4/5/19 Charlton Athletic v Rochdale, Surrounded By Pigs.

After Val’s full English, we got the 350 bus to close to Heathrow to meet hubby John, unfortunately there’d been a miscommunication, where we’d gone to meet him, wasn’t where we were supposed to be, and by the time this was ascertained, it was too late to make the trip up to Shropshire for the Shrewsbury v Walsall game, Val kept apologising, something she needn’t have worried about, these things happen, after a quick look at the fixture list, (An addict still needed his fix) I saw that Charlton were playing at home to Rochdale, I could still make that one, with Val apologising again, I jumped off at West Drayton, getting the Overground to Paddington, hitting the Underground to London Bridge, back on the Overground to Charlton, going on the Whatpub site to work out a pub to do. Getting off at Charlton and getting a ticket for the home end, I’d chosen the White Swan, it had had a good write up on the site, to say I was disappointed, is a total understatement, the service was an absolute disgrace, beer clips inexplicably turned round as I waiting and waiting, before giving up, deciding to cut my losses and go to the Rose Of Denmark, with only Fuller’s London Pride, I’d overlooked it in favour of the White Swan. Although I’m not the biggest fan of Fuller’s flagship ale, the Rose knows how to run a pub, the ale was kept well, I didn’t have to wait to be served, being served before I’d even got to the bar, and it was a couple deep at it. The barmaid even apologised for the plastic glass. The telly showed the results from the 3o’clock games, Notts County had been relegated, although I was pleased that Sol Campbell and Macclesfield had stayed up, seeing the oldest league club lose its status, saddened me. I was saddened even more when I was to discover that MK Dons had been promoted, a terrible place for an ale trailer to go and watch football, probably the worst place in fact. I can honestly recommend giving the place a wide berth. I walked back passed the station as another train unloaded, just missing the commotion of police running, riding, driving towards some kind of aggravation.

I hadn’t any preference to where I sat, I inadvertently chose correctly.

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“Charlton Forrest May have been a better name”

Although I quite like a trip to The Valley, I’d always been in the away end, if nothing else, had the game been awful, least I had something to look at, as my view was impressive. I was in the ground early enough to see the mythical kick-off fairies, I was expecting at least a fanfare but all there was, was those ridiculously dressed mascot things. Were the kick-off fairies already on holiday? Or were they being rested ahead of the playoffs? Charlton played some good football as they got to grips with the game, and scored a good goal, to go 1:0 Up. Continuing to have the upper hand, the second was a scrappy affair, so much so that everyone thought it was going to be pulled up, and a free-kick given to Rochdale, instead the referee pointed at the centre circle, cue delayed celebrations, another through ball, and the game was effectively put to bed, 3:0, only there was no let up, it was looking like it was going to be a bit of a drubbing. I’d been stood up all first half, half time meant I could sit down and check the score of the Shrewsbury v Walsall game, 0:0. Walsall in the descendancy, second half and the chances kept coming and coming, all for Charlton, but at our end now, one through ball led to the Charlton lad being taken out, despite being the last man, only a yellow was shown, still the chances came, one finally being finished, 4:0, still Charlton went looking for goals, still I was stood up, still the Charlton fans (Albeit, led by a drummer) sang, and had fun. Yet another attack led to a horrendous tackle being only rewarded with a free-kick and a yellow card, when it deserved a red one. I suppose you could say that 4:0 was a drubbing, but 8:0 wouldn’t have flattered the home side, such was their dominance. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it, had I been a Rochdale fan, and although it was very one sided, I had seen some really good attacking, positive football. When playing for Blues, I hadn’t seen Lee Bowyer as a potential manager, watching this performance, I see him as a potential Blues manager, things aren’t right behind the scenes at the Valley, and although they’re not exactly great at St Andrews, I would love to have him in the Blues dugout.

With only having a pint before the game, I wanted another, I was always going to head back to London Bridge and have one round there, but was undecided on where, there is after all, some good ones in that area. I hadn’t been in The George for getting on 30 years, I knew it was Green King owned, and because of that, like a Fuller’s or Marston’s, the range is pretty standard stuff, but I fancied a bit of a trip down memory lane, I steered clear of the Green King beers, and had the Wimbledon SW19, a lovely citrus taste, and no Pimms in sight.

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“Not another example of taxidermy, it was alive”

The first time I saw the dog, I honestly thought it was a stuffed toy, till it moved. As dogs in pubs go, he was as good as gold.

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“Action!”

If you love historic pubs as I do, then the George is a must visit, it’s got more history than you could wave a stick at, a place where you could expect to see Dickens or Shakespeare scribbling away in the corner. No surprise it’s been used in period dramas on a regular basis. Different kick-off times mess with your head, an early kick-off, and you feel it’s later than what it is, a late kick-off, and you feel it’s earlier than what it is. Checking the time on my phone, I realised that the time was knocking on, so made my way back to my Sister’s, and her spaghetti Bolognese. If you’re wondering about the heading of this post, Val collects everything and anything with pigs on, not just the usual piggy bank’s and soft toys. Each and every room is piggy themed.

 

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