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Cardiff

“So what’s the blog about this week then Dad?”
“Well love, as I’ve told you many times, it’s an Arsenal blog. You know, about the football team, Arsenal.”
“Yeah but that doesn’t usually stop you, remember when your team were playing Sunderland and you wrote about a family holiday and how you ended up driving around Roker Park because your Dad got lost?”
“Fair comment. But in my defence I do have to pad it out a bit. Especially if I don’t want to just write what every other blogger is writing. It is after all only a football match and one that hasn’t even happened yet, there really isn’t much to say.”
“So who are they playing this weekend then Dad? I know it isn’t Manchester because you haven’t been in a foul mood all week. Talking of which who exactly is Judas?”
“He was a character from the Bible. Allegedly grassed up the messiah, but I’ve always wondered about it, I mean didn’t Jesus tell him what he would say, who to and when? A bit of a set up job if you ask me. Anyway let’s stay on the point, we’re playing Cardiff.”
“We are?”
“Arsenal”
“But you said we”
“Yes yes I know, that’s how fans describe their team, they become so involved, so much part of the club that it feels like a part of our lives in a way that nothing else really does.”
“Nothing?”
“Oh come on love I don’t mean family, of course not, in a way, you and your brother are just as important as Arsenal, but unlike other hobbies or entertainments following the fortunes of a football club becomes tribal, it’s us against them, you know?”
“No, not really Dad, sounds a little bit mental to me. Anyway, Cardiff. I’ll tell you what, you could write about the time me, you and Warren went to see the Arctic Monkey’s at the Motorpoint Arena – that was in Cardiff”
“Yeah, or there was that time I drove into Cardiff to get Liz to the train station.”
“I don’t remember that”
“You weren’t there. We were camping at Llantwit Major.”
“Was that when you did the Gavin and Stacey tour of Barry and Barry Island?”
“Different story love, don’t interrupt”
“Well excuse me”
“Sorry. Anyway, we were camping, well, caravanning to be precise, and Liz had screwed up the dates because when she told me to book the holiday she already had tickets for this music festival, an eighties thing at Henley On Thames. Rewind, that was it, and it turned out she had to get there while we were still booked on the camp-site in Wales. Turns out Llantwit has a nice little train station and the train from there went straight through to Reading where her mate lives”
“Vanessa?”
“Yeah Vanessa, anyway they were meeting up and the train is cheap as chips from LLantwit so she books a ticket, she’s always using trains for her job so it was the work of a moment for her to organise it, did it on her phone in fact, anyway as I said she books a ticket and I drive her to the train station on the Friday morning early. And I mean early, the train wasn’t due for twenty minutes. We stood on the platform, she’s chain smoking to make sure she gets enough inside her to last the journey and I’m wondering what to do in Wales on my own for a couple of days, a bachelor gay, both of us content and looking forward to the weekend. Until I utter the fateful words. ‘You got your tickets?’ She just raises her eyebrows, you know what Liz is like, the seasoned traveller, and pats her pocket. Then checks it, frowning. Then begins patting and poking in all of her pockets. I couldn’t believe it. She travels by train all the time and has never forgotten her ticket, not once. And the thing was, we’d been stood there so bloody long I could’ve driven back to the camp site got her tickets and got her back in plenty of time – but not any more. ”
“So what did you do?”
“Well, I couldn’t drive her all the way to Reading could I? We had, much to the amusement of the good folk gathered there on Llantwit station, a minor domestic. You know, one of those public arguments where you try to keep your voices down so as not to attract too much attention but everyone is thoroughly enjoying it because you are the only two people talking and they can’t help but hear it. In the end we drive back, get the tickets and she works out that if I drive like an absolute maniac I might just get to Cardiff before the train does and she can join it there. This seems infeasible to me, the roads around Barry, Cardiff airport and Cardiff itself being a tad busy at that time of the morning and trains having the advantage of going at a hundred bloody miles an hour and in a straight line. Well anyway, she won the argument”
“Well, der”
“Yes, quite. She says the train makes lots of detours and stops and that ought to buy us enough time and so off we trot like something out of a bloody cowboy film chasing the damn train all the way to Cardiff and you know what?”
“Mmmm?”
“Are you listening? I said you know what? As I get into Cardiff city centre the satnav is telling me that we might just do it, the train leaves in ten minutes and we have five minutes to go.”
“So it all worked out?”
“Not exactly. And this is where the second domestic disturbance tested the foundations of our union.”
“Anyone ever told you you talk funny Dad?”
“Many people, many times precious. This secondary and much more voluble dispute centred around whose responsibility it was to ensure that the satnav is regularly updated via the Tom Tom website. You see had it been up to date it wouldn’t have been telling us to turn right down a road which was clearly no longer a right of way. Yes we were in time, yes we could see on the map that the station wasn’t far away, no we couldn’t bloody well get anywhere near it.”
“So what happened in the end?”
“I drove in a manner likely to provoke the interest of the local heddlu, unsure of where I was going until we came in sight of the station, I flung her out, her rucksack after her and she legged it, over a wall, through a car park and out of sight.”
“You didn’t go with her?”
“I was exciting the ire of a rather large vehicle across the path of which I had stopped the car in the manner more usually reserved for American detectives or perhaps desperadoes, either way I needed to beat a retreat.”
“So did she make the train?”
“Yes, it was running late.”
“That’s a really lame fucking story”
“Daisy!”
“Sorry dad, but you’re going to have to do better than that for the blog.”
“I could talk about how well Cardiff played against Man United I suppose, at least that would be relevant.”
“Are they a good team?”
“Man United? God no.”
“No, Cardiff.”
“Oh I see, pretty good I’d say, I think they will be full of confidence and really hard to contain”
“But you think your team will win?”
“I always think we will win. It’s why it hurts so much when we don’t. It’s probably why some fans feel so let down when their team lose”
“But surely Dad it isn’t the team’s fault that fans decide to invest so much of their emotional well being in the result of a football match. That’s the fans fault. The team want to win because that’s their job regardless of whether you and a bunch of similarly weird blokes”
“And women”
“and women, decide to hinge their future happiness on the outcome of what is, essentially, them just doing their jobs.”
“Yes but a lot of people are too emotionally immature to realise that. You on the other hand being my daughter are not only beautiful but smart too. It’s genetic”
“Smart enough not to put my happiness in the hands of a bunch of strangers at least. Anyway how do these folk react? They start fighting fans of other teams or something?”
“Oh God no, this isn’t the nineteen seventies. They go onto the internet and verbally attack fellow supporters and the Arsenal players and manager”
“What? But that’s ridiculous”
“You’d think so”
“If, as you say, they identify with the team so strongly that it’s like a deep abiding relationship, like a family, then surely they wouldn’t attack their own family? I mean it’d be like publicly vilifying their children for failing at school, or being bullied by someone bigger and stronger”
“Or someone smaller and weaker – even worse”
“Well Dad, I don’t think I’ll ever understand you football fans, so I’ll leave you to your blog, good luck with it.”
“Actually Daisy, I don’t have space to write it anyway now, our conversation has taken up the word count.”
“Shit”
“I know right”
“Dad”
“Yeah?”
“Stop trying to talk like a teenager.”
“Sorry”

