With my ‘factory fortnight’ holiday hurtling to an end, I headed into town to meet up with Ian. It’s been a fruitful holiday, but not in the way you’d probably expect. Primarily, I finally managed to do what I’d been putting off for ridiculously stupid excuses. Not reasons, though I was claiming they were, but excuses. Reasons are the truth. Excuses are lies. I’d been lying to myself, to the detriment of my bank account. Without going into too much detail, I’d been happily stuck in a rut, paying for things I really didn’t need to pay for. With the cost of living starting to suffocate, I proverbially grasped the nettle by the stem, and sorted a couple of things out. With depression, both apathy and procrastination go hand in hand. You become gripped so vice like, that it damages. The bizarre thing, is once you’ve actually done what you’ve been putting off, you are enveloped by a huge sense of achievement. You then beat yourself up mentally, for leaving it so long, and it’s always always far too long. You also vow to not be so stupid in the future. The fact that you’ll end up doing it again, is beside the point. So other than sorting both my Sky TV and mobile phone contracts out, my holiday was quiet. To be honest, it’s been nice just being able to relax. You know the old cliché that states that you wait ages and ages for a bus. and then 3 turn up? Well I only needed to wait five minutes, and 4 turned up. How could I moan at that? I couldn’t even moan as a Mom tried desperately to pacify the tired, uncomfortable, frustrated, and extremely noisy toddler in her charge. I’m just extremely grateful that I don’t have to go through all that anymore. I struggled with Fatherhood. I still do. It’s the guilt. The guilt that I don’t spend enough time in contact with my son. It’s not even that I don’t like my son, because I do. I wouldn’t feel so guilty if I didn’t like him. I claim that life goes by so quick, (Which it does.) I claim that I don’t want to intrude on his life. (Which I don’t.) but truth is, I’m just so damned lazy with some big parts of my life, that I know I should really be on top of. I know I should take much more of an interest in my son’s life. It’s how it’s supposed to be, but I don’t. I actually don’t understand the parental clamour for wanting to know all the inane details of an offsprings life. Am I weird for being like that? Probably. I met up with Ian in the Good Intent. A place I haven’t been in since the country tentatively attempted to emerge from the Covid pandemic, post Lockdown, but pre immunisation. I quite like the place, quite like the location, but for whatever reason. I never go in. We got a table outside. and chatted about a whole host of different things. We’ve both got completely different employment backgrounds, but would love to have a dabble at opening a micro pub. Running one would be totally different to what either of us do now, and wouldn’t be blind to the work that’s involved. It’s nothing more than a pipe dream of course, but there’s nothing wrong with dreaming. From the Good Intent, we moved onto The Colemore. It was both busy and noisy in there, but the girl that moved from the Welly, was working in there. Her eyes lit up when she saw me. (I really should find out what her name is.) She’d grown her hair, dyed it black, and now sported a splodge of white in it. It looked good, but apparently, It’d been compared to Cruella Deville. For me though, it makes her look more like Yvonne De Carlo when she played Lilly Munster, and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to look like a sexy vampire? Before we’d gone in, I was going to nip and take a photo of the bull, they’ve created for the Commonwealth Games, believing it to be in Victoria Square. That was before Ian informed me it was in Centenary Square. I decided it could wait. I’ve really not been interested in the Commonwealth Games one little bit. I could’ve even applied for free tickets because of where I live. Inspired, I was not. Me and Ian chatted about the impact the games has made in the city though, because it’s definitely made one. I may not have been enthralled by it all, but plenty have. Will first time visitors to the city want to come back? Well even being as cynical as I am, the organisers have really pushed the boat out, and done a really good job. As for me being cynical, sometimes you just don’t appreciate the things you’ve got on your doorstep. There’s a big chance I’ve fallen into that category. Has the games been good for the city? I think I’d have to say that it has. Maybe I should’ve taken up the chance of free tickets. From the Colemore, we dropped in on the Welly. Paul was already in there, and we joined him. Us ale trailers are getting old. A sure sign of this, is talk of pensions. When you’re young, and your life stretches in front of you, the last thing you want to talk about is pensions. It’s a topic that seems to be fast climbing to number one subject for us ale trailers to talk about. If that’s not a sign we’re all getting old, then I don’t know what is. We’ll be comparing our medications next. Mind you, given his health problems, it was good to see Paul for the first time this season. Gravity took us down to Halton Turner.
