26/8/17 Blues V Reading. Reading in between the lines.

This old bloke got on the bus into town. Now I’m not going to analyse his condition or my feelings about it. His condition or affliction meant he made random noises and spoke to individuals like he’d known them for years though you could clearly see by their expressions and reactions that he didn’t. He would ramble on, commentating, interspersed with the random noises. Now the strange thing is, it was comedic. Even through the affliction, his humour shone through. It was entertaining, that’s for sure. So to the woman who will never read this, your face was a picture as another random noise came out of him as you were just about to board as he got off. I apologise on behalf of everything and us all. If that last sentence doesn’t cover it, then you’re looking for and expecting something you’ll never find or see and understand.

Now I try to be pleasant to anyone I meet. Especially anyone who serves me. As I was going through the door to Ladbrokes, I noticed one of the cashiers was on the phone. For whatever reason, she wasn’t happy. I got my coupons and filled them. She served me, still in a mood but with me being pleasant, by the time she’d finished serving me, her mood had brightened and the frown had changed to a genuine smile. Manners and a smile goes a long way and cost nothing. It’s a mark of respect too. In these days of multiple choice, I tend to go where I get the best service. If I’m pleasant and I don’t get it back I don’t go there again.

I met Jinksy in the Wellington. The Bears win in the 20/20 quarter finals the night before was the first topic of conversation. He showed me what Kevin Pietersen had put on Twitter between innings. That bloke is a pillock of the highest order. I love it when arrogant people end up with egg on their face. He would’ve been sat there at the end of the game with at least a dozen free range covering his mush. He doesn’t come across as someone you’d want to ever meet that’s for sure. The other thing we talked about before we got descended on by all the usual suspects, was sectarianism in Scottish football. Since the authorities have tried clamping down on it, it’s actually got worse. I am not religious in the slightest. I just don’t get it. For Jinksy and Natt Peters, it’s just banter for them but I have problems with people who take it further and there’s too many of them, the world over. Steve Whaley joined us straight off the train from the Cotswolds. He was going back after the game. The Bournemouth couple were next through the door and the talk was of Bank Holiday trains. London was particularly hit this weekend with 3 of their mainline stations out. Weren’t we glad we were at home this weekend. J.k. dropped in resplendent in his “garlic” football shirt as Jinksy puts it. Dingle Dave followed him in and J.k. promptly had a sneezing fit. We blamed Dave. Worcester Pete was next in and we got talking about non league football. I had plans to do Solihull Moors on the Monday but Jinksy had mentioned that Dave and J.k. were going to do Halesowen v Sutton Coldfield Town. No brainer, this one captured my imagination. We talked non league rivalries. Something that the those that never goes wouldn’t know anything about. We decamped to the P.O.V. and Pete left to go to Hennesseys to some of his mates in there. Up until now I hadn’t known what Dave had done for a job. He’s a fraud investigator. Now he was way too professional to start going into details but it still sounded interesting. But then I suppose my job would sound interesting to someone from a completely different work background. It was on to the Clink. It’s starting to become the beaten path this season. It was then on to. . . . . yeah you’ve guessed it, Spotted Dog. Spoons was conspicuous by his absence but Aida turned up in a very fetching Russian international football track suit top. Like a lot of Adidas Equip replica gear, some of the logos are ironed on. This really puts me off buying stuff. I want something you can wear more than 3 times. Russell and his postmen mates were in there. We mentioned that we were off to Halesowen on the Monday. He was up for it. The day would be a laugh. I always end up giggling like a schoolboy whenever I’m out with him.

Clive was back. Meant that I’d have someone to talk to once Alex and her latest drama landed. That girl can talk. Steph, Seeley and Just were as usual already in their seats. Seeley absolutely adores Alex. Originally, I didn’t want Harry Redknapp as manager. For me, I thought he was too old. In the 3 games at the end of last season, he showed me his class as a manager. When he put his signature to at least a season, I was delighted. He is definitely the man that can take us up. Unfortunately, today showed how much work there is to do. We are extremely short on creativity. There are players who just aren’t good enough. Little did I know then how crazy deadline day would be. We lost 2:0 and it could’ve been more. Probably should have been. I’ve got Reading in my acca for league winners but it didn’t stop me feeling very deflated as I came out of the ground. We lost on Tuesday, that was expected and no tears shed, this game showed how fragile we were. A proper reality check.

Back to the Dog and the air was one of despondency. The early season optimism very much evaporating. Blues have this ability to build your hopes up and then crush them, but then when you’re just about to walk away, suck you back in and all is good again. They never ever do things the easy way. Always always the hard way. It wears you out but it’s never ever boring. One of things I hate about myself is my absolute inability to remember names. I’m just rubbish at it. If my life depended on it then I would write my will. I do however remember stuff about people. I also have an anorak like knowledge of football. I’m a sponge when it comes to football facts and figures but remembering peoples names is beyond me. One of Russell’s mates has a scar on his nose. It’s blue in colour. Ideal if you’re a Blues fan. He got it after a night on Black Rat real cider. He’d decided in that fuzzy thinking you possess once drunk, to walk the 3 miles home. Feet and legs stopped working in unison and face met pavement. He said that he could feel and see the blood squirting out like a fountain. He managed to get home to bed. Morning comes and his face is completely stuck to the pillow. The only way he could remove it from his face was to run a bath and soak the whole lot until finally he could peel the pillow off. Another time he was caught short whilst out on the beer and needed a dump. Whilst in the process he spotted a member of the local plod, trying to duck down out of the way, he was let down by the spontaneous fountain of urine that spurted out of him. High enough for the Ol Bill to see him. What a legend. I said my goodbyes and headed for home. I hadn’t had anything to eat all day and I made the mistake of buying a double bacon cheese burger XL from Burger king. It was utterly disgusting. I hadn’t had one for a while, I remembered why.

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