A Weekend To Remember

Saturday

Well, well, well! For those of you who don’t already know, on Saturday Scotland beat the mighty bulldogs of England by 15 points to 9, sending them scampering back down south with their tails between their legs. For the second home game against England in succession, Scotland took the honours, and both times, the Calcutta Cup is ours after an incredibly tense and exciting affair. It will be a day long remembered, and it was a celebration long regretted.

No doubt, the passion and noise from the crowd in Murrayfield played as big a part as the weather. Scotland played the game as it needed to be played, and they did it in the game I always look forward to most in the Six Nations Championship. There really is nothing quite like beating England.

For match reports on all this weekend’s games, go to the Six Nations Rugby Spotlight website (France versus Italy still to come).

I met up with The Group Captain (GC) and a rather portly looking Big Chap (BC) in Filthy McNasty’s at 10am. Full Scottish Breakfasts* were had all round, along with a few bottles of Budweiser and Guinness for yours truly.

With our stomachs properly lined, we moved along Rose Street, already full of kilted soldiers and St. George’s Cross flags, and stopped into the Kennilsworth for our next liquid refreshment. Unable to get served, however, we crossed the road to find somewhere else, and remembered a large sports bar we used to frequent that has several pool tables and large screens on the wall. Unfortunately, it is now a Mexican restaurant, and we looked rather out of place sitting at the bar drinking in our kilts.

Moving on, and with time approaching the kick off for the first match of the day in the Six Nations (Ireland versus Wales), we went to what was the old Breck’s Bar, now called something else and having had a refit.

Some banter with the English fans having their lunch was had, and we watched Ireland get beat in a close but exciting affair, 12 points to 16. We also got told off by the manageress for “sitting inappropriately in the National Dress.” You can imagine what that meant – or maybe you would rather not.

GC and BC quickly checked in at their hotel, but the sun had come out by now so I paraded around Princes Street while I waited – something for the tourists – then we went to our old favourite Sport’s Bar on Market Street to watch the big one; Scotland versus England in the Calcutta Cup clash.

Emotional, tense, dramatic – it was all of those things. Right up until the last five minutes of the match, I was still sure England would steal the game, with us sitting only six points ahead. On paper they are a better team, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up – that’s experience talking – but when it finally became a reality, nothing seemed to stop us and the noise coming over the TV speakers from the Murrayfield crowd, and the excitement and noise generated in the pub, made for an awesome occasion.

Perhaps the best moment for me wasn’t even the full time whistle, but when I phoned my father after the game. Rugby is in his blood, and hearing his delight at the final result had me totally choked.

With the drinks now flowing very generously indeed, we decided to move towards the High Street, and stopped in a small tucked-away bar in a lane in the Old Town, that runs between Market Street and the High Street. Don’t ask me what it was called, I’d be lucky to even find it again, but inside it resembled someone’s living room as opposed to a bar.

From there we moved to the World’s End – lots of drinks; The Mitre – lots of drinks; and then on down towards the Grassmarket. Our first stop was The Last Drop – lots of drinks; and then The White Hart Inn – lots of drinks, where the night came to an end much later. There was a live act performing on the pub, which everyone joined in to a huge sing-a-long and the atmosphere was simply superb.

Getting home on rugby weekends is never easy, and more so when Scotland beat the English. And so it was with no surprise that I had to walk from the Grassmarket to half way down Easter Road before finally latching onto a stray cab. I was overjoyed to discover some left over pizza from Gail and Laura’s dinner, which I demolished in seconds (you’ll notice other than breakfast, no food was mentioned at all today – that’s because there was none.) Into bed and out like a light.

* A Full Scottish Breakfast is a Full English Breakfast with a slice of black pudding thrown on the plate.

Sunday

Sore. Very sore. So sore in fact I never arose until 5pm, and was back in bed shortly after 9pm. The main activity for today was my Indian meal at around half past seven: Lamb Dupiaza, pilau rice, and nan bread.

I then retired and watched The Ring 2 – good idea for a sequel, but let down by some poor acting. A touch predictable in places. Not as good as the first, or indeed, the original.

Day over.

Monday

Back to work, exhausted, lazy head, with no desire to do anything. I really am not as young as I used to be. Is 34 middle-aged?

Nevertheless, I wrote up the match reports for all the rugby games this weekend, and the blog that went with it, and went back to chapter 19 of Slick. After a couple of days with no attention towards it, I’m hoping that any gaps and holes I’ve created by my significant editing and restructuring, are easier to spot than what they would have been just after I did it.

I totally forgot until today, that Gail and I had a planned night out this evening, to see Omid Djalili at the Playhouse. We went up early and had a nice meal and a bottle of wine in the Theatre Royal Bar beforehand, which if you had asked me to do on Sunday, I would have laughed in your face.

It was a great wee night out. The meal was great – Gail and I enjoyed ourselves, talked about loads, fell in love all over again. Who barfed? Omid was fantastic. His humour, while sometimes uncomfortable but never straying from what is funny, is unique and entertaining. His ability to turn racism, terrorism, and political idiocy into a joke is a talent indeed. I had tears in my eyes for much of it, and I would definitely recommend him, and go to see him again.

About Colin Galbraith

Thriller author, music fan, St Mirren fan, fluff chucker, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannoli.
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