Do you want to know the real reason I haven’t been writing as many blog posts recently?  It is definitely not because I have been extra busy in the last month.

Well, here it is, my confession to you. I’ve become addicted to the TV show LOST. I know, I know, it first came out in 2004 and the series ended in 2010 or something, but I never watched it back then.

Who would argue with that?

Who would argue with that?

I’ve decided that the economic recession can be traced back to the rise of Netflix – it makes it far to easy to access and watch movies, shows, documentaries…you name it. One hour easily turns into an afternoon, a day, a weekend, a week, a month without you even realizing it. The worst part with the TV shows is that you don’t even have to put in the effort to change it to the next episode, it just goes right too it. Productivity and innovation go down, so income goes down, so spending goes down, so those who don’t have Netflix have no one to sell too.

Netflix is just like that friend – we all have one – who brings you a second beer just before you finish your first, even though you told him explicitly that you were only having one. In fact, that was the only condition under which you agreed to come out during a week night. But now, it’s just sitting there in front of you. How can you say no?

Famous last words: “Just ONE more”

Just one more....

Just one more….

In any case, now that I have solved the economic recession, I will say that LOST is a ridiculously captivating show and the intricacy of the plot is incredible. I find that the best TV shows, the ones that are especially addicting and well thought out, start to become a reference point in your everyday life. In other words, you go crazy.


“Oh yea, I heard someone won Mega-millions, just like Hurley did before he crashed on the Island.”

“It’s so weird how [insert random friend] has been doing a John Locke, he’s always disappearing and doing things without telling anyone.”

“I love Charlie and Clair’s relationship, I think it’s so realistic with all the ups and downs, I want one just like that.”

“Arrg, my boss reminds me of Jack, he’s so controlling and makes decisions without asking us for our opinion.”

“So, who do you think is the Sawyer of our group of friends?”

Etc, and so on…I know it’s pathetic isn’t it?

Come on you know you’ve done it!

In my defense, the weather has been absolutely dreadful throughout March and I really just didn’t have anything fun or interesting to write about. It was my dog days of winter, incredibly dreadful (I can see your eyes rolling as you say, “oh here he goes about the weather again…get over it”).

Well, since April’s come the weather has improved slightly and the longer days (daylight savings was March 30th over here) provide me with more time to be outside. Also, since Lent’s over, I am drinking more coffee, which should be self explanatory. In case it’s not, it means that I have been peeing more, but I also attribute it to my renewed energy and zeal for watching LOST!

Anyway, since it was a nice day today, I decided to take a walk around the island to explore, like Sayid would (LOST reference in case you don’t know Sayid…gosh!). By that of course, I meant, I decided to go on a nice long bike ride to explore Yorkshire.

I took the train down to Leeds and started my journey just outside the city center. The main part of my journey was along the Towpath of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal. According the valued source Wikipedia:

“The Leeds and Liverpool Canal is a canal in Northern England, linking the cities of Leeds and Liverpool. Over a distance of 127 miles (204 km), it crosses the Pennines, and includes 91 locks on the main line. It has several small branches, and in the early 21st century a new link was constructed into the Liverpool docks system.”

For the most part it was really lovely. The canal meanders through mixed landscapes and scenery; sometimes leaving you in peaceful seclusion in the English countryside, with no soul in site; sometimes inviting you through pleasant towns and houseboat communities, bustling with activity; and at its worst, dragging you through some less scenic industrial areas.

The historic Saltaire Mill is located directly on the canals, but unfortunately I failed to get any good pictures of it. Though I have stolen one that you can see here:

Salts Mill near Shipley

Salts Mill near Shipley

Another point of interest is the Five Rise Locks (not to be confused with Locke from LOST) located in Bingley. A canal lock is essentially an elevator for boats. While there are numerous Locks along the route, this one was by far the most impressive, and on top of that, I got to see it in use! I snapped a number of pictures with my super duper trusty 2  megapixel cellphone camera, most of which you can see in the slideshow at the end, but here is a little preview:

Five Rise Lock

Five Rise Lock

Five Rise - The details

Five Rise – The details

I followed the canal for over 20 miles over mixed terrain. Some of it was nicely tarmacked and smooth, but the further I got from the cities, the less maintained it became. At one point, I was essentially off-roading on a muddy footpath, but that’s only because I wanted to stay along the canal and not follow the sign with a bike on it that pointed toward the nearby road. Way to badass to follow signs!

