Heroes From Our Past

First of all, a massive thank you to everyone who commented on my 365th blip yesterday. It was wonderful to get such a deluge of well-wishes, and to see a blip of mine hit the Spotlight page for only the second time; it absolutely re-affirms my belief that Blipfoto is one of the best social media sites in existence. Cheers, folks.

And today? Well, it's around this time of year that I really start to exhibit football withdrawal symptoms. I found myself, at four o'clock this morning, tuning in to Albion's pre-season friendly against the Portland Timbers just to get a bit of a fix. As it happens, I'm actually glad I did; it was a very entertaining match in the typical Albion style (i.e. we play like absolute shite for an hour, go 2-0 down, miss a penalty, then conduct an unlikely comeback in the dying stages and win 3-2 with the last kick of the game. It happens more often than you'd think).

When I don't have pre-season friendlies to placate me, I have to turn to the past, and to my imagination. Like this piece of my writing that I'm attempting to edit; it's set in the Black Country in the 1960s, and I'm going through the tough process of bringing that era (and area) to life as authentically as possible. The football's the easy part; there's plenty of footage available for me to view, and accurately depict matches. But God is in the details; the clothes, the cars on the roads, the brands of food and drink, the styles and decor, the popular haunts, the little snippets of culture. And when you've spent days on end immersing yourself in another time, the present day all ends up feeling a bit surreal.

Still, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Even in the Sixties, Albion just had to make life difficult for themselves. And though pre-season tours of the US West Coast were many years away, and 4AM kick-offs an unthinkable absurdity, I'm sure there were plenty of lads way back then who got the jitters at this time of year, just like me, waiting for the excitement of the new season.

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