My story begins at 1730. I left work promptly and was home seven minutes later, admittedly, not the worst commute in the world. It was action stations to get everything ready in time. If you have been reading my previous published diaries, you'll know this is nothing new. I had my list primed for my return and got to work almost straight away. Most of the things were easy to find and my Mum had kindly offered to get me some fruit and a couple of other things I needed on the way back from work, which made my life considerably simpler. There were a couple of things that took more time to get, but this is always the case.
I grabbed a shower and my Mum had timed it just nicely so that we could share an oven pizza and garlic bread at 1900. When this had been consumed, it was 1920, and while I had ninety-five percent of the things together that I needed, nothing had been packed. So I commenced to organise it all in to my holdall. It was getting close to the time I had planned to leave and there was still a lot to do. Eventually, we left for the station at 1950 and I received the usual words from my Mother about it being a race to get to the station before the train. But traffic wasn't bad at all and we arrived with five minutes to spare.
We went over the platform and at 2007 the train approached - on time - one of the better characteristics of Chiltern Railways. Mind you, that makes it seem as though there are some worse ones which isn't true. It's just nice to not have to be waiting around for a train in the cold. Also, I have the usual one minute to change platforms at Princes Risborough. I was standing on the train, but this was OK because it wasn't too far - I was just pleased to be out of the cold. I put my bag down and stood by it holding on to a handrail. A middle aged fellow was sitting in the seat nearest me and a similar aged Scottish chap who I assume was a friend of his in the seat next to him. He began speaking to me about how good it was to be "sozzled" and how he viewed his Nokia mobile as a "futuristic device" as he couldn't remember how to use it! Probably a consequence of the drink. :-) It was an amusing conversation which brought a smile to my face. "Christmas soon", he said. "Two weeks and a day", I replied. He had a discussion with his friend about where they were getting off. "Your bike?" he asked me. "Nah mate, it's not mine". "I know, only joking with you". Soon after they got off. "We can get our train to Glasgow from here", his friend said. I wasn't sure about that, but anyway, off they went. It was good to speak to someone in public with genuine Christmas spirit in them (excuse the pun) for once, rather than the usual city frown that frequents the face of most city dwellers, including myself at times, and one that I had been sporting myself until that short interaction with a merry gentleman.
My train got in to Princes Risborough five minutes early. Yes! Five minutes, and yes, early! It is for this reason I prefer Chiltern to Virgin, but also because of the short walk through the city centre required when you get there, as you can stretch your legs. Plus, you arrive at the more picturesque Birmingham Moor Street as opposed to the well-connected but popularly-hated Birmingham New Street. New Street isn't so bad really, but it could be better, of course. Anyway, this time I won't be going all the way, but getting off early. I'll be staying with none other than The Chief himself, so I'll be on my best behaviour. At least, I will be while I'm staying at his house! ;-) The trains are running to time tonight so I should be in by half ten, but then, there is still a way to go yet.
Nothing much has happened on this service which is far less busy than the first train. I caught this from Princes Risborough and it was on time too, luckily I didn't have to sprint across the bridge. So now, here I sit at 2148, having just been asked for my ticket by an inspector - but the ticket office not being open, and the red light being on on the permit to travel machine, I am unable to produce any travel documents. He has hone off though down the train and said he would be back later. I have my Young Persons Rail Card and debit card primed for his return.
A little later, when he did return, things got a little more interesting. He had sold tickets to other people and unfortunately had to fine a couple who got on to go one stop to Banbury (or Leamington Spa) for not having purchased a permit to travel. £10 each single for one stop. Harsh. Apparently, the Government is increasing this to £20 come January. I'd met this guard before and remembered him being a cheery and friendly fellow. However, what I didn't initially fully appreciate was that he is also a business man, a sales representative of Chiltern Railways. OK, of course, *obviously* he is a sales person, as his job requires the sale of tickets. But I didn't realise that he was trying to (subconsciously at least) screw me for every last penny.
