1 PM Sunday Nunhead

Today is Sunday and to fulfill my contractual obligation to provide a post a day I give three pieces of my mind.

One: I love English football. It is the absolute best thing about the place. That and tea. Warm, milky, ever so slightly sugary tea. Football, tea, and very easy women. Football, tea, easy women. Did I mention tea? And this is coming from a man who doesn’t have much good to say about the place and who loves American football and baseball.

The best thing about English football is something called “Relegation” and “Promotion”.  At the end of a year, the worst teams in the league are told they aren’t good enough to play with the other teams and are relegated the next year to play with teams in the division below them. At the same time, the best teams in the lower division are given the losers’s places. In the top division, the best teams get to play the best teams in Europe. It is so brutal it could be described as American.

Relegation and Promotion makes the race interesting for more teams in the league – the good ones advance and the bad ones try to avoid the drop. The last matches of the year matter.

In the American sports franchise system, bad teams can wallow for years at the bottom of the table (standings) in boredom and misery. One day, after they have become unloved by their hometowns, the team’s owner spirits them away in the middle of the night to a city that professes to love them more. My father’s  Dodgers were secreted out of Brooklyn to a new life in Los Angeles. That was in 1956 or 1957 and my father hadn’t gotten over it almost 50 years later.

The situation in the franchise system is analogous to the way an English mother is allowed to take a man’s children to the south of France to be with her new used-furniture seller boyfriend. And like the Dodgers and Brooklyn, the kids aren’t coming home.

Two: It is so hard to explain to the reader of these posts what is “English” and what is “British” that I am giving up. Scotland is leaving the United Kingdom. Wales does whatever big brother Scotland does, and there is only a bit of Northern Ireland left. There are some people who live in England who say they are only British – it goes on. Britain is going the way of the Soviet Union.

We don’t talk about “Soviet-this” and “Soviet-that” unless we are talking about ugly buildings and politics. Soon it will be the same with “British-this” and “British-that”.  I am going to make an early start of it and eliminate Scotland and Wales from the equation. From now on, I will only make sweeping, and probably untrue, generalizations about England and the English.

Three: You know those people who moved next to Heathrow Airport and then complained about the noise of the planes? Duh. What did they expect?

Well, the people in the Nunhead area of southeast London are complaining that Southwark Council is burying too many dead bodies in the Nunhead, Camberwell Old and Camberwell New Cemeteries which surround Nunhead Heights. The people  moved in next to the cemeteries, didn’t they?

But in the past few decades the area has been left to grow into woodlands or used as needed sports fields.  In the latest round of proposed burials 34 trees are due to be cut down.

It has nothing to do with the fact that that my kids and I walk in those woods and play on the sports fields. I am not at all like those Heathrow Airport whingers. Still, we could use the playing field and the trees. Not so sure about the graves.


Listen to Lewis Schaffer on the Radio.
Nunhead American Radio with Lewis Schaffer every Monday evening at 10:30PM on www.resonancefm.com and 104.4fm London. Or listen to the show’s podcasts at www.bit.ly/NunheadAmericanRadio

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