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
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
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