and the person with the key won’t be back until much later. You could climb out the window but that would be dangerous and the house would be unsecured.

2. You have an important duty to carry out – Perhaps your pet is ill and you need to make an emergency visit to the vets or you have just witnessed a horrible crime and must report it to the police right away. What if an elderly neighbour’s house has been burgled. She is terrified, doesn’t know what to do and has no one else to help her, shame on any boss who frowns on you for helping someone in need.

So whether you choose sickness, transport issues or household emergencies there are lots of great excuses to get out of work.

Happy duvet days!

Huntingdon Town LFC – Unofficial Player Biographies

There was no game for Huntingdon Town Ladies FC today. So, unable to do my usual factual and totally unbiased match report for the website I thought I would update the player bio section. But then I thought producing unofficial bios would be far more fun. So here is a brief low down on the wonderful bunch at HTLFC.

Rachael Bowd (aka Bowdy , Le Bowd or Farm Girl)
Captain Bowd sets a good example by always turning up to training in perfectly colour coordinated clothing.

Jo Bull
That’ll be me. Spends too much time chatting to the spectators and forgets to play football, especially when in goal.

Abi Chapman
Would rather be in Starbucks than on the footy pitch. Abi came back from Oz to play for us, among other, less important things, like love.

Emma Clark
Silent but deadly. Emma doesn’t speak much but when she does her voice is surprisingly posh.

Hollie Dare (aka Princess)
Essex girl Hollie doesn’t like to get her nails dirty. Only ever scores worldies.

Stephanie Day (aka Stef)
Winner of the 2011-12 Most Improved Behaviour Award. Stef doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

Natasha Dowdell (aka Tash)
Tash gave up a career in Tesco to become a teacher. Every little helps.

Sian Gamble
Sian is one of the reasons we wear shin pads at training. If she shoots, get out of the way!

Georgie Goodwin
So tiny she can run through the oppositions legs without them noticing.

Kathleen Hodgson (aka The Cat)
She is a Kat that keeps chickens. Kat holds good barbecues….just don’t tell the chickens.

Helen Jenner (aka Jenner or Dr J)
Keeper of the first aid kit, we often have to remind Dr J that she is not a real doctor. Says ‘Good God’ when shocked, which seems to be quite often around this bunch.

Claire Knox (aka Knoxie)
The West Brom whippet. Media favourite, Knoxie, just can’t keep out of the papers.

Sophie Marheineke
Super Spurs fan. If there was an award for most neatly packed kit bag, Sophie would win hands down.

Jo McGoff (aka Bethjo)
Looks just like her twin, Beth. Wears yellow boots and plays in goal so we know it is Jo.

Beth McGoff (aka Jobeth)
Looks just like her twin, Jo. Plays on the pitch and doesn’t wear yellow boots so we know it is Beth.

Laura Melling (aka Lemming)
Terrifies opposition with her tendency to stamp. She is not a violent player, she just runs really loudly! Has made two ‘almost assists’ this season.

Claire Radford (aka Radders)
Sleeps most of the time but if she happens to be awake on a Sunday afternoon she is a pretty nifty player.

Megan Stow
Megan’s legs have a mind of their own. She does tricks so complicated; even Megan doesn’t know how she did them.

Barbara Williams (aka Babs)
An actual power house, Babs is the other reason we wear shin pads at training.

Karen Williams
Karen defies the laws of aging. Would play with a cigarette in her mouth if she could get away with it.

And last, but not least, our manager, Andy Maltby
Calls Lemming ‘Melly’ and no one has the heart to tell him otherwise. He likes to fold bibs.

Dumbledore – The Greatest Gay Icon of All Time

Back in 2007, in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Harry Potter author JK Rowling announced one of the main characters, Albus Dumbledore, the Hogwarts School Headmaster, is gay. But did she realise the significance of this revelation for the advancement of gay rights for a future generation?

Love it or hate it there is no denying the success of the Harry Potter phenomenon. The books have been published in 200 countries and in 69 different languages.