Now the permit to travel machine had its red light on when I went to purchase one, and the ticket office was closed. So I had to get on the train with neither. OK, my hands are tied. When the ticket inspector asked me where I got on, I said of course the station I'd got on at, despite being a good distance further north by now. This would have saved me a few extra pennies, but I'm not one to lie about something like this in order to save a couple of pounds, especially on Chiltern services. So I asked him for a what I usually ask for (with one change): an open return to Solihull (usually it is Birmingham Moor Street). He went off in to the drivers cabin and came back. That'll be £xx.yy, he said. I was shocked.
The figure he quoted was something astronomical like £69.00. Clearly, I wasn't paying that. Even with a young persons rail card, this would end up being £46.00. Strange. He seemed to convey that it would have cost less had I had a permit to travel, but I explained that I would have purchased one if the machine had been operational. In the end, after a few more questions had been asked my me, he told me it would be possible to buy a valid ticket for the journey which would cost £16.15 (what I usually pay) using the following question: "What is the cheapest ticket from X to Solihull, valid for use today and returning in no more than one month?". Apparently, if you ask the right questions, you get the right answers. So, my tip here is, if you want the cheapest ticket, ask for it, stating your requirements (single, return, open return, etc.) rather than stating your ticket type first!
The train got in to Solihull at 2237, two minutes late, and I made my way down to meet Nick. I called him when I couldn't find him and he told me he was only a couple of minutes away. There was a nip in the air so I put my gloves on. It turned out that it would be easiest for us to get a taxi rather than walk back, and at £3.50 for the both of us, and no waiting time, this was the option we went for.
When we got back we watched television for a bit, just catching the beginning of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. His guests were an Irish comedian who I have seen on television before, but whose name slips my mind, Kim Catrall from Sex and the City, and Bruce Forsyth, with band The Kings of Leon playing out. During this we had a discussion about stuff and when it was over Nick showed me a new card trick he had been learning, which I liked a lot.
We grabbed some bread and butter and headed up. Nick had a shower and a shave and I had a shave, and then we went to bed, around erm... well, I'm not sure exactly. 0115 I think. We had both set out alarms for 0600, which meant we had less than five hours kip. After having done my blood test and insulin injection, we called it a night.
My alarm was the first to go off by a couple of minutes. We got up and I packed my stuff up and took it downstairs and left it in the hall. Nick's Mum was already up and had kindly offered us a lift to New Street station, which would save us some hassle getting to Solihull station, then Birmingham Moor Street and then walking to New Street etc. We were made tea and I grabbed a bowl of Rice Krispies, and following that washed my hair which had become messed up in the time between me grabbing a shower back home and getting up again - approximately twelve hours. I brushed my teeth and we went soon after. Traffic was busier than I thought it would be for 0650 on a Saturday morning.
We arrived around 0715 and went straight to the meeting point. Joeri and Jo joined us soon after, and Joe following them. Jon would be meeting us up there as he lives in Manchester. This meant we could all go in Joe's car rather than get the train. So off we went in the car. There being five of us in there and unfortunately not enough space for all our bags (mine being a bloater especially). As luck would have it, my bag was the last to go in, so I had to sit with it on my lap. Well, I would have done except there wasn't enough space for Joe to change gear with it longways on, so I had to put it side on and Joeri and I had half each. It wasn't heavy really just a little bulky - but Joeri was OK with it.
We had a stop at one of the service stations for some cash and some people got some breakfast (!). Had a little throw of a korfball around and then set off again. On the journey Jo had a sleep while the rest of us chatted. Joe set some interesting trivia questions which few of us knew the answers to. Nick also did some video diary entries which I hope surface on the club website at some point in the near future. There was a little uncertainty about exactly where the venue was.
We followed sign posts until we had successfully located the venue, the Armitage Sports Centre. It took us a few minutes to eventually find the upper car park but when we had Jon appeared out of nowhere and after sorting our bags out we headed in to the centre and found a place to put our stuff. We had a quick shoot in to a korf while things were getting organised, and when they were we entered our details on sheets with our name and experience. This would then enable the teams to be organised distributing experience as evenly as possible. Someone entered my name for me, I think it was Nick.
