Thursday, December 24, 2009
The Grave Maurice, or All I Want for Christmas is...
...my two front teeth.
The image above was taken ten years ago, a few days after I had arrived in London for my O.E.
After a duty free fuelled BBQ with some other Kiwis (that's what Kiwis do when they travel overseas- hang out with other Kiwis and pretend to be in New Zealand) we decided to play Hacky Sack.
My mates lived in Whitechapel, near the Whitechapel Street Market. When the market is not on the steel frames that sellers convert into stalls still haunt the streets. Being slightly tipsy and wholly enthusiastic I chased a loose hacky sack back out of the friendly circle and ran smack bang into a face level steel beam, chipping both my front teeth.
Once the shock, and vodka, wore off I quite fancied my new 'hard man' look. I spied the pub The Grave Maurice just up the road. This pub, made famous as being a fave hang out for the Kray brothers, and featured on the cover of the Morrisey single Sunny, was a pwopah heavy backdrop for my new rough and ready visage.
A few weeks later a very cheap NHS dental job capped off my teeth - and capped of this saga....until earlier this year when the combined wear and tear of ten years of football, coffee, wine, hard lollies & harder living finally did it for the el cheapo fix up. And now I am back where I was ten years ago, with two chipped teeth.
So yes, in the new year I'll make an appointment to the dentist, and I bet it won't cost 30 quid this time. So donations to my dental fund greatly appreciated in lieu of pressies!
But what I really want for Christmas is another stellar year for NZ football.
A year where politicking and in-fighting takes a back seat to innocent passion and joy.
A year where the fair weather football fans, turned on by the All Whites appearance in SA, are embraced by the mad-for-it evergreens during water cooler conversations, their ignorance of the offside law met with gentle counsel rather than scorn and ridicule.
A year where win, lose or draw at the World Cup NZ football continues to gain credibility both on and off the field, sharing column inches with Rugby, Netball and League with good grace and humility, an entente cordiale which marks the genesis of a new golden age for NZ sport.
While I believe that this is possible, I also believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause!
Anyway thats me for the year- I have really enjoyed writing this blog, enjoyed the freedom of banging out a few words about whatever has moved me in the football world, and finding nice pictures to match my rantings. But equally I am going to enjoy a holiday away from the computer, away from the TV and the football highlights, with only one ear tuned to the radio to follow the Nix and the occasional match report in the Dom Post to get my fix.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year dear reader(s). Here is a vid about the famous 'Christmas Truce' football match between British and German troops in WWI*, to fill you with glad tidings of comfort and hope.
* The Germans won on penalties I believe.