The alarm is set for 4am. I awake at 3.20am. No chance of going back to sleep now, despite only getting five hours sleep.
I convince myself my right eye blinked for the first time in over three months. But when I look in the mirror I’m unable to replicate it. The Bell’s palsy remains.
The other eye has a problem though. One of the side effects of the afatinib is acne. While it’s eased off a little I am still blighted by a series of teenage spots. One way of rediscovering my youth. One of these spots has materialised on my healthy eyelid. I’ll have to be careful with that one as I really don’t want an infected eye.
Another way of rediscovering my youth is to meet up with old friends. It was great to see Tim, who goes back to junior school days, for the first time in a couple of years yesterday. We went to watch Stockport County who now reside in the sixth flight of English football. It was great to sit in a stand that brought back many great memories. A play-off final win over Stoke City. Holding Champions of Eutope Liverpool to a 0-0 draw. Overcoming Premiership West Ham in the League Cup and the rest of that 1997 League Cup run which ended in a semi final they were unlucky to lose over two legs despite winning away at Middlesbrough. It’s amazing how a handful of good times can make up for the years of mediocrity when it comes to football. Yesterday’s opponents were Stakybridge Celtic. A decent game, but not quite the same standard of opposition as memory lane was serving up. A 3-1 win was welcome though.
Meanwhile my memories denied Chris, my youngest, his own. Having been born and raised in Oldham he chose Oldham Athletic as his team and we’ve been season ticket holders for over a decade. During that time the club has beaten Everton and Liverpool in the FA Cup but has gone from promotion challengers to perennial relegation avoiders when it comes to the league. He’s never seen the promoted, relegated ar even reach Wembley!
This season has been the worst we’ve witnessed. Bottom of the table at the turn of the year. Yesterday would normally have seen us head to the away game at relegation rivals Chesterfield. While we enjoyed the County game his mind, and mine, were very much following events in Derbyshire. A “six pointer” if ever there was one.
We knew it was 0-0. We knew Latics were up against it after their centre half bizarrely got himself sent off during the half time break. As we exited Edgeley Park Chris checked his Twitter feed and let out an unbridled yelp of joy. Oldham had snatched an injury time winner. We both knew the bedlam we were missing and how much he’d have loved that moment. But he didn’t complain.
My alarm has just rung, appropriately playing Crazy Crazy Nights by Kiss. I’d better stick some clothes on to last me the next few days and head to the airport.