an idiot in london


Saturday, 8th April.
45 minutes of glory

Today I played my first soccer match on foreign soil. Actually it was astroturf, but let's not split hairs.

Yesterday I received an email from a nephew of a friend. (It's all soooo Tasmanian.) We'd been in contact via email only, and Lawrence invited me to make a guest appearance for his soccer team. It was a late invite, I received it late Friday afternoon, and the match kicked off at 10am Saturday.

(And now, coming on for his first appearance for the Team Wearing White Shirts, our signing from Melbourne Australia, where he was runner-up in the best-and-fairest for the Darebin United reserves, please welcome Ian...sorry what's your last name?)

Had a run in the second half, disgraced myself for the first five minutes before I got my act together. One of our blokes was going in hard, and someone on the green team said "It's not the Premier League, y'know!" The reply came back, "It is for some of us pal." Don't mess with northern lads.

For those who are interested, it was 1-1 at half time, we went down a goal early in the second half and scored the equaliser about ten minutes from the end. Piled on the pressure but couldn't find a winner.

Mark celebrated his 21st birthday today. We had a birthday tea (they call it dinner over here) and I gave him a battery-powered light-up sword. Winner!

Afterwards we headed off to Leicester Square to hit the town. Mark reluctantly left his sword at home. Leicester Square was packed. It was like Brisbane Street Mall in Launceston on a Saturday morning. There were Newcastle United fans everywhere, getting smashed in preparation for the semi-final on Sunday against Chelsea. They were singing and chanting and clapping their hands. Such happy people, those Novacastrians.

We started off at a bar which could be described as the London equivalent of Jacksons in Launceston. (Apologies to the millions of people visiting this site who aren't familiar with the "nightlife" in Launceston, Tasmania's Jewel Of The North.) We tried to play Spot The Person Who Looks The Most Like A Celebrity. (Not my name for it, I would have called it Pseudo Celebrity Spotting...a little something there for the people who remember Ian's Competition.) But the patrons of the Long Island Iced Something-or-other weren't particularly distinctive.

Having explored the delights of the Lond Island Iced Something-or-other, we strolled to some Mexican place, which had 384 types of Tequila. That's a lot. I had a genuine imitation cocktail. This place was great - they had free nachos! FREE! The bar stools had some sort of inbuilt suspension, which made it very hard to sit on them.

We kicked on to Hungry Jacks (but over here they call it Burger King, crazy Brits!) and that was the end of the line for poor old Ian, the effects of the mornings exertions finally catching up with me.