Sunday 4th March 2007

A dull, grey wet Sunday afternoon. A complete contrast to the weather yesterday. There was a slight nip in the air but with clear blue skies and the sun in the sky, I was looking forward to the afternoon game. I left home just after quarter to 11am. I wanted to catch the 11:04 service to Marylebone. I parked and walked to the Fast Ticket booth but this was going to be anything but fast. A family of three Eastern Europeans were trying to work out how to purchase a ticket. A railway worker came up to me and said he would get me a ticket and took me through to the Station Manager and he printed off a cheap day return for me, but I still had to get a parking ticket. I was in a minor dilemma. I had a £5 note and only £2 in coins. The parking over the weekend is £2.50, typical I was 50p short. The train would leave platform one in a few minutes. I did not have time to wait around. The parking attendant let me off the 50 pence and asked that I return the money to the booth at the end of the day. Chiltern Railways do have some good members of staff and I did take the time to thank them before running onto the train. As it would pan out, the train was delayed by a few minutes, letting an earlier London pass through via platform three. The journey down was uneventful, until we got to Wembley, by then my Zen had crashed. I had been skipping through tracks and it crashed. I needed to carry out a soft reset but I needed a paperclip or pin. That was to be my mission when I got to Paddington. Andy had text me and would meet me just after midday at Paddington This gave me some to find a stationary shop that sold paperclips. I did eventually find a WHSmith outlet that went beyond newspapers, magazines and crisps. Then just as I was paying, Andy called me. I called him back and eventually we met up at the barrier for the underground station. We were on our way to North London. I had seen mainly Reading fans all morning, some had stopped me and asked for directions. We got to Finsbury Park just after 1pm and headed for the Twelve Pins for a drink. It was eighteen minutes into the Liverpool – Manchester United game but still goalless. The pub was packed and at half time we headed towards the ground. First stop was Highbury, or rather what remains of the stadium as it slowly becomes luxury apartments. We walked around to the Grove and Andy got to see the stadium for the first time. It was getting busy with a build up of crowds. Andy called his mates, they were in a pub but he wanted to get in and take a look inside. We said goodbye and thought we might meet up after the game. I had some food, watched some of the ManYoo game (it was still goal less) but headed up to my seat early. Thirty odd minutes before kick-off. It was nice to actually watch the players train and not be involved in the a mad dash down to the stadium. I could sit back and take it easy for a change. There was a school kid behind me, must have been aged around 12. He was on the phone for the majority of the game, updating his friend on every minor slice of action. One word. Annoying. Anyways, I put up with that and enjoyed the game, and hang on for the final whistle. Perhaps the most balanced match report is from The Guardian. Do you remember a time before polyphonic ring tones? Before the Crazy Frog? It was the late nineties (it wasn’t as late as 2001, was it?) and having a mobile phone was the lastest fashion accessory. MTV were quick to jump on the bandwagon. For some strange reason I recalled it on the way home and only bothered to check it on You Tube this afternoon. Fantastic. I love the whole dance routine and the friend, “Kanyo call me on my mobile!”. Classic. Did not know that MTV released an actual song and music video on the back of the success of this spot. You can watch that (inferior version, in my humble opinion) here.

The dilemma now though, what would be more annoying as a ring tone? The above or the Pearl & Dean music? It does not really apply to me, I always keep my phone sent to silent, which sort of defeats the object of having a ringtone in the first place.

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