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Sleeping in an allotment in North Sheen
Storm petrels and cormorants overhead
I think about the Balearics,
that Balearic beat,
the summer of love 1988
which I lived through, well loved,
in a terraced house in Windsor.
Ecstasy was riding a BMX as light faded,
kicking a ball at the garages,
chatting to the milkman
on freezing Saturday mornings
before football training. The summer of love
lasted until 1989 apparently.
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For me it lasted a whole lot longer.
My first evening kick-off
at home to Chester, Michael Cole
with a bicycle kick, dad chatting to Edie
behind us, well into her eighties.
The Cottage was a ramshackle place,
ripped up seating, weeds growing
through the terraces, low attendances.
No memory for me of flags
along the riverside, 50,000 crammed in
against Millwall. It was just enough
to be there with dad, with Grandpa, sometimes
mum and Emma, later Jack. No empty stands-
promotions, millions, satellite coverage-
could touch the time we had.