2007: A Licence, Umbrellagate and the Blues

Thursday 8th March 2007

diary page mar 8

Life in 2007 was a little too busy to write a proper diary entry. As you can see March the 8th saw a fair bit of travelling in my work for Archers Brewery.


22nd March 1995

A Home game V Rotherham from our home in Milton Keynes


Rotherham in Bath on a Wednesday night

By March 1995 I had had enough of Denbigh School. I had been Head of Humanities and resigned from that role in a fit of pique over Mrs Parkinson’s request that I should continue to do so as a temporary and shared Head of faculty. A couple of years later and I was work experience co-ordinator and had integrated the process into the school curriculum. I had achieved the best ‘A’ Levels results in the Geography department but apparently I wasn’t the face to fit as head of Sixth Form. Ofsted rated my teaching as very good and tutor group work as outstanding. What a joke that was. I could feel myself getting more angry and militant every year. Rovers was becoming increasingly more important in my life work balance.


10th March 2011

0r: My last heart attack

At this point I was faffing around with paper updates for the Guides and selling them occasionally through the website. I was updating the pubs when and where I fancied, i.e. in no particularly organised manner. The night before Rose and I had been at Mick’s bagatelle evening. Rose won and we had chatted quite late into the morning. Rose had gone to work, to a Conference and I wouldn’t normally be seeing her again until the weekend.


24th February (2004)

fiona at twerton.png

Fiona in the park above Twerton Park

Fiona was my wife, my only wife, my best friend from the day of meeting her and is still sorely missed. This date was the day she died. I believe you might need to know something about her as she is more important than this ridiculously painful paragraph.

She was born in 1961 in Royal Tunbridge Wells. She is the daughter of Gerard and Kathleen Slater and a sister to Chris. She was the teacher that we all wanted at Junior school. Her expertise was in teaching Maths and Music and she consistently undersold her abilities. She turned down opportunities to climb the career ladder while teaching in Milton Keynes and St. Albans. She would have been an outstanding headteacher. She would also have been a brilliant Mum. We couldn’t have children. We decided after some time of, for her, painful testing that enough was enough. I will always feel that she died without the level of medical diagnosis that her, almost permanent, illness deserved. She died of Cancer. It was originally Stomach cancer that had spread to her Lungs and other organs and was explained to us as imminently terminal.

Mil is Kathleen, or Mother-in law

I don’t know many swearwords!

Diary entry


  • Phone MIL (Kathleen) Get her here a.s.a.p
  • Talk to Father Andy Ollard – last rights? Funeral wishes
  • Phone Ginnsy – time off work?
  • Phone St Francis Hospice – Berkhamstead – take her there tomorrow

She was the same today. She wants to go and have no more messing about. She won’t listen to me as ever. The levels of Morphine is so high she is asleep most of the day. The Nurses say that St Francis is a very good place and that she wouldn’t get home. I cannot tell her that but I know she doesn’t want to go there. Plan A and a fast car to Beachy Head then?

Combe Hill? Wendover Woods? M1.head on?

I went home to get her diary and get some tea. I am getting to hate the M25

It is snowing, I must tell her. Perhaps not. Stupid! Think straight, stop being so selfish! Do what you have to do. Stupid!

Can’t let them see this if I am to do what she wants. It might be different tomorrow. She might want to go with me. She might want to go there. There is nowhere to talk with her. There is no time to talk with her. It’s too fucking late.

I phoned MIL but she won’t get here in time.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, fucking, shit.


1980       Southampton V WBA H 1-1

1995       Hull H 0-2

1997       Walsall H 0-1

2003       Exeter A 0-0

2011       Colchester H 0-1

2014       Northampton A 0-0


Next week 1st March 1978

Coming soon: My diary writing project

The next project for my blog has been burning within the Stedders space for a few years now. I wanted to formalise my thoughts in a piece of work that wasn’t a traditional auto-biography. Thinking about the average attention span of the average blog reader I wanted short pieces that give brief insights into my past. The pieces will be un-ashamedly self-indulgent and personalised.

The format will always be the same. I kept a teaching diary throughout that part of my life. I also have kept membership cards for football and cricket with details of results and scores. Most importantly I have Fiona’s diaries from when we married in 1985 to the time of her death in 2004.
Using those  pages I  will include the following:-
1. A list of sporting achievements and matches watched on the day chosen,  in history.

The Rugby results are for Bletchley Rugby Club with score and, if appropriate, tries, penalties or conversions.

The Cricket scores for either Patchway School, Pilning, University, Rickley Park, Shenley Church End or Winslow. They are in the format of Opponent, Home or Away, runs scored, overs, maidens, runs and wickets, then catches.
Games watching Bristol Rovers with H or A and result.
Cricket games watching Gloucestershire with name of County watched that day.

locations for Holidays in the USA

2. Some context for the photograph and diary entry.

3. A diary extract.

This will be a re-created, often imagined, diary entry. Based on real events recorded in the originals I have decided to rewrite them as if blogging existed back in the day. In some cases they will be totally imaginary. This is particularly true for my very early years, where obviously I didn’t keep my personal record.

4. A photo pertinent to the day or year.

The pages will be published on a weekly basis. There will be roughly one page each week, 

Over the next 57 weeks what will emerge is 57 entries that will cover one day in each year of my life and one day for every week. I hope then they might be read together as a snapshot of my life.

I should repeat my assertion that the blogs are for my self-interest, to see if the format works. I have no interest in building a readership or being bound to the writing of this story. It should also be taken as a tale. The facts included are not really facts, they are observations from my memories that are somewhat vague at times.