The Anonymous Widower

Match Five – Derby 1 – Ipswich 1

Derby is one of the easier grounds to get to from the excellent rail station, in that it’s just about a walk of about ten minutes.

Today though, I went via Oakham to have lunch with a friend, so I had to change trains twice at Peterborough and Leicester. Both changes were the ones that should be avoided, where you have to climb up one set of steps and then down to another platform. There were lifts, but in some places on the rail network, we’re seeing reorganising, that mean the up and downs are minimised. We need more innovative thinking.

Oakham is a small simple station, with a pub and brewery attached, so it’s a good place to meet for business or pleasure.

Oakham Station

Oakham Station

The picture shows the station from the footbridge. In the distance you can just see the infamous level crossing, that is a pain to people living in the town. The signal box there was used as a model for the Airfix kit.

After an excellent lunch at the Finches near Oakham, I arrived a few minutes late at Derby and thought I’d buy my return ticket before the match.

£141 - You Must Be Joking!

£141 – You Must Be Joking!

This was the only ticket offered by East Midlands Trains. A First Anytime Single at £141.

For Ipswich fans, the match was overshadowed by the news that David McGoldrick is leaving for Leicester. If he had played, the result might have been different as a couple of chances missed in the second half, were possibly the sort, he wouldn’t have missed.

But if Mick McCarthy has got the reported eight million for McGoldrick, then turning round the player’s career and getting half a season out of him for Town, has been good business for all concerned. Let’s hope Mick can resurrect Conor Sammon‘s career in the same way.

The match was enlivened by the debut of Ted Bishop, who after a quiet first half, started to create trouble for Derby in the second half. In dealing with him in one instance, Derby gave away the free kick that led to Ipswich’s equaliser. One shot from distance and another he had when he came on as a substitute at Crawley, show that he might have some serious talent in the future as a scorer from midfield,  in the manner of Matt Holland. In some ways, the shot today, was reminiscent of some from Ipswich’s legend Ted Phillips, who I saw score several goals in the early 1960s.

When Bishop tired, he was replaced by Alex Henshall, who showed he could torment the Derby defence.

So two youngsters with a combined age of 38, showed the Ipswich fans, that this season might not be in the dire mould of some of recent memory.

I eventually got home with a ticket that cost £42.90, which was just forty pence more than their on-line price and £2.70 more than the sum of my two tickets to get to Derby. But why don’t East Midlands Trains make their ticket machines easier to use. The trouble was that I tried to buy a ticket via EMTrains, rather than Any Permitted Route on the machine. But as East Midland Trains was the operator I needed for London, surely my choice was logical.

Incidentally, on the train to London, I sat with a Derby fan, who said that for Tuesday night matches he reluctantly had to drive, as there is no late London-bound train after the match.

I don’t find East Midlands Trains good value and avoid them, if I possibly can.


August 30, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Disappearing Balances

One of my old school friends came round last night for a drink and a chat. At one point, I used my letter balance to weigh something.

My All-Purpose Balance

My All-Purpose Balance

They said, that at the University, where he works, they have given up on expensive weighing machines and now use cheap letter balances, as the students nick them, to weigh out their drugs.

Such is University life these days!

August 30, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment