I’ve been staying at my parents’ this weekend—thanks, folks—while I’ve been attending the National Wedding Show [of which more soon at the Wedding Photography Blog]. The show was on at the National Exhibition Centre, round the corner from their place. As a boy I never imagined that I’d grow up to spend working Saturdays, for example, discussing dresses with a recently engaged midwife.

Afterwards I sat down with Ma and Pa Geek to watch Preston North End against Manchester City. As she often points out, the first date my dad took my mum on when she was fresh off the boat from West Africa was to sit in the cold at Deepdale to watch Preston. Watching them again play in the fifth round of the FA Cup today from the comfort of the sofa, PooterMum came up with the prize quote of the afternoon when she shouted: “Oh, go back to Gambia!” at Preston’s black defender Seyfo Soley. From these facts you can work out where I inherited my winning way with women and my obsessive political correctness.

Much as I like to tease my dad about PNE’s recent history, they didn’t deserve to lose 3–1. Indeed, they didn’t deserve to lose at all; a draw would have been a fairer result. He has my sympathy, but I think PooterGeek readers should also spare a thought for another member of my father’s generation: retired university Professor Norman Geras.

Norm paints a poignant picture: you can imagine the old Marxist in his study picking his way through the newspaper cuttings of reports of the last Ashes series, carefully collected by his wife while he was away watching the competition live in Australia. He relives those golden days. He reflects on a time before his cricket team Australia began falling to the might of New Zealand, and before his football team Manchester United found themselves struggling at home to Reading reserves.

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