Just to let you know, I correctly predicted the Top Five Eurovision acts last week….just not in the right order. Still, had I been arsed to go to “Bet To Win” at the top of the road, I could have made a pretty penny. Instead, the only money I had riding on Eurovision was the tenner I put into the “Unlucky Dip” draw at Christine’s party, which gave me four totally useless countries that were never going to win, even if one of them had tried to start a war with America. The cold, hard cash went to a Dad Dancer from Tuebrook and a cheeky, if utterly adorable, 11 year old who was allowed to stay up WAY past his bed time. And that interval entertainment was INSANE. Worth the licence fee alone, if I ever paid it.
It was bad enough having just landed from Amsterdam after being forced to witness Chelsea’s predictable victory in the UEFA Cup Final. After being played off the park for 89 minutes by a team who, ultimately, were too afraid to go for the jugular, Marianne and I had to make a split second decision about whether to be magnanimous and stay for the trophy presentation…or piss off to the nearest pub and try and get drunk(er) as quickly as possible. The latter won out, helped by the fact that M lived 5 minutes from the stadium in the opposite direction to where the hordes of crowing Cockneys would be heading. We’d had seats right at the front of the upper tier, with a cracking view, and despite the smattering of red and white scarves dotted in and around this so-called “neutral section”, the vast majority were designer-clad metrosexuals who couldn’t talk properly. Directly behind us, was a fella in his mid-20s, with Cockney Tourettes. Every other word was “cant”, and he spent the entire 93 minutes directing his bile at anything and everything that moved within his visual sphere. If he’d been on a sponsored “Cant-A-Thon”, he’d have raised billions, even by half time. A typical twenty seconds in this gentleman’s company, went thus:
Ball goes out off Torres, Perez takes the throw in…
Cockney Dave: Oi, you CANT! You FACKIN’ FACKIN’ Portuguese CAAAAAANT! CANT! CANT! CAAAAANT!
Dave’s Mate: It’s just a throw in, Dave, chill…
Ref gives a free kick to Benfica after an obvious foul on Matic…
Cockney Dave: FACKIN’ ‘ELL you CAAANT! That was never a fackin’ foul you FACKIN’ Spanish CANT!
Dave’s Mate: The ref’s Dutch, Dave.
Cockney Dave: He’s a CAAAANT! Don’t start me, DON’T START ME!!
Torres dives like a girl and gets the decision against him…
Cockney Dave (spitting): Facking HELL! You fackin’ CANT, ref! You canty canting CAAAANT! You fackin’ Portuguese, Dago, fackin’ FACKIN’ CANTY CAAAAANTS!!!!! DAGO BASTARDS!! DAGO FACKIN’ BLACK BAAAAASTAAAAARDS!
Dave’s Mate: Half our team came from Benfica, Dave….and are black. Relax mate…
Cockney Dave: Cants! Caants! CAAAAAAANTS!
Dave’s Mate: Dave, SHAT IT!
It had been a great day, aside from the aural assault inside the stadium. I have to say, though, the pre-match atmosphere, the build-up in the pubs, the feeling in the city, it just wasn’t a patch on when Liverpool come to town. For a start, when M and I hopped off the tram in the centre of Amsterdam, around 1pm, we had to actually go looking for where all the fans were. Aside from the obvious Dam Square, there was just hardly anybody about. Even the Leidseplein wasn’t overflowing. OK, so 1pm might be considered a bit early, but had Liverpool been there, the city would have been rocking for days. Every street, every square, there would have been canals of red. As it was, it was all very sporadic and half-hearted. I guess Cockneys don’t travel. Except Cockney Dave, obviously.
Even when we made our way to the stadium at around 18.45 (GMT), there weren’t hordes of fans crowding into the Metro station. The trains were full, of course, but nothing worse than a rush hour in any big city. What stood out more than anything else, was the Chelsea fans we did see, trying to sing their songs and be all hard and intimidating…except all their songs were about other teams and other players, nothing about their own side. Every single chant was slagging off another club, every chorus about rival players. Even Stevie G got his own five minutes, as did “Sign On…Sign On…” (yawn), and “In your Liverpool slum…”.
So, just to get this straight, you’re a Chelsea fan, you’re at the UEFA Cup Final, you’re not even playing Liverpool, or any of the other clubs you’ve got so many songs about, yet you choose to chant your way to the stadium without even mentioning the name of your own team. As I texted to a few people at the time – they were clubless, classless and clueless. Cants.
Anyway, it was nice to spend a few days with Marianne, putting the world to rights and drinking lots of gin, and ace to go straight from that to Christine’s Eurovision party, which was also a “Tears For Jamie” party. The masks came out, although we saved the tears for the next day at the match.
