Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Welsh invasion of Edinburgh...

What an interesting weekend that one turned out to be!

3 weeks ago, this weekend was my designated 'weekend off' from all the
Rugby, parties and other stuff. I was going to watch the Scotland game
at home, with my mam bringing me chicken sandwiches and cups of tea at
half time. But, I got a call from Owain... "book a room in the Castle
rock hostel in Edinburgh, we're going up to watch the game..." and I
'm very glad he did it!

As with all Fridays before the rugby, I didn't do any work at all
during the day - just checked up on the internet every two seconds to
see if there were any developments in the Welsh squad at all! Got the
train from Swansea up to Manchester at 6:30pm - finally arrived in
Manc at midnight - humph. Was really tired and bored senseless after
a long train journey and thought I'd be headed to bed, but Owain again
had other plans! Went straight to some bar or another to meet a
couple of people from his work (Was his name 'Backer'? - think I'll
refer to him as Tim for the moment!). Had a good laugh, a few pints.
Looked on in amazement at the 15yo Manc girls wandering around in the
cold-northen night dressed only in what seemed like dolls clothes....
am I getting old?

Back to Owains, briefly met Adam and Dawn then went off to bed, ready
for the short trip up to Edinburgh on Saturday.

Up at some stupid time (earlier than 8), had a cup of tea and headed
of about 8ish in Owains clio. Wanted to leave early to catch Ireland v
France, desperate to see how next weeks opponents were performing.
Drove for about 1 1/2 hours up the M6 and all was going swimmingly, we
were almost halfway there, Radio 2 was pumping and we had plenty of
supplies to nibble through. It was great fun waving at all the Welsh
cars/vans/coaches as we overtook them! It was all good anyway until
the smoke stared pouring out from under the car...

Pulled over as we had absolutely forward acceleration anymore... Turns
out the clutch had gone... and we were only as far as Kendal in
Cumbria. So, we sat on the motorway verge for ages, watching all those
cars/vans/coaches full of Welsh fans speeding past.. the RAC finally
appeared after an hour or so and he kindly towed us off the motorway
and into a layby, where he left us for another 2 hours. We were bored
shitless waiting for another tow-truck to appear. At least there was
a burger van nearby (no doubt making a fortune from people that'd
broken down - probably had an "arrangement" with the RAC!) and plenty
of bushes to piss in. Also indulged in a spot of Cumbrian Car
surfing...! Finally got picked up and got towed all the way back to
Manchester - got there almost 6hrs after leaving!! Adam quickly drove
us on to the train station where we sprinted to get to the last train
of the day to Edinburgh. Boarded the train, turns out it was going to
Glasgow... it was 2:30pm by this point and we'd missed the Irish game.
Balls. Only one thing to do on the train, Stella (at £2.50/can!) and
crisps. Was half cut after 3 cans but that helped me sleep a little!

Luckily, the train driver decided to split the train just after
Carlisle. One half went on to Glasgow but our half headed towards
Edinburgh... he hadn't planned to do it and he'd actually decided
halfway through the trip!!! Luckily for us though. Got into the
'burgh at about 7:40pm - almost 12hrs after leaving Manchester!! It's
only a 3hr drive!! Pretty much ran to the hostel, Owain ran off to
his dorm room while I had been upgraded as they had run out of Dorm
space. I ended up in a 4 bed room with 3 girls from Swansea, great!
The girls were all lazing about complaining about hangovers or
something so I sorted them out and dragged them out to find a pub
somwhere. With our new friends in tow, O and I set out onto the
streets of Edinburgh - who were the first people we saw? Gav, the
Turner twins and Perry! funny, they were absolutely stinking drunk
and ran off somewhere while Owain and I were getting cash out. Just
went to a random bar with our Jack girls. Later on we toddled off to
Edwards just off Princes street. In the queue, there were several big
bangs against the window from inside, I turned round to see Sion,
Bubba, the Twins and Steve Bosh from St.Davids! The pub was full of
Red jerseys, amazing! One particularly smashed reveller was the
Scarlets coach Gareth Jenkins - he was fucking wasted and kept shaking
our hands!! Had a good night in all!

Sunday morning, grabbed a fried breakfast - couldn't find any greasy
spoons so ended up getting into a restaurant that charged us £11 for
a breakfast!! What a fucking rip-off! And the mushrooms were hairy!!
Walked into town to look for pubs, found two that were open - and they
were rammed! Me and O squeezed through to the bar and ordered Guinness
- they charged us £3.fucking 20 for a pint of the dark stuff! We were
both very short of cash after our 'more expensive than we had
expected' trip up so ran to another bar to find cheaper drinks. Found
the Hogshead on Rose street at about 12pm but found to our horror,
that they weren't serving until 12:30! We decided to wait, the pub
quickly filled up with Welsh fans, all who stood there twiddling their
thumbs with no beer to drink. Finally they started serving (seemed
like a lifetime) and about the same time, a buddy of mine, Russ,
turned up with a couple of mates. I'd met Russ in Montreal, we spent a
couple of days kicking around with nothing to do. He's from Inverness
but now living in Glasgow - and had come down for the rugby. All had a
good chat and a catch up, the rugby being the main topic of
conversation. Owain belted out a spirited rendition of Delilah, and some of us joined in for the verses. He got a big round of applause from the (sober) crowd afterwards which was nice!

Had to leave that place as the beer was just too expensive, said bye to the Scots and headed back to a place called Subway where they were advertising drinks at £1.50 a go. Genius. Went to the pub next door for a little while, ran into some of the Llandybie rugby team - I knew some of them from school, think I actually used to bully one of them... he's 3 times the size of me now! Down into the Subway bar to watch the match then... the game was just breathtaking! First a Ryan Jones try, then Rhys ran the length of the field for another, Michael owen decided to let Shane get one a few moments later and Kevin Morgan had managed two before the first half was up! This was absolutely amazing rugby! I was just sat still in shock while everyone was jumping around celebrating! It then took 8 mins into the second half for Rhys to score his second, the game was well won though and we relaxed a bit - Scotland got back into the game and scored tries through Lamont, Paterson and Craig. I really felt for the Scots though, they outplayed us in the second half but just didn't concentrate at all in the first! Let the celebrations begin!

Haven't got a clue what happened that night, was off the ball a bit and didn't seem to gravitate around the main areas of interest. Owain was with the HBOS boys (Don't remember seeing them, vague memories of talking to Turner though) whilst I was at the bar getting chatted up by two men - wasn't happy, was so drunk I txted O's housemate Adam asking how to turn down a gay bloke, didn't think of just telling him to fuck off. Nevermind, attention shifted to hot Scottish girls after but the bad run continued, she had a 3 month old baby and wasn't having any of the cheeky Welsh charm. No idea what time we finished, remember getting a pizza though with Owain and wandering back to the hostel to piss off all the people there that weren't interested in Rugby at all. Loads of Aussies and Kiwis, Japanese guy called Tomo (nice bloke) and two Italians who kept chanting I-TAL-IA I-TAL-IA everytime I walked passed, funny. bed, chatted to the Swansea girls for a while before passing out.

Monday morning, the girls offered to give me a lift back to Swansea, which I thought was a great idea as I probably wouldn't get back home until Thursday if I caught the train. Owain went off to catch the train back to Manc, think he got back okay... The drive back was nice, the girls were all very chatty and very kindly dropped me off in Cardiff, where I got drunk, in the George. Brilliant.


At 10:34 am, Blogger Owzyo! thought it was best to say...

HOly Shit waht a weekend!
It was a real mess, and an ordeal getting there but... was it worth it... i'll check my bank balance a the end of the month and tell you!


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