Following a less than adequate period of sleep, I met Nicktor for an 8am breakfast where he told me how he’d left his window open all night and flooded the bedroom carpet with rain. He’d tried his best to mop it up then, thinking it a stroke of genius, put a plastic cup on the side table, looking like it had been knocked over and spilled. I told him the plan was okay except that the plastic cup wouldn’t have held the 15 gallons that had been soaked up. He was worried for most of the day though did rather relish relating the story to everyone and anyone who’d listen.
After eggs and bacon, we set off up to the Old Town to meet the others at Starbucks.
Mark turned up first followed by a decidedly seedy looking Andy, deperately clutching a blueberry muffin and latte. Phil we didn’t see until we left Starbucks. He seemed to have bounced back better than the rest of us but then again, he is younger. We decided to visit Gladstone Land, an old tenement preserved in various periods of time, showing the changes over time of the well to do of the Royal Mile.
I’d been before and I thought Nicktor would like the historical contrasts. And he did. He was particularly entranced by the wall paintings in the 17th century bedroom.
We didn’t have a long visit (fortunately it’s quite a small site) because we had to hightail it down to Waverley Station to catch the train to Dunfermline. We managed to get on it with about three minutes to spare. Which was perfect. Mark managed to meet up with us a few stations along (he’d been seeing his young son’s very first game of football).
We once more passed the increasingly amazing new bridge across the Forth. It is now a series of high towers, between which the road will rest, high above the river. It is truly an engineering delight. I’d be happy to return to Edinburgh next year just to see the progress.
We reached Dunfermline and then proceeded to drink in a couple of pubs before heading for the game, albeit via a taxi rank.
I should state at this point that I wasn’t that keen on drinking. I was still recovering from last night and had absolutely no desire to return to the state of inebriation I had previously visited. I drank slowly, vowing to myself to take it easy for the rest of the day. While this plan didn’t work too well at this end of the day, things managed to get a lot better after the game.
Speaking of the game, it was much better than last year as there were four goals and both teams played like they wanted to win. Sadly, three of the goals were scored by Forfar and only one by the Pars. To show the level of local confidence in the team, I’d like to relate a few songs that were sung.
After Forfar had scored their second goal, Nicktor started singing that old favourite…
We’re gonna win 3-2,
We’re gonna win 3-2…” etc
And a fair few people around us, laughed and joined in. They also joined in a short while later after Forfar scored their third and Nicktor started belting out…
We’re gonna win 4-3,
We’re gonna win 4-3…” etc
Then, as the voices died away, a new set of voices from a group down the front started singing…
We’re gonna win fuck-all,
We’re gonna win fuck-all…” etc
…which had all of us laughing. At least the fans are realistic north of the border.
And the best part of the game was, of course, the bridies. I had two. One at the beginning and a second at half time. I was very lucky to get the second one because the shutters came down shortly afterwards and no more bridies were sold. Poor Andy wasn’t so lucky. He went for a second one but decided to go to the loo first. The shutters came down while he was in there.
And so it ended, 1-3 (I’ll admit to wanting the score to be 1-4 so it would read Dunfermline 1 Forfar 4) and the Pars left the pitch after the final game of the season to contemplate their future in the summer months. We, meanwhile, headed back to some of the numerous pubs of Dunfermline. And there’s a lot. It’s almost as bad as York for the pub population.
And so I started easing off on the alcohol. In the first pub I very slowly drank a pint of IPA, in the next I had a coffee, I then had a few Jack Daniel’s and ice (the ice melts and dilutes the spirit beautifully) followed by a second coffee. While I had a half pint of lager in the next pub, I managed to finish off with a lemonade. And guess what? I felt, not only perfectly sober but also wide awake.
By this stage, Andy and Mark had left us for their respective planes home, leaving Mark, Phil, Nicktor and me to carry on. Mark kept promising we’d get a taxi back to Edinburgh but I think his idea was to get one as soon as he was too drunk to organise it. This took a while.
And he did manage to get very drunk, as did the other two, making me the only one sober enough to be sensible (an odd feeling). I told them that I was clearly the Designated Adult, which made them laugh as much as you can when you’re off your face, at something that’s not really THAT funny.
Anyway, long story short, we managed to get a taxi which dropped Mark off at his place then used her sat-nav to get us to Waverley Station because none of us had any idea where we were.
There was one worrying moment when, at a set of traffic lights, Nicktor suddenly announced that he had to leave the cab. He staggered over to the side of a building dropping off his kebab (that he’d foolishly purchased in Dunfermline and nursed all the way in the cab), looking like he was going to throw up. Meanwhile, in the cab, we were being honked at by everyone behind us.
The taxi driver asked if we should just leave him but, tempted as I was, I convinced her to wait. Nicktor returned (minus foul smelling kebab) and we continued our journey without further mishap.
At the beginning of the day, Nicktor said he didn’t want to have another night out that lasted till 1am…we walked into the hotel a few minutes before, so I guess that was alright.