Mikey was outside Halton Turner when we got there. He was with a Blues fan I hadn’t met before, and once I’d got a pint, engaged them in conversation. I was to discover that the lad was an old mate of Mikey’s, called Darren. Mikey has enthusiastically embraced the games, and has attended many of the different sports. I went onto explain why I’ve not been interested. Would I have been had I still lived in Telford? I don’t honestly know. I possibly would’ve. When I lived in Telford. I travelled over for one of the Birmingham Brummies Speedway meets. I’ve lived with the stadium at Perry Bar on my doorstep for 8 years now, and I haven’t been once, and I really like Speedway. Honestly, it’s less than a 15 minute walk from me, and I’ve yet to get to a meeting. Even given that I work nights, I’ve had many opportunities to get down for a meeting. It is human nature to take things for granted though, and as far as I know, that still applies to me too. (I am waiting on the results of the tests to confirm that I am actually still a human, mind. I yelped when they pinched me, so that must’ve been a good start.) As both Spoons and Jinksy arrived, I carried on chatting all things sport with Mikey and Darren. American sport entered the conversation. Their main sports haven’t really taken off in this country, besides attempts being made. I think it says more about the British as people, than it does the sport itself. I couldn’t imagine the Yanks ever being happy with a 0:0 draw. 5 day Test matches that end in a draw would cause serious meltdowns. First home games of the season, always cloud your timing. By the end of the season, you’ve got it down precisely, but at the start of the season, doubt takes over. Not least, having the anxiety of whether your season ticket will actually work at the turnstile. We all parted company to go to where we were supposed to be, and I was relieved to find that my new season ticket worked, and I hadn’t been mysteriously blacklisted. I really don’t trust technology. Getting to my seat, I noted that Seeley and Luke had grown bigger and older.
After Luton, I was disappointed to see that the team lineup hadn’t changed. I would’ve liked to have seen a more attacking nous. The first goal completely took me by surprise. So much so, that coupled with trying to process that it had actually happened, I didn’t/couldn’t celebrate properly or barely at all. Not only was it early in the game, our first real attack, but it was a diving header at the near post from Scot Hogan. It was the type of header I hadn’t seen since the days of Keith Bertschin. More importantly, it was from a player that is more likely to pull away from a cross, than go in where the boots are flying. We then settled down into a formulated way of playing. Huddersfield were struggling to find any kind of rhythm. We weren’t playing attractive football in the slightest, but it was affective. We increased the lead through a good finish from the player we’ve got on loan from Watford, Przemyslaw Placheta. No surprise he goes by a nickname, (Bebe.) but I think there’s more chance of him being called Placenta, than there is Bebe. Halftime, 2:0 up. Call me hard to please if you want, but I wasn’t impressed. In truth, I’d been bored by the football we’d produced. It was formulated and functional. The second half was to confirm what I was dreading. Unsurprisingly Huddersfield attacked us. We went into hedgehog mode. If I’d been bored in the first half, I was wishing I’d bought something to read, for the second half. In fact, I spent biggest part of the second half discussing the best England side with Luke. He’s now at the age where he’s got an opinion. Now 13 he’s thankfully in the ‘interesting years’ that puberty enforces. Wanting to preserve the 3 points, Eustace shut the game down with substitutions. Placenta being replaced by George Friend before even the added minutes had been announced, was my cue to leave. I’d had enough. Gary Rowett was back in the disguise of John Eustace.
I walked away the ground with a heavy heart. I should’ve been bouncing, should’ve been at least content, but instead I was gutted. I truly hate ‘Rowett ball’, and I’ve now got to put up with it, until the rest have caught up. I suppose I should be grateful that we won’t be going down this season, but I just can’t help feeling depressed by it all. Least it was a Friday, and I had my first ground hop to look forward to the next day. Early train meant heading home early.