The best part about following the canal is that the route is quite flat. The only hills come when you pass the various Locks along the way, but they are steep and sudden and don’t wear you out.

I did eventually have to get back on the road as I had to circle back toward home. This part of the route brought me over what I believe to be Rombalds Moor (a Moor is essentially a big, long, flat hill with low undergrowth), from the Aire River Valley, to the Wharfe River Valley. The first segment of this leg of the journey was painfully slow as it was a long incline into the wind. After much huffing and puffing I made it to the top and began my descent…after taking a few pics for you, of course (the best excuse for a break).

I decided to take a quick detour out to Bolton Abbey tea shops for some tea and cakes. The quick detour was about 6 extra miles, which my legs told me was unnecessary, but stomachs insatiable need for cakes spurred me on.

For the record, I did not enjoy my cake and my coffee was far too small. My legs were right.

Since I did the detour to Bolton Abbey, I justified stopping in Ilkley and taking the train back home to Guiseley for the final leg (about 7 miles) of the trip. Weak and tired me was easily persuaded that this was the best course of action.

FYI, I never actually got lost during this lovely trip – said every guy ever

All in all, I think I put in about 35 miles of Yorkshire ground behind me. It was quite enjoyable and I would definitely do the route again…maybe next time the other way, just to mix it up. I was fascinated by the canal and it’s locks. I often marvel at the incredible feats of engineering that were accomplished before the development of modern machinery.

Here are my shots from the day:

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Football update

Fortunately, the title for this post is not relevant to the recent football results. After the rough patch that we hit throughout February and early May, we have managed to balance the ship. We have recorded 5 wins and 1 tie in the last 6 games. We sit comfortably in 2nd place and are slowly building up momentum for the playoffs, where we hope to earn promotion to the league above. I’ll post more footballing details soon!

Personally, I’m still working hard, but still have not had very much playing time. I am frustrated, of course, as every player wants to play. However, I am confident that it is not down to my effort or ability.

I will do my best to reignite my lost love affair with this dear blog in the coming weeks.

Until then, go head first!



PS: This post is dedicated to three of my brothers who celebrate a birthday this month. Finn, Ronan, and my Godson Aodhan. All of them are great brothers and I am never lost when I get to hang out with them!

Lenten Reflections

Lent 2

Midway through Lent I decided it would be good idea to post my humble reflections on what this Lent meant to me and how I have learned from it. I decided the best time to do that was during Holy Week, so after much procrastination, I am writing this on Holy Saturday evening…essentially the last possible minute!


From the above heading, it may seem that I am about to make a math class out of a Lenten conversation. That isn’t too far from the truth, because one of the main things we observe in Lent is subtraction. We take things out of our life in order to help us appreciate them more, help us understand our own weaknesses, and in the end of it all we hope to grow closer to God. We do this by saying “no” to worldly attractions and give our attention to Christ and his message.

Lent 1

In mathematical terms that is as follows:

Sean – (Chocolate + Coffee) = nicer, more humble, more peaceful, more Christlike Sean

Well, that’s in an ideal world.

Moving on, it is possibly slightly less common to see people add things to their life during Lent. Through addition, we add things to our life that are designed to bring us closer to God. The most basic example is spending more time in prayer. I for one made a special effort during this Lent to get to at least one extra Mass every week, usually Friday. I was also more strict about morning/evening prayer and tried to add in an extra rosary in during the week (to be honest in some weeks, 1 rosary is “extra”). The idea of addition in Lent is really just about spending more time in the presence of, or in conversation with, God.

Next up; division. The classic division class involves a pie. Let’s start with that. We have any number of pies in our life: our finances, our belongings, our relationships, and our time. I think Lent is a great time to look at all those pies and see what parts of them that we can spare for others. You may not be able to give from one pie this lent, but there might be another pie that you can just about empty. For example, my belongings pie is currently very small, but my time pie is big. So, I made an effort, a poor one at that, to give more of my time to others.

I think on a wide level, the most common Lenten reform is the use of subtraction, but realistically addition and division is just as important, but none of these are exlusive by any means. This leads me to a conclusion that defies the laws of mathematics as we know it:

Theory of Lenten Mathematics.

Addition and Subtraction and Division = Multiplication

Multiplication of what? Graces!

Boom! By adding more Christ to our lives, subtracting our wants, and dividing up the gifts we are given, we can multiply our Graces. No wonder they call me Baby Einstein…or is that just my crazy hair?!

In theory, I clearly have this Lent thing down A++!

In practice; however, I think I can realistically say that I barely passed.


I don’t know about you, but as every Lent passes, I always feel like my own self inflicted subtractions, additions, and divisions become a little bit stale. Therefore, it is often nice to get an idea for something from an outside source.

The pastor at the small parish I go to, Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More, would have small lines of the gospel of the day handed out to all the parishioners. He asked us to take these home with us and meditate upon them during the week. This provided me with a great addition from an outside source and I was more than willing to oblige. Below are some of the passages and my brief reflection.

Through wilderness

  • “Through the wilderness” – My meditations often end up, or begin as, pure daydreaming. So, when I first read this passage, I couldn’t help but think of being back in the woods as a young boy in Virginia romping around with my friends on a warm summer day. Upon more serious thought, I realized that “going through the wilderness” is a journey; ultimately a journey to Christ. However, being in the wilderness also entails the notion of being lost, or at least unaware of the way ahead. I thought to myself that this is true for everything in life, we are never sure what lies ahead in our journey. Personally, it made me think about my footballing journey in England. I’m not aware where it will lead, but I must be sure that it can bring me closer to Christ.
  • He did not know what he was saying” – I found this a really humbling passage, because it is so often the case for me (ie: this entire post). Some of the things we argue over, complain about, or believe are important are so often completely irrelevant to God. Yet, he remains patient and kind, while teaching us by word and example what is truly important.Manure
  • “And manure it” – so there is such a thing as “Holy Crap”! Alright borderline blasphemy, I’m sorry. In this passage, the manure is being used as a fertilizer for the fig tree that does not bear fruit (i think), which represents us. So, again, a somewhat humbling passage…we need to be manured when we don’t bear fruit. As a matter of fact, even when we are bearing fruit, we want to ask the gardener to heap even more manure on so we bear even more! I realized that the manure represents those things which we don’t necessarily want to do, but must do in order to become better, more Christlike people (ie: the subtractions, additions, divisions). Ultimately, we need to be manured in order to get to Heaven.
  • “He was lost and is found” – Boy o boy, how many times has this applied to us! Lost everyday me! God is always bestowing me with gifts and I am constantly throwing them away, only to come crawling back (aka: confession). This passage always makes me thankful that we have such a forgiving, providing, and loving God.
  • Week 5 I went to Mass at a the Cathedral in Leeds and did not think to find my own phrase. This helped me realize how useless I am on my own.
  • Week 6 was Palm Sunday and they did not hand them out. However, funnily enough, the part of the Gospel (of the Passion) I remember thinking about was when the Apostle cut off the servants ear. At first I was thinking how hard it would be to cut someone’s ear off without seriously harming the rest of their head. However, upon further reflection I decided that the message was that violence is not the answer to any injustice; even the taking of an innocent Jesus to trial and death.

prodigal son

Well, that is my 6+ weeks of Lent jammed into a small post. Overall, this Lent made me realize how useless I am without the help of God in my life. I must thank him for every little thing he gives me, and ask him to give me strength to fight evil and temptation, because on my own, I can’t even resist a piece of Chocolate…and that my friends is how I know how weak I am.

One last reminder to you all. The Theory of Lenten Mathematics applies all year long, so add, subtract,  and divide so you can multiply those Graces!

I hope you all had a blessed lent.


Have a Happy and Joyous Easter!

I, for one, will be happy to dive into the Easter season head first

Peace in the resurrected Christ!



There are some words in the English language that I always have trouble spelling. Sometimes they are big scary words like “zenzizenzizenic”, but it is just as often everyday words like “tomorrow” – seriously, is it 2 M’s, or 2 R’s, or both?

Spelling Bee

Thanks to modern word processing technology this has become easy to fix in the short term; but, unfortunately, you won’t remember it tomorrow.

