I’ve been tempted to write about what may or may not happen at next Saturday’s final Blackpool FC home match of this unfortunate season.
You know the sort of thing. There may or may not be a pitch invasion. There may or may not be a Blackpool victory. There may or may not be the biggest demonstration since the last biggest demonstration.
We may or may not end up adding “lowest number of points gained in a season” to “worst away record since 1909” and “biggest negative goal difference of any team this season.”
It is being flagged up as “Judgement Day” which conjures up an image of an Arnold Schwarzenegger thrilling blockbuster rather than the low budget horror show we’ve come to expect.
One thing is for sure, I’ll be there together with The Manager (a football obsessive) and the Only One (steadily more upset by his beloved home town team’s performance but never likely to switch his allegiance to anyone else).
And we will be there next season, too – having believed we were being offered a bargain with a two-season deal on our tickets (and remember, I’m from Yorkshire so once a ticket has been bought it will be used!).
Hopefully nothing too foolish will take place on or off the pitch on Saturday to further damage the club’s reputation and hopefully the stands won’t be too deserted next season – though I could do to lose the chap near to me who believes that by repeatedly shouting the same thing at the top of his voice like a broken ringtone from hell, he will have some influence on the club’s future. If only it were that easy.
Anyway, to soften the probable funereal atmosphere of Blackpool’s end of season “clash” against Huddersfield, Mrs D and I decided to have a weekend “away” – in Fleetwood.
It started with reservations at the North Euston Hotel for an Italian food and wine themed evening – coupled with an overnight stay to fend off any “who’s driving” discussions or exorbitant taxi fares.
What a good night it was, too – strangers becoming friends and putting the world to right over some good laughs.
It also coincided with Fleetwood Town’s last home match of the season. I’d only been to Highbury once before – a couple of seasons ago for a match we nearly missed because I couldn’t find the ground. This time we did a dry run a couple of weeks earlier.
Recently I’ve watched with interest the different attitudes between two clubs so geographically close but psychologically so far apart.
What different attitudes? Well, one provides free buses for fans who find it difficult to attend home matches because it’s too awkward to travel on public transport, the other starts legal proceedings against fans who find it difficult to avoid the temptation of going too far on social networks.
There’s a showbusiness saying “be careful who you upset on the way up because you never know who you’ll meet again on the way down.”
If the same is true in football then Fleetwood will have lot of fans in the years to come. How many other club mascots roam the streets before a match greeting fans with a cheery wave? How many other club announcers welcome the away team and its supporters like old friends?
They get things right. There’s a crystal clear PA system, next season’s home shirts already on sale, home goals played back on a sensibly placed big screen almost before they are scored and stadium staff who don’t view everyone as potential troublemakers.
All right, Fleetwood narrowly lost to Colchester but everyone had fun. When did we last say that at Bloomfield Road?
Time to hide the glue and shy away from ‘little jobs’
You know the day’s got off to a bad start when the round table you are moving to make space for the stepladders you need to unfold to be able to put a suitcase away falls apart in your hands.
It wasn’t the best of tables to start with but, even so, coming so soon after a bathroom lampshade dropped on my head and shattered, it seemed a tad unfair.
Undaunted, I decided to dig out the Araldite all-purpose glue (for the table not the unrepairable lampshade – or my head). Then came the dreaded words from the front room: “Oh, while you’ve got the glue out there are one or two other little jobs you could do for me.”
No. That’s exactly why I put off doing “little jobs” for as long as possible. They are like trains, trams and buses. None for ages then a whole rush all at once. Before you know it you’ve been signed up for a DIY night class or are auditioning to host a handyman series on the Dave channel.
University of Amsterdam researchers have discovered that after retirement men end up doing double the amount of work around the house that they did when in gainful employment. Solution? I’m hiding the glue.