One of the advantages of going to the same festival for the fifteenth time is certainty. Certainty that you will come across good music, good company, trench foot, sunburn, hypothermia, smelly socks, a bad back, an unfortunate new hat, some slightly fuzzy memories (due I am sure to being quite ‘tired’ quite often….in fact very tired and perhaps a little emotional…ahem), hangovers the size of small nations (see previous point) and wind (and yes I have moved on from matters meteorological at this point).
There is always of course always the odd welcome surprise. Maybe a band that you hadn’t heard of whose performance blows you away or your Swedish mates managing to be silent for a record amount of time (5 minutes – currently an all time best…) but generally you get what it says on your festival tin. In a footballing world where players and sometimes officials can break your heart, mess with your head and deliver unwelcome surprise such a degree of certainty is officially A Good Thing.
So one thing I wasn’t expecting this weekend was GUILT. Not guilt at missing the first competitive game for the mighty Saints I hasten to add. I have got used to my favourite festival clashing with major sporting events and thus having to absent myself. And as per usual the football gods punished me for my absence because the Herts Charity Cup game against Hemel Hempstead was a corker with SACFC coming back from two nil down to win 3-2 with an injury time winner. You can just guarantee my home debut (7 days and counting!) will be an excruciatingly dull (and probably rainy) nil-nil.
No the guilt comes from finally having it spelt out to me how my decision to mess with my football alignment has impacted on my Mum…..She was quite supportive about this to start with. There was a very long pause on the phone when I told her what I was doing, you know the sort of pause when you say, “Are you still there?” But she thought it was an interesting idea and she even drew the fox!
Now though in a field in Oxfordshire she informed me that on day one of the Championship, that’s when the consequences of her daughter’s actions “really hit home.” This is a woman who can still remember her first trip to Wemberley, who had a season ticket for Coalville Town (look it up!) and who can remember every tearful telephone call with her daughter, following the latest Lesta City fuck up. And all of a sudden, there she was, with no text buddy to negotiate the 90 minute rollercoaster ride that makes up the beautiful game, because she knows her daughter is a stubborn and obsessive so-and-so who will NOT engage in any texting vis a vis ‘the aforementioned team that play in blue’ because it would break the rules of this experiment.
Now this announcement did put something of a grey lining on my Stella Artois induced silver festival cloud. No one wants to upset their mum, particularly in relation to something as important as football and especially when the other Stellas are in her bag.
Fortunately redemption came in the (tall) form of my mate James, ‘The Big Fellah’. A Liverpool fan, with a passing interest in TATTPIB, he is feeling similarly bereft on the text front and so Pam and James became official football text buddies in all matters relating to TATTPIB. A minor disaster was avoided and festival certainty and enjoyment were able to proceed apace.
I do love a happy ending.
Mind you a cup tie between the two respective teams might deliver an interesting text conversation.