Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Monday 24 July 2006
  Bermuda – Washington – New York – London - Essex Wow 9 days without an internet connection, feels like someone had chopped my forefingers off!

I'm now sat at Heathrow with plenty of time to spare until I check in. Back to Chicago today, with an expected dinner date tonight with an underwriter who is flying in from Vancouver to see me, christ I'm so not up for that. Then tomorrow I have a day of 'leadership meetings' followed by another poxy dinner and then later in the week I'm in Cleveland for two days before, hopefully, a very quiet weekend.

The Bermuda trip was the start of a very busy period for me, travelling wise, with trips to Detroit, St Louis and New York as well as Cleveland planned in the next couple of weeks ending up with a vacation on the west coast towards the end of August.

The Bermuda work meetings went well. The client(s) are fun, which always helps. I didn’t get too much time to laze, although we did go out on a boat cruise last Sunday. The temperature was a good 20 degrees cooler than it was in both Chicago and London, and unfortunately the daily Bermudian rain shower lasted the whole time we were on the boat Sunday, which was a shame.

The WAG’s were with us, all Gucci bags and bikinis. Two of them seemed to have a problem with each other, which made me laugh. One of them was a geography high school teacher but didn’t know where Dubai or the United Arab Emirates was - very worrying indeed. “We normally go on a Caribbean cruise, I fancy the Mediterranean, but my husband thinks it too dangerous!” You got to love their global view.

I know there are some visitors to What was the score? that live down in Bermuda and although it’s a bizarre and sometimes challenging place to live, I do feel drawn to it and think that possibly one day I would like to work and live there. I will write more on Bermuda later.

Travelling from Bermuda to London via Washington and then New York on Wednesday - no flights connect directly from Bermuda to London on a Wednesday - was painful. For some reason the American immigration authorities in Bermuda found the fact that we were not actually going 'home' to Chicago very confusing and couldn’t have been less helpful or moody if they tried. The BA bird had serious attitude too. Give someone a uniform and a badge and they become all high and mighty, it’s one of things that pisses me off more than anything.

Thursday was a mad rush day after landing at Heathrow seeing family and then driving down to Essex on early Friday for my mates wedding. I owe my mate a lot, as he put me up "for a few weeks," which ended up being over a year after I left my ex-wife. Of course he often reminds me of this and the reading he and his now wife asked to me to give at the ceremony entitled "I will be here," was somewhat fitting as I was nearly always here when his then girlfriend used to come over!

The wedding was superb, held in a beautiful place under a scorching sun and it was great to catch up with some really good old mates. 'Bubbles' was sung, as I suspect is compulsory at a high-class Essex wedding, during the very funny speeches, although what the bride's Dad thought of the best-man's rabbit story and subsequent gift I hope never too know. I bumped into ex-Addick and a good friend of the group Rob Lee, and last saw him at the end of the night very tipsy, only to see him looking sharp on Sky Soccer Saturday the next day - it's amazing what those make-up girls can do.

Saturday and Sunday I was with my son in Eastbourne, who I left with a nice mark under his eye after he went speeding into a roped off cricket wicket while we ran around after a ball on Sunday morning. At least he wasn't stupid enough to cut his finger while cutting a sandwich!

As far as the mighty Addicks are concerned, the news that Darren Bent signed a new 4-year contract last week gave me a huge buzz but despite his intelligent and mature words, some fans are still not convinced and draw comparison with Scott Parker when he signed an improved contract. Come on, if Benty scores another 20 goals next season, do you really think he will stay at the Valley beyond 2007? Let’s just enjoy him again, salivate at his new partnership with JFH, believe and thank both Richard Murray and the continued impressive early management endeavour of Iain Dowie, which has also resulted in Luke Young agreeing a new contract too.

On Saturday morning I drove past the Valley in order to pop into the club shop and buy my son and I the new kit but it is always comforting to know that the Charlton I have known for over 30 years doesn't change. Despite advertising on the website for weeks that the new kit would be in the club shop last week, a small handwritten note on the door announced that it won't now be in until today. No bloody good to me as I am now sat here at the airport. They know how to piss you off don't they?

Friendlies and me don't mix, even though I was slightly tempted to make a detour via the rustbucket Saturday, but it was nice to see us demolish (score, if not performance wise) our lower league ex-rivals. I did pick up a bit of gossip the weekend that we may put in an offer for Millwall's Marvin Elliott, who scored their goal, a cracker by all accounts. The All Quiet report can be read here and it's Hibernian tomorrow night.

And, old news I know, but as predicted here John Harbin has joined Dowie’s staff as Performance Manager, alongside Mick Kelly, who will act as goalkeeping coach. Bearing in mind Kiely’s shortfall at kicking and Myhre’s at crosses alongside the inexperience of Andersen, Elliot and Randolph, I was always surprised that Curbishley never looked into this backroom aspect or was that what Mervyn Day did apart from eat burgers? 

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After living in Chicago for four and a half years, I moved to the beautiful if bewildering island of Bermuda in July 2008. This blog is about being an exiled and depressed Charlton Athletic fan and whatever else the day brings.
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