Loftus Road, December 2008. I think I was about five or six years old when my dad first took me to see Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. We were playing West Ham in a largely uneventful game that finished 0-0. Not the most auspicious start to my QPR journey and yet the place had me completely hooked, from the colourful language of the locals and the smell of sizzling burgers, to the team’s gorgeous blue-and-white-hooped shirts (best kit in Britain!) and the compact stadium itself with seats right on the edge of the pitch. As a teen I used to make regular trips in from Buckinghamshire and no matter what crazy corner of the world I lived in I’d always make it back for at least one or two games a season. This shot was taken when I was unexpectedly interviewed before a home match against Watford. I can’t remember what I was asked, or indeed anything I said, but it must have been more interesting than the game itself, another drab 0-0.
Elmbourne Road, June 2015. I always enjoy my annual trips to London. With my nomadic existence the way it is, I only manage to make it back once a year. But these visits feel so good for the soul, a much-needed recharge of my internal battery. I can tune in and out of English conversations, stuff myself with all the foods I miss and go and see my beloved QPR at Loftus Road. These days my London home is Tooting Bec in the southern borough of Wandsworth. An old friend of mine has a house in Elmbourne Road on the edge of Tooting Bec Common; so it’s here that I come to remind myself that I am in fact English.