Jobs For The Boy


No, no, no... rest assured, this isn't a post about jobs that only men can do, it's all about the things that my 2YO son does and what career(s) he might forge based on my recent observations. Whilst he does play with typical toys that might suggest wanting to become a fireman, astronaut or footballer, I want to pick out the more obscure careers that he might be interested in.

We’ll start off with an easy one. For Christmas we bought him a little play kitchen and he loves making us all sorts of foods and won’t take no for an answer. Perhaps he’ll become a maître d' at a top restaurant, or perhaps a chef in a greasy spoon cafe.

He's recently got some jungle animal snap cards and last night, whilst playing a game with my mum (his nanny), he started shuffling the cards unprompted, so obviously he's practising to be a Croupier in Las Vegas.

One of his favourite things to play with (and has been since he was young) are plastic food bag clips, we call them 'nippers'.  In recent weeks he's started using them to shave anyone that's nearby with his nipper. Perhaps he's developing his skills to be a barber / hairdresser?

On Saturday morning, he opened his money box and was putting the coins into piles, resembling a certain Christmas character. Maybe, just maybe, he could be the next accountantbusiness man or entrepreneur like Ebenezer Scrooge, at least he could have a book written about him!

Earlier he started squeezing my arm, no reason why just being a toddler, but maybe it’s the beginnings of a career as a masseuse?

With all these ideas floating around my head, I've not even consider what the job market will look like in 20 years when he'll start looking, and who knows what it will be like in 60+ years when he retires!


I'm sure with Baby Girl on the way in a few months, I'll do a 'Jobs for the Girl' post when she's a similar age and look at if things have changed for my son.

My Sunday Photo - Train’s Late


I'm trying to make sure I participate each week in #MySundayPhoto. My Sunday Photo is run by Photalife to showcase your favourite photos you have taken in the past week.

This photograph was taken on Monday morning as I strolled around Shrewsbury railway station, waiting for my train to arrive. Seeing the slight frost on the tracks and the sunrise in the distance, I raised my phone (the only camera to hand) to take a couple of snaps.


I like the way the track, platform and roof all lead into a vanishing point just off centre, also the colours generated from the sunrise and it's reflection on the stationary carriages to the right of the picture.





Shrewsbury Town 0 - 0 West Ham United | FA Cup Round Three | 07/01/2017


Pre-match

After beating Morecambe in round two of the FA Cup, Shrewsbury Town were drawn out to play West Ham United at home. At the time it felt like a good draw as West Ham were struggling in the Premier League and Shrewsbury were flying high in League One, but following a change in manager West Ham’s fortunes had improved and the defensive mistakes were being minimised.

Shrewsbury struggled with a mini slump in mid-December but regained their momentum over the festive period by taking 10 points from a possible 12. The match day squad included Max Lowe who had joined from Derby County on loan until the end of the season. There was a bit of a surprise when the teams were announced as Dean Henderson's name was included, having not been given permission to play in the last round.

West Ham came to Shrewsbury with mixed form having held some of the top premier league sides but losing to some of their fellow strugglers. The game saw West Ham manager David Moyes return to the club he played for back in the 1980’s and also the return of Joe Hart who was born in the town and started his career coming through the Shrewsbury youth teams.

Teams
Shrewsbury Town: Henderson; Bolton, Sadler, Nsiala, Beckles; Godfrey; Whalley (Gnahoua 88), Ogogo, Nolan, Rodman (Lowe 76); C. Morris (Payne 82)
Subs: Lowe, Dodds, Gnahoua, John-Lewis, MacGillivray, B Morris, Payne

West Ham United: Hart, Burke, Rice, Reid (Quina 86), Ogbonna, Masuaku, Kouyate, Obiang, Cullen, Chicharito (Martinez 71), Ayew.
Subs: Adrián, Haksabanovic, Martínez, Quina, Samuelsen, Neufville, Makasi

First Half
Shrewsbury fashioned the first opportunity of the game as Ben Godfrey connected with a Shaun Whalley freekick, although Joe Hart gathered from the toe of James Bolton averting the potential danger.

