Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday 31 July 2010

This morning I awaken around 7.45AM into a drizzling, miserable day.  This does not bode well for our trip up to Millwall later on.

I begin the day finishing off watching The Culture Show special with John Lydon.  I’ve always been a fan of this guy even if I was quiet when my peers in Gringo Records were more than discerning.

Eventually I head out for my Saturday morning grocery shopping and newspaper run.  Again this week I head to Sainsburys in Stanway mainly because I went to Asda yesterday and for some reason they didn’t have this week’s issue of the NME.

As I leave my flat the rain is by now pounding down in full Seattle style.  I cannot believe just how heavy it is.

Soon I find myself inside Sainsburys not really feeling any enthusiasm for shopping in a store so foreign.  It is a distinctly different set of people that shop here compared to Asda.  I miss those guys.

In the end the sad highlight of my spree turns out to be the discovery of a new fizzy caffeine drink called Hell.  It comes in a little red can with a sharp devil adorning it and plenty of promise within.

When I get back I quickly put away my groceries before watching the remainder of Sid & Nancy.  I find this movie less convincing now and more romantic.  On the whole I no longer think it is as good as I once did even if I do now spot more cameos and generally take more glee in watching it with added background knowledge.  I fear perhaps my favourite element of the movie is that Chloe Webb who portrays Nancy Spungen, was the actress that played the girlfriend of Danny Devito in Twins, the movie that is half the inspiration of Game Over.  Also you have to love “Love Kills” by Joe Strummer; it is a truly magnificent song.

Eventually I head to the olds just before midday to pick dad up to take him to The New Den to see MILLWALL play HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN in the Neil Harris testimonial match.  As I step out of the car he emerges wearing the red and black away shirt that I bought him for Father’s Day.  Doesn’t he understand “no colours”?

Soon we are at the train station where we wind up on the 12.30PM train before getting off at Stratford to take the Jubilee Line up to London Bridge.  This is the easiest passage we have taken yet, ordinarily it seems National Express do everything in their power to force us onto replacement buses for MILLWALL games.

By the time we are boarding an overground train to South Bermondsey the time is fast heading towards 2PM and at the station there isn’t much in the way of a MILLWALL presence.  There is however a mad Geordie screaming into his mobile phone.

We get to the ground in decent time where I hope the stadium manages to impress the old man.  If it does he is not letting on.  As we turn into Zampa Road there is now some kind of Banksy type painting of Neil Harris in the arches under the rail tunnel.  It looks fucking cool.  At this point I wonder what the old man is making of MILLWALL on his first visit.

We head to the usual ticket office in the East Stand only to discover unsurprisingly that with this being just a pre-season friendly they haven’t bothered to open it meaning that we have to head back and join a huge queue at the main ticket office where only two windows are open.

After much comment and an incredibly slow moving queue I snag us a couple of tickets in Block 17.  Should be good, usually is.  Except when it isn’t.

As we step through the turnstiles the old man makes comment how narrow/snug they are which is a relief because I had always feared that this was just down to me and my fat arse.

From here we grab a bite and a drink (with dad accidentally spilling his coffee down) before I step into the toilet where I hear a man fart while he has a piss which reminds me of The Girl’s comment about passing out if you burp, sneeze and fart at the same time.  When I emerge from the cubicle thankfully he is not spread out on the floor spark out.

By now the time is 2.30PM and I have managed to time things incredibly well despite the bullshit we faced on public transport.

With time nearing kick off we take our seats in Block 17 and finally the old man gets to see the hallowed turf of The New Den.  Our seats are pretty decently placed but they do unfortunately see me cuddling up to a scarred fat arse to my right.

Looking over at the away end HEARTS have brought down quite a big contingent.  There have been various murmurs of incidents/rucks being lined up but is that really going to occur off the back of a pre-season friendly?

