I have just returned from a very enjoyable camping trip to the Nottingham area. The weather was brilliant and the site had the cleanest amenities I’ve ever had the pleasure to pee in. On the Sunday, I headed to the nearby pub, The Limekiln, to watch the Wimbledon final. There is a cash point at a filling station opposite the pub, but I was dismayed to discover that this was out of order.
I had been to the local Morrison’s and I knew there were ATMs there, so I decided to walk across. It was quite a hike but a pleasant day, so I didn’t mind. After taking one of my infamous ‘short-cuts’, however, I soon became lost in a maze of streets and I ended up not at Morrison’s, but in Bulwell town centre, where there were several banks. I got my cash and then set about finding my way back to the pub. I tried retracing my steps but again I became lost. I should point out at this juncture that I was wearing my FC Barcelona shirt.
I asked a parked up taxi driver for directions and he told me to take the next left and go to the top of that street. I followed his instructions and turned into a long street where, about half way up, a group of around twenty youths were playing. Some were kicking a football about, while others did stunts on BMX bikes. A shouted conversation was going on between one lad on the street and two girls, whose heads protruded from an upstairs window. The scene was reminiscent of the video for Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ Come On Eileen, and certainly not threatening.
As I walked through the throng, someone kicked the football, which hit the kerb in front of me and rose up into the air. It sat up perfectly for me and so, barely breaking stride and without removing my hands from my pockets, I sent a powerful header to a lad on the opposite pavement, who caught the ball.
A huge cheer went up at this and I continued on my way up the street to the sustained chant of Messi, Messi, Messi behind me. This little vignette made the whole walk, and even getting lost, worthwhile.