17 October 2007
The day broke for me with the knowledge that that evening I was going to experience something I’ve wanted to experience for 20 years and never had been able. I was going to watch the England International Squad play in a do-or-die match while in an English Pub surrounded by a people who live and die by their football heroes. The day was interminably long. Once again, we couldn’t get our work done because of the network traffic, so after training a precious few folk, we headed back to the hotel so we could buy a ridiculously expensive, but blessedly fast, internet connection. Now, we could get some reports done and emails answered and generally catch up to where we should have been. We finished out the day there and waited for one of the folks at the office to come get us. We actually watched kick-off of this incredibly important match in the hotel lobby. A few minutes later, our ride got there and we headed off into the small village where we were to watch the match. We arrived at Ye Olde George to find that they weren’t showing the match (WHAT!?), but hell, it’d be rude not to, so we all had a pint each and a bag of crisps. Someone bought me a pint of Bombadier. Oh my, what a tasty bitter that was. We finished up, got in our vehicles and headed to another pub, the Golden Cross. We arrived at half-time. It seemed to be my lot…that is, to only see the second half of these games. Here, they were out of all the beers I’d never had, so the wonderful ol’ standby, Guinness came to the rescue. There I stood in The Golden Cross in England with an Irish Stout in my hands watching the Three Lions of England play the Bears of Russia.
What an experience. It was, to me, exhilarating and worth the wait. Sadly, on the day, the boys didn’t do so well, and Russia came away the winners in a droll 2-1 match. Miracles must happen for England to qualify now for the Euro 2008. After this wonderful event, Terrill & I were hungry and it was only 6:45pm or so. So, our ride kindly dropped us off at the (again) King William IV where we had a snack and a pint. We then walked over to the Crown (again) because Terrill really wanted me to meet this wonderful Indian lady that had treated him so well his previous trip. While there she treated us to a small tour of her facilities, including a trip downstairs to the tap room. She also drove home to us just how damaging the Third Runway for London Heathrow Airport was going to be to this community. If the Third Runway is approved (it is almost assured), then all of these little pubs and houses are going to be demolished for the sake of progress. I see both sides of the story, but it’s heartbreaking nonetheless. This wonderful person will have her dreams, her savings and her livelihood smashed into tiny shards. For what? To ease the congestion of the world’s busiest airport? That’s exactly what will happen. There will be no more Crown, there will be no more King William IV, there will be no more Holiday Inn (the latter, I must admit to not being overly upset about). They will all be part of a tax and revenue-yielding conglomerate that will make London even more cosmopolitan than it already is. From this rending story, we left and got some more food. This time, I yielded to Terrill’s overwhelming need for a curry. Never again. I ate some sort of shrimp thing that caused me an immense amount of heartburn and other discomfort all night and into the next day. I’ve tried Indian food again and again over the years. Never again. My hair stunk, my clothes stunk and I hurt. Indian food and I just don’t get along. That’s okay. There’s plenty of food out there I do like, and can eat without inordinate pain or discomfort. That’s important. After that meal, I was done. Back to the hotel and to sleep.
~KR (17 October 2007)
Stand on the Rock by Fleetwood Mac
on Behind The Mask
Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.125 sec (1/8)
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire