Jane Stuart – Writer

Writing about real life Up North: football, ale, food and mental health – with a good dash of humour.

The Corona Diaries: Chapter 3 – A Sporting Fix

Sunday saw the introduction of a TV curfew at LCTV Towers (no TV allowed until 9pm for the benefit of creativity and my mental health) – so our search for entertainment reached new levels. But we actually managed to find some sport! Well, of sorts…

Our snackage of choice at the moment is seafood sticks. They’re healthy and easy to eat. There are also plenty of them on the shelves at supermarkets. I took out two plates from the cupboard and laid out six seafood sticks on each. Cue a race to see who could unwrap theirs the quickest (I won!). We really were desperate for sport…

I spent all afternoon writing my blog, which provided a welcome escape from the sky falling in outside. I honestly couldn’t believe the mass gatherings around the country – at beaches and supermarkets – at a time when we have clearly advised to keep our distance from other human beings in order to save their lives. Just what is the matter with people? Get in the bloody shower if you haven’t got any toilet roll.

I’m beginning to wonder just how ‘back to basics’ we are going to go over the coming months. With hairdressers and beauty salons closing, will I have to cut Lee’s hair and will he have to wax my eyebrows? It really does set you thinking about what we spend and how we could make savings if it really came down to it. Could this crisis fundamentally change the way we live our lives in ways we could never have anticipated? Do we rely on other people TOO much sometimes and do too little for ourselves?

I’d been a bit chesty this afternoon and wondered if (hoped) it was down to our bike ride in breezy Blackpool the previous evening. I also had a little dizzy spell whilst sat on the sofa this evening. Where had that come from? I know I’m far from 100% mentally at the moment and sometimes it’s tricky to differentiate the mental illness from the physical because the one does often lead to the other (certainly in my case).

At 8pm we actually had a football match to watch! Blackpool faced Stevenage in the Ultimate QuaranTeam FIFA competition. This competition was the brainchild of Leyton Orient, who brought together 128 teams from around the world to face each other in a knockout competition online. You can read all about the competition here:

Ultimate Quaran-Team: Raising Money Through Togetherness

We tuned in via Twitch (no, I don’t know either – a gaming streaming platform, apparently). Blackpool midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall (KDH) was representing the Seasiders tonight. His team selection was interesting, with a debut for Teddy Howe at the back – and also the welcome return to the first team of my favourite player, Sullay Kaikai. I couldn’t wait to see the Seasiders back in action. It had been less than two weeks since our last match but it seemed months already!

The tone was set when KDH admitted that he hadn’t much experience playing this version of FIFA. Hmm. Hardly a confident statement of intent. I have learned from watching Lee’s son playing FIFA that psychology can play its part – even down to the names of the teams (who would you be more fearful of: The Dominators or Wimpy XI?).

Stevenage took an early lead but Pool equalised almost straight away and we anticipated an end-to-end battle. Alas Stevenage had the better of the possession and Blackpool were, well, Blackpool – making sloppy passes, losing possession too easily and dancing around the box with the ball without just bloody shooting. Stevenage won 3-1. Sigh. Well at least that would stop me pining for them for the next week.

A whopping 7,000 people tuned in to watch that match. Can you believe that? That is how desperate we are to watch sport at the moment. To just have that half an hour of something tangible that is Blackpool FC related.

And there was another match tonight! Our cup overfloweth! My Lego football team FC Brickstand were away at Brunton Wyverns in Buildersliga 4. As I’d been so distracted by the Blackpool match I didn’t tune in until half time, when I had the following question posed:

Dear reader, the lucky Snickers worked! A brace from the legend that is Conor Muldoon saw The Builders come back from behind to win 2-1. Scenes!

We rounded off the evening by binge-watching The Big Bang Theory for the best part of three hours (unusually I didn’t fall asleep on the sofa tonight). That is just the light relief we need at the moment and a great way to round off the day and the weekend.

Until tomorrow, dear reader…

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