Meanwhile … at Griffin Park it’s all about football

3.10pm, Friday 9th December, Yalumba Clocktower, Eden Valley Road, Angaston, SA

We’re back at the winery now, folks, until the Christmas party breakup day, which will be Tuesday 22nd December. This will give us a chance to scoot around the vineyards and see how things are travelling, and catch up with folks in the Barossa that we haven’t sighted for months.

First up though, I have a heap of catching up to do from our recent run through England. One of the great days out was Saturday 19th November, when I dragged our Nautilus winemaker Clive Jones – who just got into London a couple of days earlier – out to a football (soccer) match between my side The Brentford Bees and top of the table Charlton. How did I decide on the Brentford Bees as my team to support? Well, they’re easy to follow for these good reasons:

  1. their home ground since 1904 – Griffin Park – is in West London (Hounslow) which is only a short overground train ride from Waterloo station
  2. they were established in 1889, so they’re around for the long haul
  3. they’re in the division below Premier league called Npower League 1, so the tickets are only 20 pounds tops
  4. they’re the only team in the UK where there’s a pub at each of the corners of their home pitch!

So Clive and I went to watch The Bees take on the top of the table Charlton – dropped from the Premier league down to League 1 and desperate to get back up – on a crystal clear sunny Saturday afternoon, completely committed to having a pint at each of the four pubs. Here’s pretty much how our day went:

Pub 1 – The Griffin – closest to the train station, and you should have lunch there as well – burgers straight off the BBQ in the back beer garden.

Here’s the action inside the Griffin as they poured our first pints of the day, and Clive doing the right thing!

Pub 2 – The Princess Royal – which is just next to the turnstiles and is owned by the Football Club itself. Beware the defending guard dog at The Princess!

Then it was off to the game – The Bees home pitch, which has always had some airline advertise on the roof, seeing as its directly on the flight path into Heathrow.

The Bees put up a hell of a fight on the day, but went down to Charlton 0-1. It was a bit of a shame really, as one ball literally belted in for the Bees, then bounced back off the cross bar! We had a chat to the goalkeeper Richard Lee after the game, and told him it was a really cruel result – you always have to make sure your boys get some solid support!

Pub 3 – after the game, it was on to The New Inn – and a post game yarn with other Bees supporters about the nearly goals and should have beens – always a good part of the whole experience.

Pub 4 – up the road and back toward the train station was the last of the corner pubs – The Royal Oak. The front bar was full of gloating Charlton supporters so you can understand why this was the quickest stop of the day.

All in all – an absolutely top English sporting day out – and I’d reccommend it to anyone visiting London who wants to get a taste of the real football thing. I’ll be back – I might even join up as a member – The Bees have got far more chance of doing well than my sorry football side here at home, St Kilda.

And PS – to my favourite striker Clayton Donaldson – thanks! Every time this lad gets anywhere near the ball it’s exitement time!Legs that go right up to his neck … and can they move! We’ll see ya when it’s season 2012.

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