I went to Wimbledon the other day, one of the great sports events. After joining the queue at the crack of dawn, me (along with 200 odd others), quickly went to hide behind cars or trees and make the sick call to work. I strategically called my boss when I knew she would be on the tube, and left a message. However this was later brought undone when she called me at 4pm to see how I was. Of course, with a roar from the crowd in the background, and the umpire shouting “thirty-forty”, my game plan fell apart…the lesson is never to answer private numbers! It was a great day all round, which ended with us sneaking into the famous centre court to watch four jokers play doubles. I even came away from the day with sunburn…another bit of evidence that worked against my “sick day” scheming the next day at work!
Now that I am more settled over here, I have been able to crack on with the travels. Most of the last few months have seen me gallivanting around Europe. In fact, weekends in London have become a rarity. Stops in Cardiff, Dublin, Devon, Manchester, Berlin, Stockholm and Prague have catapulted me back onto the backpacking circuit. Being back on the road has been great, and has made me hungry to do more travelling, and less loitering.
Some of the travel highlights have been…
- Doing the Jameson’s Whisky and Guinness Brewery tours…both before midday, then staggering around Dublin in daylight like a true fuelled up Irishmen!
- Spending a weekend in Manchester, where we were staying upstairs in a pub, playing darts, drinking pints, and arguing with two friends about who truly is the most mediocre AFL football player ever. It was agreed Jason Danilchenko and Brett Spinks were both the most ordinary, but the meeting was adjourned pending more research.
- Doing a tour of Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, which was great. Have also managed to see games at Stamford Bridge (Chelsea) and Emirates Stadium (Arsenal), which all provide a great atmospheres, but the smaller stadiums still have more passion.
- Visiting my old home town of Totnes, where I lived when I was 13. It rained the whole time, so we sat in a pub, discussing who truly is the most mediocre AFL player ever…this time we all mutually agreed Stephen Jurica was fairly woeful, and although Greg Anderson’s name was also raised, by sporting such a great mullet and fringe for so long, it was decided we would cut him some slack.
- Being guided by our satellite navigation mate Tom Tom…who almost produced a faultless display with his soothing James Bond like voice, taking us down to Devon. cOnly once did Tom Tom lead us into a dead end street…and only once did he take us to an old cattle yard!
- Going to Berlin and being called a child killer for jay-walking! cApparently it is a big no-no in Germany, and I was not setting a good example for the kids.c I considered this over a bratwurst whilst a Gypsy tried to research whether I was a gullible tourist of not!
- Hitting some nightclubs in Berlin that have sound systems that rattle your rib cages. cAwesome nightlife in Berlin, with well priced beers, great music, and an appreciation for the Melbourne Shuffle I was able to contribute!
- Heading to Stockholm and taking a mortgage out each time I wanted I pint! cA great city, with some great sites…some of them landscape and architectural. Most of them of the female variety.
- Exploring the meandering alleys of Prague, particularly at night in a ratty little pub crawl that ended in cigar smoking either side of Absinthe shots. After waking up to the cleaners hoovering around me at 2pm the next day, I carried my sore head outside, only to be stung in the back of the head by a wasp that had gotten stuck in my luscious head of hair! After cursing about it for an hour or so, I dulled the pain with more beers, and more Absinthe….and into the vicious cycle I found myself re-entering!
And last, but not least…
- Getting up at 4am on Saturday morning, getting on the bus (of which someone had been kind enough to vomit on), and going to the pub for the AFL Grand Final! That’s right, I was drinking pints for breakfast at a pub, and it was socially acceptable too! What a game, my Hawks got up, and after soaking the whole pub with a massive spray of the champagne bottle, I was out and hitting London town in celebration, full of song at 9am on a Saturday morning!