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All the way to Staines…

On the 10th of September a total of eight members of the Swedish Massive gathered at Wheatsheaf Park to help boost the morale for the Swans who had to face Lowestoft Town FC. Some of the visitors were first timers, other were battle hardened vets, but we all enjoyed being at the arena.

The weather was perfect for English football, cloudy, a little chilly and a light drizzle. The game was nice. In the beginning the Swans did everything right – but made no goal. (A tip to Matthew Boone: there is a Swedish fella somewhere in Manchester…)

As you can imagine, Lowestoft scored a goal at the end of the first half. We sought some comfort in the warmth of the sports bar. So much indeed that some of us missed the beginning of the second half. And you know what happened? The Swans scored a goal. “Coming all the way to Staines (approx. 1,814 miles), and missed the goal”, was heard from the barmaid. So we headed back out to the stand. And, for us that missed the first goal, the Swans made another one for us to see. 2 -1, and that was the final score.

Max Worsfold discusses the game with our President Göran Seger.

Mats Rörvall shows his
recording of Max Worsfolds gamewinning 30 m free-kick.

If the weather on Saturday was excellent for watching English football, the Sunday’s weather was perfect for - an English Sunday. It was an amazing summer day, with a blazing sun and blue skies. Our friends Frances and Brendon took us for a boat ride through the locks to the proximity of the Three Horseshoes, for a traditional Sunday lunch. On the way we saw lot of families on a Sunday walk along the riverside. The cold beers tasted wonderful in the sunshine, while our guide Frances, among other things, told us about a big commemoration of the escape from Dunkerque during the WW II. Some of the vessels we passed actually participated in the rescue operation. There is a special flag, known as the Dunkirk jack, a St George’s cross with the arms of Dunkerque in the middle of the cross. The flag is flown only by civilian vessels that took part in the operation. Mind-blowing! Unfortunately Frances and Brendon couldn't join us at the pub, but we certainly hope they can be our guests the next time. After a hearty meal, roast and Yorkshire pudding or roasted pork belly, for the most of us, and some good ales, the walk back to the Lodge was a nice exercise. (We had already trained some distance walking at the Thames Lodge).

Frances and Brendon, our hosts on the Thames
Frances and Brendon, our hosts on the Thames

Per and Håkan are two proud owners of new British mains adapters.

"The meaning of life" comes to mind when watching this photo at the Bells.

During the walk back home a line from the Pink Floyd song Grantchester Meadows came to my mind: “And a river of green is sliding unseen beneath the trees, Laughing as it passes through the endless summer making for the sea.” This Sunday was far, far from the dark side of the moon.

A lot of other memories come to life, when contemplating the trip to Staines: The farewell to lovely Becky at the Wee & Pee, where we had a meal before the match at Wheatsheaf Park; it was her last day at the pub, and we wish her all the luck in her future career, Dave, the passionate Staines-fan who joined us for a pre-match pint at the same pub, the friends at the Bells, where the discussions always are interesting and unpredictable, the early Saturday visit at the George with a tough cross word puzzle to solve, and of course, the modest, humble and educated discussions among us travel companions during the trips to England.

Staines and the Swans, we'll be back!




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