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Thursday, 1 November 2012


Football seems to be forever in the news these days but not for the game. I once met someone who met someone who knew someone who had been to a football match and that person was me. It was at Arsenal Stadium but I can't remember who they were playing although I know men who could tell me who the other team were if I could remember what the weather was like that day. Not knowing the rules I kept cheering every time the other side scored much to the annoyance of the Arsenal fans seated around me who were busy listening to the cricket. My only other football experience took place in a launderette in Acton during the 1998 World Cup. The owner had perched the television on top of one of the machines and I found myself in a trance due to the fancy footwork of one Dennis Bergamp. For a brief spell I understood the passion football fans have for their beloved game but like most things for me I was soon bored and moved on to other deviances. 

There is a saying 'like a red rag to a bull'. There is probably one that says 'like a red light to a Spaniard' which may mean a brothel or a traffic light. When it comes to the traffic light a Spaniard has to go through it if it kills him which it often does and all the people trying to cross the zebra. If you attempt to go through a red light anywhere south of Paris expect the fellow at the other set of lights to do the same and anticipate a crash. There is also an unwritten rule here that when you approach a junction especially one with a roundabout you must step on the gas if you see a vehicle approaching from the left. He won't indicate either way so just take the risk. Hopefully on seeing you he will slow down as he knows and understands your game. Henderson always stops at the lights even if there is no one crossing them. People in Britain do this and visitors will remark how polite they all are or stupid. I have no time for such silliness and this once rubbed off onto H as we came up to a roundabout and could see another car quite far off to follow the unwritten rule without any angst. H's instincts told him to stop but he couldn't help himself and so he tore out. For some peculiar reason the other chap decided to put his toe down and before you could say the Non Flying Dutchman he was up our jacksy. The occupants of both vehicles screamed abuse and gave the fingers in the usual fashion and went on their way. 'How dare he break the unwritten rule!' we both exclaimed. 'He should never have sped up like that!' we both agreed. 'We could have been killed!' we both rejoiced. It was then I knew I had arrived.