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Enger-land, Enger-land, Enger-land.

Would you Adam and Eve it, there’s some footy on the telly for the next four weeks; that will keep us occupied during this cold wet spell. By chance we caught the best game of the tournament so far, when on Tuesday morning we sat down in the living room with our morning cuppa to catch up with the news and instead found the Argentina v Saudi Arabia game was just starting. What a match, Saudi got their tactics spot on and richly deserved their win.

We had to do some jiggling around the day before when England played their first match because we were on grand nephew (GN) after-school-child-care duties. Now the GN loves his football so we decided to record it and watch it after we had picked him up; Judith having planned to cook some party food for us all. How many times have I talked about good old fashioned communication? It’s a simple thing and this is yet another example of communication breakdown. I left Judith preparing the food as I went to fetch the boy, parking by the bus stop as instructed, arriving five minutes before the school turned out. It was at this moment that the torrential rain started. It was chaos as the kids poured past all the waiting parents in their (our?) cars, some getting into cars and the mums/dads then trying to drive off as late arriving parents were arriving causing gridlock. Is it any wonder the house I was parked up outside was for sale. I was also bucking the trend, or the unwritten rule, because I was parked up facing the wrong way to every one else: this was because I wanted to be able to eyeball the bus stop and watch out for the GN in case he didn’t spot me (though my understanding was that he had been instructed to wait at the bus stop). By three twenty it appeared all the kids had gone, and I was the only car still waiting. Okay, time to ring the GN as he was nowhere to be seen. The call went straight to voicemail (grr) so I left a message and then rang Judith to double check what the arrangements were and to let her know we were going to be later back than expected. During the call I had another incoming call; it turned out to be the GN and he was waiting in the Aldi car park, which he claimed, was where his mother told him to be. As I said, communication. Two minutes later I had a very wet 11 year old onboard – it was an extra ten minute walk in the rain to the car park – and I know from the very first words that he uttered that he knew the result, so I had to tell him to keep it to himself because Judith and I did not know. Anyhow, we all had a great time watching the match and eating the food; it ending just as his mother arrived to pick him up.

On Thursday we finally got around to designing our bookmarks, which will replace our home made flyers that we have been using to promote our book, and placed an order with an online company. I say placed, what I should have said is attempted to place (an order) as yet again we hit an IT problem. This time it was because the company only accepted “.docx or .doc” files and as I have stated before, me being a pauper ‘n all, I use Libre Office so my text documents are “.odt” files. “This is not a problem” I said to Judith, I shall just use her (borrowed) laptop, which has Microsoft Office installed on it to create the design in Word. Oh why do I utter such nonsense? With our history of IT issues I should have known it would not be simple. Having inserted my shape onto the page and then inserting a photograph and text box, I could not fathom out how to move the photograph and text box into the shape: it would not let me (use the same techniques as in Libre Office) and google was not being very helpful as it was telling me to do what I was doing. All very frustrating! Whilst I had been fighting with technology, Judith had gone to fetch the GN from school – the bus thing has been put on hold what with the dark nights and horrible weather – and not long after arriving home his mother rang to say plans at work had changed and they would be with us shortly. However, the GN insisted he ate the meal Judith had prepared for him. This worked in my favour as I could pick step-dad’s brain with regard to my problem. He said something like “You probably need to make it ‘square’ before you can drag it”. WTF! And, guess what, he was right, but I had had enough and left it until Friday morning before completing the design and placing the order, which was simple when using the required documents.

Sunday 20th November, a day that provided enough material for a good chapter should we ever write a second book, or indeed would make for a good TV comedy sketch show. It started around five thirty in the morning; there you are in a deep sleep all comfy under the winter duvet when in your dreams there is a beep. Then there is a second beep and a short while later, a third. You have heard them, but they are deep in your subconscious and are yet to register what they actually are, but slowly you hear it in a more conscious state. It’s coming from the hall; is it the smoke alarm? I know I need to get up and investigate, but I’m so tired and I’m very snug. Then Judith gets up; it’s irritating her more than me. She makes herself a drink whilst interrogating google for a fix; then the smoke alarm is sounding and I’m awake now. Judith is standing on a chair in the hall – I can see her because our home is small and we leave the bedroom door open - as google has said to hold the test button down for 15 seconds to reset it. Bloody hell, it works, so it’s back to bed to try to catch up on some sleep, but it does not come and we are both up again not long after having an early breakfast.

After fetching the Sunday papers I am in the living room pumping up cushions when Judith shouts “Bloody hell, ‘X’ is here” – if I told you who ‘X’ is I would have to kill you, but you can read about them in our book. So an hour is spent listening to weird tales about Albanian gangsters, Wormwood Scrubs prison, marriage plans and staying under cover to avoid the satellites. Delusions, paranoia or truth? Probably a little bit of all three. Then they want to go back to their accommodation – they have jumped the train i.e. did not pay, to get to Congleton, but I drive them back to Macclesfield and by some sort of miracle they manage to direct me. Judith has a bacon butty ready for me upon my return, to eat whilst watching the last F1 race of the year. After that we are due to meet up at the Farmers Arms for a drink to celebrate a friends birthday, but we get a call during the race to say it is now 3.30pm at the Counting House: that suits us fine. I drive, as I do not feel like drinking, picking some other friends up on the way. It is a fabulous afternoon (and evening as we do not leave until 9.45pm) and Judith was able to let her hair down (8 vodka doubles, a packet of salted nuts and a piece of birthday cake). We took over an alcove (used to be the vault when the building was a bank) and it felt a bit like holding a surgery or interviews as various different characters came and went, with the ongoing joke that there was a group of friends who were still at the Farmers Arms because no one had told them of the change of venue.

Monday morning and Judith is feeling good, no hangover to speak off which is amazing because it is a long time since she has been that drunk. So only one thing for it, send off an email to the publisher to find out what the hell is happening with our book. The reply came the following morning and yet again there was no acknowledgement of our email. We apparently should have a final version of the spine within 48 hours and after it’s approval a live book in 4-5 days. We shall see.

This afternoon we watched Germany v Japan; slightly boring first half, but a cracker of a second, with yet another shock result. It’s looking like it’s going to be a good World Cup and the final is on my Birthday. Will my Enger-land make it? I am not confident, but it would be nice. I was 11 years old when England won the World Cup in 1966 (on a small black and white TV) and can remember going down to the local playing fields to watch Uruguay train; they were based at the local (posh) hotel situated on the edge of the playing fields. In those days there was no security to think of and no trouble either: we knew how to behave.

Right, there’s another footy match to watch, so it’s goodbye from me until next week.

Be safe, be kind,


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