Uh-oh I hear you say, hear TLF goes again. Another bit of spin to distract from a series of delayed blogs.
It’s a fair cop, but it’s Christmas so if some folk can eat their bodyweight in Quality Street or pigs in blankets then TLF can be a bit slack on the blog front. Anyway here we go, dashing through the virtual snow…
25 November: The Green Room Committee Revisited
Both football teams playing at home, at the same time is usual a dilemma for TLF, but on this occasion it is avoided as it is the annual girls weekend away. While the venue differed from previous years, the essentials remain the same – hot tub, Strictly, a lot of chat and excess of wine.
There is always room for variation though. The cottage owners gift us a chocolate cake and a bottle a of wine, which is kind and also leads to mystery a la Agatha Christie, as we discuss over Satday breakfast what villain had cut a slice of said cake, had one mouthful and then replaced it. TLF was horrified at the wanton act of vandalism, although once it was confirmed she had been the alcohol-fuelled perpetrator, her denial and suggestion of ‘neat mice’ landed on stony ground.
We grace Ludlow with our presence and are delighted to discover that a fine pub is serving homemade pies. Proper pies; not stews with hats! I’m sure the young woman who had to deal with the pie interrogation has recovered by now.
There is the traditional huge Sunday walk, with the St Albans City hat in fine fettle. In our absence Maria had taken responsibility for Sunday lunch, managing the ingredients like a proper midfield general; sort of Roy Keane meets Gordon Ramsey. I have never seen a pan of peas called ‘green C u next Tuesdays’ before but it certainly makes them boil quickly.
Planned for months and over in the blink of any eye. No football and both teams lose anyway. It’s the one weekend when it doesn’t matter.
2 December: Stalled
And as if by magic a Shopkeeper appeared!
Scratch that. Several shopkeepers.
Well technically, temporary market traders/club ambassadors.
It is a recent tradition that Stand By Your Saints now have a stall at the St Albans Christmas lights switch –on. It is amazing how cold you can get in the space of two hours. But as with any SBYS-related activity, the company is excellent, we can bore passers-by for Britain about the Mighty Saints in an official capacity and I can practise my retail skills. Admittedly TLF’s first sale was to….TLF, but by the time my rota’d two hours were up and I couldn’t feel the fingers in my right hand, we’d sold £150 worth of high quality merchandise. Time for coffee and a defrost.
Eat your heart out Harrods.
Thank you for your custom Fox
9 December: “As flies to wanton boys, are we to the Gods; they kill us for their sport.”
The outlook wasn’t good the weekend Lesta were at home to Burnley and the Mighty Saints were visiting Truro. If, as TLF suspected the footballing Gods were in cahoots with the Gods of day to day domestic cr@p were anything to go by, severe defeat was on the cards.
It had all started with Gona: the God of overnight accommodation, who must have overheard Mr TLF when he said at 11.30pm after a night of kulture, “it’s great we have been lent this flat for the night and don’t have to travel back to St Albans on a cold night.” That’s a sure fire way of alerting Gona to the need for someone already in the accommodation to drop the latch and leave TLFs locked out and grumpily returning to St Albans at 1am.
The recriminations and tribulations of that episode ensure a fraught run-up to cooking dinner for the neighbours and Gona’s other mates get in on the act. Oh how they chuckled as TLF threw a small fit in the Sainsbury’s car park as she spotted that the her keys wouldn’t open her car. Largely due to the fact that it wasn’t her car. Turns out there is more than one silver VW golf in St Albans. Who knew!?
The Gods then turn their attention to TLF’s culinary efforts and hex the brand new egg whisk which is employed in the making of coffee ice cream; TLF being adamant that there is no suitable blender attachment with which to whip cream. Fortunately Mr TLF is on hand to ensure that rather than the mixture being used to decorate the kitchen, it is safely ensconced in the freezer, after a rather fraught 45 minutes. It’s only then that the previously ‘not in existence’ whisk attachment for the blender is located.
And after all that both Cities go on to win.
Never in doubt.
And the ice cream didn’t taste bad either.
Slightly frazzled fox
17 December: Desperately seeking Clarence
“Fifteen giant nutcracker soldiers and their King will be positioned at key locations around St Albans and surrounding villages as part of the St Albans Nutcracker Trail.
Wander around the city to find the fifteen Nutcracker Soldiers marked on a map in the Nutcracker Trail booklet. As you find each one write his name down on the Trail Sheet.” St Albans Bid website
Ooooh we know how to create a ‘thing’ in St Albans don’t we? The soldiers’ names were allocated via a competition and fittingly, via the nomination of 4 year old Eleanor Wood, one of them was called Clarence, in honour of the home of the Mighty Saints.
Being admittedly a bit older than four, but both nuts and crackers it was inevitable that Julie and TLF were going to need to track Clarence down prior to the game against Oxford. What could be easier? Two intelligent women in search of five foot wooden soldiers one of whom was called Clarence.
The plan was a quick whip round town, find Clarence; festoon him with a Saints scarf, grab a selfie (I know, we are so with the zeitgeist) and in the bar well before kick off.
Funny thing about five foot brightly painted wooden soldiers. They are not as easy to spot as you might think. Even with a map. In fact let’s blame the map, not our lack of vision. Especially that one on George Street camouflaged by a tree and a street sign.
After an hour and a half we have ten names, but no Clarence. Disappointed we head off to the ground.
“Oh, didn’t the missus text you?”, says our erstwhile shopkeeper, “Clarence is in Redbourne.”
And we only drew.