Walking On

Despite our best efforts, and largely because of our refusal to buy into the practice of ticket touting (we actually saw the cliched man in a ticket-filled large coat; “wanna-see-the-game?”), Liverpool gameday dawned without hope of us being inside the stands. After spending some time watching those more lucky than us skip past our window we decided to stop our pouting and join the fun.

Half a kilometre down the road it was carnival atmosphere. A band was playing, Mighty Red was posing with his fans, a yellow submarine was churning out fish and chips for the crowd (we were in Liverpool afterall) and the mood was merry in a way that could only be termed family friendly.

We lined up with the throng to watch the unmarked, unremarkable opposition bus arrive to a few half hearted “boos” and one man, to our utter delight, hurling the term “gobshite” around; It doesn’t even sound like swearing to our antipodean ears. We cheered Jurgen and the boys in their anything but discrete mode of transport; It’s all about making a statement, afterall.

P1020034

Then, suddenly the crowd thinned until there was just a handful of forlorn foreigners staring teary-eyed at the back of The Kop as that famous Gerry and the Pacemakers opening rift  sounded…and it stopped being fun. So, back to our accommodation we trotted and, after briefing Farm Girl on what she may or may not be witness to, we edged ourselves into a corner of the bar and watched what turned out to be a frustrating game…most of the time.

game

As for our fearing for Farm Girl’s tender years, there was no need. It was all good clean fun, and when frustrations boiled over it was done with humour rather than anger. We’re not naive enough to think it is always like this as the strong security and police presence (plus the fact that all light furniture is securely locked in the pubs basement on gameday) proves, but for us it was a great day which we finished with a wander around the block and a visit to the kebab shop.

And through it all, the man directly across the road from our accommodation spent his Saturday re-pointing his house brickwork which brought to mind a time, long time ago, when pushing the toddler Farmer in his buggy down the main street in Rotorua I was asked for directions to a local park famous for its free access to the thermal activity. The American couple thanked me profusely then pointed to the steaming gutter and asked, “How does this become normal?” We could have asked that man the same thing.

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Walking On

  1. What misery you must have felt being left outside listening to ‘that’ tune! I’m sorry you weren’t able to get tickets. I suppose you should have tried to get them months ago – not that I know anything about football matches!

    • Unfortunately the new measures put in place to limit touters and reward faithful supporters means it is pretty much impossible for overseas supporters to get tickets. For us to get them through the NZ supporters club we had to commit to a date before the draw had been released so we could have purchased to keys to an away game. I get it but …

  2. Too bad about not getting into the stadium. But it sounds like you maybe got a fairly typical football watching experience anyway. And now fears about stampeding through the gates etc. A yellow submarine selling fish and chips – now that’s something I’d be up for.

    • The difference in the general mood and feeling around football since our last visit is amazing! It really seems to be more family orientated now which is fantastic…even if it means we visitors miss out 😊

  3. Normal for natives can seem exotic to visitors. 😉 Part of the joy of traveling. As mother would have said, in French, “It changes the mind.”

  4. Hi, At least you made it to the entrance of the cathedral – the holy of holies. I am glad to learn the games and the associated lead up are organised for the whole family to enjoy. It would be no fun if football (soccer in my part of the world) was hijacked by football hooligans.

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