an idiot in london


Saturday, 5th August.

I took the infamous 295 bus to Shepherds Bush. Darren was already at Damy's house when I arrived. Darren is the goalkeeper for the Ispurs soccer team. I've played for them a few times, most memorably when I was playing a stinker and threw a primadonna-style tantrum and subbed myself off towards the end of the game. Hysterical.

Anyway, there were a few of us meeting up at Damy's joint before we went to Loftus Road to see Spurs play Queens Park Rangers. We were sitting in Damy's front room, watching QPR supporters wander past on their way to the ground. Darren started bellowing some pro-Spurs sentiments in the direction of the blue-and-white clad supporters filing past, and Damy had to move quickly to silence him. The chloroform wore off soon enough, and the big fella made it to the ground in time for kickoff.

I sat in the top deck of the away supporters stand. The Spurs supporters were nice and vocal, but the highlights for me were two public announcements made over the PA (strangely enough) during the second half.

The first one went a bit like this:
Would Barry Ferguson, that's Barry Ferguson, please report to the ground manager's office. Your wife and family are waiting for you there. Apparently you're supposed to be going on holiday.

And some minutes later, the second:
Gary Dean, would you please ring your wife Rebecca. She has gone into labour.

Final result 2-0 to Spurs. I met up with the lads after the match and we walked back to Damy's bachelor pad.

So I was just hanging out at Damy's, and Damy said that he had to get ready for a barbecue this evening. He asked me what I was doing, I said I had no plans, he invited me to the barbie, and I replied that as an Australian I am morally obliged to attend any barbecue on offer. It didn't matter that I didn't know the people hosting the barbie.

We arrived at the venue for the barbie, a house somewhere. I didn't know its precise location - I was blindfolded and thrown in the boot of a minicab, and only released when we reached our destination.

It was a laid-back affair in the long English twilight. I was practically delirious at just lazing about in a backyard. Been a long time since I'd seen one of them! Someone found a frisbee, one of those ring-like ones with a hole in the middle. There was a golf course over the fence, so we scrambled through the hole in the fence, through the bushes and onto the fairway. "We're going into Narnia!" one bloke remarked.

Five blokes, (slightly sozzled, with me being the exception, just being a bloke and not being even slightly sozzled) a frisbee and a deserted (and delightfully well manicured) golf course. A recipe for fun! When we tired of throwing the frisbee as far as we could (ie not far) we turned our attention to the green. We lined up around the green and took it in turns trying to get the frisbee over the flag, like a fairground game. "Put in a pound each?" "Why not, let's make it worthwhile!" So there we were, portraits of concentration, playing for Five English Pounds!

We'd been gone so long that some of the girls came out and joined in, and it became just that little bit less fun. After about 20 minutes or so of this, we gave up the caper and exited Narnia.