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Feeling even older

Last week I blogged about my slow and inexorable decline into a graceless and grumpy dotage…


Well, something happened this week that made me realise that perhaps that decline isn’t so slow…

It was Friday night and I was sitting in my local with three choice friends. Being typical blokes we had covered off all the preamble of the evening (How’s work? How’s the missus? Kids OK? That David Cameron, eh?) and were now onto the most important topic of the evening: sport.

My mate Russell piped up. “You know?” he said. “There’s one football ground that I’ve never been to that I’d love to watch a game at.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“The Bernabeu stadium. Just looks incredible. So big and the fans must make for such an atmosphere.”

I nodded and took a sip of my pint (half way through my second if you’re asking). I thought for a moment. “Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to go to the Bernabeu but the one I really want to go to is the Neu Camp.”

Kevin, sitting opposite me nodded in agreement.

Russell paused and thought about it for a while.

I took another sip. All of us, silently reflecting on the relative merits of Real Madrid and Barcelona’s home grounds.

Suddenly I shook my head and started laughing.

“What?” asked Russell.

I looked incredulous and foolish at the same time. “I don’t believe I just said that. I don’t believe it.” Sounding more and more like Victor Meldrew.

“Eh?” the other two, sitting opposite me looked puzzled.

“I’ve already been to the Neu Camp. I went about 10 years ago to watch a Barcelona-Chelsea game. It was the one where Didier Drogba scored and got sent off. I can’t believe I forgot that!”

The boys chuckled at me and then they started guffawing, mercilessly taking the mickey out of my idiocy.

Suddenly Russell stopped laughing and his brow furrowed. “Oh God!” he exclaimed.

It was now my turn to be curious, “what?”

“That’s the ground I want to go to. Barcelona’s ground. Not Real Madrid’s. I want to go to the Neu Camp, not the Bernabeu!”

Russell and I bent over double, almost spilling our pints with laughter just as Kev muttered under his breath, “Early onset Alzheimer’s…


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