Moving the Fortress

I sit writing this post in an empty room, that used to be mine. Now it is empty but for me, the dents in the carpet that my stuff has left behind and quite a few memories. We’re halfway through the second day of moving house (which explains my not-posting yesterday) and in many ways, my memories of our time in this house will be enclosed between two penalty shoot-outs.

When we built it, we had to move in slightly earlier than we would have liked, and so were watching England’s 2006 World Cup campaign in a house with no carpet, just dustsheets and tarpaulin on the floor and the TV the only amenity that we had brought in from the garage, which resembled Aladdin’s Cave.

Unfortunately of course, England eventually succumbed on penalties as Portugal, as seems to be becoming almost a tradition when any match involving England eventuates in that most cruelest of deciders. It wasn’t a great start to life in the new house, lying in a cold room on a camp bed facing four more years of hurt.

However, as far as our house has come over these three years, becoming a warm and comfortable place with carpets and everything; and as complete as the transformation as the garden, from gorse covered wilderness to a mature and flowery jungle, so has been the transformation in our footballing fortunes.

Yep, England missed out on the Euros last year, but since then Capello has led a mini revolution, all the while Moyes has been gradually building a genuinely top class squad and a winning mentality at Everton, leading us to successive European finishes in the Premier League, and culminating on Monday morning (NZ time), almost inevitably, in a penalty shoot out.

This time though, my side emerged victorious, overcoming Manchester united and setting up our first chance of silverware since 1995, a match that I watched from the other side of the world. Leaving this house today I don’t really know where I will be when I watch the FA Cup Final on the 30th May, but I know I will never forget this house, my time here, and the footballing experiences I’ve had here.

Further proof, if it were needed, that football will permeate all facets of life if you let it, and that I am probably far too obsessed with the beautiful game. But oh well, I’m not changing, and tomorrow They Think It’s All Over… should return to normal service from a new fortress. See you there.


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