I am not sure if anybody else feels like this but for me this year still seems like it is very much on hold. My plan is to make the best of everything I can do and not worry about the things that I cannot do. We need to be sensible, stick together and look after each other like never before in our lifetimes.
We all deserve the same common courtesy and protection during these unusual times. The world has been through tough times in the past as has Great Britain itself and we will come through this one to. If at the end of it you can hold your head up high and know you have done what was requested and suggested of you to the best of your ability. That is all we can ask of each other.
The other important thing as far as I am concerned is to have a laugh at every opportunity. Life is short, it goes quickly but there is always time for humour and a bit of fun in my world, whatever the situation. In fact I seem to spend a lot of my time laughing at myself for all the stupid things I do during the day. Some weeks being in a house with me is like living with Frank Spencer. For the record they are just tiny silly things that I do nothing dangerous I have certainly never roller skated while I was attached to a bus!
As I have mentioned before I am spending a lot more time at home in light of the current situation. That has led to me watching more films than I would normally do. People are always amazed by not only the lack of movies I have seen but how many classic must see ones I have never seen. I find generally I really have to want to see a film before I am prepared to commit my time to it. Obviously I have more time at the moment so it is much easier for people to get me to sit still and see them as I have fewer excuses available to me to avoid them.
Until recently I had only ever watched one single Quentin Tarantino film. That was Kill Bill. My girlfriend could not believe this and she I think felt I was missing out. Therefore I agreed to watch one of them with her. We decided on Pulp Fiction. I was aware of it, although I do admit that I did not know Bruce Willis was in it. We sat down to see it at her place a few weeks ago.
Once we had firstly made ourselves some home-made Pizza’s. I say we, she made the base and produced a huge selection of toppings and I used these to create my own like a seven year old doing their first ever cooking lesson. I must say they tasted brilliant and were the perfect pre-film meal. You can put as much cheese on as you like when you make them yourself. I do remember visiting a Pizza place before going to the cinema as a kid on a few occasions at least!
Before it started she did explain that the plot line did move about a bit and promised me that it was not too gory as I am not good with that kind of thing. I enjoyed it. The time seemed to go quickly which is always a good sign. It was very easy to watch and follow despite the order that you see the story develop. I had been using the phrase “Zed’s Dead Baby” every time I heard a motorbike go by for the last twenty years and now I know the scene that it was actually from and the film.
The other thing that really surprised me was when Winston Wolfe appeared. I think I may have said out loud it is the bloke from that advert. I have seen several of those adverts for that Insurance firm and I had no idea that the character was from Pulp Fiction. I will be honest now I know this piece of information those adverts suddenly make much more sense.
Over the last three years I have started to do quite a bit of travelling and have visited lots of new countries and places. I decided that I was due a holiday but owing to the current implications of a trip to another country, excluding the fact that these can all change within a very short space of time anyway. I thought that this time I would stay within England.
My girlfriend and I decided we were going to book an Airbnb for a short break somewhere in the United Kingdom. We wanted to go to a place where they had nice beaches that would not be too busy. We did a bit of research on this subject and decided that Norfolk would be a good option. Then we just had to decide on the accommodation. Neither of us had used the holiday rental company before so it took us a while to narrow down the area and shortlist suitable properties.
We decided we wanted to be near to the beach and to the sea. Then we managed to get the choice down to either a Medieval Tower or a nice little cottage on a cliff. In the end we chose the one that had a garden. Therefore the other week we went on a four night break to a little fisherman’s cottage in Scratby, Norfolk. We drove up in her car and arrived to a sunny welcome at our pre-arranged check in time. We got the key to our blue palace for the next few days and moved our things in.
We got a text from our hosts saying that one of them would drop by later that evening to check that everything was alright. It was only a two minute walk to the beach. As soon as we had settled in we then headed off to get some sand between our toes. We walked along the beach to California, which is what the next hamlet along was called. I can confirm there was no Hollywood sign there though. After having a look at our new surroundings we walked the road way back to the cottage.
It had a lovely big secluded back garden with one of those big couple swing chairs at one end. We had a sit in that while toasting the start of our vacation with some Champagne, which was very relaxing in the evening sunshine, I can confirm. My girlfriend made us dinner and we may have also opened a bottle of wine, well we were on our holidays. The host did drop by and stayed in the front garden while we chatted to him. He gave us food suggestions and ideas of things we could do while we were there.
When I was a boy we used to visit a Holiday Park in Hemsby every year for about five years. I always remember having a great time there. As it turned out it was only a few miles down the coast from where we were. Therefore on our first day we had a walk down the beach to Hemsby.
We had an ice-cream and a quick look around the place. I had not been back there for probably about thirty two years. It had not really changed at all, everything looked very familiar it did bring back a lot of memories. We also had a quick game of crazy golf. Obviously it is the taking part not the winning that is the important thing, but for the record I won!
Then we walked a bit of the Norfolk Coastal Path up to Winterton on Sea. There we had a sandwich at the beach cafe. We do really know how to live when we are away. After a brief rest we walked back along the beach to Scratby. One of the best things about a seaside holiday in the United Kingdom is surely the Fish and Chips you can get on the coast. I was really looking forward to this treat. Now I had not had this meal for a while so I had possibly set my expectation levels too high, but we were both disappointed with the standard of fish and chips that we were given from the local chippy.
