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I bumped into another sad bastard who supports Dumbarton and writes a blog kindred spirit yesterday, Simon Barrow. It was good to finally make Simon’s acquaintance. He lives in Exeter in Devon so therefore doesn’t make it to too many Sons matches!
He’s a good lad which I could already tell from his blog.

Simon and Bigrab. (steady ladies!)


Loch Lomond in Autumn

Spent a fantastic morning in the canoe. Visited a couple of the islands. Being one in a two man open canoe I had room for the guitar too and gave a concert to a few geese on the island of Inchlonaig. This gets the award for most enjoyable few hours of the month. Magic. The photos are only of the phone variety but came out pretty well. Click on any photo to enlarge.

Dumbarton Win Again!

Not a headline that we have seen this season yet but the Sons managed to overcome a stuffy Cowdenbeath side yesterday in the glorious sunshine. The hard working Supporters Trust held their annual ‘Raise the Rock’ day with various activities and the club dropped admission charges in the hope of attracting a few more supporters along. The attendance was just over 800 which isn’t as good as in previous years but the Sons have been rubbish for so long.

Yesterday was certainly the best game I’ve seen this season (even if only on the basis of a very good first half show). Sons first goal was a mazy run down the right hand side by Derek Carcary. He then proceeded to lob the ball over the helpless keeper. It was a peach and such a shame that Carcary had to go off injured later in the game. Despite a lacklustre second half by the home side, the score remained the same until the last minute of normal time when the referee Mr O’Reilly awarded an erroneous free kick to the visitors from which they broke up the park and scored via Paul McQuade. Rather than dwell on the injustice of this, Sons rolled their sleeves up and at the last gasp a beautifully floated cross by David Gray was converted by young centre back Ben Gordon who looks a real find.

A deserved victory for Sons. There were several good performances but special mention must go to veteran Paul Keegan who had a magnificent game and got the sponsors man of the match award.

I really don’t like to complain about refs but Mr O’Reilly’s decision on 90 minutes could have been key to the home side undeservedly dropping two points. It’s the second time this season that I’ve witnessed a crucial blatant wrong decision at home so on the basis of things equaling themselves out I’m looking for a couple of big decisions going our way sometime soon. This one thankfully was brushed aside in the right way.

The thing that has impressed me most about the Sons this season is the grit and determination that we have lacked over the last couple of years. The manager deserves credit for that although he does have a tendency to lose the plot with positional changes and formations (just an opinion)

Edit: I notice in the Sunday press he’s bemoaning the second half performance which due to tactical changes was at least partly down to his good self.

As I headed away from the ground I heard that Albion Rovers, who Sons defeated convincingly last week, had scored a 6-1 away victory at Elgin.That was the most remarkable result in the Scottish League yesterday. Their commercial manager Pat reckons they are bound for the play-offs and with results like that he may be right.

Shaping and Sizing

Friends, acquaintances and readers will perhaps know that as a wee sideline to this blog I’m involved in the retail pet trade. I’ve written before here and on my previous blog about the sometimes curious and amusing interface with the public. Let me say right here that the vast majority of my customers are regulars, many have become friends and day to day it is in most cases a pleasure to deal with them. In other words I’m not about to do a Gerald Ratner

However (and anyone who deals with the public on a daily basis will immediately empathise here) there are times when the combined skills of a psychologist, a mind reader, a trauma counselor and a social worker would not suffice in the dealing with some of the people who wander in the door.

In recent years, different shaped aquariums have become popular. I have seen pentagon, hexagon and octagon shapes but NEVER have I seen a heptagon (septagon) – not even in a picture. However if a customer is looking for a hood, filter or heater for their tank and you say ‘what kind of tank is it?’ invariably they will say ‘it’s wan o they fifty pence shaped wans’ and then when you ask what size they gesture with their arms, doing an excellent mime of someone playing a concertina or accordion. The ‘fifty pence shaped tank’ could be anywhere between the diameter of a goldfish bowl or a beer keg and I am supposed to somehow recommend the correct equipment.

I usually direct them to my stock tanks. ‘Is it the same size as that? – bigger? – smaller?’ ‘Definitely smaller!’ ‘Would you like to perhaps go home and measure the tank so that I can recommend the correct filter?’ ‘Naw it’s that size!’ ‘OK based on what you’ve told me this would be the correct one’.

2 weeks later

‘See that filter YOU SOLD ME, it’s no powerful enough!’ This time of course the accordion playing, sterling silver coinage expert has actually bothered his arse to measure the said glass water container. It turns out it is four times the size we settled on and contains a water volume not unadjacent to that of the Zambezi River.

Hence one gets a reputation. ‘See that shop they just don’t know what they’re talking about. Sold me a shitey wee filter and then they widnae change it!’