Thick Cut Marmalade

…out from bed, pull on jeans and a sweater over sleepy skin, slip into clogs, unlock the garage, push up the door, lift out the bike and spin round to the corner shop, buy a big, fat, Saturday newspaper, a fresh loaf, cycle home (steering one-handed), park the bike, pull the garage door shut, lock it, go straight to the kitchen, put the News, Travel, Review, Business, and Magazine to one side of the table, open the back door to let sunlight and fresh air in, fill the kettle, lean over the sink to switch the radio to BBC6 Music, drop the teabag in MY blue & white hooped mug, hack three doorsteps off this crusty loaf, (the oval crispy end and two immense slices), pick at pieces of the egg-glazed, ridged, crust that shower off the knife’s serrated blade, lift the lid from the heavy, hand-made butter dish, peel off curling leaves as big as breaking waves from the milk-yellow block, struggle getting butter off the knife onto the bread, reach for the new marmalade jar from the inside top of the fridge door, twist off the lid, smile at “ppphuttt” of air as the seal breaks first time in my manly grasp, move to the kettle that just clicked, fill the mug, cut into the smooth, untrammelled marmalade skin, dig out pieces of sugared peel and orange jelly, add it to lumps of butter on the wedges of bread, bin the teabag, top off the mug with full fat milk, lob the teaspoon into the sink, pull the kitchen stool underneath by rear with my left foot, perch, unfold the Sports section and take as big a bite of that oven-fresh, warm white bread, butter and marmalade as I can stretch my mouth to take, while I study the football fixtures to see who plays who this afternoon, read the match previews, glance at the clock with half an eye…

Christopher Perry

Saturday 18th April, 2020

n.b. We would have been playing at Southend United today under different circumstances.

n.n.b. www.napowrimo.net Day 18 Prompt: Celebration of life’s small pleasures…breakfast on a match day.

On the Weekend (IX)

Wet Sunday Morning

Porridge, tea and toast, Sports Mail

Time for studying

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n.b. I was very lucky as a child to be sent the Sports Mail each week by my grandfather (Grampy). At a young age and living a distance from Fratton Park this regular diet of football news, results and statistics sustained and fuelled my interest in Pompey.

Despite the thin content of the writing these days, I still enjoy spending time skipping through this publication, one of a few specialist, local football newspapers that remain in the country. No longer rushed out on a Saturday evening, but produced for Sunday morning distribution, it remains a rare treat at weekends.

Of course the back page with the match results, names of goal-scorers, ground attendances and league tables consumes most of my attention. I particularly like seeing how many goals were scored in the last minute (90th) of the games.

This week there were ten last minute goals, including two for Aveley that decided the FA Trophy match in their favour against Chelmsford, (attendance 811).

CLP 09/02/2020

On the Weekend (VI)

Determined to stay

Exploring Portsea Island

Unearthing treasures

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n.b. Portsmouth is Great Britain’s only island city, the second most densely populated urban environment after London. Perhaps it should be twinned with Manhattan?

A brand called Strong Island is developing here. Pompey folk are proud of their home city and are happy to wear the label, despite the island having significant social problems associated with its high density population.

This weekend of treading the streets, stopping here and there to ask questions and to take time wandering, has already led me to establish a sizeable list of places to visit and things to do.

It’s alright here.

CLP 08/02/2020

On Proximity

Having unwittingly been passed on from one prospective landlady to another, I land here. Photo adapted from Google Maps App.

On Proximity

Could we be closer?

Is that even possible?

Not too close I hope

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n.b. In looking for a temporary base from which to start composing the next chapter in my life, Fate has pitched me into familiar territory.

My life-long association with Fratton Park seems set to become a little more intimate in coming weeks.

We’ll have to tread carefully around each other as we have never actually lived this close together before.

n.n.b. I did not, repeat, did not know my accommodation enquiry would lead me to this specific location.

CLP 10/01/2020

At the Rutland Arms

They came from afar

Uncertain of what to say

Their loss, our future

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n.b. We gathered to pay respects to one of our own, a fellow Pompey supporter to some, a close friend to a few. We did not know how to do this, but wanted to be together at this time, the first available home game.

We met at a pub close to Fratton Park and talked of Martin and touched philosophically on the inevitable.

After a few simple words in memory of this lovely man, we raised our glasses and expressed gratitude for having known him.

We then went to the game. It was 0-0.

.

CLP 12/10/2019

Local Derby (II)

When we’d left they sang

“Four nil in your own backyard”

tis just a game – fools!

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n.b. It was just a knock-out round of a secondary cup competition. We had enjoyed getting that far, but now to the serious business of Saturday’s league match. Grrrrrr.

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CLP 25/09/2019