West Ham were making the most of the challenges put in by Shrewsbury, but there was a break in play as Mat Sadler clashed heads with Andre Ayew. The knock on the head must have left him concussed as a few minutes later he burst forward from centre back, riding a few challenges, before unleashing a left footed shot across goal that Hart pushed away, fortunately to a teammate.

The next chance fell the way of Alex Rodman, who cut in from the left and drew a good save from Hart, all after some concerted pressure by Salop. Omar Beckles also had an effort at goal as he brought down a clearance and riffled a shot just over the bar.

Second Half
Early in the second half Mat Sadler had to disappear down the tunnel to get some further attention to the cut sustained from the clash in the first half. There was some additional medical attention required for Cullen as Abu Ogogo caught him in the mouth - he lost a tooth in the incident.

Obiang had West Ham's first shot, dancing through the Shrewsbury defence but he then dragged his shot well wide.

Jon Nolan was presented with an opportunity to take the lead, as Stefan Payne won a tackle on the byline and pulled the ball back to debutante Max Lowe. Lowe darted into the box and slipped a pass to Nolan, he unleashed a shot, but it was wild and over the bar.

Final Thoughts
In truth, the game is mostly to be remembered by the two incidents that left players bleeding. I had been concerned in recent weeks that West Ham were going to turn up looking to prove they had improved, but Shrewsbury kept them at arms length for the vast majority of the game.  Joe Hart was the more occupied goalkeeper, as Shrewsbury created the better opportunities and had the better of the match.

I was thoroughly disappointed by West Ham as they didn't look interested in the game and rarely threaten the Shrewsbury goal, but both sides will get another chance to progress at the London Stadium in the replay.

Man of the Match - Mat Sadler
In a game where the opposition had a number of international attackers, Mat Sadler dominated them to the point whereby they hardly had a shot. Alongside Toto Nsiala, Sadler marshalled the West Ham attack, winning tackles and headers throughout the game. Having sustained a head injury in the first half, I'm sure his bandaged head will become an iconic image in years to come.



My Sunday Photo - Shining Bright



Hopefully in 2018 I’ll find more opportunities to take some photographs to participate in #MySundayPhoto.  My Sunday Photo is run by Photalife to showcase your favourite photos you have taken in the past week.

This photograph was taken late last night (on 6/1/18). Part way through watching Baby Driver [2017], I glanced through to the kitchen and saw the moon low in the sky shining brightly, however when found my camera and raced outside the clouds had come across, covering the moon.  I took a couple of (poor) shots, before heading back inside.  Just as I settled back to watch the rest of the film, I saw the clouds had broken and I ran back outside. I wasn't dressed for the occasion, so I only took a few snaps, and this was the best of them.

I'm hoping that I'll be able to use My Sunday Photo to get back into photography and also track if I'm upping my game. Use the link below to find posts by others linked to the My Sunday Photo tag.


Film Night | Monsters University [2013]


“We’re OK! We’re OK! We’re OK! We’re OK! We’re OK!”

🧟‍♂️

Having started to watch Monsters Inc [2001] over Christmas, I managed to persuade my 2yo to watch the prequel, Monsters University [2013].

Monsters University delves into the backstory of Mike Wazowski, a monster inspired to go to Monster University and become a scarer on a trip to Monsters Inc, and James P. 'Sully' Sullivan, who's family are famous scarers.  After starting university, the two meet after Sully breaks into Mike's room after stealing the team mascot from a rival university. The two are polar opposites when it comes to studying, Mike knows every text book inside out and can quote scarring theory off the top of his head, whereas Sully believes in natural ability. This leads to competition in the lecture room, the pair end up breaking the Dean's scream cylinder leading to them being kicked off their scare course. Mike then makes a deal with the Dean that if he and the rest of his Oozma Kappa can win the Scare Game (a kind of university Olympic games), they will be allowed back on the course. The film focuses on the trials and tribulations of trying to win the Scare Games.

