A Special Weekend
A weekend can be a bit of the old same old same old. Spending the week in traffic usually means that going out has to be for a purpose. This Saturday was Our Kid's birthday so, also needing a new computer keyboard, we set off for Mal Ambassador.
I'd never been before and I don't want to go again. Oh, we got the keyboard okay, but then it was time for the birthday meal. We went to the Food Court, grabbed a table which gave us a magnificent view of the Marriott Hotel, scene of last year's bomb outrage
, and ordered food from one of the fast food outlets. 'Er Indoors, who was out with us, is fasting, so we had to wait, with a hundred or so others, for the magic moment when drinking, eating and smoking is allowed in public without being accosted by the self-styled Islam Defenders Front
The noise level was intolerable; TVs hung from the ceilings 20 metres apart, all tuned to the same channel so that we could all hear the call from the televised mosque at 17.48 precisely, jam magrib
, the time to break the fast. We couldn't hear ourselves speak, nor could anyone else, so we all shouted. It quietened down when the pre-ordered food was brought to the tables. My meal of fish and chips was served on a polystyrene plate with plastic cutlery and was worse than any airline meal I've ever been given.
At least we got home for the eagerly anticipated clash between Birmingham and Manchester United
. This proved to be an exciting nil-nil draw. I love guts more than flash, although Savage belied his reputation with a sophisticated performance.
Of greater import to Jakartass, however, is tonight's match
, live on TV, between Charlton and Newcastle. Of course, the result is important to all Addicks, but what makes this game special is that it is billed as Charlton's Centenary Match
Never a 'fashionable' club, having endured bankruptcy followed by homelessness, since it has always been rooted in the community, one I grew up in, Charlton has risen, phoenix-like, with the support of genuine fans, to become the very model of a professionally managed community business.
I first went down The Valley
47 years ago, so, although not being of an anal retentive nature, I was still pleased to be able to put names to the faces of half the greats depicted here
, some in black and white.
Thanks to the power of the internet, I can relive my memories
. Thanks to satellites and the global reach of TV, I'll be at the Valley tonight. I hope we win; if we don't, I'll still be able to say 'thank you' for giving me a lifetime's pleasure.
And I'll never Curb my enthusiasm.