Saturday, 29 October 2011

Turf Wars: Attack of the Biscuitmen

An articleBy Fantastic Mr Ox that appeared in the Port Vale programme 29.10.11


I haven’t been around these parts much, of late. In the whole of October, I will only have been to 3 matches in fact. That might still sound impressive to some of you part-timers, but for me it’s been hard weeks of cold turkey without my own personal opiate, a regular dose of Yellow Fever.

I’ve been trying to buy a house, mostly. There was a wedding anniversary in there as well that I’ve already bored you with, but mostly it’s been looking around houses in South Oxfordshire with smarmy estate agents. And some nice ones too, I might add.

One of these nice estate agents in fact was a big OUFC fan (well, as big as you can be having chosen a career where Saturdays will always be spent visiting houses instead of cheering on the U’s). We bonded over our mutual love of all things yellow to the point at which I nearly bought a house off him that I couldn’t afford and that my wife didn’t actually like one bit. Such is the power and draw of the Ox.

We also chatted about the most important consideration when buying a house in South Oxfordshire – what is the ratio of OUFC / Reading supporters in the village?

You may think this a rather trite and superfluous question, as did my wife, but if you have spent time living in the South Oxon/Berks borders area, you’ll probably appreciate how important this is. In fact I’m sure those of you living along the A420 border-lands have similar territory-marking issues with our red-breasted friends.

When I was 16, my parents moved to a village 3 miles outside Reading. I eventually had no choice but to join them there and although I could dip my toe into Oxfordshire by just walking across the Thames bridge in the village, I still had a nasty taste in my mouth sleeping each night on the wrong side of that bridge, surrounded by blue & white hoop-shirted buffoons all the time.

Berks-Oxon Border.
So I want to make sure that I’m not similarly cramped in by these Biscuit-loving people by mortgaging my future (literally, as it happens) to a village full of them again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Berkshirist, some of my very best friends are Reading fans – I just don’t want them living near me.
The village in question is equidistant between Oxford and Reading. So I’d hope for a decent split of Yellows there. And true enough, the estate agent did reveal that he himself lived in said village, and although there were some Reading fans there, there were quite a few Oxford too. Smiles all round then – let’s move in.

Well, would YOU want to live next door to these goobers?
It took some convincing of the wife that moving somewhere closer to Reading just wasn’t on. It was bad enough that one house we looked at had a Reading poster in the children’s bedroom (bless them; they are so young they don’t know any better).
I tried to persuade her the reason I didn’t like this house wasn’t because of this, but because I didn’t like the wallpaper (It was truly awful wallpaper, mind you).

But she saw through my deception easily enough.

“You just want to be with your people, don’t you?”

“Yes. Yes I do.”

Up The U’s!

My People.


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