Peterborough United vs Middlesborough F.C. ⚽

Please note, for consistency, this blog was written yesterday.

My Myeloma has prevented me from doing so many things I have planned to do. I imagine as my treatment progresses, I will miss out on more activities and more things I have always done. This week, I have been willing my body to allow me to do one thing, mentioned in passing before my diagnosis, but it became something, especially in the last month, that I had to do. The thing was a football match. I’ll be honest with you now, this is not something I have always done. I do not follow a team. I only have a basic knowledge of the offside rule. Is it even a rule or is it several rules? At least I know enough not to call it soccer.

It was touch and go this morning. My body was not playing ball. I was ill. I was experiencing pretty immense stomach cramps, which had plagued me since the previous evening. I felt the best way to manage this was to lie on my bed and ask it to go away, not forever, just a few hours. It eventually worked, I cannot tell whether it was mind over matter or the pills I took. The cure does not matter, all that matters is that my body allowed me to go out. Boy, was I excited. It is amazing how my brain now puts pressure on my body to work. I just hope it does not put pressure on others as well.

Well I was, and I arrived in Peterborough City Centre a mere 90 minutes late. The point is, that I arrived. I arrived after Mamma Jones had forced me to wear a woolly hat. Middlesborough, Jack and three members of Jack’s family were waiting for me on a barge, ready to see Peterborough United (also known as Posh) against Middlesborough Football Club. The latter, it would appear, go by several other names as I heard during the match. I quite like ‘Red Army’. We’ll just call them that for now.

For somebody who was born in Peterborough and spent most her life in the area, I was somewhat disappointed by the home supporters. They were quiet. Very quiet in comparison to the supporters who had travelled from Middlesborough. How do I put this, the Middlesborough supporters were, active. My, can they chant. They appear to dislike Sunderland, I wager that the Posh supporters are not that fussed about Sunderland either. I spent most the match fascinated by the fans in the terrace and thankful that Middlesborough had sacrificed standing amongst the hearty supporters to sit with me, where it was safe in the Northstand Block A.

Look at them all jumping up and down, the Red Army had just scored something called a ‘goal’. The men in the orange coats were there to stop us invading the pitch, if only they knew.

This shot is reminiscent of a scene from ‘Babe’.

I did learn that I am not one for shouting during sporting events. I may have said ‘noooo’ a few times and ‘yes’, but that was the extent of my verbal participation. I felt uptight. Others, were more free with there encouragement and I will now spend the next month trying to appropriately squeeze ‘stick it in the mixer’ into a conversation.

It was actually a good match. Five goals were scored and I thoroughly enjoyed the hissy fit the Peterborough goalkeeper had after the first goal. I think he felt the defence let him down. The score was 3-2 to Middlesborough, but Posh did put up a reasonable fight despite one player’s attempt at goal ending up on the outside of the ground.

At half-time, we had a steak and ale pie and a cuppa. I am told this is what is done at a football match and it was grand. Just look at my face. It is clear that I am a fan of a piping hot dirty pie and a builder’s tea. I really think sometimes I would be the perfect girlfriend, if I was being stereotypical and assuming that all men liked football, a pint and a meat pie that is.

In a crowded place, wear a bright colour so that others in your party can easily identify you amongst the crowd.

As with all occasions when I have fun now, I have to battle my emotions. On the one hand, I am glad to have gone out and I am most thankful to Helen and Jack for coming up and looking out for me. FYI walking down a busy street with Middlesborough is like walking with a chivalrous man from the nineteenth century. I walk on the inside. On the other hand it reminds me of my former life and how much I miss it. God, I miss my life. Six months ago, I would have been drunk going into that match, which would have been fine because there was no queue for the Ladies, and I would have been in the terrace being elbowed in the face. Sleep would come not through lethargy, but because I passed out. Not now. I have to accept that thought, let it enter my brain and quickly move it out. I have come to the decision that it is better to do things and temporarily miss something that is lost, then just sit at home and wallow. I am better than that and so is My Network.

And with that, for those of you who are not football fans, below is a photograph of this evening’s twilight.