The sound of my alarm ringing at 6am this morning signalled the end of my Christmas break, albeit part self-imposed as my work levels enticed me back to work earlier than planned. No complaints though, it has been a real pleasure watching my two kids bounce off the walls for the last 4-5 days, the highlight of which was my 4 year old son's insistence on constantly wearing a full Spiderman costume that comes complete with bulging muscle padding.
My dearest wife keeps telling me that I'm looking old and my confidence took a further blow yesterday when I went out to run off the Christmas dinner. It felt like I was running in treacle. I'm only 37, but I definately need a break from peanuts, chocolate, volovants, turkey sandwiches and alcohol. It won't be long before I feel like a gazelle once again, but the bags under my eyes may take a bit more TLC!
Santa bought me a ticket for the Tottenham game, albeit in with the Glory Boys of Spurs. I just never had a chance to get to the Valley to grab a ticket in the Charlton end so I'll have to settle for hiding my colours and refrain from joining in with 'Valley Floyd Road' when it rings out from the packed away end at The Lane. My numerous Spurs supporting friends and family will be very keen to keep in close contact on the day, no doubt.
At least being in work gave me the opportunity to dust off my laptop and check over all that I'd missed in the last few days. I'll avoid checking my bank balance for a few days more: what I don't know can't hurt me.
Like many others, I made a futile journey to The Valley on Boxing Day. No sooner had I pulled up at my regular parking spot did a fellow Addick knock on my window to tell me of the postponement. I wasn't surprised: I spent most of the journey down checking my phone, fully expecting bad news. Considering a family get-together around my Mum's had been part-tailored to account for my absence until 4ish, it was more than a tad frustrating (although it was probably a blessing as my Mum would have been neglecting dinner in favour of following the Addicks progress on the internet!). I couldn't help but feel sorry for the Southampton supporters I spoke to in McDonalds. The club may well have good reason to claim referee and scapegoat, Andy D'Urso, was wrong to have called off the game at such short notice, but I can't help but wonder if Charlton's stubborn determination to ensure the game went ahead - especially in light of the news that the postponement may have cost the club in excess of 60K, of which had already been budgeted - may well have played a significant part. All in all, an untidy affair from which the greater loss would have been felt by the common supporter, once again.
Only consolation for my wasted journey to SE7 was a music compilation CD I'd thrown together of my unofficial 'best of' David Axlerod. For those in the know, Axelrod is a drummer/composer dating back to the early 60's who was best known for experimental, highly atmospheric, almost film-score-like drum-based funk. For those not in the know, I urge you to give it a go.
So with no intention of enduring the truly awful away end at the Withdean Stadium for the second year running, Sunday's postponing meant a Christmas break without football. I can't recall the last time that happened. Incidentally, having spent yesterday visiting friends in Brighton (by coincidence, a stones throw from the Withdean) I urge any travelling Addicks to wear waterproofs head-to-toe if the drizzling, misty rain continues down on the South Coast. You know the sort of rain I mean, where you become soaked to the skin before you even realise it's raining! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for a result of any description, but I'm not confident.
With a tough game at Colchester this Saturday, the next two games could well set the tone for the new year. Charlton must deliver.