As with all of the Pixar films, the animation is great with all the monsters having really nice detailing in either their scales or fur. Then there's the voice actors, most of which you'll recognise from the earlier film or from other Pixar films.  John Goodman's (Sully) voice lends itself well to a hulking scary monster, Billy Crystal is now synonymous as Mike and the Dean voiced by Helen Mirren is dominating and intimidating.

I liked the first film, but I love the second (this was about the fourth time I've seen it). I had a chat with my son after the film and he rated the film as ‘different good’ , which I guess is a positive, but probably won’t sell many copies of the film!


'Monsters University' [2013] - 4/5

Shrewsbury Town 1 - 0 Oldham Athletic | League One | 01/01/2018


Pre-match
Since the last home match, Shrewsbury Town had picked up 4 points from two difficult away games at Wigan Athletic and Southend United.  This run saw Shrewsbury return to the Montgomery Waters Meadow looking to complete the festive period by gaining 10 points from a possible 12.

Oldham started the game in 19th position, having had a small revival under former Shrewsbury player Ritchie Wellens. Upon looking at the team sheet, the return of Anthony Gerrard (who left under a cloud for Oldham) and Tope Obadeyi both of whom played for Shrewsbury since the move to the New Meadow stood out for me along with striker Craig Davies who started his youth career with Town before becoming a bit of a journeyman of Leagues One and Two.

Teams
Shrewsbury: Henderson; Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles; B Morris (Godfrey 67), Whalley , Nolan, Ogogo, Gnahoua (John-Lewis 77); Payne (C Morris 84)
Subs: Riley, Godfrey, C Morris, John-Lewis, MacGillivray, Adams, Rodman

Oldham Athletic: Placide, Dummigan, Gerrard, Bryan, Hunt, Gardner, Fane (Green 85), Flynn (Holloway 61), Byrne, Obadeyi (Menig 77), Davies

Subs: Wilson, Holloway, Wilson, Menig, Nepomuceno, Green, Maouche

First Half
The first opportunity of the game came from Stefan Payne who forced Oldham goalkeeper Placide in to a good save from 20 yards after Mat Sadler slid the ball through to him from the half-way line.

A neat passage of play saw the impressive Byrne have a shot from 25 yards, but Dean Henderson stopped the initial shot and clutched the ball to his chest at the second attempt.

As Omar Beckles and Abu Ogogo lost possession just on the edge of the Oldham box the ball broke to Arthur Gnahoua, who dipped a shoulder to go past Gerrard and fizz a right footed shot at goal.  Although the goalkeeper blocked the shot the ball broke to Shaun Whalley who score passed the helpless goalkeeper.

Shrewsbury almost sneaked in a second as first Payne had a header pushed away by the keeper, but Ogogo couldn't quite beat Gerrard to the rebound.

Second Half
The second half saw Oldham improve dramatically, and they had the first chance to score as Gerrard flicked a header towards goal from a free kick, only for Henderson to stop the attempt on the goal line.

Shrewsbury's first attempt of the second half came from a Shaun Whalley corner which found it's way to Toto Nsiala whose side-footed shot flew inches over the crossbar.

Oldham were growing in confidence as Shrewsbury sat back on their lead and Byrne again came close to scoring as his bobbling shot almost tricked Henderson, who just scrambled the ball around his post for a corner.

Shortly afterwards the Oldham fans and players had a strong case for a penalty as Byrne played a quarterback style pass forwards to Davies who brought the ball down (possibly using his arm in my opinion) got bumped by Nsiala and he then fell to the floor. I've seen them given in other games.

Final Thoughts
After the first (and as it turned out only) goal of the game, I was thinking that if a second was scored quickly the game would turn into a rout and it could easily see another two or three goals after that. Shrewsbury were dominant and Oldham decidedly average.  However, despite a few forays forward in the second half, Oldham were the ones dictating play and even a shift in formation didn't see Shrewsbury recover their composure

The result did mean they finished the festive period unbeaten, close the gap to Wigan to two points and extend their lead over Blackburn Rovers in third to five points.  Next up sees West Ham United make their first trip to the Montgomery Waters Meadow in the FA Cup next Sunday, Blackpool in the EFL Trophy and a potentially season defining game against Blackburn the following Saturday, that could see the gap to third build to a massive eight points.

Man of the Match - Arthur Gnahoua & Dean Henderson
In a proper game of two halves, I've decided to split my MotM between Arthur Gnahoua and Dean Henderson.

Until the half time whistle, Gnahoua was really impressed me particularly as it was only his second start at this level.  It was his shot that resulted in the only goal of the game but he looked a threat whenever he ran at pace towards the defenders.  But in the second half he didn't look the same player, but Dean Henderson really stood out with several good saves to preserve his clean sheet.

2018 New Years Resolutions


...So last year i tried setting myself a number of New Year's resolutions and, being honest, I didn't do very well against them (you can read up on how many i achieved here) and i tried to do too many resolutions in one go. For this year I'm going to keep it simple by only having a couple of resolutions to keep to.

These are my five resolutions:
  1. Be more active in the blogging community - Each week I'll seek out a number (3) of Dad Bloggers to read their latest posts and leave them a comment. I'm also going to participate in at least one blog related Twitter Chat each month.
  2. Have a family day out each month - This resolution has a dual purpose, firstly it will be nice to go out a family to explore new places (or even revisit old ones) and secondly it should provide me with some great content to share with you.
  3. Take better care of myself - A resolution that most people will have if they want to shift a few pounds.  I'm going to try and be lighter at the end of the year than the start, but aim to lose a stone (measurable and achievable...?). Also, keep on top of things like having a shave and getting a haircut when I need them rather than making excuses not to get my arse in to gear.
  4. Post more regularly to my blog - probably the most relevant to this forum, I want to get back to posting more regularly on my blog about family things. A combination of things meant recently I haven't posted as regularly as I was in the first half of the year, so I'll aim to get at least one post out a week.
  5. Watch the top 10 movies listed on IMDBs top 250 movies list - People always looked shocked at the films I've not seen (The Godfather and Jaws to name but two), so I want to rectify that starting with the top ten according to IMDB and it's members.
I've also got three other things that I'm going to try and do in the upcoming year:
  • Give up drinking cola - Over Christmas I didn't feel very well and i attributed that to having drunk too much cola in the lead up to Christmas. For that reason, I'm 'giving up' cola for as long as I can. I would rather this was for lent, but needs must and I'll see how long I can stick it out.
  • Complete my Pokedex in Pokemon Go - I've enjoyed playing Pokemon Go since it's release and I made it my goal to complete my Pokedex. Generally I've kept up with the Pokemon that have been released, but there are still a few I'm missing so I'm going to continue trying to catch them all (to coin a phrase). NB - To complete the Pokedex, I'm not including Mewtwo (until I get an EX raid pass) and regional exclusives unless they migrate to accessible places to me as I don't currently have funds set aside to travel to catch Pokemon.
  • Be the best father I can - I'm so proud of how my 2yo is turning out, and with a little sister on the way, I want to be the best father I can - hence wanting to go for days out to treat them.  I've learnt a lot from my first child which I can hopefully take forward in the raising of my daughter when she arrives in April.
Five resolutions, plus three extras, for 2018 feel more achievable and I should be able to provide updates more easily than last year.  Honestly, I start out with good intentions but sometimes life gets in the way, so I'm intending to do a month review post (that's one of my posts per month sorted!).

Let me know in the comments below if you think I'll keep to my resolutions.