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Excited about going to see Nottingham Forest play Watford at home in the Skybet Championship tonight. Promotion to the Premier League, now out of the question for Nottingham Forest, lets hope it is a good game of football.

You may wonder why am I supporting Nottingham Forest when I live in Leicestershire? The answer goes to my childhood. As a young boy, growing up in the streets of beautiful Eldoret in the highlands of Kenya in the 50s, listening to BBC world service was de rigeur particularly on a Saturday when the football scores would come in. At first I was just mesmerised by the dulcet tones of the announcer and strange and exotic sounding place names like Accrington Stanley and Nottingham Forest. It was a good introduction to the geography, history and at times culture of various English and Scottish places.

One name and score I used to consistently listen out for was Nottingham Forest – in my childlike innocence I associated it with Robin Hood! So with time I became a supporter. Never could I have known then that I would eventually live only 17 miles from the City Ground, home of Nottingham Forest. I came to live in Shepshed in 1979 and soon after that took out an annual season ticket for the club, following them through their various national and European triumphs. I used to take Matt and Hannah to the home games and as they got older and lost interest I had a long list of Shepshed kids who would wait by their phones for that call to take their places for the games at the City ground!

At the end of the Brian Clough era not only did Forest get relegated but the price of the season ticket went through the roof! Football became a big money game. I lost interest and let my ticket lapse. Since then I have been to an occasional game and enjoyed it thoroughly! Tonight is going to be one of those nights! I am going with Val and friends Paul and Diane.

Coming back to cycling! After the big group ride the previous Sunday, last week was spent on the Wattbike consolidating the cadence. This weekend we went away to our nephew James and Jenny’s wedding. It was a fantastic family occasion and I must admit that there was a certain amount of indulgence. Sunday we travelled back via the beautiful Cotswolds and stopped at a favourite haunt Bourton on the Water.

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On Monday I went for my 42km hilly ride which was very enjoyable, even more so because I knocked 17 minutes off my previous time, albeit the previous ride was in wet and windy conditions. Alfie was flying.

This week I am continuing with my planned short rides and once again will miss the ride on Sunday as we are off to London. I am hoping to repeat the 42km hilly ride on Monday and try and take it a bit further.

I have lost another pound in weight – so that means a total weight loss of 15 lbs with another 13 to go!

Meanwhile the fund raising is progressing well. Sponsorship welcomed from anyone with a pound or a dollar to spare on

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Hopesitalianjob

PS – for my readers who are Leicester City supporters – I do follow Leicester as well (except when they play against Forest) and want them to do well and stay afloat!

PPS – for the information of readers from around the world, football supporters can be very tribal here in the UK!