Over 450 million books have been sold, with the final instalment ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ selling 11 million copies on its first day of publication.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the first children’s book to appear on the New York Times best seller list since EB White’s Charlotte’s Web in 1952. The series remained on the list for ten years and took up several top spaces forcing the creation of a separate children’s list to make room for other titles.

Harry Potter has been in the lime light since the first book was released to great acclaim in 1997. Since then, with each book and subsequent film release the series became the most successful movie franchise of all time. Harry Potter has become part of our culture. Tourists flock to the various locations where Harry Potter was filmed, from London’s Leadenhall Market which is the entrance to ‘Diagon Alley’, to Alnwick Castle near Newcastle, which starred as the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two films.

Although the series has come to an end and the films have all been released, Pottermania remains in full swing. The much anticipated release of the Pottermore website gives fans an online experience to share and participate in the stories and discover previously unreleased information from JK herself. After her revelation about Dumbledore, who knows what she will reveal next? Readers can also, for the first time, purchase Harry Potter e-books from the Pottermore site, so there is still plenty to keep the Potterheads happy.

When pressed on Dumbledore’s love life, JK explained that Dumbledore was smitten with Gellert Grindelwald in his youth. Grindelwald held racist beliefs and was making plans for wizards to rule and to suppress the muggles (non-magical people). At the time, Dumbledore was infatuated by the wizard who was as talented as himself. The youthful obsession was over very quickly and eventually Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in a battle between good and evil. Dumbledore realised he was being a fool, not for being in love with a male but for putting his trust in the wrong person. “Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” said Rowling.

Following the announcement on Dumbledore’s sexuality, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “It’s good that children’s literature includes the reality of gay people, since we exist in every society.” And a spokesman for Stonewall added: “It’s great that JK has said this. It shows that there’s no limit to what gay and lesbian people can do, even being a wizard headmaster.”

Not surprisingly, some people believe JK Rowling should have kept Dumbledore’s sexuality a secret. As well as homophobes and some religious fanatics, some of these critics were fans who felt hurt that they had failed by missing this in the books. Some were parents who were faced with explaining homosexuality to their young children. A few days after the declaration Rowling was asked in an interview with the BBC if she thought a gay person could be a moral compass. She replied: “I think it’s ludicrous that we’re asking that in the 21st century.”

Even some gay readers were not happy with the revelation. Love conquers all is a strong theme throughout the books and most of the other lead characters meet their soul mates at an early age and go on to have happy heterosexual relationships. But the only gay character, Dumbledore, has a negative experience with the wayward Grindelwald and goes on to live the rest of his life celibate. So not really a happy ever after ending for the gay hero.

For many readers, Dumbledore’s sexuality was not that obvious from the books and therefore some people feel they should have been left to make up their own minds. However, JK herself believes that many adult fans had spotted that Dumbledore’s feelings for Grindelwald were an infatuation while children and other readers just saw their relationship as a very devoted friendship.

Despite his misguided youthful experiences with the delinquent Grindelwald, Dumbledore is a fantastic role model, and it can only be positive that Rowling did not hesitate in answering about the character’s sexuality when questioned. Dumbledore is the moral advisor to Harry and the other students and the most successful headmaster of Hogwarts. JK has shown he can be gay, and still be wise, kind, honest and the greatest wizard of all time.

Although Harry is the main character, readers and Potter film fanatics recognise Dumbledore as Harry’s mentor and guide. The brains behind the operations, he is central to the success of the boy wizard. Dumbledore is beloved by the masses, from children who grew up with the books to adults captivated by the magic. That this character, known and loved by millions across the globe, is homosexual marks a massive step forward for gay rights.

How to Blag Your Way Into Coolville

A dork’s guide to being cool.

Some people are just plain cool. Unfortunately, most of us are not! This blog will allow even the nerdiest amongst us to experience the alluring world of cool. The key to coolness is copying the crowds. Follow these six simple steps to fit in with the popular people and shake off those geeky friends.