The next day we decided we would walk in the other direction along the beach and ended up in Caister on Sea. There was not a lot going on right near the beach, however we did find a quiet pub with a nice big beer garden. There were hardly any people in there so we found a table outside. I ended up having my first pub pulled pint of ale since lockdown began. I am not saying I really enjoyed it but it went down very quickly. We just had the one drink which might mean that my resistance to temptation has improved, but I somehow doubt that.
We walked back to the cottage again along the beach. We did plenty of walking and got lots of fresh sea air while there. That evening we ordered a Chinese from a place in Hemsby that was recommended to us and did deliveries. I phoned through our order. It was early evening so we had our curtains open, about twenty minutes after I had made the call a man on a scooter pulls onto next door’s driveway and gets out some food from his bike, while holding the menu from where we had ordered.
At first we thought maybe the delivery driver had got the wrong house, I even stuck my head out of the door to possibly get his attention. We thought they had our food, even though at that point we had not paid for it. Anyway he did not reappear from the house and later our meal arrived. It was fantastic. But I loved the comedy timing of the neighbour bringing home his food from the same take away. What are the chances of that?
On our final full day at our Norfolk coastal retreat we decided to take a drive out to Great Yarmouth. When I stayed in Hemsby as a child we always made two visits there one in the day for a look round and one at night to see a show. Lynda had also been there as a child, so it was nice reminiscing together about the place, while we walked down the promenade. We both remembered going to the model village. And also both think we have pictures of it somewhere.
We went for a quick stroll on the Britannia Pier. It has a theatre where I have seen Freddie Starr and The Grumbleweeds among others. There was also another theatre where we once had front row tickets for a Michael Barrymore show and my sister got to shake his hand at the end. Going to a performance was always a big part of my childhood holidays. We did of course go to the circus at The Hippodrome one year to.
After stopping for a milkshake by the beach and then getting a few gifts for people I decided I needed one more holiday treat from my past. I got some Candy Floss from one of the street stalls.
I had not had it for years, I do have a really sweet tooth but I must confess it tasted a lot sweeter than I remembered it had been a very long time since I had any of the stuff. I did not manage to finish the whole bag which would have been unheard of as a seven year old.
We headed “home” to spend some final time in the garden back at the cottage before setting out to do the last thing we had decided that we wanted to do while in the area. While researching our holiday we had discovered that a Seal colony had made one of the local beaches its home and that they could often been seen in the water and on land there. They are located at Horsey Gap Beach. We took a drive out there at around five o’clock in the afternoon. There is a car park there with about a five minute walk down to the beach itself.
Within ten minutes of being on the beach we had spotted a few seals bobbing about in the sea. We kept walking down the beach stopping for a bit, doing some spotting in the water and then moving on again. We had heard that hundreds of the animals can be found on the sand but at this point we had only seen a few swimming.
We decided to walk a bit further along the beach and all of a sudden saw a huge group of the creatures all lying together on the sand. There were small ones, massive ones, old ones and young ones. It truly was a wonderful sight. I am pleased we had decided to go and see if we could spot them. And that we were successful.
On the way back from the Seals we ordered an Indian Take Away from a place that again had been recommended to us. The food was ace and we had a nice last evening at the cottage enjoying that and watching “The Life of Brian” which is a brilliant film, so funny. The next morning we had to be up and out of the accommodation by ten o’clock. We got up early, packed our stuff and tidied up. It was my first experience of Airbnb. The hosts were great and helpful, the place itself was nice, it had everything it was said to and it was a simple and enjoyable experience.
Just before we jumped into the car to head home we had breakfast at the local tea rooms. It was as civilised as it sounds except that I had an American Breakfast with pancakes, syrup, scrabbled egg and the best bacon I have tasted in ages. It was a lovely end to a great English seaside break. I do like travelling abroad and seeing new and exciting things but there is still plenty to enjoy and discover on this little island of ours.
I have now watched all nine episodes of the Tottenham Hotspur Amazon documentary “All or Nothing”. It was interesting to see behind the scenes of my club and get more of an idea about the player’s personalities and the back room staff set up. I have now slightly changed my opinion of Jose Mourinho in view of his work ethic and how he deals with and manages situations.
It does highlight the many different factors that can influence not only the results on the pitch but team spirit and cohesion as well as the different relationships that form within a football club. Would I have watched it if it featured another club, probably not to be fair but it was a nice snapshot of a season with my team that I followed from the outside and have now seen how it was developing from the inside!
Spurs almost predictably had a poor first game of the new season. We lost at home to Everton. I think they will have a good year but I felt we really underperformed in that game. Since that set back we have progressed in the Europa League and won our first away Premier League match by an impressive margin. That victory included goals and assists from our two main strikers, which hopefully bodes well for the future.
The season will as ever have many twists and turns with plenty of celebrations and disappointments. One thing is for sure there is never a dull moment supporting Spurs. It is also great to have Gareth Bale back with us on loan. He went from a young player who seemed to be a bad omen who lost every game he played to our star player. We sold him for a then world record fee. I cannot wait to see him back in action in a Spurs shirt but it does look like we will have to wait until after next month’s International matches at least for that.
You can listen to me still on Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/
Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.