Trip Start May 27, 2010
97Trip End Aug 31, 2011
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Philo was rapt, given that Aston Villa is his team, and I was excited at having finally won something decent.
Friday night we did the usual pub crawl around Kings Heath and ended up at the Hare & Hounds once again with Dave and Lisa
Whatever I ate it did the job and I slept through the night, but I woke on Saturday morning convinced it was Friday, and launched at my phone to make sure I hadn't sleep through my alarm. When I was reassured that it was Saturday (ie a non-work day), I laughed and then went back to sleep. I woke again later with an ever so slight headache, eased by a Chicken McChicken and big Coke. Phil got "prepared" and put on all his Villa gear (he didn't really) and off we went to the train station to make our way to the other side of town. I had been there before, I recalled, with Gemma - when we got the train in the wrong direction. Getting off the train with all the other Villa fans, we spotted some football hooligans who were no doubt ready for a punch up behind the shelter shed.
I was surprised to see coaches driving past with Blackburn fans on board, led by a police escort. What was all that about? Today would be an education for me on the ins and outs of football. Er herm, I mean soccer! Apparently soccer is a violent game even though it's a non-contact sport
But then we walked past the away team's supporters' entrance to the ground and again I was stunned to learn that the away team has its own entrance. "How strange that they have to go through a different gate" I thought.
Making our way up to the executive suite, we reminded ourselves that these tickets were free, and took our place at the table that had been set for our party. But we decided we were too hungover to stomach a carvery lunch, so we headed out into the wild where all the Villa supporters were milling around before the match, and grabbed ourselves a Balti chicken pie which, might I add, was delicious.
You can only get booze for a certain amount of time before the match, a deterrent for drunken fights no doubt. So we took our bottles of water up to our seats and waited for the match to begin.
My curiosity continued and I noticed that there was a bunch of people in the stand opposite to us that had been cordoned off by police and stewards in their fluro jackets and vests
And as it happened it was actually a really good match. At one point Phil launched his body into the air "Oh what a feeling, Toyota" style when his team scored, and I even stood up at one stage clapping and cheering. I really got into it and was surprised how much I enjoyed watching people kick a ball around for 90 minutes.
Afterwards we were knackered, particularly after Friday night out, so we made our way home again on the train and ordered some pizza and watched TV.
On Sunday it was a slow start with a sleep-in and some scrambled eggs A-la-Heidzo, and with the best of intentions we headed around to Phil's nan's place to have a look at the bike I would likely inherit. But it was chained to another bike so we weren't able to take it for a spin along the canals. So we decided to go to Moseley and watch another football *cough* soccer match at the Patrick Kavanagh, followed by a delicious Indian meal and then bed.
A great weekend.