There’s nothing like friends for bringing you down to earth with a thump and ensuring that delusions of grandeur dissolve into a soggy mess and are swept down the drain, coming to nothing.  We were talking about the blog the other evening, Mo and I, with some pals and one of them said, “I don’t get it any more.”

“Technical hitch?” we said, thinking it was a recent unwelcome development.

“No.  I stopped reading it years ago.  It was full of people I didn’t know and cared less about…Sorry…”

She wasn’t really.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.  Really.

No wonder I struggle to get anything done. I’m trying to read all these books at once…

A couple of days earlier another friend warned me that he wouldn’t be reading the blog again.

“That’s a pity.  Why not?”

Turns out he thought I’d be writing reams about the mighty Spurs’s triumph at Aston Villa and gloating unbearably.  As if.  AV O TH 4 – looks a bit like a car reg.  Thank you John McGinn for the rush of blood that got you sent off.  We need all the help we can get.  I’ve had a look at our run-in and it features consecutive matches against Newcastle (away), Manchester City (home), Arsenal (h) and Liverpool (a).  Ho, ho, ho.  At least we’ll have a say in where the title goes.

My footballing friend John, aka The Oracle, informs me that Spurs are putting up the season ticket prices by six per cent.  They’re also clawing back the senior season ticket holder concession by reducing it by five per cent each year for five years…The THST (Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust) is/are – I never know – not enamoured of this hike and I agree with John that it doesn’t feel remotely reasonable and shows that loyalty counts for nothing.  The club makes/make lots of money from outside events like concerts, boxing, American football and should surely be maintaining or even reducing ticket prices, making games more affordable for fans at every level.  We can all dream.

At a bit of a tangent, the theatre, another area often plagued by high ticket prices, took precedence over football this week.  Mo and I and some friends went to see Plaza Suite, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, megastar and Matthew Broderick, her husband in real life, at the Savoy Theatre.  There’s nothing like the real thing, live, be it a performance on the stage or on the pitch.  Magical.

I never watched Sex In The City, so  SJP’s stellar status was all news to me…mobbed at the stage door and beyond, she’s not just any old performer.

Back to Spurs, no new concession season tickets will be sold for next season, so it seems I got in just in time on that front.  Think I’ll keep going as long as we’ve got the sainted Ange as manager, in the hope that he’ll win us a trophy; he pretty well guarantees entertainment, so that’s a huge plus.  Though I do worry about his persistent cough.

I asked a friend for his copy of the Sunday Times sports section, mainly to torture myself with details of Ireland’s narrow – and probably deserved (God, that was painful to write) – loss to a revitalised, pissed-off England at Twickenham and after the rugby I read the rest of the section, including Martin Samuel, billed as The Voice of Sport.

We football fans have all been duped, he said and it’s hard to argue.  He says, if I understand him right, that the Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR), advocating strict financial controls, have led to “staff redundancies, higher ticket prices, history and tradition sacrificed, the academy produce harvested in ruthless pursuit of the perfect balance sheet….

“All can be mitigated now:  the ticket prices, the late kick-off times, the kowtowing to broadcasters.  Once football made everything about PSR, any action could be justified.  A new first, second and third strip each year, Newcastle United away to Liverpool at 8pm on January 1….”

Thanks to our Nike sponsorship I don’t buy any of the swoosh-branded kit but Martin’s words all ring horribly true.  Especially those telly-driven, hellishly inconvenient starting times.

Even so, for the moment, COYS.

At Spitalfields Market, this poster of an old photo caught my eye. If you can read the headline, you’ll realise why!*

We (the theatre goers minus one who had to head home early) had a lovely wander round Spitalfields Market after a visit to the Van Gogh Immersive Experience, which attempts to take you inside the head of the artist.  That’s not necessarily a comfortable place to be, considering he had a lot of mental health problems and committed suicide in 1890, at the age of 37 but, boy, was he productive, at one stage producing a picture every 36 hours…  It’s a brilliant exhibition.

All smiles on the way in. [A kind fellow visitor took the snap]

The Van Gogh show was full of colour, even though he was apparently colour blind – who knew how many dozens of variations of yellow one man could mix?  Back out in today’s world, there were plenty of Londoners determined to fight back against a staid world of black, navy and shades of grey.  They were on parade for all to see, brightening up a dull, mizzly day.

No holding back or blending into the background here.

And finally, thanks so much to Everybody Sings! and The City of Lichfield Concert Band for a fantastic concert last Saturday, another triumph and just what this Ireland rugby fan needed after the gutting defeat at Twickers.  Thank you for the music.

Applause all round.


*Tel’s Bid For Spurs Kicked Out.