As I sit flicking through the enlarged matchday programme for some reason it possesses a sweet sweet smell along the lines of marijuana.  Scratch and sniff programmes are definitely the way forward.

Eventually the teams come out onto the pitch as they line-up and pay tribute to Neil Harris who steps out carrying his kid.  This guy is a true legend.  I have to admit I was expecting something more of a dog and pony show but thankfully we get let off.

By this point the guy sat to my right has sensibly moved over a seat and with the sun out all begins to look good.

The game begins with HEARTS worryingly dominating proceedings.  Suddenly there appears something of a slight gap between the Championship and the SPL as the Scots knock the ball about handily as MILLWALL struggle to get in.  Worryingly early on HEARTS manage to make MILLWALL look sluggish and ordinary.

With this the HEARTS supporters find their voice as for a pre-season friendly their fans begin to make a lot of noise.  Needless to say the ‘Wall supporters snap back in excess.

Frustratingly HEARTS take a relatively early lead when Eggy Jonsson (really?) scores from the penalty spot.  In my opinion the guy was already in the air when Robinson kicked him.  What the fuck?

MILLWALL do not look good today.  Now that James Henry has been signed on a permanent basis he appears to have turned to shit judging by today’s performance.  Likewise Steve Morison isn’t living up to last season’s form.

With the goal lead the HEARTS fans remain boisterous with a commendable non-stop barrage of songs.  In retort amongst other things we make comment of how we pay their welfare.  Then when they respond to this a sensible voice rings out from the ‘WALL end: “we can’t understand you”.  Then as things begin to calm down the sudden sound of “shhhhhh” emerges from the HEARTS supporters as they keep going on like an annoying little brother.

Towards the end of the first half MILLWALL score a surprise equalizer as Trotter heads home a corner against the run of play.  Seems all is not lost for the 2010/2011 season after all.  With that halftime arrives as MILLWALL begin to look solid, if not decent, for it.

As things begin to get loud again in the second half ‘WALL start to gel together, especially Henry who finally gets going and now poses a threat.  Before long MILLWALL take the lead as it is Henry who puts in a fantastically measured cross that Trotter again heads home.  Hell yeah!

With this the game ploughs through the second half in staid fashion as worryingly one of the standout moments is when Jack Smith comes on and does a headless chicken act.  This is rollercoaster stuff on a low level.

Midway through the half the HEARTS supporters start up again and begin to sing “you’re just a wee team from London”.  Unfortunately for them the word “wee” will never near anything intimidating.  In response our fans just shrug as things begin to get childish, on and off the pitch.

Eventually HEARTS score an equalizer from a free kick via Craig Thomson.  Just looking at the way the kick and the ‘WALL wall were being lined up it felt obvious that it was about to fly in.  Basically this was HEARTS displaying their slightly superior skill set.

Not long after that goal goes in HEARTS then get another free kick in almost exactly the same spot and once more MILLWALL look vulnerable.  Fortunately it goes sailing over the bar.

By now MILLWALL are getting an equal run of the green missing sitters in frustrating fashion, not least when a clearance goes straight to Lisbie who fluffs the opportunity when one on one.

When HEARTS get a third free kick you would put money on it going in (as it does).  Again it is Craig Thomson who scores as he makes the game 3-2 to the visitors.  As I said earlier this I guess is the gulf between a freshly promoted Division One side and a Scottish Premier League outfit.

Towards the end of the game Neil Harris gets substituted and exits to a hero’s reception.

Finally the game ends 3-2 to HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN and with this the old man and I waste no time in heading off.  For a pre-season friendly it was actually a fucking good game.  From the East Stand we head towards Zampa Road and South Bermondsey station where I know a crush awaits us.  At this point I really have no idea what the old man is making of it all.

We all get stopped by the police as we near the entrance of the station.  While we wait I sneeze and some kid seemingly with ADD kid behind us says “bless you” which makes me and the old man laugh as I feel the necessity to say “thank you”.  From here a phone begins ringing with the ringtone of the Rocky theme.  I love my fellow MILLWALL supporters.

