Our annual new year’s day football fixture was turned on it’s head this year when we arrived to find the pitch waterlogged. Seems more convincing when you find out the pitch is actually a beach. *cue a sigh of relief from possibly hungover players*
I always say that my favourite day of the year is new year’s day. We’ve done the same thing every year, with the same people, and it has become a tradition. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like (we play in the toughest conditions) or whether we’re a couple of men down, we always have a highly competitive game of football on the beach each year.
Today, however, the tide was in, so we moved our pitch to a patch of grass near the park above the beach.
I watched on from the injury bench, laughing when the muddy ground (less waterlogged than the usual pitch) pulled down another victim. At one point the pitch was moved because the bog became so slippy. The rules were even adapted so that running wasn’t allowed, making for great entertainment.
We have some rather competitive players so selection is serious. It was actually very amusing watching from the sidelines for a change as the captains chose their teams.
Once the game is over (and we’ve changed out of our muddy/sandy clothes) we head on to the amusements. (Old school but I absolutely love them.)
Dad will send us in with one pound each and we will have the most fun. We can be in there for ages.
I’m absolutely rubbish at the machines, and have never won anything (I like the ones where you roll the 2ps down either side, not the ones that drop from the slots at the top).
This year, after changing my pound into 2ps, I had a scour around (you’ll be surprised at how many 2ps drop out of the machines when no one is using them) before sourcing what I thought looked like a good machine.
*The characteristics of a good machine include a rather large coating of coppers (preferably teetering over the edge), a reasonable prize or two, (things like magnets or keychains are among the usual tat), and a fully stocked back shelf.*
Now, people don’t always think about looking at the back shelf (the one that moves) but if it’s empty, you’ll use most of your 2ps patching it up before you can actually get started.
So, picture this: I’ve had a walk round, picked my machine, popped in a 2p, and out comes a sea of coppers along with a pencil topper. Success! The girl who never wins, has won!
I rinsed the machine dry of the nearest coppers and took off in search of another, quite confident in my new ability.
I found Chris, who’d been feeding one of the machines, and donated my remaining 2ps in the hope of having another win. The shelf had three magnets on, one very close to the edge and two just behind. After a couple of minutes, the first magnet was down. Cue a replenishment of pennies and a couple of random 2ps falling from the machine. We then succeeded in winning a second (to the amusement of our families who had now crowded around the machine to watch.)
Although we attempted to try for the third, the machine was exhausted so we cut our losses and left with just two. Between eleven of us, we managed to win five different things which I was quite impressed by.
Stomachs rumbling, we went for our fish and chips (the best time of day), amusing the waiters with our order, and rinsing them dry of tea (as usual.)
After a natter, new dates put in the diaries, and final sips of tea, we headed back to the car park, saying our goodbyes before getting into our cars and driving home. (If we’re lucky, we catch a few Zs whilst Mum drives.)
There’s a phrase: start the year as you mean to go on.
I definitely believe in it.