Yeah, sure, we’re all bored wositless just now but while this horrible virus is around that’s nothing to really complain about in the greater context of things.
I am sure we all have our own ways of dealing with this situation but I learned last Tuesday morning that life and indeed football must go on – and will continue to do so.
Our Norwich neighbours are Hungarian folks we’ve always got along with really well but that morning Zoltan and I sat on our garden benches smoking ourselves stupid…
I learned that he is a massive Ferencvaros fan and tries to get to a game on his biannual visit to his family “back home”. He also revealed that he was a semi-professional goalkeeper back in the day and had the dream we all had. He never made it either.
We also discovered that I like heavy metal while he prefers a slightly milder side of life but we agreed on AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and ZZ Topp.
His nephew emerged in an Avenged Sevenfold shirt and we had a great chat about metal – Zoltan retreated in mock disgust. Said nephew plays bass while I scratch at an electric six-string – it emerged that we both play through headphones, which is good for neighbourly relations!
Then off to the newsagent for my essential shopping. One daily newspaper with the crossword in it that Mrs P likes. I bumped into Shaun who helped out MFW with a Man United preview last year, is trying to move house and has had a very serious recent blood clot issue.
What did we talk about? Football, football, football. And beer if I’m honest.
Said Red Top purchased, on the way back my I was ambushed by my Ipswich neighbour. He said we must be desperate if we’ve signed “some dude” from Luxembourg. He might be right. We don’t know yet. Danel Sanini could be another inspired one from Stuart Webber.
He very much advocates the idea of WBA and Leeds being invited into the Prem, five relegated after 20-21 and Liverpool being awarded the title as like many of us he doesn’t see this season ever getting underway again. Plus he came up with a classic.
“Our season’s shot. Time for [Marcus] Evans to put his hand in his pocket to tide us over”
I then bumped into Shaun again, this time with wife Debbie who aided MFW with a Man City – yes that Man City – preview, who were gassing at their front gate with a socially distanced friend. She said “come on Martin, give us a smile”.
She knows I currently have no teeth so I bared my gums and gave her the heavy metal devil salute with one hand and “the finger” with the other.
It’s the little things like this that give you a lift, a bit of cheer, dare I say a dose of normality, as does regular email contact with many of my NCFC mates, several of whom comment on – and have indeed written for – MFW.
These threads can go from NCFC to dogs to music to closed pubs to art to books to TV to films in a very short time.
These conversations take my mind away from the lockdown and all that brings with it for a while.
Debbie’s teeth joke was apposite. Said gnashers were extracted in October, I was scheduled for a falsies cast on April 29, now deferred until August 4 with absolutely no guarantee it will take place even then. Non-emergency, you see. Although just now I wouldn’t go to the dentists anyway for obvious health reasons.
It’s just as well I’m adaptive and creative in the kitchen. I can’t stand tinned soup.
My adult children live in London and Portsmouth respectively. I haven’t seen either of them this calendar year. Obviously because of right and proper precautions all round, even if it’s a little frustrating.
We have an eccentric old lady next door to us in Mundesley with a disabled, younger partner. She handwashes her carrier bags and thinks ours is a second home and was very abusive to Mrs P the last time we went. My passport registered there? DL? All mail? Council tax?
I check all the boxes – it’s my main residence and Sue and I self-isolate as a couple as we should do. I attempted to explain but she ran into the house, locked the door and closed her curtains. I tried.
Although North Norfolk District Council assure us we’re quite within our rights to come and go between the houses as we please I am not looking forward to our next visit. If I took the NNDC advice I would have to phone the police on 101 if she kicks off again. I’m not inclined to do that because I’m sure she is very frightened. She’s not the type you can help though.
We can’t even go to the charity shop to get a soft toy for the Jack Russell to destroy.
So that is why it’s so lovely to go walkabout and have a good old natter about footy. It takes your mind away from the detritis that has been largely instigated by this wretched virus.
We’ve all got troubles during this time and I’m sure many of yours are far more devastating than mine.
But one further thing cheered me up. I’m sure we’re all aware of footballers juggling bog roll and one [can’t remember who] kicking a teabag into his cup from distance and calmly adding milk thereafter.
My mate sent me a clip of Palace’s Mamadou Sakho showing the world how to make a Nutella sandwich. Fair play Mamadou mate, but howzabout lobster thermidor au cravat with truffle pate and brandy next time, hey?
I cannot wait to return to the Carra – whenever that might be.
Please take care folks all.