Kirsty and I met The Olds in the Victoria Cross for some pre-match VDC without the V (I was still too hungover), then we went up to the KC. Ma & Pa dispatched themselves to The Old Barn to meet their own pals, while Tammy in the KC desperately tried to find the bandit TV signal so those of us without tickets could still see Jamie’s last match. Unfortunately, it was not to be, so we had to flee into town and just managed to catch the second half in the First National, before bombing back up to the KC for post-match crying and premature transfer speculation.
Mum, bless her, got rather attached to her Carra mask and began kissing it at regular intervals in between Pinot spritzers (it’s now in a frame in the kitchen – I’m surprised it’s not sewn onto her pillow), before I managed to pour her and Dad onto the bus home. Back to the KC, and I managed to extricate myself from the bar at around 9.30pm and was in bed for 11pm, feeling a little melancholy at the thought of no more Jamie, and really needing to eat the frozen pizza I’d had the foresight to sneak into the flat just before I went to Amsterdam.
It would be pointless to detail the amount of alcohol and carbs I consumed during this ridiculous period of gallivanting – although I have to say that the calzone I had in Lo Stavale d’Oro, near Waterlooplein, was baked in heaven. Every calorie on that plate went to a very good home.
After the Carra-Eurovision weekend, I did manage to get my head down and lose myself in scripts, naughty stories, and fruit and yoghurt. Thursday, I had my regular meet with some other writers at The Elevator Bar in the CUC (Contemporary Urban Centre) down by the river. I was determined to walk it (2 miles), and not get the bus, so I could burn off some of those extra AmsterEuroCarra calories, but of course as soon as I left the prison building, the heavens opened and I was drenched before I’d even reached London Rd. Already as wet as I could get, I dug in and marched through town, undeterred, and made it to the CUC in about 40 mins, which wasn’t bad, considering the biting wind and hordes of dawdlers loitering around Liverpool ONE.
After a hugely inspiring and creative meeting, an egg & sausage toastie, and tons of coffee, I marched back home in the sunshine and motored through another script, before heading to Tony’s Friday morning for some editing and soundtrack selection, then to Mossley Hill Towers to help mum finish a bottle of wine in the John Brodie. It was Dad’s birthday yesterday, so despite a mild hangover, we headed to Chester for the day. It was fabulous to go strolling around the City Walls, the weather was gorgeous, and the races were on, so we spent half an hour getting a free look over the Walls onto the racecourse, at both the horses and the race Wags in all their finery. To be honest, the state of those tottering fillies, you could have put a saddle on some of them and won a few quid…
More wine, more carbs, then back home in time for the Champions League Final. I nearly put a fiver on Bayern scoring first but Dortmund winning, but I didn’t have time. Pleased I didn’t waste the money, but gutted Dortmund didn’t win. Another case of wasted opportunities. Weidenfeller played a blinder and I thought their name was on the Cup after his millionth fine save. And watching the vile Franck Ribery (who should be in a jail cell, not on a football pitch) cheat his way to a trophy, was not nice to watch. Anyway, all the footy’s over now, and I can’t believe we have to wait a whole three weeks for next season’s fixture list…
Right now, I’m just waiting for my niece, Whirlwind Mollie, to arrive. We’ve got her for a few days, so it’s looking like a barbecue this afternoon – more carbs, more bread, more wine, and mum’s amazing cooking for the rest of the week. Amazingly, though, I’ve only put on 0.75lbs since my last weigh-in a fortnight ago. Must have been all that walking…
This Fortnight I Have Mostly Been Watching…
1. Boardwalk Empire
Hurrah, I finished it. Was very surprised at Owen’s demise, I assumed his and Margaret’s affair/elopement would form a major arc of Season 4. Margaret is boring me now, anyway, so they could have done us a favour and put her in the crate, instead.
I stopped with this because it was getting too samey and formulaic, so I’m still getting through Season 3. My friend, Katherine, keeps saying “stay with it!” so I shall. And it’s not like Nathan Fillion isn’t nice to look at, even if I’m paying no attention to the plot.
3. The Following
I forced myself to watch the end of this. I’ve mentioned before how promising I thought the pilot episode was, but it just degenerated into a load of old hokum. When both Kevin Bacon and Natalie “Whingeface” Zea got stabbed in the finale, I was thinking “yeah, I’m OK with that, don’t feel you have to do another season”. And they killed Agent Carter, who was the only marginally-believable character in it. Fail.
The Stats Bit:
Month 1: 8.75lbs
Month 2: 5.25lbs
Month 3: 1lb
Month 4: 0.5lbs
Month 5: 3lbs
Month 6: 1.5lbs
Month 7: 0lbs
Month 8: 0lbs
Week 33 – 2lbs
Week 34-35 – plus 2lbs
Week 36 – 2lbs
Week 37-38 – plus 0.75lbs
Total after 266 days: 21.25lbs