Probably the one minor downside about Lesta’s great escape last season is that it does mean the ‘dark cloud of potential for domestic disharmony’ fixture that is Lesta v Mr TLF’s West Ham once again looms over Chez TLF. Obviously if we were mature adults who chose to accept that there are greater threats to a relationship than the outcome of a mere (sic) football match then it wouldn’t be an issue. But the reality is we aren’t.
Fortunately the football fixture Gods were once again showering TLF with their benediction and munificence and selected one of TLF’s annual football free weekends – Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Music festival – for Lesta’s trip to the Hammers. This North Oxford based event is not one that Mr TLF graces with his presence. So we were not just divided by support for our respective teams but also a good 60 miles, thereby ensuring that dangerous and inflammable murderous looks during the 90 minutes could be avoided and the initial post-match need to gloat by the victorious party would have maybe not abated but would be at non-nuclear levels by the time of my return on the Sunday.
I would of course have been at the festival regardless of this mere bagatelle of a football match. Nothing makes me happier than being a field, listening to music, in great company, drinking far too much while in full waterproofs and wellies (or willies, as one slightly slurred text suggested). Apart from knowing that Lesta are beating West Ham of course….hehe. Festivals are though a serious business en TLF famille. There are laws. I know you want me to say ‘rules’. I want to type it, but fact is that football is governed by the laws of the game so for the sake of accuracy we will all just have to suck it up:
1. Always be tidy – if there is a quarter of a bottle of red left over then do the decent thing. Drink it.
2. If a complete stranger comes up to you, shakes your parents by the hand and offers cans of quality beer don’t say no – refusal would offend.
3. See above and apply same rule to Indian honey brandy (surprisingly good)
4. You can go down the front and dance in wellies, but make sure you are drunk first. It won’t help your footing but you will no longer care about how much of a fule you look.
5. Be prepared for the fact that when you revisit some of the performances on YouTube a week later some of them you won’t remember.
6. Don’t check texts from Hatboy about football. One minute Lesta are cruising and the Saints are steady at 0-0. Before you know it both teams have conceded and you have started doing the ‘worried pacing thing’ in a field of 20,000 people.
7. Queuing for the showers is a waste of good drinking time. You have a lifetime of showers back home. Invest in a pack of wet wipes and some good deodorant.
8. If you doze off in your camping chair and wake up to find that we are all out of Retsina don’t come squealing to TLF – you snooze; you lose.
9. DON’T ever tweet a picture of your mum in her sartorially elegant wet weather gear, with the aim of it appearing on the tweet wall by the side of the stage. When it does you will be in BIG trouble.
10. Come home and watch Match of the Day on repeat; very loudly.
Follow that advice and you will be fine. Hungover, a bit smelly and in trouble with Mr TLF admittedly. But already looking forward to being in the same field, in a small village just outside Banbury, same time next year.
Fairport Convention 2 Stay-at-homers 1
Snacks consumed: more than is probably good for one, but not a bacon fry in sight
Alcohol consumed: a very small sampling of an eclectic range of beverages