Date: 20th December 2010 at 7:43pm
Written by:

2010/11 season v Swansea in the (should have been) league at Fratton, Friday 17th – Sunday 19th December 2010.

It seem like an age since one of these accounts has been written, and publish, even longer since I actually wrote one myself, and longer still sine it was a game at Fratton! Swansea was the last game that I had been to, Burnley was being travelled to but that was called-off. Norwich was missed due to a combination of costs and a pre-arranged family commitment.

The Gods ‘seemed’ against many of us as weather conditions had turned nasty again in the build-up to this game. As I set out on Friday night I knew that by the close of play, most likely in the morning, I would know if the game would be on or not. I was ‘concerned’ as I set off though…

I was booked on an early train for the cancelled Burnley game, which I eventually did not travel for upon the recommendation of Richie, but it was back to my more usual late one for Scunny, although the change of timetable recently meant a slightly later departure time of 18:02, literally a couple of minutes later. We had seen plenty of snow in Devon on the Friday so I had to make my way through that, leaving a little earlier to compensate for the conditions. Stage one was completed on time though, the 18:02 to Exeter St Davids arrived on time and got where it should have on time too.

As Richie was on duty – with a bit of time between trains that he had to see in then see off – he came over to my platform for a bit of a chat. It was as long since my last account as it had been that I had seen The Corpse so it was nice to catch-up a bit. His thoughts were that the game would not survive the weather; I could not say I disagreed! That said we both hoped we would be wrong…

With him having to return to work I got on my train, the usual 19:27 London Victoria. All was going fine – the guy across from me happily knocking back his bottle on whisky. Season of goodwill my arse, he never offered me anyway – then suddenly trouble started brewing. I was thinking to myself ‘we have sat here for a long time’, which we had at Yeovil Junction, then came the announcement that a technical fault when connecting extra carriages caused a delay, some 20 minutes – this meant I would miss my connection, argh!

Fortunately I could get enough t’internet signal to look into other options.

Getting the 23:00 from Basingstoke was one, where I was due to change, but this meant arriving into Cosham at midnight. I decided that I would jump off at Salisbury and make my way via that route. Technically my ticket was not valid but I was going for it anyway as it was the trains fault I was late! As it happened the delayed 21:29 Cardiff Central – Portsmouth was virtually arriving when I did so I jumped on the 21:48, as it then was. The drawback being that I had to then change at Scumhampton. It appeared that fortune was shining on me as a 22:13 (I arrived at Scum Central at 22:20) Southern Service train to Littlehampton, calling at Cosham, was delayed due to a ‘temporary shortage of train crew’. The 22:33 Littlehampton one, which I thought I would be getting, was also delayed. Leaving at 22:30 was a slight bonus. At the end of it, arriving into Cosham at around 11pm was a bonus, I actually got indoors before the journey I should have originally made would have got into Cosham, so ever cloud and all that!

Now I had to hope that the weather held off and this fortune could continue with the game going ahead as planned. As I arrived into Cosham signs ‘seemed’ good, given that there was no snow although a rise in temperature, as it was not really that cold, worried me a great deal! Usually when it gets warmer when it had been bitterly cold can mean it ‘might’ snow, and this ‘could’ arrive by the time I rose on Saturday morning…

Well, well, well, my ‘weather forecast’ proved right sadly!

When I got up on the Saturday I was met by A LOT of heavy snow, and a deep laying on the ground of it too. Would the game be on?

Nothing had been announced but soon enough this confirmation came; the snow had forced us into another postponement! To be honest, having ventured out into the snow fairly early on, it was soon apparent that even if the pitch was playable the surrounding areas and roads leading into Fratton would not be.

I cannot say that I was not disappointed, as I was, bitterly so, but what could you do? This journey WOULD have been made regardless as I had presents to pass on and family that I wanted to see before Xmas so it was not a total write off though, still disappointing though. While out with Matt we decided that we would have a fry up so nipped into a café in Cosham and had one. What a treat, it was lovely. We then decided that we would try to make this a regular thing, hopefully before a game with the game actually being played!

Following this we then dropped into my cousins, his sister, Louise’s to pass on her shopping that we had got for her, spending a bit of time with her and the kids. Home it was after this and it was a pretty ‘lazy’ and ‘sulky’ late morning, afternoon and early evening. Late afternoon though my cousin Paul phoned up and asked if I fancied going out for a beer with him and his girlfriend Lynne. I did, so me and Matt went down into Cosham for a while with them, staying out a little longer than planned before going back to my Aunties to eat spaghetti bolognaise at almost 10pm – good times.

So, not the weekend that I planned but still a quality one, even without the football – which I of course would have wanted. I just had the journey home to get through, and this ‘should’ have been ok as all the signs were pointing to no problems.

Thankfully that was the case with the 11:23 Portsmouth – Cardiff Central running fine, getting me into Westbury at 12:54 as it should have, with my connection, the 13:06 London Paddington – Paignton also on time, so I was back in Dawlish at 14:28 as I should have been. I then just had to go back to Trina’s and wait for her to finish work; she was doing an 8am-8pm shift. With my brother Lee’s girlfriend Charlotte being released from hospital, having spent a week in there, I stopped by to see them on my way through, also spending some time with one of their kids, and of course one of my nephews, Cobie.

Without another game, well that I can attend – due to no trains on Boxing Day, financial shortcomings for Leeds on the 27th and a lack of money/problems getting back to be able to catch a train for the Hull game on January 3rd – I would have to wait until the Hull game for my next taste of football!

Bring on Boxing Day though, even though I cannot make that one, here is hoping that it WILL be able to go ahead as scheduled and will not fall foul of the weather again for a most unwanted hat-trick of Fratton postponements…


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