When the teams were sorted, I knew two people: Debbie and Ian. Debbie was our captain and after Lisa (someone who I didn't know) shouted for everyone in our team (A) to come over, in a flash, everyone assembled. Nice work there, Lisa! :-). Team A (Withington Wolves) was comprised: Ian Buckle; Lisa Campbell; Debbie Etheridge (Captain); Matt Pulford; Gav Robbins; Iain Rudd; Laura Smith; Freya Tooke; Toby Wheeler. Our first game was at 1100 against team B on pitch one. It was fast approaching eleven o'clock, which surprised me, but then we had been messing around for a while and it took a certain length of time to get the teams arranged and sorted.
In the first game, I was marking Paul Dewey, the captain of team B. Debbie knew him and told me he was quite fast, so I kept an eye on him. The final score was 2-1 to us, something which pleased me immensely. We had one game off and then we played C, also on pitch 1. In this game I had no idea who I was marking, but regardless of who they were, both of the boys in my division were tall. Nuts! I only played the second half, subbing on for Gav - agreed before we went on court. It was an unlucky result of 2-1 against us. I observed in this game that Debbie made a lot of chances for herself to get running in shots, and had it not been for a few bad passes from me, we could have equalised or even won.
In our third game at 1330 against team D on pitch 1, I was marking none other than Jon, from Birmingham. He started in attack against us and got one past me in the first twenty seconds of the game. Not the best possible start to the game, but still. The only other person I knew on his team was Jo, also from Birmingham, oh, and Fred, who I had met in Sheffield briefly and whose real name I have no clue of pronouncing. I was quite tired at the end of this game. The final score was 7-4 to team D, which was a bit of a blow.
Following this, I think we had one game off, so I used this time to go to Sainsbury's to get some lunch, with Joe, Jon, Lisa and some of her friends. Unfortunately there wasn't time for me to eat what I'd bought before our next game at 1430, so I left it with my bag and carried on playing. This was OK because I didn't have low blood sugar.
It turned out that we had finished second in group 1, and had two more games to play. The first of these was at 1430 on pitch 1, against team E. It was still possible for us to get to the final, this game being one of the semi-finals. It was a tough game, being against Nick's team. Fro was also on his side. I was defending a guy I didn't know while Gav (in my division) had Fro. A little bit harsh. In the other division, Ian (our side) was against Nick, who got two past Ian right at the start. I don't think we played badly, it was just that the opportunities we had just weren't going in. Debbie and I triumphed a running in shot which she scored nicely, but we were unlucky and came out 8-4 down. Still, it had been a very enjoyable game of korfball. In my division: Debbie, Laura, Gav. After this, I had lunch, on the balcony.
At 1630 it was our final game, against team C on pitch 2. This game I started off the pitch, planning to switch with Iain (I think!) at half time. The game was thirty-five minutes long, so I went to get my watch and set the alarm for the halfway point. However, about two minutes before I was due to come on, Gav hurt his ankle to the extent where he couldn't play, so he came off and I quickly took off my hoodie and watch, and went on for him. I was quite cold so took a few minutes to warm up again, and would you believe the guy I was marking (or being marked by) was ridiculously tall? I would. However, though I wasn't playing at my best when I came on, mentally I was fully prepared from them start, and very soon I was settled in and playing some of the best korfball I'd played all day. I remember one time when my man was laughing and it was making me laugh, but I didn't let myself go and stayed tight on him, which was necessary because they had almost non-stop collects when in attack, and my man was reasonably fast - long legs! ;-) So yes, I played some of the best defence I have ever played and when the game was over I could feel the heat in my shoes from all the running about. I was gutted that we had lost 5-4, meaning we were ranked 4th and not 3rd. :-( I got a couple of defended balls which pleased me in this game, especially as my man was tall.
When our game was over, the final on pitch 1 was still in progress, having got as far as a penalty shoot out. Interesting stuff, because the outcome would determine the winner: would it be Joeri's team (F) or Nick's (E)? Joeri has written a report of the final for the Club website, but he has kindly let me use it here.