1. Dress to Impress

The first step to appearing cool is to wear the right brands. The easiest way to do this is to copy the crowd. Hang around outside Hollister. Wait for a group of young, cool looking kids and follow them in.

Stick close to the group and make note of the items they pick up and approve of. Once they have moved away, swoop in and examine the garments. To save money, only buy outer wear such as hoodies or jackets, where the logo will be clearly visible. That way you can still wear your Star Wars t-shirt underneath and no-one will ever know.

Beware: The staff will say hello and make friendly chat. Just return the greeting and walk away, they do not really want to be your friend or hear about your day.

Top Tip: Wear dark sunglasses while outside the shop. Once inside, remove your shades. Your eyes should now be adjusted to the dim lighting allowing you to see the colour of the clothes you are purchasing.

2. Word up

It is important you know the current slang. Using last year’s lingo could easily expose your inner geek. Now you have your Hollister hoodie, you should be safe to approach the skate park without being beaten up. Take a seat on the bench and listen to the language used.

Do not get out your X-men comic, this will only attract unwanted attention. Instead, put in some ear phones and pretend to be listening to some hot tunes. Make note of whether the words are used to mean good or bad. Now impress your peers with your new cool vocabulary.

Beware: Be careful who you use this street talk with. While skaters may praise each other by exclaiming a trick was ‘sick’, the old lady next door will be horrified if you declare her much loved Jack Russell is sick, even if you meant it as a compliment.

3. Music

Knowing what tunes are in, and more importantly knowing what is out, is crucial to keep your cool demeanour alive. Again, the key to this is copying the crowd. Find out what the cool people are listening to, by using apps like Shazam. Wander up when cool people are showing off their tunes and let Shazam work out what is playing.

It is important to be able to rattle off some cool band names if asked what you are listening to. No-one need know that the Dungeons and Dragons audio book is really playing through your headphones.

Top Tip: Wear big headphones. These say I’m too cool to talk to you. My music is far more interesting. This should prevent you from being questioned.

4. What are you chatting about?

Repeat the mantra: The key to coolness is copying the crowd. What are the cool people talking about? Put your big headphones on and do a spot of eaves-dropping.

Topics are likely to be about sports, X-box games, fashion or music. Observe conversations initially and then utilise your nerd skills to research some key facts about the topics enabling you to join in next time. Note: Only research key facts, no one will be impressed by a spread-sheet detailing all of the Premiership player appearances and statistics since the league began.

5. Places to be

Now you have some basic knowledge of the cool people’s past times you will know where to find them and hang out. Join a sports club. Go to the shops they have mentioned or to the cinema to see the film they were talking about.

Top Tip: Sit next to the cool people wherever you can, in the canteen, in the cinema or in the bar. Passers-by will assume you are part of the group thus elevating your social status.

Beware: Your street credibility could crash back to zero if you are seen going into Chess Club.

6. Party Time

Now you have some cool clothes and know the cool crowd better it’s time to turn that funky music up and throw a party!

Only invite the cool people. That means leaving your old geeky friends behind but don’t worry they will be quite happy playing World of Warcraft at home.

Join in with the chat, try out your new lingo, relax and enjoy your new status.

Top Tip: Rig up a device at the end of the street to play a loud police siren, and flash blue lights, remotely controlled from your mobile. Once activated, the crowd will scarper. This allows you to end the party at your convenience, whilst ensuring the party is remembered for the foreseeable future.

Congratulations. You are now cool

So you have made it to coolness by following these easy steps. From now on it’s easy, just continue copying the crowd and don’t feel bad about ditching your dorky childhood pals. It’s for their own good. If they want to be your friend they will have to turn cool and who better to learn from, than the newly crowned King of Cool. That’s you.

