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Page updated 22 May 2020

DIARY OF A FIXTURES SECRETARY … WITH NO FIXTURES

(Week 7 – 03.05.20)


A little late with the diary this week but some may be relieved to have been spared for a couple of days!  I would have written it earlier but there were “Jobs to do, far more important than writing that load of nonsense!”  In all seriousness, one can feel frustrated and bored at not being able to do all the things we enjoy and are used to but against the dreadful scenario that is being played out in our hospitals and care homes, it’s as nothing.  In these circumstances, it’s good to see so many making an effort to help others, to raise funds and generally keep the country’s spirits up.  A shining example is, of course, Capt. Tom Moore, now a Colonel.  What a fantastic achievement and, as Steve said to me this morning, he deserves a knighthood!


I don’t agree that tackling coronavirus is a war, because it’s completely different in so many aspects, but the ways in which people are rallying together are reminiscent of the dark days of WW2.  A bright day in the war, however was May 8, 1945 – VE Day.  We commemorate the 75th anniversary of this on Friday with a Bank Holiday, but without all the trappings that have been synonymous with previous anniversaries of this day.  Here at the Station, we held great parties for the 50th and 60th anniversaries with well over 100 guests, all dressed in 40s costume, a dance floor on the trackbed with tables laid out either side of it, and a Glenn Miller-style band with ‘The Andrews Sisters’!  No such party this time … I’ll be on my own outside the village hall playing Vera Lynn very loudly through a PA system to the locals picnic-ing in their individual gardens. (I’ve been banned from singing!)


My week has been somewhat rain dominated.  I bought a load of lawn fertiliser but, reading the instructions, one ideally needs an optimum set of weather conditions and timings for it to work.  First you want no rain, then you do want rain, but not too much, then it’s got to dry so the dog can walk on it, then it’s got to rain at regular, but not too regular, intervals.  Even the Almighty himself would struggle to plan his weather that accurately and, needless to say, I got it wrong!  Actually, the weather forecast was wrong, but that doesn’t count of course!  I can see me having to spend another fortune on fertiliser very soon.


Walked the dog in appalling conditions last Tuesday.  Both of us got soaked but she decided that jumping in the river was also a fantastic idea.  She couldn’t have got much wetter anyway but now she added thick mud to it.  I was already very grumpy when we got home but my mood was made even worse by the dog being greeted with open arms and ‘you poor thing’ whilst dripping water and mud in equal measure on the kitchen floor.  I, on the other hand, had the door shut in my face, and was told to remove footwear and most of my clothing outside, as far from the house as possible.  I’m coming back into this life as a dog.


My Apdelstrudel has been ordered again by Mrs Knott and mother-in-law but, unfortunately Sandy posted a picture of it on the village Facebook site, so there have been more orders.  No chance … unless rewarded by bottles of expensive alcoholic refreshment!  I was going to bake it today but, accidently on purpose, I forget to defrost the pastry!


The lack of football to watch and play is now really getting me down, but today is a special one for all Brighton and Hove Albion supporters.  On May 3, 1997, we travelled to Hereford knowing that a defeat would send us out of the league and probably out of existence bearing in mind what was going on in the club at the time.  In the cruellest of ironies Hereford had to win to stay up, a draw would not be good enough for them.  James and I sat in the main stand surrounded by Hereford supporters and the atmosphere was weird.  Everyone was so apprehensive about the dreadful fate that would befall one of the teams.  Hereford scored first through an own goal by one of our home-grown lads who was in tears.  At half time we had a drink in the bar but we were going through the motions, almost paralysed by the thought of what was to happen in just over 45 minutes.


Then, 20 minutes from the end, we hit the post and one of our lesser players, who’d come on as a sub, netted the rebound.  Our celebrations were muted out of respect to the Hereford fans all around us and, in any case, nails continued to be bitten because we weren’t there yet.  At the final whistle, we hugged each other and there were tears but, on turning round to commiserate with those Hereford people, we saw that they were inconsolable.  Their Chairman’s daughters were sobbing into their scarves.  It’s only a game …?  It was more than that, that day.  Hard to believe that 20 years on, we were promoted to the Premier League.  Nothing we have done or might do in the top division will, however, come close to the raw emotions of Hereford ’97 and the ultimate joy of coming 91st in the League!


The subject of hair came up in a conversation between Steve, Jonathan and myself earlier, with me, having seen a pic of ‘Uncle Albert’ Mundin’s beard and coming up with the tired old comment about him having put his ‘head on upside down.’  I won’t send you the evidence as it’s not good.  Sandy said it made him look about 90, so I’ve been scouring the walking football websites to see if there is a 90+ team anywhere.  He suggested he could play with Capt. Tom, but we decided that Tom is probably fitter!  Jonathan is also now sporting a beard and, for reasons which escape me, thought it proper that he too should send a pic.  My friends, it’s horrific and reminded me of many years ago when I was invited to visit the Black Museum in Scotland Yard.  There are some gruesome exhibits in there of notorious crimes over the years, along with mug shots of the evil perpetrators.  I couldn’t decide whether Jonathan’s pic resembles the ‘brides in the acid bath’ murderer or the ‘wives under the floorboards’ merchant.  Either way that photograph deserves instant arrest for the subject, should a member of the constabulary set eyes on it.


Continuing the hair theme, we all know that, some time ago, John changed his hairstyle to a semi-Elvis look.  He has been cultivating it by making monthly flying visits to Elvis’ barber in Memphis but, obviously, that has had to stop.  Marion is now doing his hair and a cracking job she’s made of it …


We now go into another week of lockdown but please keep fit, stay safe and take care until the ‘Lights Go On Again’ as Dame Vera would sing.



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