The final of the tournament was a clash between the teams of the two Birmingham team captains Nick and I (Joeri). On paper, Nick's team was favourite with quality players such as Fro (Bristol Uni), Ramzi (Cardiff?) and Nick himself. The two teams had already played against each other in the first game of the tournament with a 2-1 win for Nick’s side.
The final started without Nick and Fro playing in the first ten minutes. Was it underestimation? Before the match, I bragged to Nick that this would mean we should be in front with 10-0 in those first ten minutes.
I made the first goal in the game in a kind of 'scrimmage', when I just threw the ball in the air. Somehow the ball went into the korf. The 2-0 was made by Sarah (Manchester?) with a long distance shot. Nick's team woke up and scored 2-1. Jo (Oxford Uni) then scored the 3-1 for my team. A good score in just ten minutes, however no 10-0 ;-).
Nick and Fro reinforced their team. Nick's team changed gear and tried to overrun my team. Literally. Nick jumped onto his opponent Jack in a heroic attempt to steal the ball. He failed, with both players falling on the ground. However, the substitutes had effect. Nick quickly scored 3-2 and 3-3.
After that, the score remained the same for a very long time, caused by very good defending of both sides. Ramzi scored 3-4 for Nick's team and Jack scored 4-4. Although I (missed penalty) and Nick (missed running-in shot and penalty) had great chances to score the winning goal, the game ended 4-4. That meant a penalty shootout.
After 1-0 (Richard), 1-1 (Nick, yes he scored this penalty) and 2-1 (Jo), Nick's team missed their penalty. Because I also missed the penalty for my team, the score remained 2-1. Fro scored 2-2 and Sam (Manchester Uni) 3-2. The next three penalties were missed: my team won the tournament! (Although the whole team did not realise it).
I think the win was the effort of the whole team. Although we lost the first game and drew the second (against Joe's team, with Joe scoring a beautiful running-in shot), we knocked ourselves to the semi-finals and eventually won the tournament. I was amazed by the progression we made in just five games. So thank you Jo, Sam, Sarah, Sarah, Jack, Richard, George and Bleey (sorry you could not play the final) for a great tournament.
Shortly after this was the presentation, and announcement of the order of the teams. Rankings shown below in the table. I was happy to have made it in to the top four, but then there were only eight teams. Around this time I got talking to Paul Breaks, who I had seen earlier but I assume was busy first thing because his name wasn't on any of the team lists. He is doing a Masters at Manchester and seemed in good spirits. The bags of sweets were distributed and we had a short team talk, and then I collected my stuff together and met the Birmingham lot outside. I met our host, Alex (though originally I thought this was Alice, oops!) and we decided it would be easier to have showers at the Armitage rather than at her residence. Quickly had showers and met up with her again, and walked out to the car to get some bags, before walking from there to her flat, as it was only a few minutes away.
We sat about for a bit, played cards and drank tea and then got ready. We left around 1800 in order to get to Rusholme to get a curry before heading on to Walkabout. The curry house had been chosen in advance, Cinnamon, if my memory serves me correctly. On walking through the door I immediately recognised some people from Leeds. There were eight of us. Five Birmingham people, our host, one of her friends and one of her flatmates. Was her housemate called Jo? I don't know.
It had worked out that Jon wasn't coming out with us tonight because he had something else on. When we got to the curry house we had to be split in to two groups of four and it worked out that the first group was Nick, Jo, Joe and Joeri, and the second group was Alex (our host), Jo (?) her flatmate, Laura (her friend and also a player on my team during the day) and myself. What a stroke of luck, eh? Sitting on a table with three beautiful girls that I didn't know. But it wasn't to last, as Jo came over from the other table and said she'd sit with the girls so that I could sit with the guys, and not wanting to argue (although perhaps I should have), I willingly obliged.
