Ever found yourself standing in a kitchen in a cottage in deepest darkest rural Wales, wearing a swimming costume and a bobble hat, opening bottles of cava at 6pm on a Sunday evening?
Trust me, it is the kind of thing you’re driven to when you miss an away game in the FA Trophy. Yep. Chelmsford was calling but so was a long booked Green Room Committee weekend away. The Green Room being a bar in Brum that was our regular haunt when me and my mates were in our late 20s, a century ago. In days when the conversation was about blokes, gigs and hangovers and we got home at 3am via some dodgy club and overcame the subsequent hangover with ease and a bacon roll. These days it’s a major result if we are still awake by 11pm, discussing soft furnishings or the attractiveness of a fixed rate mortgage, having moved onto the really hard stuff…yep the PG Tips.
While the GRC weekend is always a bit football-lite, on the plus side it does include, a lot of wine, cake, beer, chat with mates you don’t see very often, a bit more wine and this year….a hot tub, which on Sunday evening is the place to be, while drinking your fizz.
The hot tub might make it all sound a bit footballers wives but I think to be honest it was really more a case of footballers older sisters or mums really. That wasn’t the only excitement that my chums laid on for me to make up for my football free weekend- oh no. We kicked off (see what I did there) with a moonlight rescue by a slightly eccentric ex-reverend, following an unfortunate incident with the car, a 1 in 3 hill and a ditch. Adventure over we all calmed down with an excellent dinner (cordon bleu fox) and a few nerve-calming snifters. Next morning saw us making toast in the lounge after a bizarre electrical fault. Fortunately the hot tub seemed unaffected…unless that was just the wind from the previous evening’s meal.
A frustrating afternoon of trying to follow the Chelmsford game ensued as we left the wi-fi safety of the cottage and ventured out and about into the Welsh countryside or as I know it the land of ‘NO SERVICE’ with an occasional 3G bar to get your hopes up only to disappear in the time it took you to tap the twitter icon. When news of the win finally came through it was very welcome and hey my congratulatory tweet an hour and a half late was still heartfelt.
A weekend away isn’t complete without a decent unique pub lunch. Unless you go to Leominster. In which case you are threatened with incompleteness. Fortunately we were saved by a very unSpanish tapas bar selling some tapas and….er… jacket spuds, baguettes, paninis and that well known favourite amongst the bars of Barcelona; Grolsch. It was very welcoming though, there was no American werewolf in London feel about the place…..although it did have a a lurcher called Gracie who I think might have been in charge. It was also slightly odd, eccentric and random. Actually make that very odd but in a good way. Afterall if one of the regulars – a British musician and one time teenage prodigy (Professor of Music at 18 for flipssake), “classical music’s enfant terrible” apparently (thanks Time Out magazine) wants to serve us our beers and tell me that my hat is jaunty (that hat will be coming to a football ground near you soon) who am I to complain? Bizarre but culturally sound and brownie points with the parents.
There was even time for another bacon fries substitute tasting – it won’t surprise you to hear that there is still only ONE bacon related snack worthy of regular investment.
And finally some post hot tub and roast dinner wine fuelled, Strictly inspired, bad dancing to 80s classics. No tens from Len I can tell you. Am not sure that smacking your dance partner in the face with a flaying hand is a key move in the tango but I certainly mastered it.
Then before you know it I’m back home with the news that my next travel excursion will take me to Tonbridge or Sudbury in the FA Trophy. More importantly will they provide a hot tub for the away support?
GRC Weekend Match stats
Welsh hill 1 English car 0.
Personal alcohol consumption: 4 pints, bottle and a half of wine per night. Perhaps one or two units too many for one of my advancing years.
Innuendo ridden conversations:
Certainly quantity not quality was the only winner, with a “high point” being us all agreeing on the benefits of a moist stuffing. For your roast dinner.
Thing I Learned This week
You can’t trust a sat nav
Green Room Fox