My Favourite…..

After the first installment into The Bandit’s life : My Firsts, the follow up is a little more detail into what I enjoy doing. Firstly, and most importantly, that is of course spending time with my family, yet there are quite a few other interests that keep me going. As a PE teacher, you can imagine I am a little competitive and love sport. I must add here I am not the PE teacher type described so brilliantly by @crapteacher in this blog post This Sporting Life

Now that you have got that image of a PE teacher out of your mind, I will press on and give you more of an insight into my hobbies and fav things. Please feel free to comment on the blog and let me know via my twitter account if you try something the same.

I am relatively new to this blogging lark and am finding my feet with what to blog and how I hit an audience, so please any feedback helps.

Let’s start with the sport, as a keen performer there is nothing better for me than playing. So…..

My Favourite Sport

Without doubt is football. I have played competitively since I was 9 years old, representing my town at a young age and was lucky enough to play semi-professionally too. Whilst playing is my passion since the birth of my two daughters I have stopped the competitive games on a weekend. To keep me interested I began doing my coaching badges and successfully got my Level 2 and then UEFA B badges. Fortunately this led me to managing the South Yorkshire U16 squad for 3 years and then even better to coach the U10 Academy teams at Sheffield United, something I thoroughly enjoyed and only stopped due to a promotion in my teaching career. I have also taken up refereeing which may be a future blog! Depending on how well it goes of course.

Coming up strongly behind football at the moment is golf. I love the sport and can see me playing it more than football soon. Please read my other golfing blogs for more details.

My Favourite Book

One of my favourite hobbies is reading. It allows me to relax on an evening after work and there is nothing better than being totally engrossed in a good book. I like a good crime thriller, or something that is fast paced. My favourite book though is The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown. It took me about a day and a half to read and I thought it was superb!

My Favourite Film

I also enjoy going to the cinema but don’t get the chance as much now with the kids. There have been loads of films that I have thought are brilliant over the years Silence of the Lambs, The Matrix, Die Hard, Mission:Impossible, yet my favourite film of all time has to be The Shawshank Redemption I remember watching it for the first time at university and loved it. It will still be a classic in years to come.

My Favourite Place to Visit

This has to be a little fishing, seaside town in Cornwall, called Looe. We’ve been on holiday there a few times and I just love everything about it. Its quaintness, its shops, its beach, the list is endless. I strongly recommend a visit!

My Favourite Golf Course (I’ve Played)

This is easy, whilst there have been some great courses I have played in my relatively short golf career there was only one course that took my breath away and made me so excited to play each and every hole. Including a monster near 700 yard par 5 and the elevated tee 17th with a green that is an island. The course is Rufford Park and Country Club, just near Centre Parks in Notts. Truely great and well worth a round if you can.

My Favourite Golf Course (Yet to Play)

There is only one. Pebble Beach in USA. Simply breath-taking, I wish and hope I can play there in the future, yet I doubt it, unless I win a boat load of cash! Or even better still I get on the PGA Tour!

My Favourite Horse

As an avid horse racing fan I have to include this. Everyone who enjoys a flutter will have a favourite horse that they always follow, even if it’s 100-1 they will still bet on it. Mine has to be INGLIS DREVER, a fantastic staying hurdler that won two World Hurdle’s at Cheltenham and was the real staying champ prior to BIG BUCKS. It’s a shame old Inglis had to be retired before Big Bucks came on the scene, as I’m sure he would have given Big Bucks something to worry about. After his retirement and being put out to field, having a cosy life, he unfortunately died. A great horse, and always will be my fav.

Finally, for this little chapter in The Bandit’s life is My Favourite Moment in Life

Quite obvious really for me. The birth of my two girls who are quite simply angels sent from heaven. They mean the world to me and I can’t describe my love for them. Being a father is the greatest thing a man can ask for!

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If I won the lottery!

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So, Ive dreamt of this many a time. Those six little numbers come up and you win a cool few million. This is a life changing experience beyond doubt, but surely there would be added stresses too?

