Back in the fold

Wow … is it really 8 months since I last posted? And also, incidentally, the same period of time since I actually attended a Charlton game.

Not that I had that many people reading this blog, but I guess it’s worth giving an explanation. Basically I have spent a lot of the intervening time coming to grips with the fact that in October I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis … not a happy time! I had been having problems with my legs, heaviness, and difficulty in walking very far, problems with stairs, etc., for about a year. To cut a long story short, after many months of being referred up the ladder from one doctor to another, having MRI scans, spending time in hospital being given steroid infusions, etc., the problem was finally narrowed down to MS.

My seat at the Valley was in the East Stand, 4 rows from the front, and there was no way I could continue to manoeuvre my way down the steepish stairs especially without a handrail, and the ascent back up the stairs made my legs so heavy that it was a problem getting back to my car … which was another problem as I normally parked up by Charlton Park, in Cemetery Lane, which was now too far for me to walk. Thankfully, it has not prevented me from driving although I have to admit it is now only for fairly short distances.

Fortunately my season ticket was not wasted as my son was able to take a friend with him most of the time.

I am writing this from Singapore as I have been here for a few days on a business trip and only returning later in the week. Those of you that know me are aware that I travel approximately 50% of my time, normally to Frankfurt, less often to Singapore, and then just about anywhere in between. In fact, working in that way is easier than travelling to my London office as I use taxis between hotel and office. The only problem can be walking through some of the larger airports such as Heathrow and Changi, but it can be done. I normally only have to get up to the London office once a month, which is good as it is quite an effort to do so … fortunately they have no problem with me working from home.

It is also quite surreal that I am now entitled to a disabled parking badge … I just can’t relate to myself in that way!

Coming back to Charlton, my saviours since last October have been the various excellent Charlton blogs, as listed in my links on the right (many of which I may need to re-check – let me know if any of your blogs are missing), and Charlton Life. Additionally, I have managed to listen to just about every game via CAFCTV – not the greatest at times, but a lifeline if you can’t get to the Valley!

So what about next season? I have been determined that I will be getting back down to the Valley and I have to give my sincere thanks to the staff at the ticket office who have helped in this regard … including one who was amongst those made redundant but still went out of her way to help. Even before swap week had started, they had re-located both my own and my son’s seat to a higher level in the East Stand which means I will no longer have to navigate the steps. And now they are looking into whether or not they can get me a parking space either behind the West Stand, or more likely in Lansdowne Mews. Fingers crossed that they will succeed otherwise I am going to have the same problem of getting to the ground! I had considered purchasing a parking space in the West Stand car park but at £720 per season, it is far too much especially as I cannot be sure I will be at every game.

Strange to be back in the 3rd division as I remember the last time with mixed emotions. Obviously there were a lot of bad times then, but I can recall lots of high-scoring games and some terrific away-days. Very unlikely that I will be able to attend so many away games this time, but I hope to get to some … however I will now have to restrict myself to coach travel rather than train or car, as walking any significant distance is too much of a problem.

So, will I be blogging on a more regular basis now I am back? It’s certainly my intention, but not for a few more days until I am back in the UK … and then I won’t bore you with explanations as to why I have been gone, but will concentrate on Charlton!

I’m off on holiday on 2nd July for a couple of weeks but should manage at least one posting before then, although I still have to arrange a day or two in Frankfurt once I am back. There is a Charlton aspect of my holiday that I am looking forward to … we are going to Portugal so it will give me a chance to catch up again with Perry and Karen at Floyd’s, the best Charlton bar in Europe!

Anyway, onwards and upwards!

Cheers to you all and it’s good to be back :-)


johnny73 said...

Sorry to hear about your illness. But you put such a positive matter of fact approach to things that you certainly have my respect and admiration. I'm looking forward to reading your blogs over the coming months. Welcome back.

Dave said...

Good to have you back Stoneroses. A good friend of mine has had MS for over ten years and believes very strongly that you have to "get amongst it." So I'm glad to hear you have renewed for this season and will be sharing your views with us again. Best wishes - Dave.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back: I also have a friend of many years who was diagnosed with MS; she is simply determined that it will not control her life, though after 25 years, she is struggling a bit these days. There is a whole support network out there (in south London) and if you need any help or advice let me know so I can get my friend to give you contact details.

Best wishes.


StoneMuse said...

Thanks all, much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Great to see you back fellah - you have been missed, and I'll be watching for your next posting.

Pembury Addick

charlton north-downs said...

Thats really tough Stonemuse Great to have you back- Best wishes from CND

Kings Hill Addick said...

Welcome back. I wish your absence had been for better reasons, and I wish you all the best coming to terms with it all.

Let’s hope that next year will be a better year for the club and it’s fans.

Ketts said...

Great to have you back Stony,so sorry to hear about the MS.

If the team show half the bottle you have we can look forward to a promotion season.

Hope you get that parking spot sorted,hope to bump into you on the concourse next season.

Take care.

StoneMuse said...

These messages remind me why I love this club!!

Cheers everyone :-)

Confidential Rick said...

Hi Stonemuse,welcome back..

Confidential Rick said...

Hi Stonemuse,welcome back..

Marco. said...

Welcome back.
So sorry to hear your news about the MS.
As has been hinted at above, you seem to have a positive attitude which I'm sure will be very useful in the coming months and years.

Chicago Addick said...

Blimey, that was a bit out of leftfield. Welcome back mate, and the very best of luck. I really hope you get the blog up and running again as I have missed your take on life and Charlton in general.

Be nice to catch a beer this season as well. Take care. CA

StoneMuse said...

Sounds good CA

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