It just so happens, coincidentally or not, that the theme, and title, of this very post is one of those words that I can never seem to spell correctly on the first try: miscellaneous. My hope is that, in the end, I will be able to spell the word without second guessing myself and relying on word-check. That, of course, is only the secondary purpose of this article. Entertaining and informing you about my miscellaneous lifestyle is always my primary goal.

The best part about the word miscellaneous is that it covers all bases. This also makes it pretty much useless in certain circumstances. I doubt, for instance, you could use it as an alibi in a court of law. Imagine this conversation:

Prosecuter: “Where were you on the night of March 1st?”
Defendent: “I was at a number of miscellaneous locations”
Prosecuter: “And what was it that you were doing there?”
Defendent: “miscellaneous stuff”
Likely verdict = Guilty


Don’t tell my Dad, but my brother Francis, my friend Mike, and I used the word far too often to explain our activities when we were working for him. Miscellaneous, or “Misc.” for short (yea they can’t spell it either) was often used as the explanation for anything from digging a ditch to “testing” the jet-ski after its spring check-up.

To be fair to us, there were some workdays that were extremely miscellaneous. You just can’t fit; “mowed lawn, stained deck, moved logs – again, tidied up shed – again, cleaned windows; went to store to buy 3 nuts and washers, 1 bag of quick-rete, 4 1/2 two-by-fours, 3 one inch PVC elbows, wood glue; and then finally, fixed the toilet…and made sure it worked”, into a one line explanation on an hour sheet.

“Misc. and used the fixed toilet” pretty much says it all.


You’ve probably guessed by now, but if you were still wondering, my life is currently very miscellaneous. Although that is a fairly accurate answer, I realize it is far from informative. Since I have more than one line on an employee hours sheet, I will try to elaborate upon what the miscellaneous life of a want to be footballer in England is all about.


Surprise, surprise! One of the things I do is play soccer/football. I train once or twice a week with the team, depending on our game schedule. If we have two games in a week, we only train once, if we only have one game we train twice. Training sessions are usually sharp and enjoyable.

The team has recently hit a rough patch of form in games. In our last 5 games we have only won 1, tied 2, and lost 2. Though we are still sitting in second place in the standings, the leaders have a very commanding grasp of first place. Mathmatically speaking we could still catch them, but realistically, it is their title to lose.

I wrote an article on the team website about going through tough times in a season, and from what I’ve heard, it’s worth a read 😉

I have not been getting much game time myself which, of course, is frustrating. However, it is a situation I have personally been in before – and to be honest, most players who play at a high-level, have been in it before. If you don’t let it break you, it will make you.

I believe that one of my problems, as well as one of my strengths, is my versatility. In other words, my position on the field is – wait for it – miscellaneous. I can and have played in every position on the pitch. I was even thrown in goal in High-School once (not recommended). This can be a huge benefit to a team, but it can be hard for the player. If you are back-up to everyone, then you are in front of no one and thus one of the last on the team sheet.

jack of all

In more general terms; “a jack of all trades is a master of nothing”. I’m working hard to become a master of all trades and a jack of nothing!

As always, I have been taking care of myself outside of the team sessions to make sure I am ready when needed. I joined a gym last month for this reason and visit it at least four times a week.

There are plenty of miscellaneous things for me to do there that help me stay fit and healthy; some of my favorite activities are lifting, swimming, sitting in the sauna, and yoga class!

Wait what?!



Yes, you heard it, I started yoga class. So far, I find it a good supplement for the other work that I do. It helps considerably with flexibility and works out little muscles that I often find cause nagging injuries (ie: hip flexors). My opinion is obviously developing, but so far so good!

The most important thing is that I get my touches in with the football. Most days when I don’t have training I try to get at least 1000 touches on the ball. I do all kinds of miscellaneous drills to get them in and find that repetition of basic skills is extremely helpful in being comfortable and confident on the ball in a game environment.

Teaching PE

I am still working part-time in the Physical Education department at the local school. It has been going well and is a great learning experience for me on many different levels.