About steww

Arsenal, books, photography, bass guitar, dog walking, mountain biking, being on the radio, writing, talking too much, failing, making mistakes, buggering on regardless.

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110 comments on “Cardiff

  1. Now that’s what I’m am talking about steww!!

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  2. @DC, why didn’t u stop at casually, why hurriedly? don’t see how the 2 go together… I doubt they would bite though, too happy a day… LOL… I see how the smiley would have been useful there

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  3. Great result today, a nod to the Cardiff fans too… marvellous.

    On another note, Gareth Bale scoring a hattrick and seemingly starting to do very well indeed in la Liga somehow puts a cherry on top of current things for me… Confirms how much of a loss he was to our near neighbours… hehehe. (or is it just me that thinks that way?)

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  4. Fantastic write up from stew and a performance from the team that looks ominous for our rivals.

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  5. What a win today. I just enjoyed the hell out of it. I watched it with my dad, who, truthfully, just can’t get into it. He was happy because I was happy, but this sports-team loving version of his daughter still doesn’t quite compute! He was impressed with Aaron’s headed goal, though…as he damn well should have been!

    Now on the way home with the Alabama game on in the car. Thinking I may have to take over the wheel from my other half if they don’t step it up here…

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  6. Steww.
    I would be honoured to stand beside you at any Arsenal match.
    You get it,
    And so many of our Positive Arsenal friends do too.
    VCC.

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  7. TS
    No need to dwell former arsenal superstars.
    Wenger’s production line is in full flow.
    Superstars are being made before our eyes, yet again.
    14 played for arsenal today, 14 put in perfect shifts, IMHO .

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  8. PG
    I’d be worried about how well Steww has being running the shop in your absence .
    Anarchy has prevailed.

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  9. Alabama
    He may have been worried about any whoops of joy for Aaron’s goals , which dugout ably have been more that football centred…
    Smiley faced handsome clean living young welsh man?
    I used to be straight myself, but Giroud make me feel all queer inside.

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  10. BOOM SHAKA SHAKA BOOM
    LOL…….

    its good to know ones faith in these lads and AW was well founded and on good foundation. End of an era , my ass.
    The juggernaut is picking up momentum. Just as we foresaw and predicted. Good days….

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