6/4/19 Blues v Leeds, Tinker Players, Sold A Spy.

Sticking the telly on, the erudite Julie Hambleton and her brother Brian were being interviewed on BBC Breakfast, they have, along with a dedicated few, been campaigning tirelessly, to get justice for the 21 people who were slain in the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974, I may have only been 6 at the time, but I remember vividly, the impact it had on people, unsurprisingly, what happened, crops up in conversation quite regularly, it’s touched so many Brummies lives in one way or another, not least for Julie and Brian, who lost their sister Maxine. I have known about how well Julie talks for awhile now, but bizarrely, it was the first time I’d been able to listen to her properly, impressed is not strong enough a word, very few times in life, have I been captivated by what a person says, and the delivery, with the utter contempt that ‘Justice for the 21’ has been shown, it’s amazing how much passion and fight, Julie has still got burning inside her, a lesser person would’ve folded by now, worn down, and worn out. Even with the findings in court, this past week, the fight still goes on, 45 years of the truth being swept under the carpet, is a national disgrace. I don’t like going in the bookies on Grand National day, I’m no expert when it comes to betting, and because of that, get paranoid that I’ll be mistaken for the once a year punters, who clog up the places, I don’t know why the race captured the populations imagination, or even when, but it did, horse racing has never really appealed to me, and I don’t get sucked in to having a bet, as I don’t with the next biggest race, the Gold Cup at Cheltenham either. I caught the number 50 up to Moseley, and went in the Moseley Beer Co, during the week, I’d received an email from Paul McNally, who jointly owns and runs it, saying they were opening up early, especially for us Blues, so it was pretty much, rude not to make use of the opportunity.

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“A bohemian feel”

I cracked up a really interesting conversation with Paul, about all things brewing, as I sipped on a glass of mead, yes you have read that correctly, mead, not too sweet, and very warming, if you’re interested, and you should be, it was gorgeous, albeit rather strong at 7% a.b.v., I actually think it was slightly stronger, definitely a drink to have around the 25th of December, I don’t know how the conversation veered on to diversity, and how having an open mind, enriches your enjoyment of life, but it did, and it’s always good to talk to a like minded person, you get to learn even more. I was joined by both Mikey and Rich, and after dropping on to ale, we went round the corner to the Old Moseley Arms, before getting the bus to the Lamp, where a group of Leeds fans had holed themselves up, I got chatting to one of them, about how the season had gone, advising them it would be easier to get a taxi to the ground, with the time knocking on, we headed to the Spotted Dog, for a last pint before the game, catching up with Jeff, Andy and John.

Leeds had sold out as usual, a legacy from when they were banned from attending away games, back in the 80s. When something is taken away from you, when it’s given back, you value it more. Due to how successful they were in the 70s, they’re a national club, their fans come from all over the country, a club that probably should be in the Premier League, but seem to always fall short, sometimes overreaching themselves, expectations weighing too heavy, tropical fish, and crazy wages. Marcelo Bielsa, has got Leeds playing well, and with good football, I remember him at Athletic Bilboa, the football he had them playing was eye candy for a football fan like me, I hadn’t forgotten, Monk has got us set up, to counterattack, but unlike the long ball rubbish that Rowett played, when we do get the ball, we use it better, attack in a wave, intricate passing. . . as much as the players are capable, I would rather us have the ball for longer periods of time, but we haven’t got the type of players to be able to control that way of playing, we sit, and explode when we get the chance, we struggle, when a team is set up to play the exact same way as we do, giving us possession of the ball, Leeds had the ball, it makes for nervous watching, even with Blues taking a surprising lead through the now usual suspect, Adams, a good finish moving him on to 22 goals for the season, at the start of the season, I would’ve gratefully taken the 10 million offered by Fulham, I don’t see him being at Blues next season, but I certainly hope that at least double the figure comes our way. Except for Bamford hitting the post, we defended well all game, retrospectively, I would probably say, quite easily, but at the time, the minutes went as slowly as hours, the 6 minutes of added time, inexplicable. So 3 points clawed back, of the 9 taken off us, the other 6, a point a game, should see us safe.

Back to the Dog, and the home ale trailers were all in there, I wasn’t going to be in there for long though, as the opportunity to catch up with Dave, on his way down to the semi-final, was too good to miss, even with knowing that he was going to extract the urine with the Hobos beating the Jambos, I got the bus up into town with Darrell, meeting up with Dave and Jinksy in the Post Office Vaults. I actually couldn’t bring myself to rib Dave too much about his glory hunting escapade to Wembley, I was far too jealous anyway. The days beer, though I’m sure the mead was stronger than 7%, had taken its toll, and I got the bus home, bumping (Not literally, I wasn’t that inebriated) into Badge as I got off, chewing over the day.

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