Mawbey Arms, Stockwell. C'MON AUSSIES
Our unlikely venue for the Sunday evening kick off was the Mawbey Arms in Stockwell. Tucked between South Lambeth Road and Wandsworth Road its not a place you stumble upon. Patriotism is not in short supply here. I start to count the St Georges flags and get bored by 73. The barmaid eyes us with caution and I'm expecting the South London equivalent of "your not from round these parts are you". As we indecisively look up and down the pumps debating the merits of each choice a long sigh is audible from behind the bar. Meister notices the Doombar and comments that it's available back in Perth which initiates further discussion. The sigh is now accompanied by tapping fingers. Ordering our drinks the tapping ceases and we move to the beer garden, because who knows what follows tapping fingers.
The patriotic theme continues and I can add another 80 flags to the tally. The big screen is accompanied by big sound, the volume booming out. We take it in turns to try and turn it down, with no success, but this soon becomes unnecessary as the rib rattling bass of a car stereo drowns out the pre match analysis. By half time the confidence is waning and the cries of "C'MON Aussies" are sounding increasingly desperate. The car stereo has stopped and we can now hear the commentators. They seem to have their Thesaurus out and are seeing how many variants on eviscerate they can use by full time.
The whistle blows. At 4-0 the enthusiasm has drained out of the Aussies and post match celebratory drinks look unlikely. We head back into the pub to drain the last of our drinks. There are a few more punters now and unnervingly all eyes are on us. O and Meister are looking at a particular flag of the many. It's signed by Peter Shilton we are told. I nod respectfully as one should. There may even have been a slight eyebrow raise. "Peter Who?" asks O. I explain while the laughter and shaking of heads subsides. Making our way to the door Meister seems to think he can get out through the brick wall. "I'm sure there was a door there before". More laughter.