In Bruges

“Maybe that’s what hell is: the entire rest of eternity spent in fu#kin’ Bruges.”
Ray (Colin Farrell) from the film, In Bruges.

It is fair to say that Ray the rookie hitman did not take to Bruges and TLF has helpfully identified a number of crucial areas where a different approach might have meant he enjoyed it that little bit more:

The right send off
You see when TLF departed these shores on her maiden-champions-league-no-really-TLF-is-going-to-watch-Lesta-abroad-and-has-bored-everyone-witless-about-it-all-week voyage, a poet Laureate waved her off. Didn’t know he was a Lesta fan did you?

Sir John shows his true colours

Sir John shows his true colours

The right lucky T-shirt
With the 4-1 spanking by Liverpool the blue polo shirt had finally been condemned to the washing basket. Good for all those in close proximity to TLF as it hadn’t been washed since after that defeat to Arsenal on 14th February (actually that’s worse than I thought). Ray to my knowledge did not allocate a t-shirt to Bruges. Mind you TLF wasn’t totally on form in this area herself; choosing a white shirt might prove to have been an error depending on how results go…..

Of course if Ray did have a lucky t-shirt (and I have only seen the film once so I wouldn’t like to call it either way) it probably wasn’t a replica away shirt from the 1960s. If he had worn that then he would have enjoyed quality banter with some Lesta fans enjoying a drink on their hotel terrace while TLF queued for a barge tour of Bruges. The very same fans whom a bit later he would bump into again in a fine establishment, just off the main square which was purveying a fine range of Belgian beers (although if he bought the coconut one I can understand his general grumpiness as it wasn’t great) and share further banter and good chat.

Mind you I suppose if they had christened him, “the girl on the boat,” like they did me that might have been a bit of a sticking point in their relationship.

The right mode of transport
To my knowledge at no point in the film does Ray eschew (BOOM!) the organised, police escorted 80 minute march to the ground (quite good fun by all accounts) in favour of a lift from the new friends met in the bar (see above). Now that’s where the action was. They, you see have VIP tickets, and it is amazing how much fun you can have in a foreign cab, with two blokes you have only just met (steady!), when their VIP tickets have to be collected from the ground. Because no politie (such a good word for the officers of the law) will believe the VIP ‘story’and so will send the cab on some circuitous route to another checkpoint where this time the politie does believe the ‘story’ but sends us back the way we came to yet more unimpressed politie. There was a moment when we were all genuinely worried that we would never arrive but beer-induced hysteria took over and we entertained ourselves with considering the standard of the Belgian prison cell we were likely to end up in and whether starvation would cause us to kill Nick for his apple – he must have known, why else take a complementary apple from your hotel to a football match!?

I am guessing Ray might have enjoyed the small international incident that was caused when we finally alighted from our cab and it became very clear that the politie were not delighted to see TLF, most definitely not a VIP and resplendent in Lesta colours loitering in what was definitely NOT the away fan end.

The right seat
I doubt Ray would have got a good seat. Bizarrely TLF was the posh bit (that’s all relative at Club Brugge), separated from the rest of the Blue Army by a complete stand. But we did have access to their supporters club bar – not that different to the Saints bar really. And the stewards were all old boys and absolutely lovely – dishing out team sheets destined for the media (sat behind us), to us hoi polloi like there was no tomorrow. Ray might have liked the people I was sat with though – there was a manic ‘we’ve been drinking all day but we are too happy to be fighty and was that really the Champions League anthem we just heard’ kind of a vibe going on.

The right song
Maybe Ray isn’t one for a chant. But I am sure he couldn’t have resisted the charms of the new version of Jamie Vardy’s having a party which went along the lines of:
Keith Vaz is having a party
Bring your poppers and your Charlie!

The right result
Even if everything above hadn’t gone to plan then surely a “pinch me I am still dreaming moment” as you witness your team mark their champions league debut with a win 3-0 means that” the entire rest of eternity spent in fu#kin’ Bruges” is maybe what heaven is.

……Mr TLF isn’t a fan of Bruges either. He says it’s a bit dull. Dunno what he means.

Jan Breydel Fox

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