My responsibilities are, you guessed it, pretty much miscellaneous. I do focus on helping out primarily with the football, but since it is not football during every period – which it arguably should be – I get to help out with other sports as well. As often as not, I am learning  as well as teaching. Luckily there are some overriding themes throughout all sports that can be taught regardless of one’s knowledge of their specific rules and regulations: honesty, teamwork, sportsmanship, hard-work, and humility…just to name a few.

I also took over the year 10 (about Freshman in High-school) school football team, which I really enjoy. They got themselves into a stick of trouble earlier in the year and thus lost game privileges, so it is just training for now. So far they have been excellent and if they keep up the good work, I am hoping they can earn a few games later in the year.

One of highlights from the last few weeks has also been going to the driving range with a lucky group of lads, who are doing an extra golfing credit. There is a qualified instructor who runs the show, I just reinforce his words, while improving my short game!



Overall, it is nice to work with smaller groups than usual and see firsthand improvement in their golfing and/or football skills, as well as their attitudes and personal development.

Booking Manager

Thanks to the internet, I am able to continue to work for my Dad all the way over here in England. Although I can’t fix toilets anymore, I help him with the bookings at his many beautiful vacation rentals. It is a good opportunity for me and gives me valuable business experiences, particularly in customer service.

It also is a constant reminder of home. Every time I book someone in I am jealous of them, because I want to be them, on vacation in the Shenandoah Valley, relaxing in the sun on the Shenandoah River.

It’s an easy sell.

Sunset to die for over the Shenandoah River

Sunset to die for over the Shenandoah River

I can’t wait to go back home!

Until then, check back here for more info on these miscellaneous thoughts of mine.

As always, go head-first!



PS: For the record, I have never ever used “zenzizenzizenic” in a spoken or written sentence. It means a number raised to the eighth power. I just found it on this obscure word website, and there is some ridiculous words worth remembering on there!

A little sunshine

I’m back!

Don’t sound so excited!


Guess what?

The sun finally came out for a day this past weekend…and did not go away from sun-up to sun-down. Despite a chill in the air, it was a sharp and clear winter day. It was great to finally recharge those solar batteries that I’m sure we have inside us somewhere. For one day the cloudy skies of Yorkshire took a day off. If only someone would sack them for being so reliable.

You have to admit, at times there is no better remedy than a sunny day – even when you did not know you needed a remedy.

I absolutely love the feeling of driving along down an empty road with all the windows open on a refreshing and sunny spring day; the first after the cold of winter. How about having a BBQ in the evening of a hot summer day…cold beer in hand. Chilling on a boat on the Shenandoah river with good friends…

Alright, now I am beginning to tingle and lose control…the equivalent of making my mouth water by conjuring up images of a juicy plate of steak on Good Friday. You get the point.

All in all, a little sunshine can go a long way…….


……..Restart! I first started writing this post over a week ago. At that point, we had just had our first entirely sunny day in what was probably about 2 months – no joke. Incredibly, the last three days have been an unprecedented trio of fun in the sun. I’ve been sucking nourishment from the proverbial sun teet like a starving pup.

On Saturday, we had a game down near Liverpool, so aside from sitting on the bus for two hours, I was outside for most of that day. More on the game later.

On Sunday, I road my bike to mass, spent a little time in the gym, then went on another bike ride up the Wharfe Valley with my relatives. Will, who just turned 12, has set the ambitious goal of biking in the Great Yorkshire Bike Ride – at least I think that is what it’s called (about 75 miles). So for his recent birthday he was given a new bike and needed to break it in…as well as begin some serious training. I met up him and his Dad, Chris, and we survived the 18 miles round trip. The trip back provided us with what was probably the most beautiful sunset I’ve seen – or at least noticed – since I have been here…then it got freezing. All told, I calculated that I had put 28 miles on the bike that day.

The beautiful sunset over the moors

The beautiful sunset over the moors

Sunshine, so fine, oh won't you be mine!

Sunshine, so fine, oh won’t you be mine!

Today, Monday, since it is half term/spring break I didn’t have to go into work at St. Mary’s. So I lazily slept in, which is all the worse since one of my Lenten sacrifices was to wake up earlier…FAIL. When I woke up to more sunshine, I made sure I got out as soon as possible. I went to a local field and kicked a ball around for a while. The best part was that I was actually sweating and only had a t-shirt on. I made sure that whenever I was walking around, to the gym, or the coffee shop to write this, I walked extra slow!


