Beware the Ides of March a soothsayer once told Julius Caesar. On this particular occasion however it was a Friday evening in August and the soothsaying was being done by John who issued his own portent of doom (or fata portenderent prodigio as the Romans would have said in 43AD just before Aulus Palutius invaded these shores):
“Bring your own bacon fries. We’re out.”
Unwelcome nuntium indeed the night before the excessive-and-blatant-use-of-Latin-prompting fixture that sees Aquae Sulis visiting Clarence Park.
Fortunately the reliable emporium and supplier of Mr TLF’s frozen lasagnes that is Libram Terra was offering up multi packs of the bacon fries (accompanied I admit by their lesser cousin the scampi fry) for the standard £1.00. And so a cheery TLF, festooned by pork-based products wended her merry way in the sunshine to Clarence Park.
Much banter on entry (Latin AND innuendo; oh TLF you are spoiling us) kept the mood alive but as I walked past the players warming up I couldn’t help but think there wasn’t that usual joie de vivre. The reality is that while the season is still only a mere itch in its Daddy’s pants, people’s expectations are always high and so the slightly faltering start to the season coupled with a metam siccitatis (that’s goal drought for the few non-Latin scholars amongst my readership) has left a bit a of a flat feeling. Ridiculous that despondency can come on so quickly and so sneakily, but everyone wants a good start, fans and players alike. Even if it’s not pleasing on the eye, 3 points and a goal, even a jammy one going in off someone’s posterior was, the soothsayer and I agreed, much called for.
What did the Romans ever do for us? Not much on Satday as it happens. The goddess Fortuna had taken the day off and while the mighty Saints were better than previous games it was Joe Welch keeping the Saints in it with some fantastic saves while the Bath keeper, resplendent in bright orange was probably more troubled by our suggestions that he might have been sponsored by popular fruit-based fizzy drink than by our team. Our players hadn’t given up and they did want the win. I am assured of this by the spectacular cursing that followed several missed chances; yes I know it is a family game but I am very glad they care and have a suitable vocabulary to express it.
The slightly disappointing start to the season was not the only concern on the terraces however. Discussion of British Bake Off by some of our contingent caused significant despair from HatBoy who has strong views on what makes for good and proper telly viewing. And competitive cake-making does not pass the test. Nor does beetroot in a Black Forest Gateau according to Paul. Never let it be said that us football fans are one-dimensional.
News from the Prem was mixed. West Ham had suffered a misery-inducing loss, the fault for which apparently lay at my door – for placing the £10 bet on them for Mr TLF as requested (“I didn’t really mean it when I gave you the tenner and asked you to go via the bookies). While the early season pace-setters, Ratae Corieltauvorum (you can kinda see why they changed it to Lesta) had slumped to a 1-1 draw, but were still top of the table. By Sunday evening Lesta were second from top of their league while the mighty Verulamium were second from bottom of theirs. Pleasingly symmetrical yes but symmetry can be over-rated.
Earlyos daysios as they don’t say in Ancient Rome.
St Albans City 0 Bath City 1
Bacon products: usual. None of them lucky
Lagers: 2 German ones, equally unhelpful
Financial return on raffle tickets and goalden goal a predictable big fat ZERO