Few towns, bar Burnley and Wimbledon, are as defined by their football club as Pompey.
If we last till 2050 historians will stare at the final League 1 (Div 3) tables for weeks, wondering “WTF ?”
For GBG completists, Portsmouth is a guarantee of at LEAST a couple of interesting new ticks every year. So, armed with my page of scribble, I started at the bottom of the page.
I’d asked James to join me in the campervan, but he was put off by my estimated 3 hour journey. Actually, with the M25 at its quietest for years, it’s a doddle at the moment.
I parked along Eastney Promenade, a few feet from the pebbled beach,
and with only the eternal threat from joggers and cyclists whizzing past your sleeping quarters as downside.
It’s a pleasing area of town, dominated by the former barracks and the sort of house Mrs RM fancies before changing her mind a second later.
Every house in Eastney is required to keep a fox following the “incident” against Leicester City in 1992.
The gas in the campervan had run out, so I couldn’t make myself a coffee before hitting the Eastney Tavern, bedecked in Pompey colours.
We’re still in the “What’s it gonna be like, then ?” stage of returning to pubs.
This is your classic backstreet corner pub, with a slightly upmarket air. Or perhaps when you live in the Fens and pub in Leigh everything seems upmarket.
Met at the door by a nice man with hand wash, temperature check, and request to send him a text message to provide my contact details, it reminded me of dating in 1991.
“Can I just buy a pint ?” I asked, surveying booked tables and use once menus.
“Of course !”
Phew. And I paid for my Pedigree in cash. They probably had less crafty beers but I could only see, and only had eyes, for Pedi.
I sat outside, bar a brave dash back in to use the “One in, one out” Gents.
I’ve promised Mrs RM I’ll drink outside, and to be honest that’s where the bants and smokers are anyway now standing at the bar has been banned.
Nice outdoor area, lovely flat Pedi (NBSS 3/3.5), the Golden Hour of the over-50s having a pre-tea pint over talk of “getting back to France” and “£50 to take the clubs !” and “Bounceback loans are all very well…“.
It felt, almost, normal. Perhaps worryingly so. But there were zero new infections in Portsmouth yesterday and there hasn’t been a Covid death at Portsmouth General for a month (see here).
As always, I blame the Foxes.