Or: Is this how to do corporate hospitality?
Pre match preparations.
This is the first game since my last encounter with the NHS that I was not actually doing a pre match pub and game routine. I had been dragged, protesting, in as fake a way as I could, on a holiday in South Africa. This trip was built around visiting Rose’s lovely 93 year old mother (More of that later) and two days at the second test at Newlands. My season ticket was in safe hands back in Bristol, all I had to do was find a suitable internet link and I could follow the Rovers as exiles all around the world tell me they do.
The plan was this:-
Take a trip to Table Mountain. Use the cable car to do the touristy bit then return, tired and excited, fire up the internet, and settle on the balcony of our friend’s home in Cape Town The estimated time to get the cable car ran somewhere between 3 and 5 hours. A tip to note, the shorter time is available to those who book in advance on the internet. This could seriously affect our plans so an alternative trip was taken to Signal Hill. The Table Mountain trip was moved to the Monday.
At this point I should tell you of our fantastic good fortune. Rose has an old University friend who, in one of those very generous moments, agreed to Rose blagging a house sit for her while they headed for Christmas and New Year at the coast. For obvious reasons I will not publicise the address or their names but if you are reading this J and K, many thanks. The map below shows an area called Orangezicht. We were here, in a part of town that had views up to both Table Mountain and Lions Head. It also had a swimming pool, numerous balconies and a tree shaded veranda to get in and out of G and T mode.
The view from Signal Hill was spectacular. The football stadium is that used for the World Cup final. No doubt those infernal plastic horns could be heard easily from here. We walked along the hillside taking in those crazy hang gliders as pre match entertainment. Do that at the Mem chaps, I dare you. Time was getting short so it was back “home” to get organised.
Wimbledon 0 Bristol Rovers 0 Attendance 4668 (806 Gasheads)
At 10 to 5 (2 hour time difference) the pre match away fan photo was dispatched. For those who are interested Lions Head is in the back ground and the Gin and Tonic was on the table out of view. Rose and her mother settled to the cricket. Mary is somewhat keen on the Cricket, watching every ball on South African T.V. Things were going well in Durban and as soon as our game started Wimbledon were down to 10 men. It didn’t look like a sending off from where I was looking. A Harrison dive? Never. I was resigned to a long drawn out defensive action and a last minute winner for the heroic Wimbledon Wanderers. There were no text messages from my so called friends Ronnie and Bob. I was left with regular updates on twitter and the BBC Football loop. You sort of know when a goal is scored on the BBC because the updates stop for several minutes. The time flew by and a draw came to pass.
There wasn’t any post-match euphoria to quell, nor any feeling of disappointment. We never seem to beat teams who lose players to a sending off. We had a braai to test and warm up. The temperature was nearer 30 degrees C in our particular shade. G and T’s morphed in to white wines and later whiskies. Feet were up, there was to be no Boxing Day argument with London Transport. I left the boys to sample a few on their way home via Ronnie’s Boxing Day taxi service.
Next up Leyton Orient H