The Real Match Report

So this Sunday, I handed my notepad to Laura Melling, aka Lemming, to record any notable incidents during the game. The following report tells the match events from a slightly different angle:

Fulbourn Bluebirds vs Huntingdon Ladies – League Cup – 21st Oct 2012

Lemming, ate her Freddo while the substitutes and supporters made their score predictions for the match. Hollie was very optimistic, foreseeing an 11-1 win for Huntingdon. The manager’s son Jack had chips but everyone else was disappointed he didn’t share.

Ex Town keeper, Laura Gilbey, arrived to watch and chat about dogs as she misses us so badly. The small crowd got excited when a phone said, ‘Potato.’

On the pitch, exciting events were occurring. A Fulbourn goal was disallowed, Stef Day won a header by leaping through the air like a salmon and Rachael Bowd, aka Bowdy, made a tackle without fouling. The phone then said, ‘Potato,’ again, bringing everyone’s attention back to the sidelines.

Claire Knox, aka Knoxie, taught everyone that penguins mate for life and that the boy penguin gives the girl penguin the best pebble he can find from the beach. At half time, Lemming enjoyed a coffee while Abbey opted for a cup of tea.

In the second half, there was a moment of horror as Jo McGoff’s goal kick almost hit an unsuspecting dog. Both managers made the most of the repeat substitution rule. Players were rolled on and off the pitch. Emma Clarke was rolled back on but didn’t have a shirt so Jo Bull, aka Jo Bull, had to hand hers over as she rolled off the pitch. The referee threatened to report us for not having enough shirts.

Back on the pitch, Emma made it into the penalty box but fell over. Lemming’s shouts for a penalty were ignored. Just as it seemed the game was heading for extra time Karen Williams, aka Tyson, popped up with a headed goal to send Huntingdon through to the next action packed round of the league cup.

The official match report can be found by clicking here. Which do you think is best?

Some People are Vegetarian – Get Over It!

Let’s get it all out in the open now. I’ll admit it, come clean and out of the closet. Please don’t be shocked, scared or angry. I’m vegetarian! No big deal. I just choose not to eat meat.

However, my choice seems to worry, offend or confuse some people and the apparently shocking news often provokes the need for a barrage of questions.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind general curiosity questions such as how long I have been vegetarian or whether I cook with quorn or tofu. Those are fine. It’s when the questioning goes into my moral values that really gets my goat.

Understandably, some meat lovers are concerned I will frown upon them for eating meat around me. I won’t. Then there are people who think I will try to turn them off their meat with talk of animal rights or the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. Fear not. I don’t care if people eat meat, are vegan, gluten free or a cannibal, well maybe that last one would bother me, but you get the idea. People can eat what they like. That is their choice. And that is my point.

My real beef is when people quiz and question me with bouts of never ending questions and arguments about my choice not to eat meat. A typical line of inquiry goes something like this: “Why don’t you eat meat? Do you eat chicken? Do you eat fish?”

But then comes the real interrogation, “Are you into animal rights?” And then my real bug bears, “Do you wear leather? Do you eat polos or haribo?”

If I happen to fail this cross examination I will probably be accused of being a hypocrite.

A hypocrite? I have never claimed to be saving the world or every animal. All I am saying is I don’t eat meat!

The point is, I would never dream of asking someone why they ate meat. In the same way as I wouldn’t ask someone which party they vote for. It’s a personal choice and none of my business. I don’t want to get into a moral debate every mealtime. I just don’t eat meat. That is all.

Huntingdon Town Ladies FC Are Set for a New Start

ImageThe 2012-13 season marks a new start for Huntingdon Town Ladies FC. After twenty years in the Eastern Region Women’s League the club have decided to switch to the S-Tech Cambridgeshire Women’s League. Huntingdon got off to a good start yesterday (Sunday 2nd Sept) with an 8-0 win over Wisbech St Mary Yellow.

The club formed twenty years ago when women’s teams were few and far between and travelling across the region to play against other teams was a necessity. Now, after the huge growth in women’s football there are more good quality local teams and the Huntingdon players are looking forward to playing against some new opposition.

Full match reports can be found here.

Just saying…