Wednesday, November 06, 2002

How deep is my love?

Supporting Oxford over the years has seen me travel from Scotland to see us play Wolves, and from Boston (USA) to see us play Southend, both games ended in 0-1 defeats but by making the effort I feel, in some way, superior to your average Man Utd stay-at-home. On Saturday we travelled up to Carlisle, we lost 0-1, again. People ask whether it's worth it, I say yes, the result doesn't matter; it's the effort that's important. Probably.

Luckily for us, we didn't have to drive straight back afterwards. The game represented a good opportunity to stay with Nobby and Vicky Dobscrub at Vicky's parents. There are many things to enjoy when being entertained by the Dobscrub's. One in particular is triggering Nobby's overactive imagination. For instance, after this weekend, I look forward to the Year 6 end of term play about World War 2 Nobby's going to write for Emma. From what Nobby came up with on Saturday, it could end up being a real time re-enactment of the whole five years. It's likely to start with the invasion of Poland (which will be situated in the playground near the swings) and end with Hiroshima (stink bombs in the Year 3 toilets). The thing is, Nobby has exams to study for, and you just know he won't be able to concentrate until he's hired a couple of Spitfires for Act 2.

Also I find that Cumbria is, more than almost anywhere else in the UK, the most calming environment in which to spend a weekend. The other part of the experience is enjoying the Dobscrub's undoubted culinary excellence. It's a delight to eat, of course, the Meat and Potato pie before the grand Carlisle fireworks was delicious. But there is more than just cooking involved in these things, it was fun to watch Nobby 'save' the fried eggs on Sunday morning. Especially when Vic stood bemused in the middle of the kitchen waiting for some kind of adjudication from the referee, having been, rather violently, shoulder barged out the way. Nobby followed this up by turning on Vicky's mum and chastising her for letting her daughter cook two eggs in a such a small frying pan. Class.

All in all, I could spend a week up there quite happily, but we needed to get back. After a pleasant 4 hour journey up there, we had to endure 6.5 hours back getting stuck at all the traffic black spots up the M6. Luckily, you won't have to cultivate a 22-year friendship (yes, Vic that's how long it's been) to enjoy the delights of Cumbria, as very soon you'll be able to pay for the pleasure and hire out the cottages at the back of Vic's parents' pile. It'll be worth it believe me.


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