Feb. 8th, 2015

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Friday night was the quiz at the Legion. Passed an agreeable evening with the Friday Night Boys, knocking back several Magners and just talking about this and that in between the quiz rounds. We started on minus 10 for winning by that margin last time (actually 11 but they don't deduct more than 10). In the second round, when we clocked up our eleventh point to climb to plus 1, Terry said to us "Are you feeling positive?" This time we did get fed during an interval halfway through. Beforehand Terry told me "They're vegetarian sausages, though they don't call them that." The sausages might not have been special, but the chips were first class. When the call went up advertising seconds I was first in the queue - this was noticed by my team-mates. We lay third every time the periodic scores were read out. By the time we'd managed only 4 on the 'shit or bust' round, where you can pass without being penalised but a wrong answer means scoring zero for the round, victory was beyond us. I said "We're still in with a chance of a medal" and Alan added "And there's the jackpot round and the meat raffle". We missed out on the jackpot round because none of us knew that the African country whose name means 'lion mountain' was Sierra Leone (we put Zimbabwe). We ended up third; Terry remarked on our being just 9 points behind the winners, having started on minus 10.

Yesterday was my local Gosport Borough game, away to Hemel Hempstead. Arrived early; on entering the ground I immediately met club chairman Mark, and followed him and Lynn into the clubhouse. After a quick chat with them settled down to watch Tottenham v Arsenal alongside the players from both teams and a few other early arrivers (both North London sides were well supported among those present) over a couple of bottles of a tasty fruit cider, Jacques.

Got talking to a guy who lived in Hemel and also had a house in Gosport, so was a neutral for the day. He asked what I was doing supporting Boro and living in Leighton Buzzard, I said I grew up in Gosport and was a Privett Park regular from age 8 until I left for uni. He knew the street where I used to live and my parents still are.

There weren't more than two dozen on the terrace Gosport were kicking towards. "Bit different from the last time we were here," I observed to a guy near me - our last visit was two years ago for the Southern Premier play-off final, when we took a horde that packed the terrace to the rafters. "It was a lovely sunny day too," he replied - today was freezing. This chap was accompanied by his daughter's boyfriend and a group of friends who live locally. The daughter's boyfriend and his pal were Villa fans; I told them about my recent visit to Villa Park. They gloomily relayed details of Villa's game with Chelsea and kept us updated on other games as we asked. On the pitch the first half was dull and goalless. Ten minutes after the break Hemel got a penalty and converted, but from the restart Gosport went straight down the other end and Rory Williams fired home an equaliser. Near the end, though, Hemel scored with a header from a corner and that proved to be the winner.

Home for The Voice, then down to the Legion to see The Fortunes. They were brilliant, playing not just their own well known hits but a wide selection of 60s numbers, many of them songs one of the present Fortunes line-up - which includes former members of Badfinger and the Dakotas - had connections to, and at the end they threw in Twist And Shout. They even managed to make me line their version of Seasons In The Sun, which was somewhat closer to Jacques Brel's darker original than Terry Jacks' sanitised version.

Carbonite was working today so made a start on the downloading - thankfully if you download files individually they don't come as Zips, and have had no problems so far, touch wood. Axe and Compass for roast at lunchtime; John from the quiz team was there, as were another regular, Bernard, and his son. They asked me about the Fortunes - they'd been intending to go but Bernard's son was bitten by a dog. They were glad there'd been a good crowd as they reckoned the village Legion had been losing money on the concerts lately. Bernard said the village Legion was relying on member numbers to stay on an even keel, and urged me to join, saying you soon make up the membership fee on discounts on drinks and concerts.

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Malmö 58

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