So it got me thinking, if I did win the lottery what the hell would I spend it on. Some of you may agree with me, some of you may not. Have a think about it yourself if you get a minute – if you had a boat load of money what really would you buy?

This is my lottery list! However, first of all I have found a photo of what I would do if I found out I had won the lottery. I think it says it all!

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#1 – pay off my mortgage and my family’s too
#2 – give my closest friends a little suprise
#3 – buy myself an Aston Martin Vanquish
#4 – buy a racehorse
#5 – buy a tailored Armani suit
#6 – go to Chichen Itza!
#7 – give some money to Charities that are close to my heart
#8 – buy a house in Florida

And if I had anything left – become a member at Hallamshire Golf Club!!!!

Of course I would still go to work! I think I would be a complete nightmare with nothing to do each day. Plus, I really do love my job. I be some of you think I’m bonkers!

Please have a go yourself and let me know via my twitter account of your blog.

Golfing at College Pines

Firstly here is the scorecard for todays round

The Bandits Scorecard @ College Pines

The day was mild for a change, as it is half term there was no sign of any kids for all of us, a welcome break!

So at the firsf tee at 9.45 7 of us lads including @golfingcyclist were eager and chomping at the bit to get the golf going. As a group we hadn’t played collectively for nearly a year and it was great to catch up.

College Pines is situated on the outskirts of Clumber Park near Worksop. At £18 for the round its great value for money, we only teed off on one mat and every green was in play. The course was immaculate, and this is something considering the weather we have had lately.

I had a new piece of apparel today, a hat I won last year for basically talking crap, looks good doesnt it!

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With a promise of not to talk utter shite off we went. All of us played at or below our handicap mark today and other than a couple of ropey holes we would have scored even better. I am really chuffed that I hit my handicap mark today, consistent golf feels great! @golfingcyclist is happy as he finally beat me by one shot today after handicap deductions, previously I had whooped his ass the last twice!

A photo of the determined boy below mid swing.

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I would seriously recommend this course to anyone wanting to play this time of the year and still be able to play on tees and greens with excellent fairways. The greens were holding and ran true allowing for some confidence behind the putter or ‘Excalibur’ as it’s affectionately known! With a long start and finish this is a challenging yet very enjoyable course to play.

A big shout out to my pal Sturdey today (Donald on the card) who was -7 his handicap until the last two holes where he had a couple of nightmare holes. Today he was The Machine and played simply awesome. Chin up mate, he’s looking for his gun to shoot himself below at the 19th!

Around the World in 80 Words

SAHDandproud has come up with a novel idea to get people to blog in 80 words or less about places they’ve been to, and liked, or hated. Talk about your town, a city, a holiday or a famous place. I thought it was a great idea, I hope you do it too.

The Bandit’s time to give it a go! With a short spell in San Francisco!

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Rejoice the Bay, home of the gay? For me it was merely a short stay. The morning brought the fog and a headache from the grog, yet as both were Iifted so was my desire to see a place I’d longed to visit. Home of the Birdman, a place of no escape, Alcatraz, the prison. At last a chance to visit, but no chance of a ticket! All booked up until past my visit!

My First……. A dip into The Bandit’s past!

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I thought I’d start a series of blogs that reflect things I’ve done, want to do, enjoy etc. A little bit more of The Bandit lets say. So, after reading a few other blogs of a similar nature I thought I would kick this off with My Firsts. So here we go, hope you enjoy and maybe you would want to do the same.

My first……..Movie

Here I think the picture gives it away. The first movie I remember seeing as a child was Star Wars. This wasn’t a the cinema however, but I remember watching it on a Boxing Day as a young child. I’ve been transfixed with Star Wars since!

My first…….Trip to the cinema

This was to the old cinema complex in Burnley, near the covered market. What a crappy cinema that was. The film was He-Man: Masters of the Universe with Dolph Lundgren. As a child I had everything He-Man, and loved my Castle Greyskull toy! The film lets say was…..interesting!

My first…….Book

This was as a child when I joined my local library and I loaned out The Famous Five : Five on A Treasure Island. From that moment on I was hooked on books and read all The Famous Five books. I am now an avid reader and love nothing better than a good book. Interestingly I’m now reading Five on a Treasure Island to my daughter who’s 5, and she loves it!

My first…..Gamble

As a follower of horse racing and liking a good flutter I remember my first bet well. It was in th Grand National won by West Tip. How do I remember, I had the 100-1 second that day called Young Driver. The maiden name (Driver) of my mother, imagine how rich I felt as a kid getting my winnings back on a £1 each way bet on it! Amazingly, I asked my daughter to pick a horse two years ago in the National, she liked one with a green jacket, so I put her a £1 each way bet on Mon Mome – and you know what happened there!

My first…..Football Match

I played for Ightenhil Primary School aged 9 in a five a side competition aganst other schools on a freezing and muddy day. The ball was a size 3 and like a bloody rock! I remember being freezing and wet, yet loving every minute of it! From there I went on to play every week from 11 years old.

My first…..Golf clubs

I decided to take up golf as a 13 year old and opened the local paper and went to the advertisement section where people sold various items. Sure enough there was a set for £15. Two old ‘wooden’ woods, a 4,5,8,9 iron and a putter. I felt like Nick Faldo at that point and used to catch a bus into Burnley Town Centre, walk two miles to a little 9 hole course and have a game then walk and bus back. I loved it and still love it now, although I have some great Nike clubs now and am a ‘little’ better!

My first…..Hole In One

Im still blooming waiting…….. and what makes it worse is my wife has had one!

Hope you enjoyed My First’s, next time we will go for My Favourite’s

Fancy a Flutter on the Nags?

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This was the Homer Simpson version of me last Saturday after at last getting a winner or two. I was having one of those crappy runs before that where I just couldn’t pick a winner.

Anyway, with rejuvenated passion for the nags, and with more a bulging wallet, here are today’s selections. To be honest, this cold spell is bugging me and I’m looking forward to seeing some better action at Musselburgh today.

Remember please, as you are all aware by now, I am no expert, and don’t study the form too hard. This is a little hobby for me, these are my selections, if you wish to follow my advice, fine, but please bet within your means.

Two Lucky 15’s today

Cut The Cackle 2.15 Lingfield (Last!)
Palace Moon 2.45 Lingfield (nb)(WON 7-2)
Casa Bex 3.00 Kempton (4th)
Ostland 2.35 Musselburgh(7th)

Picansort 3.20 Lingfield (2nd)
Cantor 3.35 Kempton (NAP) (WON 4-5)
Ultimate 3.10 Musselburgh (treble) (6th)
Zafranagar 3.45 Musselburgh (7th)

All the best of luck. Remember if you’re intersted in betting and enjoy twitter and blogging giveThe Gambolar a click and get some decent tips on there.

All Weather Tips on a Freezing Day

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Lets hope today’s tips are as hot as the horse. However, judging on recent Saturday selections, I’m not holding my breath! Last week was another case of poor runs from horses that I fancied to do well – most disappointing was ANQUETTA, who’s run was poor beyond belief!

To prove I can tip a winner or two I have had a good start in the #TEAMNAPS competition Ive been selected to take part in on Twitter. If you’re a tweeter I recommend a follow of @TheGambolar and a few good tips get put on there, all for fun of course.

So, with freezing conditions and all National Hunt fixtures off, the only geegee action is on the all weather. I’ve picked a Lucky 15 that will hopefully give us a shout or two. I’m sure none of you will follow my advice due to recent form and rightly so, but heyho, I only do this for my benefit anyway!

Get wrapped up and get the wellies ready for the predicted snow!

LUCKY 15

AMITOLA (NAP) 3.00 LINGFIELD( Won 9-1 )
CUT THE CACKLE (NB) 2.00 LINGFIELD (Won 3-1)
FIRST AVENUE (TREBLE) 3.35 LINGFIELD (6th)
MAISON BRILLET 3.45 WOLVERHAMPTON (2nd)