Slumming it….

Crustacea slathered in a savoury dressing and trapped between two portions of boulangerie have never ranked high in the TLF top 10 sandwich list. There are times however when your weekend is looking so eccentric that you can’t help yourself. AFK (any fule kno) that if your weekend involves 3 consecutive nights of watching Fairport Convention (London, St Albans, Brum natch) with the parental TLFs you may well as put the cherry on top of your impending sleep deprivation and daftness flavoured cake, join the corporate world and sponsor the mighty Saints home game.

With such a packed weekend, it was vital that I organised parentals and Mr TLF within an inch of their lives. Satday looked particularly fraught and so I issued an exacting itinerary to keep us to time:
Noon – leave house. Noon thirty – brunch. One and a quarter – The Mermaid. 14:00 – arrive Clarence Park and enjoy the comforts of the boardroom. 15:00 – kick off. 16:45 post-match buffet. 17:30 Watch Lesta City in the bar. 19:30 Fairport Convention at Alban Arena.

What could possibly go wrong? Wellllll, as eagle-eyed readers may have spotted, TLF’s cunning plan exhibited some serious omissions – application of the alcohol, retail and banter factors. It was all clockworky one pint of Amstel/cyder/moody looking dark ale (delete according to which family member you are) and the carefully crafted TLF plan started to go a bit awry:
Arrive ground.
Mummy TLF discovers to her delight that her favourite programme editor and magical keeper of the SACFC retail outlet has ordered some red…oops no sorry, MAGENTA bobble hats. They are things of beauty and pretty much match her fringe and once the Pam-Lee love in has concluded, one is duly purchased. Meanwhile Red Julie (boardroom and Fairport guest) has fallen for a Saints gilet, which comes with, whatever-will-they-think-of-next-adjustable armpits. SOLD!!
TLF does not go away empty-handed as Lee has found the now slightly battered stick of rock he purchased for me when I missed the away trip to Margate. The occasional breaks are handy as it means it fits in my bag.

The Holy Hat of Magenta

The Holy Hat of Magenta

Enter our afternoon boudoir, which does not contain floor cushions, nymphs and goblets of ambrosia BUT does have a queue-free bar and a very patient barman called Tom. Hatboy is with us and Davy Mac appears; our party is complete (spell checker just suggested ‘competent’….how far from the truth can you get?). We partake modestly of beverages and enjoy the very welcoming company of the Chairman, President and owner who have wisely chosen to say hello early on in the proceedings.
Leave the boardroom, much to the bewilderment and then mockery of a) fellow terrace occupants who are struggling to believe that such a bunch of reprobates are living the posh life, and b) Mr TLF who cannot understand why we wouldn’t take advantage of being able to watch the match from the warmth of the boardroom.
Let them eat cake!

Let them eat cake!

The mighty Saints concede a goal.
It being a very long time since brunch Mr TLF and mummy TLF purchase chips.
Mustard and ketchup - I do not know these people

Mustard and ketchup – I do not know these people

The weather turns nasty. In the face of hail and a swirling wind the boys retreat to the boardroom. The ladies are more hardy creatures and shelter behind Julie’s umbrella…which turns inside out.
TLF checks raffle tickets and realises she is 2 off a prize….which means the subsequent purchaser must have won. Step forward Mummy TLF and meet your bottle of rose (which also matches your hat and hair). Davy Mac has beaten us all though, running away with first prize – the vodka.
Saints have lost but we are not downhearted as we avail ourselves of fine company (including West Ham fan and SBYS patron Kevin Mudd!), MOREBEERWINE and buffet. There really are prawn sandwiches! Unfortunately it is a vegetarian parent who makes this discovery.
The motley crew

The motley crew

We make our way to the bar so that we can join the proletariat and TLF can worry her way through the Lesta game.Davy Mac brings our remaining sandwiches and distributes them to the masses like a benevolent Victorian factory owner. MOREBEERWINE.
TLF eschews (BOOM!) the usual celebratory goal jig in favour of a simple standing up with arms aloft. This might be modesty or it might be recognition that beer consumption levels might have reached ‘slightly unsteady on her pins’.
Lesta have won! Davy Mac, Pam, Mike, Julie and TLF depart for Alban Arena.
We are late….I don’t know how that happened!? We are held back until a suitable break between songs and then allowed to disrupt all those lucky people (heh heh) sitting around us.
The rest of the gig. We are seated centrally in the fourth row and we are animated. I think the band liked that. I’m sure those around us are slightly less enthusiastic (about us, not the band). Julie gets an acknowledgement from the stage, it being her first time seeing Fairport. We all beam.
Gig done. Two down; one to go.
Time to say hello to the band and a shameful selfie with the lovely Dave Pegg, bass player who is delighted (or slightly scared) to hear that we will be stalking…sorry following them up to Brum the following day.


Home and happy. Never like to see a home defeat but when you pack that much into your day cake and ice it with most excellent company, it is, as they say, a whole different ball game.

One off Boardroom Fox

Match stats
St. Albans City 0 Sutton Utd 3
Attendance: 554
Raffle tickets – 10 losers for me. Winners for ma and Davy Mac
Snackage: Bacon fries do not grace the boardroom. Random section of sarnies
Alcohol consumed: 1 Amstel, Bottles corona – numerous..TBH….lost count. 3 German lagers. 1 Stella (good effort)

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