Glasgow - City of Cultures
The initial signs for this trip were not that good - there was a flood of Biblical proportions followed by a plague of cryptosporidium in the drinking water (although DGs are rarely known to have any use for water except for washing).
As the DGs started meeting up at the airport incredibly early in the morning (it looked like most had turned up straight from some illegal drinking emporium) things started looking up, then came the call - the Norman clan had had a blow out on the way up and they would miss the flight. This may have had something to do with them oversleeping by about two hours causing them to have to drive at speeds well in excess of over 230 mph to try to arrive on time.
Then came another blow - AJB, resplendent in Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirts had forgotten his bucket and spade and he was inconsolable until he had his eighth pint (about 16 minutes later). The rest of the check in went well thanks to MrsB in her role as care worker looking after patients on day release, although there was a minor problem when Binky's ring set off the metal detector.
The flight, on a scarebus A300, was uneventful except Prof managed to finish off two trolleys full of thosthage paninisth which he obviously thought was Glaswegian for pork rolls.
Three taxis were hired at Glasgow's Airport - sadly palanquins and sedan chairs were unavailable, and at least it gave the DGs the chance to say "follow that cab". Apparently the first two taxi drivers knew were the hotel was but the third one did not but a phone call from one cab to another not only allowed him to find the hotel but also allowed him to complete the journey faster and cheaper. The hotel rooms were not ready so all the bags were put in Lex & Innuendo Andy's palatial room which was so big it would dwarf the East Stand bar.
After dropping the bags off the DGs went in search of Glasgow city centre. The search for an open pub proved fruitless (I suppose the fact it was still before 9am may have had something to do with it). So it was decided we would go to a coffee shop/internet café. Coffees were brought all round and Viks had to be prevented from running over to the computers to reboot this, ping that and do other various techie things. Prof (obviously a man of letters rather than the techie world perused the library and found an interesting tale called "Exploits of the Chalet Girls" which turned out to be much less interesting than the title suggested.
The conversation moved from literature to what we should do and it was decided that the Burrell Collection, The Hunterian Museum and the Bagpipe Festival should all be visited. After all this mental strain it was decided we all needed a drink as the reality brought on by an early start, no alcohol and strong coffee was to nobody's liking. So off we set on the 86 mile yomp into the city centre, and finally we met up with other Quins supporters (Paul, Richard, Bobby & Adam) in the Hogshead. Imagine our delight when we saw a pump displaying the Pride emblem. A whip was collected and Prof went to the bar with the drinks order (38 pints of Pride) but in a cruel twist of fate it transpired that the compressor was broken so no real ales could be served so the round was changed and 39 different drinks were ordered.
The cook then emerged from the kitchen in a pair of trews for which he received a huge ovation which mush have been reminiscent to the cheers when Alexander of Macedonia defeated Darius III - the chef was at once shocked, confused and terrified. The sight of him however turned the DGs' minds to solids and 20 lobsters were ordered - sadly there weren't any on the menu so a variety of dishes were purchases and devoured.
The Norman invasion then occurred with 80% of the clan turning up, more drinking happened and the game of tap tap was introduced to the DGs by PhilN. Eventually it was decided to return to the hotel to get geezered up, this obviously needed another Geezer stairlift for Lex but we were all fit and strong and alcohol fuelled.
The Geezers met up at the mustering point on time only to have to wait for the Geezerettes to arrive more than three hours later! The trek to the ground then began - Terry & The Prof having previously discovered a route with a pub (The Rock) at the half way point. The locals who obviously hadn't seen anything as bright as the DGs before seemed anxious, they wouldn't make eye contact and crossed the road to avoid us - and we weren't even singing!
Some of the group started showing dissention in the ranks by suggesting we were going the wrong way but they were soon silenced when the pub came into view. After shocking the natives again, getting in the way a lot and having a pint or few we were off again.
We reached the ground without further incident, Prof then decided to ram raid the turnstiles with Lex in order to keep more money to spend on alcohol, it was achieved with consummate and well practised ease. We were then made to feel more at home because the caterers in the deep fried Mars Bar vans were all wearing DG trews but in an ungodly square rather than diamond pattern. The beer tent was also odd with a signing in system and a limited area at pitchside where you were allowed to drink, but the DGs survived it with good grace. The next problem came from the Glasgow Constabulary who tried to arrest us for possession of loud trousers in a built up area.