In more sunny news, a couple of weeks ago, I started and played my first entire game since I have been here. I played at right back in a local cup game vs. a team called Harrogate Railway Athletic. It was our first game in weeks due to all the snow and rain…and even then it was a barely playable pitch since it had been casually raining that day.

Harrogate Railway is a few divisions below us in the football pyramid, but they were up for the game, as most teams are when they have the opportunity to play a higher level team. It is like Bradford City’s (4th division team) cinderalla run in the league cup, where they have beaten 3 consequtive Premier League (1st division) teams to get to the final, but are struggling to beat teams consistently who play in the same division as them.

We absorbed some pressure for the early part of the game, and struggled to play well. This was partly due to our long hiatus from playing games, as well as the soggy pitch and Harrogate’s early pressure. Despite our slow start, we didn’t allow too many opportunities to Harrogate either. They squandered the few chances that they were presented with, while on the other hand, we were far more clinical when we moved forward into their area. We scored 2 goals from what I remember as our first two chances of the first half.

So far so good. The second half could not have started better for us. Our half-time substitution Kevin Holsgrove, scored a 10 minute hat-trick and from there on out the game was clear cruising. The score ended 5-0 and we maintained dominance throughout the second half, even when we went down a man through injury.

Not a bad result for my full home debut. However, it was not all smooth sailing, I definitely had to clear a few cobwebs out of my game early on and got beat 1v1 a couple of times in the first half. As I settled into the game, things went better and I felt comfortable. It was a nice to finally play a game and I was glad to make it through a 90 minutes without collapsing.

It was a small light at the end of the tunnel that I have been in since I began my English adventure. However, it was only a small light and I have plenty of hard work left to do before I am basking in the glow of the football sun god.


Since the Harrogate Railway game, we have played 3 other league games. Unfortunately, it has been a rough run of games for us. We got back to regular league competition, and our push to promotion, with a good 2-1 home result; but then tied and lost our next 2 games.

The win was against Boston United, and we deserved the victory for our performance. We scored very early from a header and then with another header half way through the second half. Their goal came late in the game off of a deflected free kick. This made the last few moments a bit nervy, but aside from that it was a comfortable win.

The next two games away from home were far from comfortable and just go to show that nothing is easy in football. The first game was a long weeknight trip down to Gloucester City, who play at the ground of League 2 (4th divsion) side Cheltenham Town. We started the game excellently with a beautiful free kick from our leading goalscorer Josh Wilson. Later in the first half they equalized and then things really turned against us.

To begin, we had a player sent off for what the referee deemed an elbow to the face. Then, in the second half they got the go ahead goal from a highly questionable penalty kick. Despite our numerical disadvantage, we fought hard and earned a tie in the final minutes when substitute Matt Wilson scored with only his second touch of the game. In the end, this was a well earned point on the road. Check out the highlights clip from the game…first goal is well worth a watch!

The stadium also hosts Gloucester City (our opponents) for this season

The stadium also hosts Gloucester City (our opponents) for this season

Home of the Robins

Home of the Robins

Cheltenham Town Home Ground

Cheltenham Town Home Ground

Unfortunately, this past weekend, the only thing that was shining for us was the sun. It was an, overall, pitiful performance, which the manager admitted was the worst game he has seen the club play in his 4 years involved. They say when it rains it pours, but as the sun was finally shining, it would be more apt to say we got burned. Their first goal was, admittedly a moment of brilliance, in the form of a 25 yard rocket of a shot that buried itself into the upper corner. In an effort to change things up and gain some momentum, we used all three of our allowed subs earlier than usual. Though this is a perfectly common occurrence, it backfired on the day. Two of our players received injuries after the subs were made and had to leave the game. So, to sum up, we ended the game with two less players and two less goals. Quite simply, a day to forget.

I, personally, didn’t appear in any of these 3 games and so must admit that my cheer-leading skills are not up to par. On a serious note; however, I will be ready when needed, which I hope is as soon as possible. The little taste of playing time was a tease and will drive me on! Next game is tomorrow night at home and the big test to our character will be getting out of this mini slump and back to winning ways.


