It was announced recently that Helen Chamberlain was leaving Soccer A.M. Once I’d got back from off the floor because of how long it’d been on, It got me thinking, got me reminiscing. Putting aside the fact that I regarded her as the ideal woman, feisty, intelligent, knowledgeable, sexy and a little bit dipsy, she was a trail blazer. When she started co-presenting Soccer A.M., there was hardly any women working in the sporting media, let alone football. She made it damn cool for a girl to be in to football. She wasn’t just eye candy reading off an autoque, she was eye candy that knew her stuff and didn’t care what people thought of her. Soccer A.M. was better with her on it. It will be poorer without her. Everything comes to an end, even your boring working day. So I wish her well. 17 years She’d been on the show, was it really that long? How many match days had I started with me thinking 5 more minutes or just to the next set of adverts? Remember watching it with my lad. Seeing the end of it on the telly in the pub. I don’t watch much of it these days, if any. If nothing else, it starts after I’m out of the door. With Helen gone, maybe it’s time to call it a day.
My lad had text me earlier on in the week to inform me he’d purchased a ticket for the Bristol City game. It meant 3 things, I’d get to see him, I’d be spending more money than usual and I could give him his mail. Now one of the personality traits that he’s inherited off me, is his laziness. He puts things off in the same way I do. Originally, when he started Uni, his mail was still going to his Moms as he was in shared accommodation. She would, either concerned for his financial welfare or just trying to spy on what he was up to, open his mail. He was rightly aggrieved about the violation of his privacy and asked if he could use my address. Naturally, I agreed. I say naturally, I don’t actually have a problem with my ex, she has with me. Because of that, I do take child like pleasure in going against her wishes. Me and my Son don’t see much of each other. Not because we don’t get on, more how life speeds by. His mail, as you can imagine, had built up, so I was more than happy to unload it on him. He really needs to sort it out.
The Wellington was my first port of call and both Dingle Dave and Jinksy were already in there. Meant that I wouldn’t be twiddling my thumbs waiting for lad. He’d already text me to inform me he was running late. If the bookies would take the bet, then I’d win an awful lot of money on my lad being late. There’s three definites in this life, day follows night, death always comes and my lad is always late. Taffy was the next arrival. His voice hadn’t joined him. He croaked at us and we poked fun. Jakob was next in nursing a coffee. After saying hello, he joined his fellow Swedes up stairs. J.k. was next in and then Darrell resplendent in a new pair of trainers. He suffers with his feet and I’d been telling him for the last 3 years to get a pair of trainers, finally he had, albeit Nike’s. Steve Whaley was the last through the door sporting a very healthy looking tan. The Post Office Vaults was next. Paul Mason and his Baggies crew were in there. We were very much all playing catch up by the time my lad landed 1 and a half hours late. We moved on to the Clink. I wasn’t sure at first but this place is definitely growing on me. LJ was impressed too. It’s something different to the norm. When talking to him there’s never a trainer conversation too far away. We have very similar tastes in almost everything. Fatherly influence definitely. Means there’s never any awkward silences between us and makes for happy living. Final destination before the game was the Spotted Dog. Russell was in there. Spoons was a noticeable absentee, it was Bloodstock weekend. Aida joined us and catch up was more or less complete. On to the ground and seeing Steph, Just and little Seeley for the first time of the season. Rob and Leo were still on holiday so they weren’t there.
Steph takes a lot of care in hers and Seeleys appearance. As you can see in the photo, not even the choice of trainers is overlooked. Another mini me already. I was exactly the same with my lad . Always another generation coming through.
Bristol City went 1:0 up before I’d worked out who was playing where, obviously our lot were exactly the same. Woeful defending. We were getting overrun in midfield. Either we caught up or Bristol slowed down but we managed to gain a bit of ground. Gardner equalised just before half-time. Steph had tried her hand at making muffins and I was lucky enough to be used as a tasting guinea pig. Hers weren’t what you expect muffins to taste like but they were very nice. The blueberries she used were much bigger and juicier than the mass produced ones so once she’s mastered the mix, they’ll be wonderful. Hopefully, I’ll get some more. Hint!
2nd half and we played a lot better. Maghoma scored a goal that encapsulates all that is good about his play. Unfortunately, he only provides glimpses of what he’s capable of. I’d been saying for a while how much both he and Gardner had been under performing and both had not only scored but had put a shift in too. Kieftenbeld got a straight red with 10 minutes left to make it a nervy end. I thought the red card was harsh. It deserved no more than a yellow. So 3 points on the board. Roll on Bolton.
I met up with L.J. outside the ground and we went back to the Spotted Dog. Dave Webb and his missus were already in there when we got in there. It’s always good to see everyone again after the close season. Ready to put up with whatever happens, good or bad. We’ve had a bad time this past few years. Could do with a good season. Need one even. We do get one every now and again. Just not that many. Me and L.J. moved on to The White Swan. It’s a Marstons owned pub. The interior is beautiful. Both the bar with its wooden and mirrored back wall and the tiling is worth the visit. The football is screened in there too but they only have one guest ale in there, the rest are from the Marstons range which means that unless the guest is good you’re stuck for anything decent to drink. From here, we went up to The Old Contemptibles. This is a Nicholsons pub. A lot of their establishments are spectacular. The Philharmonic in Liverpool, Black Friars in London. The Old Contemptibles is just as special. It has the most amazing mural over the bar. If you love your history, especially the first world war then regardless of whether you drink or not, visit this pub. I can’t recommend a visit more. Do it and you’ll understand why. We were to visit one more pub before L.J. had to get the train back to Coventry. The Wellington. My day was to end the way it started. Now I love and hate talking to my lad in equal measure. I never intend to get on his case about anything but end up falling into the paternal role. The fact that he’s very much like me means I have an subconscious desire and need to see passion for whatever he’s doing. When I see that passion I know he’s doing o.k. Not drifting zombie like into anything stupid. It’s the only thing I hate about meeting up with him. The rest I absolutely adore. I would like him to develop a taste for real ale but there’s still plenty of time.