I WASN’T really a fan of Euro-Pop.
Until yesterday, I wasn’t really a fan of Haarlem.
But then, beneath the sun, the two collided – right outside of my horror-tel window.
At first I was annoyed, I was transcribing some Colin Cooper quotes at the time, something about the latest injury news.
However, it soon became clear the music was not going to stop – it still hasn’t, in fact.
There are EU guidelines on drinking, gambling and just about everything else you can throw legislation at, but when it comes to Euro-Pop, all such restrictions are relaxed.
As the pictorial evidence confirms, it is a Pop-ular pursuit.
And so, adopting the ‘When in Haarlem’ philosophy, I joined the masses.
Okay, I wasn’t in the mix, so to speak, but I got close enough to find my foot involuntarily tapping to the electro-infused beat.
All the while, however, I had my laptop for company, it’s kind of like a comfort blanket when you’re on your own in foreign climes.
As a result, amid the dance-induced euphoria, sizzling sunshine and free-flowing alcohol, I guess I was the only person whose chief concern was James Poole’s hamstring …
SPEAKING of hamstrings, mine enjoyed their annual pre-season workout on Thursday night.
Departing from Heiloo at 21.59, the train back to Harlaam was, if anything, a little late for a game which would have been wrapped up at no later than 20.55.
But that is a scenario which unfolds in a perfect world.
Waiting for footballers and managers has never been the setting for such utopia.
Colin Cooper eventually emerged at 21.30, or T minus 29.
Conscious that I needed two days worth of copy and ever the professional, I decided to take the hit should the interview over-run.
Ha – as if I’d dare try to squeeze a 30km taxi fare through expenses.
No, Coops would have to be quick.
Our first topic of discussion was pace – apt.
Our breakneck beginning, however, soon slowed.
I could almost hear the train in the distance.
One question about 18-year-old Brad Walker felt as if it took the equivalent to answer.
That wasn’t Colin’s fault, of course, he was talking highly of a talented, young player.
The train driver, however, would not take account of such tribute.
Eventually, we wrapped up at 21.42.
Less than 20 minutes to make the station – 2km away.
July is surely far too early a juncture for such a test of speed and stamina, of which I boast neither.
Handicapped by a heavily-laden laptop bag, I set off on my time trial.
Ditching 500ml of water and a can of beer en route, I actually surprised myself, whistling into the station at 21.55.
The news which awaited, however, was somewhat bittersweet - the train had been delayed.
How far back to that beer ….