Arsenal fan that he is, I let my five year old stay up until half time watching the second round of their semi final clash with Villarreal on the telly last night.
His parochial ranting and raving at the serial injustices done to the gunners was hilarious when you consider that he has only the most tenuous grasp of the laws of the game. That said, his pronouncements when watching sport are to all intents and purposes indistinguishable from mine, and from my father's in his turn. Perhaps there is a gene for it.
His team won through , and in the process I was delighted to learn that he thinks that the singular of linesmen is Lion Man. A misapprehension to be sure, but one of which I approve; lion men they shall be to me henceforth.
I watched the first round in the Mayfair Tavern last week and remarked on what a friendly place it was. Not too far away, in the early hours of Saturday morning, Mohammad and Hayder Ali, 23 and 24, were pulled from a white Mercedes van and stabbed to death by a gang of about 15 Asian men.
I know nothing whatever of the circumstances of this tragedy, but I demand that we must keep on keeping on learning from and about all the people who live around here. And about and their food and their culture.
Insignficant as my sympathy must be in the scheme of things, I offer my own condolences to the Ali family: Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim.