Perfect present

I’ve made little mention recently about football largely because the arctic conditions in Europe have forced the cancellation of a number of fixtures. Furthermore, the African Cup has denuded the French League of players, none more so than OGCN who have lost 8 players for the next few weeks. Consequently, they managed to lose a cup game away to amateur opposition in northern France. As they’re hovering just above the relegation zone it’s to be hoped that recent transfer window signings will boost the squad ahead of the return of  those playing in Angola.

Meanwhile, my beloved boys in claret and blue whose last two matches have been cancelled due to afore-mentioned conditions, delivered the perfect present for my birthday. An  away (0-1) win against Blackburn Rovers in the first-leg of the League Cup semi-final. A competition they last won in 1996. I was there at Wembley to watch them beat Leeds. I am eagerly awaiting the return leg at Villa Park which should see them through to the final. Though sadly, this time, I won’t be at Wembley to see them play in the final. I’ll just have to watch it on tv.

This wasn’t my only great present. My girlfriend with whom I celebrated our birthdays over oysters and champagne bought me book of 1001 cycling photographs. While my kid sister has bought me tickets to see Peter Kay at the O2 Arena in London in November.

Sadly, it rained all day preventing me from celebrating my birthday as I would have wished, in the saddle on the open road. Still, there’s always tomorrow or the day after.

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