Then there was the minor inconvenience of a game of rugby to watch during which Prof stayed sober so he could write an authoritative report for the CAW site. During the game Scotty called Ace a cult, Paul Turner said the refereeing decisions might go against us even more in Beziers and Woody suggested that the ref. might be in some way related to our very own Steve Lander. After the game most of the players said we were mad to have travelled all the way up there but it was nice to see us. In an extensive interview Jase said that the game against Beziers would be a lot harder because of their stronger and more mobile pack, when asked if he meant that the Glasgow team were a bunch of nancies he replied "No I didn't and you can't quote me on that!"
The DGs then invited themselves to the clubhouse bar and set about trying to drink it dry. Then the singing started with renditions of various rugby songs as well as DG standards ("I don't want to be a Paddy", "The Wild Geezer" and of course "Dock of the Bay"). PhilN then proved that he knew the words (if not the tune) to a huge range of songs both Scottish and English. Evs came in wearing his shamelessly self absorbed clothing (covered in the words Me, Me, Me, Me , Me) and explained how he pulled twelve players off at half time. Obviously the DGs were the last in the bar when it closed and the Geezers returned to the hotel to perform the famous Geezer Stairlift again - during shouts of "one, two three" from Binky, "heave" from Prof, "two six" from AJB and "whoops my hand slipped" from Innuendo Andy we managed to lift Lex back into the hotel only to be greeted by a terrifying woman similar to a Gorgon telling us to be quiet.
Prof was disturbed from his journalistic work in the early hours of the morning when he was called out to be a doorstop for Viks for a couple of hours. Also our Foreign Affairs Correspondent was working long and hard into the night but at a separate location. The following morning the DGs started assembling for breakfast and AJB was seen waving to someone outside the window, MrsB investigated and then went to open the front door. She was standing there in a pose that Binky knows only too well - one hand on hip with the other wagging in a reprimanding manner. Terry then came in and asked for a strange breakfast of gummy bears - something he apparently found a taste for the night before.
A return to the internet café followed so Prof could file his match report ably assisted by Viks (the reason for the phrase "Glasgow had a rear attack"). Then we went off to Waxy O'Connors for a drink and some lunch. There we watched the SA v NZ match and a cry of "Why couldn't it be Lander?" rang around the bar. LabRat was very disappointing ordering cups of tea, water and tomato juice. The sensible half of the group went off to the bagpipe festival while the others (Viks, Lou, Terry, AJB, Innuendo Andy and Prof) remained in the bar and started a marathon tap tap session. Terry showed startling ability to lose faster than anyone else and Innuendo Andy could have been World giggling champion. The baggie contingent returned sober and slightly deafened to find the drinkers in a bit of a mess but happy.
We then decided to eat after a few more drinks and an oriental restaurant called Mings was chosen, the absent Norman clan (now fully formed) were invited too and we all turned up at the restaurant and vied for position around the table so we could all sit next to our best friends - which didn't work too well as some were much more popular than others. Leaving the restaurant was as complex for some as the entry - Lex decided he had to visit every floor in the lift before departing and Terry did a marvellous steeplechase display which could have ended up a lot worse.
We returned to Waxy O'Connors and continued to drink until they were thrown out at closing time by Thierry Lacroix. The remaining DGs (Lou, LabRat, AJB, Innuendo Andy, Terry and Prof) decided to walk home although LabRat was against it because she was carrying her artwork. Suddenly AJB, Innuendo Andy and Terry spotted a night club and decided to go in while the rest went back home.
AJB broke first, he was unable to join in the with partying of the Russian 'women's' shot put team, and left, Terry left next showing that he actually does have some morals and Innuendo Andy was the last to leave, citing the reason that there was no borage for the Pimms and there was no lobster available but plenty of crabs. The following morning they were interviewed and described Club 30 as:
The following morning breakfast was enjoyed and the walk to the coffee shop happened again, when we entered we were greeted with the friendly phrase "I thought we'd seen the last of you!" Taxis were eventually ordered and we returned to the airport for the journey back home. The sight of the Stoop on the way in to land was magnificent. We said our good byes and went home to sleep the sleep of the just.
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