Nick went out to get some lager and came back soon after, getting us all two cans each. I didn't want to drink too much on an empty stomach. The free starters came and we ate those having just ordered. I had chosen potato and cauliflower curry with pilau rice, oh, and vegetable samosas to start with. The whole thing took a while to come through, but the restaurant was nearing capacity on the ground floor. I was really quite hungry at the start of the night, but by the time the food had arrived I had almost completely lost my appetite. I can't remember a lot of the conversation, but I was rather tired. I couldn't finish my curry but I did have some of Joeri's naan bread, in fact, I think we all did. Following this, we went to Walkabout.
MUKC had the upstairs part until 2300, I believe. When we got there it was filling up. I spoke to Fro and Gav and some others, and after going to the bar, I located where the rest of the Birmingham people were - in the far right corner around some tables. One of the first observations made by quite a few people, including myself, was that the music was very loud. So much so, that it was too loud to have a proper conversation without making a big effort, or play drinking games, for that matter. We sat around with our host and her friends, and some people from Manchester: Ian, Fro, Jo, Paul, etc. Nick's friend from home, Astrid came along as well, which was nice because I hadn't seen her in a few months.
At little later, a band whose name I has slipped my mind came on to play a set. They were a cover band, and Joeri and I watched from the balcony close to where we were sitting. Their choice of songs wasn't bad actually, some good tracks in there, but I had seen better. It wasn't bad, though.
I realised I hadn't done my insulin injection due to having eaten so late, so I went off to the toilets to go and do it. I went in to the only cubicle and got my equipment out, and proceeded to do a blood test. The whole thing must have taken about two minutes. It being a little high, I started to screw together my NovoPen (which was in two parts so to fit inside the kit I had). Once this was set up, I was ready to inject. I have been doing injections in my stomach for a while now, but being able to afford the privacy, I thought I'd do it in my leg, so dropped my trousers and dialled in the number of units I was going to inject, before finding a suitable piece of flesh to inject to. Next thing, I removed the needle cap.
It is at this point that out of the corner of my eye I see some 'abnormal' shadows underneath the door. Oh great, someone is thinking I'm taking a while in there. Well, actually, I'd probably only been two minutes which I don't think is unreasonable, and I was almost finished. I look up to my right, insulin pen in hand, to see four fingers and then another four, a shoulder width from the first, along the top of the door, and a man saying, "What's that in your mouth, mate?" Immediately I assumed he had assumed I was taking some sort of illegal substance, so I raised my left hand and said, "Itsh me inshulyn pennn", of course, this is hard to comprehend because I've got a needle cap in my mouth. I put the needle cap back on the pen and opened the door, trousers still around my ankles. Hey, might as well be totally straight with him and show them that I am in fact tending to the problem in hand - my high blood sugar, and not trying to actively and intentionally "get myself high". "I am an insulin-dependent diabetic about to do my evening injection, is this OK? When I'm finished I can come outside and show you the kit and any necessary identification", I said. As quick as a flash, he was gone, prompting me to think the bouncer knew what insulin-dependent diabetes was. But then, if he knew what it was, why did he not wait for me to come out the cubicle before presumably strip searching me?
There is no way that anyone would have suspected anything from the length of time I was in the cubicle, so I believe it was the case that there was some sort of camera in the cubicles prompting them to take action. So, had I had some sort of illegal substance, this would have been caught on camera. So why did they think they had the right to look over the top of the cubicle door? When I was last involved in something like this, it was at The Q Club in Birmingham around two years ago. Though this time they had the decency to wait outside and then ask me the very blatant question, "You got any tabs on you?" To which of course I answered "Yes" - sugar tablets, perhaps a stupid thing to say I know, but in the heat of the moment, that was what came out first. They were surprised to hear this, echoed in their expression, but when I justified the reasons why I had them and what I had been doing in the cubicle, everything was fine again. After the events that night at The Q Club, I was somewhat shocked, but not quite as much as I was tonight.
