Christmas came early for me when I realised we were parked overlooking a football stadium. I love football so I set off to explore. Margaret called after me, “Bring me a pie and a Bovril!”

I could do much better than that. This football ground had a burger bar – and a proper bar! I came back to the van with the good news. We dined on enormous burgers and beer as we (I) waited for the match to start. Margaret’s love of football extends no further than penalty shoot-outs and even then the word love is a definite exaggeration.

Beer and an Iberian Burger

The pitch was made of Astroturf. I can imagine it would be very difficult and expensive to maintain grass in this dry climate but it is not so kind to the players. Watching an earlier team in training I saw a few people being given first aid for nasty grazes.

The home team, 1st of December were well supported and I added my vocal support. Sometimes you don’t need actual words to cheer on your team. The match was really exciting, real end to end stuff. The home team scored first with a cracking shot into the top corner of the net. Just before half time the away team equalised. At this point I came back to the van to warm up while the players took a break. Margaret looked up from her book and said, “Having fun?” in that way that suggested she couldn’t imagine why I would be.

The second half was even better as I was stood next to a woman of advanced years who was a very vocal supporter of the home team. I couldn’t understand what she was shouting but, judging by body language and gesticulations, she was not happy with the referee. She questioned his eyesight, his sanity and, at one point his parentage! Her partner kept trying to get her to calm down, glancing around at the other spectators with an apologetic look. At one point the volume of her protestations got so loud that the referee looked up to where we were standing. I thought he was going to produce his red card!

The photographer was so excited she chopped heads off

The away team scored again, a shot from outside the box, an absolute screamer. I found myself applauding it was so good. This did not please my neighbour. She gave me a look and moved a step away from me. So ‘my’ team was down 2-1. The away team came charging down the pitch, brilliant passing moves, out to the left wing, surely another goal coming – and then the defender came in with a scything tackle. Ouch! The referee reached for his red card, the crowd went nuts. The offending defender refused to leave, trainers and reserves flooded on to the pitch. It was mayhem – and very entertaining. One of the men from the away team bench in his big padded jacket tackled the home team goalie. The referee took several minutes to restore order, jeered on all the while by my foul-mouthed neighbour. Such fun!

Order restored and, with a few minutes left on the clock our team got the ball and set off down the pitch, into the penalty box, the crowd roared and then another crunching tackle brought our man down. Penalty! The referee pointed to the spot, the player took aim and – Bang! And so it ended in a draw. I went back to the van a happy bunny. What an unexpected treat!

10 thoughts on “Shirley’s Guest Blog Spot – The photographer steps out from behind the camera

  1. We’re in American football season here in the states. I’m with you, Margaret! When any football game is on, I’m off doing anything but watching it! I am coerced into watching the Super Bowl game but it’s usually because I’m bringing food for everyone to eat at the party! That’s the extent of MY involvement.

    Sounds like you two are having your usual good time and we’re happy for you. We’re somewhat settled in but have to go to our storage unit at least two more times to bring things out, e.g. the two bicycles which involves a trip on its own to get them in the van.

    Since we’ve been back, we’ve been having our annual check ups with the doctor, dentist, manicurist, facialist, etc. Patricia calls me high maintenance. I have no idea what she’s talking about. Then, Patricia came down with a really bad cold that lasted well over a week and I got bad sinuses and allergies which are finally disappearing.

    We’re in the Christmas season now so we have a Tiki party to go to tonight and tomorrow one of our former neighbors in Sacramento is in town visiting her sister who owns a second home in Palm Springs and she (Pam) is coming over for dinner. She and I enjoy cooking together and, of course, drinking wine while we’re cooking. I’ll pick up a flank steak at the supermarket today and get it in a marinade and we’ll put it on the BBQ tomorrow with a salad, veggie, etc. We’ll catch up on what’s going on in our lives and it will be great to see her. I know her 30-year old son just split with his girlfriend in LA and apparently is planning on moving back home for awhile. I’m sure there’s a lot to that story.

    We’ve made the final decision to live in England and have decided on Norwich. I’m in the process of finding a furnished rental for Jul., Aug., and Sep. so we can get things arranged to have our possessions shipped over. I don’t see things getting better under Trump and the GOP politicians are raping the country. Now is a good time to leave. I’m less vested in Brexit but have more confidence in your Parliamentarian government to try and do the right thing albeit at a cost for the divorce from the EU.

    Our arrangements to get back to England have not been finalized but Patricia is tracking prices on a cruise that leaves Ft. Lauderdale and goes up the East Coast, Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Scotland and England.

    We’re spending 13 days in Puerto Vallarta in February and will celebrate our 40th anniversary there with friends from Palm Springs who are there now. The flight and hotel are booked. I can give tours of PV as we went there for 17 years straight when we lived in Sacramento to celebrate my birthday in December and to enjoy the sun and beach. I love the city and can’t wait to go back. Patricia–not so much!

    Keep the blogs coming from the two of you. Take care and happy travels! Look forward to hearing about your new location.

    1. Very happy to hear that you’ve made your decision and that you’ll be in the UK. We’re all a bit shocked by some of the stuff we hear about what’s going on over there. Norwich is lovely and a great choice and we’ll be able to meet up now and again. Have a great Festive Season. x x

  2. Enjoyed that Shirley. Your passion for football brought back great memories of 15 years ago before I moved to Wales! I followed Clyde FC when they had a very good team and I witnessed people like you really enjoying watching football players who were probably getting paid not much more than I was. Football is almost a religion in Scotland ….. if you know what I mean!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.