The Mist Rolling In...
On Thursday I return to the Lake District for another hotly anticipated weekend of fell walking and wild camping. Along with five mates we are planning a 3 day route out of Grasmere that will see us 'bag' around 9 of Wainwright's fells including the 2nd highest mountain in England, Hellvelyn, which stands at 3,117ft. I've come to greatly value these annual jaunts into the wilderness and I can't wait.
But on the downside, all this means I'll be missing Palace at The Valley on Friday night and as the game gets closer and the anticipation builds, I have to admit I'm absolutely gutted to be doing so. It's a real bittersweet feeling, if I'm honest.
It will be the second home game I've missed this season; the first being Orient in the cup when I was on the Costa Blanca, and only the 8th home game in over 18 years. Of course, there's little you can do when life needs to be planned in advance of new seasons fixtures, but I remember thinking that in organising our return to Lakeland I risked missing a Charlton home game. Fingers firmly crossed then...but to no avail!
But of all the games? Of all the matches I could have missed it had to be against our fiercest rivals! All in all, over the years I've been so lucky with planning holidays and social events that my luck had to turn some time. Not that it makes me feel any better at this point!
To make matters worse I very much doubt my Mum will be able to keep me up to date with the action as phone signals don't travel too well in the Lakeland wilderness. Actually, perhaps that's not a bad thing if there's any bad news!
When the game kicks off I'll probably be setting up my tent and preparing my dinner at Grisedale Tarn (pictured below). It will be a glorious location to sit and shoot the breeze with my mates whilst enjoying the odd sip of dark rum from my hip flask. My heart will be in SE7 for a couple of hours at least. It is likely to be Sunday afternoon before I find out the score!
To make me feel better about my appalling lack of support I've taken out a second mortgage and got a ticket for Ipswich away on the 22nd. I realise I've not been to Portman Road since 1998 when, if memory serves me correct, I seem to recall going 3 times in one season as we met them in the league, league cup and that all-important play-off semi final. I seem to remember we done quite well that year!!!
Oh well, I won't be missed but I will certainly miss taking up my usual seat on the night. Let's hope the atmosphere is everything it was the last time we met at The Valley back in 2009 when Matt Spring fired home that glorious match winning volley to send The Valley into ecstasy (pic left). Nights like that are too few and far in between.
With the game on a Friday night and in front of the Sky cameras I'm sure it will be an electric atmosphere. What a great way to show Charlton are back on the up.
Enjoy the game. Get behind the lads. Come on you Addicks!