Earlier this month I was talking to a young family member about the things that have happened this year and what I was looking forward to during next year.

“There’s no point in making plans for next year because the world is going to be over by December 21st, a bloke said so a long time ago!”  Intrigued, I enquired after this “blokes”  name.  “ How should  know, but he said that there would be some really bad weather and storms and stuff like that and look what’s    happening in America with the hurricanes and stuff, he said all this would happen, so it must be true, and I’ll bet you it’s right”.

“How on earth do you cover a bet like that? I thought, “If she’s wrong and the family party still goes ahead on the 22nd, then she loses and if she’s right then we all lose!”  It did get me thinking though. And a quick look at the internet and  it’s there for all to see. It’s in the ancient Mayan prophecy which clearly states that  a cataclysmic event will occur which means the end of the world is nigh on the winter solstice, and after all those Mayans knew a thing or two about  the future, didn’t they?

So there you have it, irrefutable proof, after all, if it says so on t’internet then it must be true, we’re all doomed…..

Anyway, if by a stroke of good fortune. we are still around after the 21st we hope you have a really Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.


Saturday night we went out to a dinner party which was held by one of our advertisers whom we had never met but had chatted over the phone for months. Gill asked me if I had the address and I said I just needed to check it out before we left.

Check done we set off, as we approached I realised I did’nt know the house and we pulled into the kerb to check the house numbers, Gill said this is 441 so the one we want is two doors up. We parked the car and followed a couple up the path and into the house.

The lady of the house greeted us warmly and indicated to Gill that they had indeed met before, while we stood in the hallway I chatted with a lady who said she knew me and had been to junior school with me, we chatted about siblings, school and family, loads of  Bonn Ami going on I thought. although one of the guests had commented that we seemed a little over dressed for their little get together.

Suddenly, the lady who had invited us in said ” I think your at the wrong address ” embarrassed, we both realised that we had indeed entered the wrong house, ” is this 341″  I nervously asked ” No, i’ts 441, you’ve got the wrong house ” We attempted a swift exit but the guests thought it would be a good idea to pop out and see us off and with embarassed hand shakes loud laughter we jumped into the car and sped off to the correct house, NEVER EVER mention this to anyone, Gill smiled through gritted teeth…….OK my dear I wont, my lips are sealed.

Earlier today we visited our local cinema, Tuesdays are usually our cinema day, two films caught our attention. The first being Lawless it was a brilliant film and although the theme was violence and killing with two references to the F word (that’s what the blurb said), there were actually 17 references I know I counted them, we both really enjoyed it.

The second was a film called Now Is Good. Dakota Fanning doing an english accent, I expected a re-run of Dick Van Dykes chimney sweep but she did quite well, but, OMG. If this film taught me one thing it was to ensure that I check the synopsis before viewing any other films. I cried like a baby, honestly it brought some real memories back (Ste) I must have looked like a right girl, still it’s good to be in touch with your emotional side.

Next time I go to the cinema I will be sticking to themes of horror and those with the odd reference to body parts, give me some screaming and blood any day……where are the tissues?

My new hobby of mountain biking turned into a major disaster last week, while I was out on my early morning ride the rear axle of the bike snapped leaving me stranded with nowt but a flock of sheep on a windy moorland hillside.

Gill came to the rescue and picked me up, mobile phones, I thought, are a miracle of modern technology. On returning home I expected the the worst, I would need a new bike or at the least a new wheel, so imagine my surprise when I discovered I could do it myself for the small sum of £10.99. And so with the confidence of someone who had taken a crash course in bike maintenance, I set about stripping down the bike, removing the wheel and axel making a mental note of the parts and where they went, I laid them out on the workspace I had created in the order they would be needed upon executing the task in reverse.

It was unfortunate that the mobile phone rang exactly when it did because as I reached out to pick it up I accidentally knocked the wheel over which caused the parts to scatter across the floor and work area, the result is that in spite of my best efforts, ( I am not the handiest of handy men), I have failed to carry out the necessary repairs and the subsequent visit to the bicycle repair shop has cost me an arm and a leg, Mobile phones, I thought at the time, are an absolute pain in the neck.

In a bit!

In 2005 I had a middle management position in a large national retail company, I had been with them for almost 26 years and Gill had been employed in various retail management roles since returning to work after bringing up our family. I really enjoyed my work and thought I was regarded in some esteem by the company, however things began to change and the work load increased, as did the hours while the staff levels reduced along with the salary.

And so I began looking for a different form of employment; however I knew I had no desire to continue working in retail and I wanted to do something for myself.

One morning Gill spotted an article in a magazine which asked “Are you looking for an original business? Do you want to be self employed and be in control of your own future?” It was as if fate was giving us a sign and within a week I found myself without gainful employment, having handed in my notice and waving goodbye to my past. Soon after, Gill gave up her employment and joined me full time.

