Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Darksiders,Rosetinters,Cedar ash and a lovely man called Gray! ;-)

Sometimes, when you're really busy, you have to prioritise.

And that's what I've had to do just lately, when it comes to the world of blogging.

I'm well aware that I don't give much time to my blog

as I once did... and I'm even more aware that I don't enter into the true spirit of

blogging as I really ought...and once did.

I just about manage to keep my blog going but, at the moment, I have no time to

visit other blogs and give comment. It's simply to do with the pressures of my working day.

So with that in mind, I have even considered whether I should stop blogging altogether!


I didn't have to make up my mind as sure enough it was made up for me, yesterday!

Whilst I was teaching in the morning, I received a package.

I was itching to open it!

It was postmarked North Vancouver, Canada, posted on 20th October.

So by my reckoning it took six days to reach me,which is pretty damn quick!

I couldn't wait to get my morning's teaching out of the way as I had an inkling

that this package was from a very dear friend.

I say 'friend' as that's what I consider him

to be, even though I have only met him just the once!

We do, however, meet frequently online.

I'll explain...

It all began ten years ago, back in the year 2001, when I discovered a website called


I can remember it quite well as dear Mr S had gone out and I had the evening to myself.

So, I did some 'mischief making' on the said website! Bad move!;-)

The team were doing badly... had just been beaten badly;

weekly thrashings were the norm !

It was the winter of 2001...the winter of discontent!

It appeared that there were two 'sets' of supporters at that moment in time.

The first group were very scathing about what was going on

at the club and they were fondly known as:

'The Darksiders'!!

I swear that they practised doom and gloom for a living

and they wallowed in negativity after every match!

The second group were more positive and all for getting behind the club

and they were known (less affectionately, by some) as:

'The Rosetinters''.

It's funny that in life, good can be put down, criticised and mocked, isn't it?

But this was the case

if you just so happened to be a Rosetinter!!

Me , being a positive sort of person soon became labelled as one of these!!

(Amongst other things!)

It is fairly unusual for a woman to love football as much as I do but I

reckoned I could hold my own with what was a very forceful and all knowing bunch!

And my goodness,when it comes to football,'they' know best!

Oh yes...better than any manager or trained coaches at the F.A.!!

Man knows best about footy and don't even try to mess with that!

Anyway...Try I did!

It's a long know, the one about the highs and lows of a football team in the lower

leagues..well in this case mostly lows with a very rare 'high' now and again!

And this is when I met Gray, online...or Graygull as he is affectionately known..

(At that time, we all acquired names with the word 'Gull' in it.

(The Gulls being Torquay's nickname)

Graygull; Merseygull, Seagull Jamie; Minergull; Nichgull; Hellygull;

Hungarygull..and so on..oh and of course..Salgull!


I am laughing just thinking about it now!

It's getting more embarrassing by the minute but it has to be done!!

I could relay so much more :

the wacky chairman at the time, Mike Bateson;

an even wackier webmaster called Mervo ( he being a kind of Willy Wonka character

who instructed me to go and throw Cedar ash on the pitch at Torquay,

to aid the playing surface (!) (Yeah well, I spend a lot of time in Totnes so I

do understand these weird ideas!);

being invited to the Torquay United Boardroom, for my positivity

and to meet that famous Torquay fan, Helen Chamberlain;

for getting on the back page of the local paper

and the Sport's Editor desperately wanting to find out who I was to get an interview with me I remained anonymous for quite some time (I mean would you want to admit taking on

a website, single handed and whipping up the supporters? It was all so embarassing!);

writing a story for the match day programme;

the mad quiz night that was held between the Darksiders and the Rosetinters

(I was nominated captain!!LOL);

the final match of the season at Barnet, where on a sunny afternoon

in May,we retained our league status... I have not run as fast since,to get in a queue and

thousands of fans were locked out ! Luckily I was locked in!

Especially for Gray:

(I'm sure noone else will be that interested but I am in the crowd somewhere!!)

It was mayhem; it was a manic season; it was even a nightmare...

but it was all good fun.