Sorry it has been so long since I touched base here, I hope you didn’t miss me too much 😉  There is always more to tell when I get the chance, so stay tuned.

Unfortunately, the weather is set to turn cold again in the next few days, but it was never going to last…let’s be serious! At the very least our dear friend Mr. Solar gave me a good topic to write on.

Until next time, go head first!



New Digs


Well, the next step that I have made in my quest to grow up is moving to a new place. As of last week, I am renting a suite in a house share in Guiseley, which is about 3-4 miles from where I was in Burley-In-Wharfedale. I share the house with two other working professionals; one woman and one man. The woman owns the house and so is officially my land-lady. The guy is close my age and has only recently moved to the area for work. They are both quite friendly and follow football. However, considering the woman is a lifelong Leeds fan, I have to keep my Manchester United flag out of the window or be evicted.

The house is a semi-detached 3 bedroom house in a new development. So, unfortunately I can’t say that I am living in a old English cottage sipping tea and writing blogs. On the positive side, I don’t have to worry about the roof leaking, old pipes bursting, or no heating. We share the kitchen and the living area, which is not expansive but offers plenty of space for 3 people. There is also a nice back garden for when it gets decent enough to spend time outside again. 

The best part about the house is it’s location. I can walk to the Guiseley stadium in 5 minutes; I can walk to St. Mary’s for work in 10-15 minutes; I can walk to get groceries in 5-10 minutes; and it is less than a 5 minute walk to the train when I need to go a bit farther afield.

The move was bitter sweet considering I was leaving the Inglehearns, who have treated me so incredibly well since I arrived. Maybe too well as a matter of fact…I was getting fat and spoiled under their watch. Fortunately, they are not far off and I will see the kids often in school and will be sure to visit them when my cupboards are running low 😉 

Overall, I think it is a good move for me psychologically as well. When I said I was getting fat and spoiled, it may not have been true in a physical sense, but there was something about me that was beginning to feel too comfortable. 

When I first came over everything was new and exciting, which made it easy to be motivated. The challenge is keeping up that motivation and hunger, even after you get settled into something. I am hoping that the move will help to re-invigorate me and refocus my efforts on the main goals and objectives that I have set for myself. 

Here are some pictures of the house and also the recent festivities in the snowfall!

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The other thing we’ve been doing here in Yorkshire the last few weeks has been digging away the snow. If you are conjuring up images of buried cars, skiing, and big four wheel drives at Wal-Mart, you are deceived – I am in England, not Denver. All told, we only had about 8-10 inches of snow, coupled with sub-freezing temperatures. However, England does not have (or necessarily need) the infrastructure and equipment to quickly deal with even a little snow, so there were some setbacks.

Most agonizing was the fact that there has been no football for the last 2 weeks. We have had 3 consecutive games cancelled and have had no chances to train on a real pitch. It’s nice to have a day off every once in a while, but a long break can be quite frustrating. It was even difficult to get good training in on my own. Most of the sidewalks were quite icy, so it was hard and dangerous to go out on a serious run. There were no fields (even artificial turf) cleared, so I couldn’t kick a ball around easily either. Although, I did manage to use the side of the house and the sidewalk a couple of times. 

Having said that, snow can be cool and fun…at least for the first day. The Inglehearn kids had one day off of school and so I brought them out sledging, had snowball fights and made snowmen. We invented a game called snowball chicken, where you all stand close and throw snowballs in the air. Then you all have to stand there and hope one didn’t land on you. It turned into a hit…no pun intended!

All the snow is gone now, it disappeared literally overnight, so hopefully we can resume life as normal now and get back out on the field. For those of you interested, I also wrote a new article on the team website called Snow Games. It will give you a good idea of where we are in the season and the challenges we will be facing after the break from the snow! I encourage you to take a look.

Why Digs?

After naming this post, I was curious, so I briefly looked up where the term “Digs” came from. The best story I found was that it had been used by soldiers in the World Wars who referred to their new trenches as “Digs”. I liked that explanation the best, but other’s said the term had been in use far before that by traveling actors; it was used as slang for their temporary accommodations. The fact of the matter is, so far I dig my dig and hope I didn’t dig my dig so deep I can’t get out. You dig? (Thank God English is my first language).

I hope to have more soccer news to tell you soon.

Peace all,