Well, not quite 3 all at once, but in back to back days over the weekend (and just beyond) I got to enjoy experiences 3, 4 and 5 of my overall 10 experiences in my overall birthday adventures. The triple whammy/hat trick of Griffin Park, Ealing Jazz Festival and Fullers Brewery! 3 West London Gems. The first and last of these I have somehow managed to bypass/not experience despite living in West London for almost 13 years! It was about time. Technically I have been to the Ealing Jazz Festival before, but it seems like an age ago, and it was my first time as a paying customer!
Experience 3 – My local football team – The Mighty Bees – Brentford FC v FC Kaiserslautern
After so many years of somehow not making it to Griffin Park (including the sad failure of missing out on Brentford v my beloved Norwich City in the 2014/15 season) I finally made it last Saturday! It felt very strange to be watching football. It’s July, It was 29 Degrees at kick off and England were in the midst of only their second test in a four test series with Pakistan. However, at the football I was.
From the good nature and atmosphere outside the ground, through to the remarkable German fans, the great tunes before the game (Including Primal Scream) and the chips (I just couldn’t eat a Pukka Pie in the heat) this was a truly great experience. My last live football match was the dizzy heights of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium (Thanks Calum) to watch them play Olympiakos in the Champions League! And yet, despite that being a great experience, this was equally enjoyable in a very different way.
It was a brilliant afternoon and whilst the quality of the football was variable, it was great to finally make it along to my local club to see a match. It finished Brentford 1 FC Kaiserslautern 1. Now that the aforementioned Canaries are back in the championship I had hoped to make it on this occasion. The Footballing Computer may be saying ‘No’ though as its on New Years Eve, and likely to be a sell out! Ah well, who needs hardy soul depth of winter football passion when you can swelter in the sunshine and watch and listen to German fans bouncing, jumping and singing their hearts out for 90 minutes. I Love Europe!
Here are the German fans packed into the stand behind the goal. Their ‘bouncing’ was remarkable but not as remarkable as them singing Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ in English and Belinda Carlisle in German!
I’m going to write separate posts on the Ealing Jazz and Fullers Brewery experiences, but I wanted to mention all 3 together as despite not being with my family who were in Sunny Norfolk, I did have the consolation of a great West London Weekend. They may not have been the most daring, dramatic or adventurous series of 3 things to do, but I have loved the beauty of being able to discover and rediscover some great local gems.