|Cat up a tree in Barrow-upon-Trent|
Yesterday I was in a town called Burton-upon-Trent. My beloved football team, Hull City, were playing an evening game against Burton Albion.
When I booked my ticket, ten days ago, I imagined that I would enjoy a long walk in South Derbyshire before having a meal in Burton and then heading to the match.
However, yesterday's weather was against me. It was a dank, moist day with a thick quilt of cloud pressing down upon the land. Not the kind of day for joyous rambling. Besides, the farming land in The Trent Valley was saturated with ditches and dikes overflowing and the colourless lanes all bepuddled.
|Dank weather at Ticknall|
I had a stroll in the village of Barrow-upon-Trent and then had another in Repton where there is a famous private school - once attended by the author Roald Dahl and the Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson. Both took away vivid memories of bullying and punishment.
Then it was on to Burton-upon-Trent - a rather sad town, famous for brewing beer. I admit that it is very possible that the mood of sadness was down to the dank weather. There seemed to be very few early evening dining options so I ended up in the rear "restaurant" section of Tommy's Fish Bar with manna from heaven - battered cod, chips and mushy peas with a slice of bread and butter and a pot of tea.
|Squirrel in St Modwen's churchyard, Burton-upon-Trent|
Then on to the match where I met a man that I last saw fifty years ago. He lived in the next village and was himself a pretty good footballer.
Dank mistiness shrouded the floodlit sporting theatre in front of us and Hull City - also known as The Tigers - thrashed Burton Albion by five goals to nil. It could have been two or three more than that but it was our best away league victory since we beat Glossop by the same score in March, 1915. More than a hundred years ago!
I drove home sensibly in the swirling mist and even managed to grab a couple of celebratory pints of bitter in our local pub before closing time.
|Bull above the entrance to|
Burton-upon-Trent's Market Hall