I think my family thought I was mad! Indeed, I was mad and Mr S must have thought I'd

completely lost the plot as I think it was he who arranged this to be done:


At some point during this bonkers season, Gray wrote a

poem based on ''The Charge of the Light Brigade'' by Tennyson...

and he put it on the website.

''There's a clever chap,'' I thought!

Tennyson...ah...culture and footy!

You don't expect to find poetry on a football website! And class poetry at that!

And so a new friendship fact many new friendships began.

We had a lot of online fun and banter and new friends were

made and some friendships even became quite strained due to our differing views!

But Gray, he was a real gentleman throughout! He never said a bad word about anyone!

I'll always remember him for that... and his poem.

And so, back to this package, ten years on...

I opened it up and inside there was a note which said:

Well , I have to admit that tears came to my eyes....

and all those memories came rushing back!

And enclosed with the note, was a DVD.

Well, what can I say...the best train journey in the country!

I've done it so many times but never 'up front' as they say!

LOL...I've always fancied playing 'up front' !! ;-)

I am so looking forward to taking this journey but, this time, in the comfort of my armchair!

So thank you Gray...cos I know you'll be reading this and that's why I simply

had to ramble on rather a lot, about how we met!!

I hope my reminiscing amused you!


Give up blogging?

If only one person continues to read my blog and it is Gray, then

it is worth the effort! Knowing that I can brighten his day,

simply brings a smile to my face!

And now.. I have things to do...Cedar ash to collect for one thing!!

My team are badly in need of that!


And if you fancy that train ride...there's a good one here:

;-) xxx

P.S. Oh I am in this pic, below... somewhere! ;-)


Anonymous said...

Ah! well! You see, it's like this yer.
I bought her the shirt for the colour
Didn' know there was writing on the back, nor that she was into football, being a T U F C supporter 'n' all.

Amanda said...

What a lovely post. Even though I'm not a football fan I can tell its more than about football, its about the spirit of it all.

Alix said...

I feel all sniffle-y now too, and my eyes are kind of damp... What a lovely chap Gray must be. All the football stuff I can't begin to understand, but what I do understand is the passion you have for it and the friendships forged through a common interest. I'm glad that you will keep blogging now, thanks to Graham!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Never give up Sal. I have made so many friends - I couldn't manage without it now.

KC'sCourt! said...

Lovely post Sal - and a very lovely person you are too, I will miss your blog if you go ever away so please don't. Gray nust have read your thoughts over the ether and thought he mustn't let this lovely person go away.
I am not a football fan BUT I am a fan of your blog. And may I say the header picture is beautiful.
Julie xxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

What a gent you are
Your gift has brought a beaming smile on my wife's face
Luckily for me clinched lips stifle sound so a gift for me too
If you are ever in the South West of the UK then I should be pleased to buy you a drink
As Sal and I have often said "There are so few gentlemen left"
Now that she is to continue blogging, my ears will be saved too.
Did you know that the train journey takes exactly the same time as that on the video ?

veronica said...

Please don't think of giving up. I haven't a clue how you set up a blog but I enjoy reading the crafty ones. I live "up North" and our scenery is so different with the Pennines and the moors and so your photos are a joy. Veronica.

Anonymous said...

Yours is one of the few that I read...I love how you write, it's always interesting and varied and your photography is brilliant!
So please stay a 'Rosetinter' and carry on!
Lots of love Amanda (Shabby Chick) xxx
ps. Graham...what a guy!!! x

Jan said...

Hi Sally this is Jan, Grays wife I would like to say a personal thank you to you as Gray says " through this difficult year" due to his ill health I am so glad he made your day because you made his year.Enjoy your trip with Mr.S. Gray and I have enjoyed our trip of 38 years and long may it continue.

Sal said...

Awww... how lovely is that! Thank you Jan!! I hope that Gray is feeling a whole lot better now! You take care and look after each other. Lots of love XXX ;-)

Menopausalmusing said...

A wonderfully heartwarming post Sal. Good to see you still rattling around the blogosphere. (It's lovely to see the little lady all cosied up in your banner, she is just too cute, isn't she?).

Aunty Bee said...

Sal your not crazy, I love that people have passions for things. How boring not to be a little crazy about something. Keep being a gull and blogging, we love your way with words.