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Played golf with my friend John at Overstone GC in Northampton. Had the best round of the summer! It's crazy how badly you can play one week and then another hardly put a foot wrong. Shot 76 which is 4 over par and 6 under my 10 handicap! It's the first time all summer I've played under my handicap before I get called a bandit!
That's my last game before we go back training on Monday. The summer is closing in but it's been a good break.
Followed up a few things from the meeting the night before and got the grass cut! Also had a few e-mails to reply to, so it was a catching up day. Fitted a run in as well before breakfast and then a Tescos run of a different kind!
Returned this afternoon from Spain. The kids are straight back into their activities, with Tash off to do ballet and Ryan having a friendly football match in the evening. Couldn't watch him as we had organised a Testimonial meeting for the night.
The meeting went well but the weather outside was quite an event in itself! Thunder, lightening and torrential rain all around and it followed us up the motorway as we drove home. Finally got home about 11.30 after dropping off the babysitter.
Off back to Spain again with some different friends this time. Went to the same area so we could see Andrew and Lisa a bit more (Jane's brother).
Kevin and I met when I was playing for Colchester United, the team he Supports. We played a pre-season cricket match at Abberton, who Kev played for. Got chatting afterwards with a few of the cricketers and ended up playing for a few years with them! They were great times when the football season and cricket seasons didn't overlap as much so I used to play a lot of cricket.
We have been great friends since and now he lives just up the road from my mother and father in law with his wife Tina and two boys.
Spent a lot of time in the pool and also had a trip to a water park, which was fun. The girls had the odd shop and the men a game of golf but mostly relaxing.
Other friends from Wootton also were staying in the area, so we got together a couple of nights with them. They travelled out on my birthday and I was going to meet them at the airport about 2.15pm. They had a torrid time as their plane had problems so in the end they didn't arrive until 11.30pm!!
I'm glad to say that things only got better for them after that!
Got a late call to play golf in a golf society at Cold Ashby. Really hot but good fun but had to shoot off before the meal as we were going down to the concert at the ground.
What a great night. Saw lots of players and friends from football - Stevie Palmer, Kenny Jackett and his wife Sam, Nigel and Heidi Gibbs, Heidar and Mrs H, Wrighty and Fiona, plus all the other friends that we sat with in the Rookery.
Before the concert I was fortunate enough to be asked to meet Sir Elton in the Directors' Lounge. Had a little chat and a photo taken which will be on the website in a week or so. Sir Elton (who knew all about my testimonial), made a very kind gesture of offering a stage outfit for me to use as an auction item at one of my testimonial events.
We had seen him twice before but it was all the more special being at Vicarage Road. It was incredible atmosphere and he gave a fantastic performance.
Quiet morning in the garden - getting the garden furniture treated and cleaned in case we do have some sun!!
In the afternoon Anthony Matthews from the Watford Observer came up to Northampton for a "chat" about my time at Watford. This went on for about 3 hours (well, lots has happened in my 9 plus years at this club!!).
Went over to Dyche's house to meet the new arrival. Sean and Jane had a beautiful baby girl on Tuesday. Luckily she looks like her mother!
Had an evening with friends over at Sywell at a Charity Ball which was excellent and the band there got us all dancing.
Early start for golf (7.36 tee time) but get a bit wet with more rain that wasn't forecast. Got stuffed on the course but had a good social!
Quiet night in preparing for tomorrows big do!
Get a game of golf in when the rain finally stops. In the evening Nick and Fiona Wright came over for a meal and a catch up. We still see them regularly and everyone will be glad to know that they are doing well. Nick is a manager of a Phones4U shop in Milton Keynes while Fi has the job of taking care of their boys.
Quiet days at home getting the rest of the furniture stained in the garden. Boring!!
Had some great news from Sean and Jane as their second child arrives early this afternoon. It's a girl!!
Natasha and Jane are doing the Race For Life at Towcester races. Great atmosphere as all the girls are cheered around the course. It feels like winter though and a cup of tea hits the spot on our return! I'm sure they will enter next year as they enjoyed the occasion. Loads of money raised for cancer so a great cause.
Jane is up and away bright and early for the Roade tournament. She has coached netball at Ryan's school since we came back to Northampton. Not expecting any great result but get a phone call late morning to say that they won all their games and have won the shield! Me and the kids had been in town getting a few bits so we made our way to Roade for the presentation.
Jane's family come up in the afternoon so spend the rest of the day in the garden painting the garden furniture! Not really the highlight of my summer!!
In the evening I met up with Dychey and a few of his neighbours for a few drinks in town.
Out for a run before breakfast for about 25 mins. Try to do something most days now to keep ticking over.
In the early evening the chamberlain clan descend on the Dyches' for a great b-b-q. Kids do well to last until about 11pm! Plenty to catch up on with Sean as he and Jane count down the days until their second child is born.
Committee meeting for the Testimonial in the evening to press on with all aspects of the match on the 30th July.
A golf day to attend at Mentmore Golf and Country Club! What a hardship! The sun is out and it's a lovely place to be in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Played well but two of the team had a bit of a disaster so we didn't get in the prizes. Really enjoyed the day though and drove home as the sun was setting - glorious.
The kids go back to school today and are looking forward to seeing their friends again. Jane is back to work as well so I'm home alone with the grass to cut and general jobs to catch up on!
The weather is a bit warmer than when we landed when it was freezing!
Early start as flight left at 7.40 am. However to arrive in Spain to sunshine made getting up early worthwhile. Kids dived straight into the pool while Jane and I found the sunbeds! We went away with our good friends from Northampton. Keith and I played together for Colchester United, back in the 80's but we have kept in touch and the families get on great and have been going away together since 1988.
Kids had a great time in the pool and were able to practice their Spanish in the local restaurants and shops. Ryan took the men down to the local park most afternoons with Keith's son Jack for our version of the "cross bar challenge".
On the Sunday we got tickets to the "Mestelle" stadium to watch Valencia play their last game of the season against Ossasuna. What a stadium that is! The children enjoyed the experience of seeing another football ground - and a different type of football to that even in the Premiership. Ryan and Jack both thought that the game was very skilful. Both goalkeepers played well (that is obviously who I watch) and it looked like being a goalless draw but Valencia popped up with a winner with about 15 minutes to go despite Ossasuna arguably being the better side on the night.
Won't bore you with the rest of my holiday details except to say that we did see lots of sunshine and I played golf with Keith and Andrew - my brother in law - on his birthday. Andrew lives in Spain with his wife and we stayed nearby them.
Also continued with my summer programme of training and got up and ran early in morning before it got too hot. Will be different running now over here as we noticed the temperature drop when we stepped off the plane this lunch time.