Football, fish and (green) fairies

May 10, 2010 by glennji

As our time left in London grows ever shorter, we seem to be cramming more and more into each moment. Only natural, I guess, but it’s been hard on our sleep patterns!

Last week I went to my first football game — Fulham vs Stoke City at the Fulham home ground, Craven Cottage. Andy organised it once he heard I’d not been any time in the five years we’ve been over here; I didn’t even get to a Rugby match at Murrayfield when we lived in Edinburgh! And so, after an early finish at work and a quick walk home, we boarded the train at London Bridge — 30 minutes later we were walking with the hordes through a lovely park, headed for the stadium.

The number of people! Even a relatively small ground like Craven Cottage had crowds upon crowds of supporters (and I assume tourists like myself), all happily ignoring the “Cockney geezers” selling scarves and shirts outside the ground and dutifully lining up to pass one-by-one through the narrow steel turnstiles set in high, solid walls. Once inside we grabbed a hot-dog before the game — when in Rome, after all — and then found our seats for kick-off.

It was fun! The night before we’d sat up with Andy and Jon and watched Rangers vs. Celtic, two Scottish teams. It’s fair to say the Fulham game involved less swearing, but at half-time the scoreboard showed nil-nil and the people were restless. No wonder there used to be riots! It is a frustrating game: back and forth with no score to show for all the effort! In the second half Stoke scored, and this drove the “visitors stand” wild — stomping their feet and shouting, then marching up and down the stands and taking off their shirts and taunting the Fulham supporters. I laughed and laughed and laughed.

Fulham never caught up, tho’ I understand it doesn’t matter (for some arcane and secret reason), so when the whistle blew Andy and I filed out and jumped on a (fairly packed) train before it got toooooo busy. A fun night, but I wasn’t in bed before midnight.

Then we heard that Dayna had found a new flat! So of course we were happy to hear that, and even offered to help move (she doesn’t need our help — she’s hired a van for tonight and will move stuff with Bruce). It’s a cute little place, which makes me think of a (space)ship … but maybe I’ve watched too much scifi recently? Friday night I went out with work people, as there’s at least a chance that I’ll be working with them again at the end of the year.

On Saturday we decided to have a sjaund for Dad, which is a Viking tradition of a feast and ritual drinking. Dayna bought some Tullamore Dew, we got fish and chips and we toasted to him while looking through photos, remembering and talking about our shared childhood. Not gone, just in the next room…

As if we weren’t pickled enough, on Sunday afternoon Dayna, Bruce, Dee and I went for a walk and stopped at the Woolshed on Bermondsey Street for a quiet drink — celebrating Dayna’s luck in flat-hunting and the fact that Dee and I had booked accommodation for all our stops up to Beijing. Unfortunately Dayna noticed there were flavoured vodkas (which Bruce mixed in his Guinness!!), then we also saw they had absinthe…

I’d never tasted absinthe before, but when the bartender (a frenchman) saw we had some he demonstrated how to drink it — melting sugar into the glass, then mixing it with water. On it’s own, waaaaay to strong; with water and sugar, quite delicious! An early night, then, and now we need a week off such shenanigans…

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