It is a great pity that Mr B was slumbering sweetly in his riser recliner chair when the plumbers came to call this morning.
Or perhaps not, because it is possible that absolutely no Plumbing Related work would have taken place, given that both plumbers, like Mr B, are fervent Spurs supporters, still glory, glory hallelujah-ing after last night’s miracle in Amsterdam’s
Johan Cruyf Arena. Young Liam said he had goose bumps just remembering that second half and Lucas Moura’s hat-trick to send Spurs into the UEFA Champions League Final. Had Mr B been awake, I suspect the three of them would have talked through every minute
of the second half, including the vital extra minutes which made all the difference. The new taps for the kitchen sink might never have got fitted.
Mr B wouldn’t
have had too much to say about the first half on account of the fact that we had a little bit of trouble with the remote control trying to find BT Sport on our television. We kept passing the remote control between us as each of us decided / argued / maintained
we had a better chance of locating the programme. As the minutes (and consequently the first half) ticked inexorably by, the remote control was not so much passed between us as thrown crossly from one armchair to another (and, as regular readers know, I am
not the safest pair of hands when anything needs catching) until I decided to try a different approach and signed onto BBC Radio Five Live on the IPad .
a time marital harmony was restored - so much so that it seemed wise to bite my tongue hard every time it looked as if the IPad was about to slip off Mr B’s lap and onto the floor. At half-time, however, with Mr B sunk in gloom at his team’s somewhat
woeful performance, I suggested we have another attempt at finding the match on the television. This time Mr B regained his usual Mastery of the Remote and finally we were there, in the stadium, watching the teams trot out for the second half.
All this meant that I could make a pretty good job of conversing with the plumbers about last night’s match. Mr B would - though, more likely, only might - have been quite proud
of me. I pronounced Manager Mauricio Pochettino’s name more or less perfectly and even attempted a cheeky occasional reference to “Poch” to demonstrate my familiarity. I desisted from making any comments about any of the players’ footwear
or fancy haircuts because I wanted to appear the knowledgeable footie pundit I aspire to be. Listening, rather than watching, the first half on the radio was quite a learning experience recognising the need to identify for listeners not just the player with
the ball and the player attempting to wrest the ball from him but also the exact part of the pitch in which each encounter took place. Location, location, location as somebody once said.
I do think it is good to keep up a conversation with people carrying out work in one’s home. I like to make them a cup of tea or coffee (milk and sugar?) and hover about in case they need to know where anything is. Though,
to be honest, I wasn’t too good at pointing them in the right direction of stop cocks and the like. I did know where the boiler was. And the airing cupboard. Generally, said Steve, it wasn’t too difficult to find things as mostly they were in the
same place in the majority of houses. Just as well really, I hear you say.
Obviously I don’t know what the plumbers thought. I am assuming they admired
my ability to talk football so knowledgeably. It hardly mattered because Mr B woke up just as they were taking their leave - and it didn’t take the plumbers long to realise that here was the Real Expert on All Matters Tottenham. He had been a fan, he
told them proudly, since 1955. “A bit before I was born, then,” said Steve, diplomatically, before expressing envy that Mr B had experienced Spurs’ past Glory Days. May they return, they all agreed.
And so say all of us. Unless, that is, you’re a Liverpool supporter...