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Posts from the ‘Essex’ Category

The night’s are drawing in

I got an unexpected sunny welcome landing at Heathrow Airport this morning. Fast forward ten hours and I’m sat in my parents conservatory looking out at the South Downs which are quickly becoming shrouded in November darkness.

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Weekend warrior

I am making the most of having Thanksgiving Friday off work and fly back to Gatwick overnight for the weekend, literally until Sunday when I will fly back.

Despite the disorientating nature of it, I love these quick weekenders back at home. I cram in as much as possible, travel light and the body doesn’t get time to adjust, at least that is what I tell myself anyway.
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My body is normally a temple, as those that know me will attest! But this morning it is questioning how it ever got mixed up with me in the first place. The last four Sunday’s I have been in Bermuda, Los Angeles, Miami and Eastbourne. Not quite Del Boy’s van, but in the same condition.

This morning we are off to meet an old mate of mine from Chicago and his beautiful new fiancé for breakfast in Bills. Just what I need, another pile of bacon, sausage, egg and mushroom, but I am looking forward to seeing them all the same.
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After a busy weekend taking in a little football, a very enjoyable dinner at The Oak celebrating some good news, a couple of curries, one in Birmingham and one with some mates in Hornchurch plus a swift game of bowling in Maidstone, the most important reason for being home, allegedly, was that I needed to renew my passport.
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The turnstile operator’s son

I fly back to the UK tomorrow night and will take my place at The Valley on Saturday in the vain hope of having something to cheer about. Hopefully the bit between 3pm and 5 will be as much fun as the before and after.

Before that however I will be at Upton Park on Friday evening with my mates including an ex-turnstile operator that you may have heard off. The reason we’ll be there is to watch Robert Lee’s (he will always be Robert) youngest son Elliot play for the Hammers’ U21 Development team against Manchester United.
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The weather has been ultra kind to us since we arrived on Wednesday. The beautiful Secret Garden was swathed in sunshine yesterday for my mate’s wedding. A week ago we would have had our coats and wellies on.

The wedding was superb, my speech went down a storm, even if I say so myself, and it was brilliant to see so many of my old mates and my family altogether in one place.
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Wedding bells

No, not mine but me and the family are flying back to London tonight for my mates wedding, the one in which I am one of two best men, the speech is coming along nicely, although I’m finding it hard to keep it below two hours.

The wedding is Friday but before then we are doing a mini tour of Oxfordshire and Essex catching up with friends. This after a late dinner last night with a client and then home to pack in the early hours before getting up silly early this morning to come to work. I can sleep when I’m older.
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96 hours


Back in Bermuda after a short hop home for my son’s birthday and mascot exploits.

There was a lot of flying around, which is customary. I had a cracking night with my Hornchurch mates on Friday plus a very hot chicken madras in the Cinnamon Spice. We followed this up on Saturday after the game with another curry, this time in Brick Lane. We vowed not to be enticed into the first place we passed, but sure enough the offer of two rounds of drinks and a lively atmosphere was enough for us to eat at The Famous Curry Bazaar. It was very good and full of local hipsters and pre-clubbers at 8pm. Whatever happened to eating a curry after the pub shut?

The next morning my brother took us just up the street from where he lives to The Premises Cafe on Hackney Road. According to The Observer, one of the 50 coolest places to eat in the world! It’s attached to the renowned recording studios (with an impressive list of artists) and next door to the gigantic rabbit (which at the end of last year caused quite a stir) and our brunch was top-notch. The dinner menu looked good too, and at a tenner a head for two courses bloody good value.

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I head back again to London tonight and get to spend the day with my son tomorrow on his 11th birthday. However I think both of us are more excited about his birthday treat on Saturday.

I booked him in as one of the match mascot’s for Saturday’s game at home to Exeter at the beginning of the season and told him just a week or two ago. With the added exhilaration of there being a 20,000+ crowd at The Valley to run out of the tunnel to it will hopefully give him many memories to cherish forever.

I was talking to my brother the other day and exactly 30 season’s ago he was the match mascot (there was only one in those days) for a pre-Christmas match at home to Carlisle United. It was our promotion season but needless to say the crowd was a long way off 20,000. we think it was more like 5,000.

Anyway Charlton won 2-1, and my brother picked two favourite players, apparently so he was told, this had never been done before. Those players were a young Paul Walsh and the slightly more experienced Colin Powell who scored on the day to keep us top of the Division 3 table. The other Charlton goal was an own goal after Carlisle took the lead.

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My first morning back at work has been spent packing my belongings into a few boxes. If it is not enough to keep moving house we are now moving office. An office move always presents an opportunity to lose a few things of course, I just hope it’s not my Charlton mug, which appallingly a bloke down the corridor has recently taken to use for his coffee.

Why would you use someone else’s coffee mug? There must be 50 mugs in the bloody kitchen. Worse is that I just give him a stare when I see him with it and don’t say anything? What should I say?

Some people I have noticed put a name sticker on their coffee mugs. I could do that but it reminds me of school. I’ll have the other half putting my name in the back of my shirt next.

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