Eventually we get up to the platform where we clamber onto a train for just one stop (to London Bridge).  Upon getting there we head across the station to the Northern Line and up to Moorgate.  This station on a sunny Saturday evening post-football will always remind me of when we used to come here to check out David Blaine dangling in her Perspex box.  Better times.

Unsurprisingly at this time on a Saturday evening the Northern Line is rammed.  When a seat becomes available at Bank the old man takes it and suddenly I can no longer see him for weird tourists with huge rucksacks and teenage disco tarts who it should be illegal to leer at.  Fortunately when we stop at Moorgate the old man is aware enough to get up and exit.  Despite our now being fairly far away from MILLWALL we still find ourselves surrounded by HEARTS supporters.

In the end we get to Liverpool Street at 5.55PM with the 6PM Norwich train sitting in the platform waiting to go.  Rather than board however the old man wants to get a drink while I stress about catching the fast train.  Being that he is diabetic though I am always fearful that he may need a sugar fix.

Thankfully we manage to get the 6PM train with seconds to spare as I keep reiterating to the old man that “this is a good train”.  With the sun shining and a glorious evening in full flow we get back to Colchester just before 7PM with everyone feeling good.

Upon returning to my parents I step in for some dinner while we watch/observe the fall out drama of the two clamped cars sat outside my parents’ front room.  My family rules at schadenfreude.

On TV this evening is a new moronic Saturday night show called Odd One Out (or something).  It is notably only for the inclusion and use of “Cut Your Hair” by Pavement as the intro song to a skit.  What the fuck is that about?  Not long after this I head home.

Summer Saturday evenings spent at home generally tend to feel like a waste but this does not matter today.  With this I soon settle into satisfaction for the night.

Sadly just as I nod off suddenly there is a bang.  This is not the first this evening and now it would seem it is not going to be the last either.  In a way I initially appreciate the wake up call because it reminds me that In Search Of A Midnight Kiss is on TV and it puts me in good footing for an indulgent Saturday night.

Unfortunately at this point the slamming becomes frequent and then my entryphone begins buzzing non-stop.  What on earth is this shit?  Then I hear shouting outside and pissed off I pick up the phone and scream “fuck off” down the line without actually pressing the entry button.

Eventually the door opens and I hear the sound of stomping up my stairs and into 15 Hollytree Court next door.  For a moment I fear repercussion of my yelling “fuck off” down the line but instead the footsteps go straight into next door when I proceed to endure further screaming and shouting.  Suddenly she (Caroline Geary) is telling this guy to get out, an act usually saved for the couple that lives beneath me.  What on earth is going on here?  Is this guy a punter as I sometimes fear and suspect?

Like a pussy I stand behind my door trying to make sense of the crashing boon occurring on the landing of my building.  Really I should I step but at the same time there is a lot to be said to exercising common sense.  A decent person would check that it isn’t getting out of hand though.  A decent person I am not.

As the shouting reaches new decibels and the guy actually says “jailbait” before thankfully the guy heads off.  Turning all the lights off in my apartment I look out of my window and spot some young lad with a record bag.  Who on earth is this person?  The appearance truly does not match the noise he was making.  Without a doubt I hate these people.

Perversely I now find my own adrenaline is pumping.  I have to admit/concede to feeling fear as a result of all the noise and as I hear a car pull in outside I look out to spot a police transit.  Cavalry?

Again my doorbell buzzes and I let them in.  From here they step up next to my door as I hear them knock on her door and enquire as to what is going on.  I hope they take her away and throw her in a cell.  After some feeble questioning this does not seem to happen and with this they leave satisfied that nobody is going to get killed tonight.

With this as things become quiet I attempt to settle back into sleep but it is just fucking impossible as I expect/await another wave of bullshit.  Who let this scum into my building?

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