I never visited the borough of Plumstead1 when I was in London…and I’m not sure if it was still called Plumstead back in those brave and terrible days of Nixon’s decline…but I am quite sure I was never there. No, I’m absolutely certain. Just a I’m quite sure (absolutely certain) I never darkened the streets and mews’s and pubs of Eastham, Barking, Tooting, or Brixton. My realm of London consisted of Chelsea, Kensington, Pimlico, West Brompton, Holborn, Bloomsbury, Mayfair, Fitrovia, Belgravia, Fulham and I’m sure I’m forgetting to mention a few.2. That plus Saturday night trips from Edinburgh down to London to spend Sunday in Russell Square Park doing absolutely focking nothing but loafing on a lounge chair reading the London TIMES, just as if I actually lived there.
So…no Plumstead, no Islington, no Notting Hill, no Hither Green, no East Dulwich. And the list goes on and on.
Looking back on it, I feel like I sort of cheated both myself, and London, since I didn’t explore it as thoroughly as I explored other parts of England and Scotland. But my time there, and where I spent it, has formed the bond I have for a certain London football club, because that is where I spent most of my time in London.
That would be Chelsea FC for those of you who’ve never read this bloog before; or who weren’t paying attention to anything other than the naked anime chicks that show up here from time to time; or who simply scroll down to play whatever selection of obscure or old people’s music I’ve had a wild hair to torment you with today.
Ironically, Chelsea do not play their football in the London Borough of Chelsea & Kensington. They play at Stamford Bridge which is actually in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.
For me, Chelsea it is, then. It is, in a sense, MY team, from MY neighborhood.
I suppose if I HAD made it to other areas of London and spent more time in those areas, my affinity would be quite different. Perhaps I’d be a Crystal Palace or West Ham fan, for example.
But that’s not how it all turned out.
And tomorrow, as I type this fervently in my schoolhouse3 in Mineral Point WI, Chelsea has a must win derby match4 with the team that was originally from Plumstead, left in 1913, and who now ply their trade in the London Borough of Islington.
It’s a good thing that I’ve never been to Islington, or it’s likely I’d be a Gooner today. Brrrr!! The horror of that!!
Anyway, I predict that after the match goes final, I will have a few words to say about it. Stay tuned.
Keep The Blue Flag Flying High!!
America is NASCAR and today 5 great Americans were induction into The NASCAR Hall of Fame today in Charlotte NC. Today’s inductees were, for those of you who would have been keeping score on such things at THE CANARY in Norwich had it not closed in 2010, and then demolished on March 30th 2011:
- Curtis Turner
- Bobby Isaac
- Jerry Cook
- Terry Labonte
- Bruton Smith
I just know y’all would have been better served watching THAT on TV instead of Match of Day replaying Liverpool’s 4-5 defeat of Norwich AT THE DEATH, of all things. Gaaaahhhhhgghhh!
Anyway, Curtis Turner was a hell of a driver, and so was Bobby Isaac and Jerry Cook, who I hadn’t heard of until his nomination for the Hall of Fame. Jerry Cook was big time in NASCAR’s Modified Series winning 342 races over his career there. Terry Labonte won the Winston Cup twice, in 1984 piloting the #44 Piedmont Airlines Chevrolet for Billy Hagen; and again in 1996 in the #5 Kelloggs Corn Flakes Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.
But the life of the party on the day was Bruton Smith, whose kaleidoscopic acceptance speech was more campfire storytelling than anything. It was almost like listening to a compelling, rambling drunk in a dimly-lit tavern with nicotine stained wood and ice in the urinal. I’m not sure if there are some health issues the man in dealing with…my guess is yes. But my word, he just went on and on and on as though he felt compelled to tell the entire rambling story of his entire NASCAR life which would make a nice 3 part series on FOX Sports, NBCSN, or ESPN for sure. But for what was to be an 8 minute speech, max, well….it went way overtime. Anyway, it got to a point where his aide(??) and Darrell Waltrip had to gently remind him that time was more than up and that he had already gotten more victory laps in than all of the assembled NASCAR champions and driver combined.
