It’s funny how homesickness can suddenly sneak up on you at the weirdest moments. Sometimes even when you are in a good place.
This weekend, for example, I had the worst case of homesickness I’ve had in quite a while. Usually, I get it around Christmas because (*cough*) America just doesn’t know how to do Christmas right, in my opinion. It’s also a time when you want to be with family and as mine are back in England, Skyping on Christmas day gets you all gooey and tearful.
Sometimes, when life gets on top of me, I fondly think of life back in Blighty and wish I was there (usually while looking through rose-tinted glasses as I know it’s not really how I remember it).
So yesterday morning, while sitting in my pyjamas, watching Chelsea win the Premier League Championship, seeing all the celebrations at Stamford Bridge, it hit me hard. Such a massive surge of homesickness made me bawl.
I spent a lot of my youth and early 20’s at Chelsea. I began supporting them back in the early 1970’s, mainly because my best friend’s family supported them… I was very (very) young and impressionable at that time!
When I was around 17 or 18, I managed to snag myself a job selling programmes at the ground and that, as they say, is when I really fell down the rabbit hole.
Every Saturday I would be there, home or away, almost every game. Rain or shine, actually a lot of rain, I would be on the terraces (or in the West Stand benches, or in Gate 13 in the East Stand). Every game, without fail.
It wasn’t like it is today though. I remember going to games where there were less than 3000 people in attendance. The ground would echo, it was so empty. Chelsea were then in the old Second Division and if you supported them, you really supported them. There were no bandwagon jumpers in those days. There were bad times and there were… well, worse times. Not many good times at all. But the camaraderie was second to none. I made so many friends during that time, some I still keep in touch with. There were games in the snow – usually up north! That didn’t stop us though. We used our Persil coupons to get cheap tickets, if we didn’t go on the Supporters Club train, that is. [Or maybe that should be called Supporters Club Cattle Cart, dirty drafty things that they were].
But there was that one season - the season everything went right and Chelsea earned promotion to the First Division. What a celebration that day was! Obviously, I was there…. The club put on parties and a brilliant time was had by all. Just look….
|Yeah, we knew how to party!!|
(I am actually in this picture - can you see me?)
The last game I went to before we left the UK was the 1994 FA Cup Final against Manchester United. It was not, much to my dismay, a wonderful going away present. Chelsea lost 4-0, I was sitting by myself in the Man. Utd end and it absolutely bucketed down! Hmmm…..typical!
As we all know, Chelsea have gone from strength to strength since I’ve been away (and I’m hoping it’s nothing to do with me). Now they are once again Champions of England! So Sunday was bittersweet for me. I will admit, I was extremely happy, but also it was a poignant reminder of what I miss most. The celebrations were so few and far between back in the day. But at least I can watch live on the telly now, not like in 1994 when we got here. [that will possibly be a subject of another post].
So I would just like to say a big BLOODY WELL DONE CHELSEA! Even though I’m in the good old USofA, when a football team is in your blood, its there forever.
Oh, and I was happy to find this 'old school' car sticker the other day, which I actually put on my car on Sunday. [**smile**]
|Going Old School on my car!|