Saturday 20th May, 2023

Survival Saturday. One long season, sandwiched with a silly World Cup break. Newcastle away last August now seems like a long, long time ago.

But how to pass the time ahead of the 5:30pm KO at The World Famous City Ground?

Don’t worry. I had plans.

I caught up with the Blur interview with the Boy Lamacq over breakfast. There’s some great chemistry and a shared Sunny Colch history between them. The track showcased from the new album sounds promising.

To Dulwich ParkRun!

Brockwell is off limits for the next month, thanks to the bloody Great Wall of Brockwell. No worries. Dulwich is flat as a pancake. It’s perfect for any *ahem* PB chasers.

That will be me, then,

There was a flood to negotiate along Brixton Road first. I’m not sure what was causing it. I dismounted outside the Rec and walked along the road until the Atlantic Rod turn off.

The scene changed again when I reached Herne Hill. An overheard traffic light conversation confirmed that I was in SE24:

“Sophie has a ballet lesson this morning.”

But OF COURSE she does.

Rapha clothing was then on the radar as I approached Le Velo. The Track Boys of S Ldn were rolling up ahead of the Intermediate Saturday session. Rumour has it that you can only ride if you’re wearing Rapha.

Dulwich ParkRun was busy with Brockwell refugees. I spotted many familiar faces warming up. I had a brief chat with S, a fellow Lido swimmer.

The Race Director was a one. He delivered what he called a sermon ahead of the countdown.

“Dearly Beloved…”

He then read out the opening intro from Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy.

Like I said, he was a one. But he put a smile on my face ahead of the 5km run.

I felt fighting fit after Body Pump the night before. I had a light breakfast and was hopeful of a decent time. I wasn’t PB chasing, but Dulwich ParkRun kinda shifts you into that frame of mind.

I knew I was on for a fast run after the first split was called out after the first lap. Come the second lap and I was maintaining the pace.

I trailed off for the final lap. I came close to a chunder moment as I pushed myself over the finish line.

21 minutes on the dot. Two seconds off a PB. Arse.

A quick clean up back at base, and then To The Oval!

It was Day 3 of the ‘rrey at home to Kent. It was also a rare His ‘n’ Hers day out in the Peter May. A rocked up from the bloody Estuary Wilds.

I locked up the Raleigh 20 inside the ground. Some fella then parked his Gocycle 4i next to mine. I was in complete envy and told him so. The 4i cost £4,360 more than my Raleigh…

The cricket was interesting. The ‘rrey took four late wickets yesterday. They picked up where they left off in the morning session. Kent’s second innings was over with an hour left to play ahead of luncheon.

The 58 needed for the win was chalked off half an hour later. That was a trip worthwhile, A. I took six bottle of cheapo Lidl BOOZE into The Oval; I left with six bottles of cheapo Lidl BOOZE.

We walked back to the flat along Dorset Road. The new South Lambeth Estate block is complete, and the LTN infrastructure is up and running. It’s quite a change since we last lived here in 2010.

And so what to do with an unexpected free afternoon as the countdown to KO continued?

We decided on a Brixton to Brockwell walk, taking in some old haunts. A got to see Flutie up close and in full action as we headed up Stockwell Road. The Flute Man of SW8 was making the most of the Transpontine sun.

We shared commentary of Wolves Vs Everton in the AirPods. I explained to the Toffee Nose A that I wanted Everton to lose, but not be relegated. This would help Forest to survive with one game to go.

We both shared a dislike for L******er and DIRTY Leeds.

A few Brixton detours took place, and then we reached the Lido Cafe.

“Have you got a booking, Sir?”

Erm, no.

Stick yer poncey Lido Cafe.

By pure chance we bumped into Boy Y from SW9. He was polite, charming and confident. A real credit to the school and his family. A was impressed.

We walked around the bloody Great Wall of Brockwell and found sanctuary in the Secret Garden. It was peak allium season.

A brief stop at Brockwell Hall for a drink, and then we headed back down to Herne Hill for the Oxfam shop. I limited myself to a strict ten minutes digging in the CD racks. There was some decent stock, but I managed to resist.

We were back in the flat to catch the build up for the Forest match. A buggered off back to the bloody Estuary Wilds, and I bedded down for a very stressful couple of hours.

The first half flew by with the cushion of the Forest goal. The second half dragged. I was convinced Arsenal would find an equaliser.

I restrained myself at the final whistle, but the feeling of achievement was immense. Forest are safe ahead of the final day of the season.

I predicted at the start of the season that we would finish 15th. It now looks more likely that it will be 16th, but we could still go ahead of West Ham.

What a season, what a club.

Two Stars on the Badge. And proud.

Oh – and 22k steps for me today.