Bruton Smith’s speech was entertaining, but anything but humble…in sharp contrast to 4 honorees or their heirs in the case of Turner and Isaac, who preceded him. NASCAR drivers are noted fopr their humility and their gratefulness. The closest Bruton Smith got to gratefulness was his gratefulness to Coca-Cola. It was almost if from Bruton’s point of view that he had granted NASCAR sundry liberties and free warren in his domain rather than the other way around (which is much closer to the truth). But still, without Bruton Smith’s contributions to the sport, NASCAR was be a much smaller place.
So there you have it. Sort of. As I saw it. As I’ve chosen to write about it, today.
Reckless Driving Cook 2 sez, “Let the pigs eat acorns, then.”
The Pensioners hobbled onto the pitch, and brave lads that they were, gave the ordinance workers from the Royal Arsenal a stern, if innocuous, thrashing. The ordinance workers had a Big Fucking German on their squad who loped about the pitch for 18 minutes before he threw himself into the path of the Pensioner’s Big Ugly Spaniard in desperation, and left him spinning like a top into the penalty box. The Big Fucking German was shown the courtesy of a red card and was sent back to the ordinance factory to work an extra shift at the Royal Arsenal with no overtime. 5 minutes later, the Pensioner’s Big Ugly Spaniard flicked home the winning goal and for the next 67 minutes plus stoppage time, nothing happened. The Pensioners made sure of that.
And when it was o’er, after a spirited and sporting round of tea and pies,the Plumstead lads shuffled home.
There. The match report as promised.
While the pedants search for and spot the error in the match report, the rest of you can play a little Word Scramble game. Sort these out:
Spot the error, pedants? Smashing!!7
And as for the rest of you sick fucks, I just don’t know what to do with you.8
It would have been fabulous if I had found actual elves when I was England. Instead, I spent a day or two in Dover Castle, pretending to find to actual elves, pretending to be an actual elf, pretending Dover Castle was a castle from The HOBBIT or THE LORD OF THE RINGS. I was not a tourist there….I was, in some measure, an actual part of the castle. Tourists viewed me. Bus Loads of school children on field trips viewed me. I was, for the moments I was there, part of Dover Castle, looking out through the parapets and battlements upon an imaginary realm that was utterly real. I probably could also have passed as a reenactment survivor of The First Baron’s War…but for me, then, the historical facts were eclipsed by Elves and their imaginary battles. It was MY fucking castle!
I regret very little about my days in Dover.
Except for two things.
The White Cliffs of Dover, despite all their magnificence, were, for me, the end of the world. Standing there, looking across the English Channel, I knew there was more to the World than England, in fact, I could see it. But….in reality at the time, it was the End of The World. The place where the world stopped. I could easily have hopped the train from Dover back down to Folkstone and taken the hovercraft to Calais. But you know, as I think about it, had I done that, I might never have come back. To England. To America. It would have been like the Elves at the end of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Gone forever. That’s a pretty fucking unreasonable statement I suppose, but it’s honest truth. If I’d gone, I probably never would have returned to America. So one one level I regret not going, but it was probably all for the best.
The other thing I regret, and this regret just occurred to me this this weekend. Despite my love of trains, and back then, the trains in England and Scotland were cool, I wish, instead of taking the train from Charing Cross, I’d gone to Dover Castle by car. And not just in any car.
I wish I’d had that #26 Holmen Moody Ford that Curtis Turner drove his ass off in. What an awesome ride!9
There. I’ve taken my sundry liberties with London, with Dover, and Plumstead, and also with your time and attention. There was time, back in the day, when I was given free warren10 over England and Scotland, and it should be noted that I exercised my warrenage with the utmost as if the heart and soul of England were in my custody. Though none of this has been recorded in the Domesday Book, consider this an addendum. A little late, but better late than never.
- Actually, it wasn’t borough, it was one of the neighborhoods in the Borough of Greenwhich
- My WORD this makes me sound like a focking Tory twat with nothing better to do than wear fucking red trousers and be a general overall cunt
- Not ALL mine….just the part of it my wife and I rent
- ALL Derby matches are MUST WIN, Lord Obvious
- Even though there actually IS a NASCAR series that runs in Europe.
- Take a drink!
- 1.SPINE 2. LITHER 3.GINGER 4.SUBTEXT
- If I’d had that ride instead of taking the train all over England & Scotland, I probably would have found the Loch Ness Monster!!
- By the Elves, of course!!