My name is Henry Wisson. And I am a fuckwit. 

There. There’s no easy way of saying these things, but, if you’ll forgive me the first-up f-bomb, that was something, I feel, that desperately needed saying. This morning at half past four in the morning I found myself and my bag packed for Brussels on a deserted platform station in mid-Bedfordshire with nothing but the pre-dawn chorus and the gentle hum of the motorway for company. Plus the cold, enveloping gloom of an early spring day. And the cold, enveloping gloom of a desolation I know only too well.

“I say, he’s being a bit harsh there, what? I mean, Brussels? There are worse places to spend the weekend.”

Dear reader, I’d imagine those kind of thoughts, or something to that effect are going through your head right about now. If you’ll allow me some Ian Brown indulgence here; Let me put you in the picture, let me show you what I mean.

In this gargantuan year for English rugby I should be heading for the heart of the action on this, the climax of an eventful Six Nations tournament in an eventful year for English rugby. I held those self-same tickets in my own hands. I should be picnicking with the car park picnickers of South West London, I should be revelling with the revellers, singing loud, swinging low and roaring on Chris Robshaw and the boys in the cathedral of rugby alongside my precious family, valued friends and all those boozy acquaintances I am yet to meet in an action-packed end to England’s first dress-rehearsal for the World Cup. 

I should be there, but I’m not. You see, owing to a monumental error of judgement, I am instead plunging through the early morning pain into Central Europe. The pleasant chitter-chatter of birdsong has been replaced by the odious self-important small talk of gap-year fashion student types liberally spraying the quiet carriage with the banal and the boastful. Out of my brain on the train, I am heading across the channel in the vain hope of catching one of my heroes, Noel Gallagher, in concert in the Belgian capital on Sunday night. At the expense of a brought and paid for ticket at Twickers.

Sadly, I forgot to check this most salient of points as I hurriedly booked the Eurostar fare and the two nights worth of accommodation for Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd March 2015. Sorry, the non-refundable Eurostar fare and the two nights worth of accommodation for Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd March.

And, ah yes, once again dear reader, you are absolutely correct. I don’t have a ticket for the aforementioned gig. 

In my defence, I can say only this… I’m not sure how it has happened, but, to this day, music plays a huge part in my life. I cannot strum a chord, read a bar, or sing a note yet, I revere the likes of Paul Weller and Morrissey, Otis Redding and Curtis Mayfield, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley with something bordering on the fanatical. I am, just about, a child of the seventies. I missed most of my musical heroes in their prime, so, for me, a Noel Gallagher gig represents a wonderful opportunity to live out my addiction. It’s something to tell the nephews; “Yeah, these old buggers you’re watching on YouTube right now, I was there when they were at their peak.” Because, twenty years ago, Noel Gallagher and Oasis did just that. They and their Britpop peers ruled the world. Judge me as you will, friend, but, I am still captivated by their spell.

Although, having said that… It’s England. Versus France. At Twickenham.

A ticket any rugby fan, any England rugby fan, would give their high-teeth for. And I’m seemingly half a world away from it all.

Because of my incredible imbecility, my sensational stupidity, my breathtaking buffoonery, I am en route to the most remarkable of unremarkable places on the wildest of wild goose chases. And, to boot, I have forgone the magic of an unforgettable day out with my brothers, cousins, uncles and chums at the home of rugby too. Sometimes, I ache from just how much of an idiot I am.

They say acceptance is the first step.

My name is Henry Wisson. And I am a fuckwit.

  Brussels. Enough said.

Advertisements