Morning. This I shall keep brief.
Overall, a sporting weekend to remember. Yesterday I was at the Oval for the farcical ending to England v Pakistan â€“ when nobody saw fit to tell the crowd what was going on for 90 minutes or more â€“ and then of course, there was Saturdayâ€™s visit to the Grove.
Itâ€™s been said a thousand times and I suspect it will be said more, but the Grove really is a sight to behold. Even with my blinkers off I think itâ€™s got to be the best finished stadium in the UK, and one of the best in Europe. Itâ€™s simply breathtaking.
And you know what, itâ€™s also noisier. Not, of course, when nobodyâ€™s singing [a rather obvious statement perhaps], but when the fans open their gullets, it resonates in a way Highbury rarely did. I canâ€™t wait for one of those lung-busting games against one of our biggest rivals to really put it to the test.
The seats are big too, like cinema seats, padded, wide and long [though without the holders for drinks and popcorn â€“ surely an oversight]. The bogs, too, are as memorable as bogs can be, and a far cry from the rabbit hutch-sized pissoirs in the old East Lower.
It would be churlish to criticise really, though I suppose I could point out that the queues for beer are huge. This has probably got a lot to do with the fact that the â€˜outletsâ€™ sell food and soft drinks too â€“ so everyone queues there. Some bars for beer, perhaps?
And inside our part [the lower tier], itâ€™s undoubtedly a bit functional in design. Upstairs, looking out of the glass, itâ€™s airier and altogether more pleasant, but hey, itâ€™s a small point.
There was a football game too â€“ with the highlight being young Theopholis P Walcottâ€™s debut. A more incisive and impressive debut youâ€™d struggle to find â€“ he was electric.
Otherwise, despite our overwhelming territorial advantage, we couldnâ€™t make it count. Lots of football positives, but guilty of over-elaboration. So nothing changes there.
That said, given it was a new beginning, a new season in a new ground with a young team, the result was not too bad.
And Iâ€™m back on Wednesday. Lovely!
Not that brief after all, was it.