Initially the task was daunting; although I had some business experience, I had no computer, little or no computer skills and no idea of how the future would develop.

As it turns out, the future turned out to be a combination of hard work, sacrifice, sleepless nights and some frank and honest discussions between Gill and myself.

Our magazines have undergone some changes in the last seven years; originally we used the Horwich Directory and the Westhoughton Directory as the titles, later we introduced the header BL as the main title for the two publications. Our original delivery was 2000 copies delivered by hand each month and later due to popular demand we increased to 3000 per month and these days, due to swollen knees and arthritic ankles, we need help delivering them, however we still do our share. And we’ve maintained our original pricing policy for the last seven years.

The point is, although some things have changed, we are proud to call ourselves the original, OK the original idea wasn’t ours, however we have created a magazine that’s true to our business ethos:

”Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

The Olympic games certainly delivered a major spectacle, I’m really pleased that it happened in our life time and that in the future I’ll be able to say that I was there, well not quite there but certainly in front of the television when the main events happened and in Horwich when the torch was carried by and we watched sports we had never seen before and were spell bound by taekwondo “stupid sport“ is what I’d called it at the start. The opening and closing ceremonies where stunningly different, Rio has a tough act to follow.

We’ll be delivering be delivering our magazines once again this month, we added the number of magazines we have delivered since we started and were amazed that the number came to a staggering 440’000 now that’s what I call spectacular

Hi Everyone

Unfortunately, the grid published in both the BL5 & BL6 August editions of our magazines are wrong. This makes it difficult to complete the crosswords, but the answers are correct.

Our Apologies for this

Gill & Joe

Blackrod Boxing and Fitness Club is situated below the Methodist church on New Street Blackrod. It is open every weekday evening, except for Wednesdays and you’ll find a thriving fitness club which caters for both men and women of all ages and levels of fitness.


The club, which has been in existence since September 2011 is run by Stuart Greaves and boxer Rick Godding, a young up and coming local lad who was national Amateur Champion and has been a professional boxer since 2008. The club has recently achieved ABA affiliated status and are now looking to increase the membership and gain much needed funding to purchase new, up to date equipment.



Rick and Stuart are both qualified ABA coaches, first aiders and both have been CRB checked. And for the women’s boxing training, Gemma and Anna are the two female coaches on hand. Anna told me that the women’s sessions are well attended but that they always happy to see more.


Rick says “Most coaches can only offer training sessions in the evening, whereas here at the boxing club I can offer to hold training sessions during the day to fit in with the individuals work life ratio, so if you have unusual work patterns or have more time available in the afternoons and would like to take advantage of our daytime sessions, just get in touch.”


As a professional Rick is constantly looking for sponsorship from local businesses or individuals to help him in his future career, if you think you can help or if you want to join the club contact either Rick or Stu.


Opening Times:
Mon-Tue-Fri : 6:15 pm
Tues – Thurs : 5 – 6pm
Mon – Tue : 7:30 – 8:30 Thurs – 6:30 – 7:30
( and occasional weekends )


Find us on Facebook: BBF Fitnessclub

By the time we have finished delivering our August edition the Olympic games will be well underway, we are really excited about watching the television coverage especially track and field events. My fondest Olympic memories are of the 1980 & 1984 rivalries between Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett. At the 1980 games Ovett struck first, winning the 800m final ahead of Coe however Coe triumphed in the 1500m with Ovett coming in third for the bronze medal. In 1984 Coe was beaten into second place in the 800m by the Brazilian Joaquim Cruz, a big, striding fellow. Ovett collapsed in the 800m with bronchitis – he probably shouldn’t have run at all but he went to hospital and then came back to compete in the 1500m, which shows he was a very determined character. The moment I best remember is the end of that race, as he wins the gold, you can see Coe making his view quite clear that not only had he come back but he had proved his doubters wrong.

On a serious note, we thought we’d mention one of our long standing advertisers, Homescapes 1990, we count Tom and Jane among our friends. Tom has been suffering some illness recently and we would like to wish him a swift recovery.

Middle age spread seems to have raised it’s ugly head (or should I say stomach) in the Davies household, both Gill and I have noticed a tightness of the trouser in recent weeks. And so it was with some reluctance that I visited the shed and brought out the mountain bike, determined to shed some pounds. At first I found it hard going but soon a half hour ride has turned into a two hour 3 times a week habit. I now own some snazzy, hi-viz tops and shorts with a lovely padded seat. I’ve discovered the cycle trails of the Pennines and I’ve managed to shed some inches. And I’ve learned something really useful, How to exit a bike without causing much damage to the face, Next I need to learn how to save the knees and shins!

 Until Next  Time