On coming out the toilets I went to sit down and recover, being rather shaken up, and sat down next to Nick. "Have you had some sort of trouble in the toilets?" he said. How he knew this mystified me completely. Had I passed out hours ago and was having a funny dream? I don't know when this could have been, unless it was from surprise at being confronted by a bouncer over the top of the cubicle door, which could certainly make anyone, let alone a diabetic, faint. He told me how he knew: he was in the toilets at the same time the bouncers came to speak to me, and heard the whole thing, so I explained it to him. So understandably I spent the next twenty minutes sitting down.
The band took a break of half an hour or so, so we continued talking round the tables. They played their second set, during which Joeri and I had a chat about the them, but after I while I got bored of watching, so we both moved away from the edge of the balcony where we had a half decent view. I broke rule number one relating to staying with someone you have only just met who happens to be of the opposite sex, but hey. Sometimes it is for the best if rules are broken, and while I wasn't over the moon, it was definitely for the best. I think we had a dance after this, and then the stupidly expensive rounds started to come in to effect, or maybe they already had. I went to the bar, ordered three orange Reefs, one double vodka and one vodka, lemonade and lime, which came to over sixteen pounds! (£16.80). Luckily, I'd have a few more drinks to follow before I'd have to go to the bar again.
The rest of the night I spent on and off the dance floor, talking to people in between. Joe made me laugh at one point by asking me to practice my running in shot on some of the people in the club - pretending that some were the korf and others were my defenders. I thought it was certainly possible, but asked him to "show me" how it was done first. He told me the only way to learn was "to do", but I wasn't convinced. None-the-less, it was rather funny hearing his ideas as to what makes the best running in shot in a club environment.
Around 0145, I went to the toilets, but on the way out, I realised I'd not got my diabetes monitoring kit on my belt, and remembering a sign I'd seen about lost property, got ready to go there. But on the way back to the group to tell Nick, I saw Fro who asked me "Is this yours?" holding my kit in his hand. I was surprised to see it, and thanked him very much for finding it, Fro telling me he found it in the corner. He went off and I went to sit down. I was so overcome with emotion that on the way I broke down in tears. But before I had a chance to sit down Nick told me that we were going. That was fine with me, but I had tears streaming down my face, and on the long walk out of the club from where we were at the back, I must have looked a state. I seem to remember a lot of people looking at us coming out, but I was walking so fast that I don't think any of them had the chance to speak to me about it. I said a few brief goodbyes on the way, and went downstairs to collect my jacket. I met Nick and the group outside and we walked to get a bus.
On the walk down the road, and it wasn't that near, I got speaking to Laura, who had played on the same team as me during the day. She didn't immediately recognise me with my hair up and spikey, which amused me no end! We had a talk about loads of things, three topics were on the go when we got to the bus, but she got on the one in front of us before I even had the chance to say goodbye. This mystified me somewhat. We were knee deep in three topics and had just sped off to get her bus - she had a pass for the one in front of the one we eventually got on. I thought it was a bit of a shame she had gone when we were discussing stuff in such detail and had actually made a connection there - strictly platonic, I hasten to add! We went upstairs and sat next to Alex. We had a talk about the events of the evening. Sitting in front of us was a character I'd met at one of the tournaments earlier in the year, whose name I couldn't remember. It was Tim, so I needed a technique to help me remember this. We were sitting on a Magic Bus, so the first link I made was "Magic Tim". Our coach two academic years ago was called Tom, and Tim being of similar height, I made the link "Tall Tom" -> "Tall Tim". This was sufficient for me to not forget his name. Alex also had another way of remembering it, but these two were sufficient for me. Tim got off a few stops before we did.
When we got back to her flat, three or four of her flatmates were up moshing to Radiohead tracks off The Bends. Now, I only know this because I am a big Radiohead fan and had been to see them live in Manchester just over a year ago, staying very close to where Alex's residence is. But at 0230 in the morning, or whatever time it was, I was not in the mood for Radiohead. I told one of the guys this, but I don't think he understood what I was saying. We stood around for five minutes and soon after they left and went to bed. I felt a bit bad for having been so short with them, but hey we were all tired and our bedroom was the kitchen. It would take us five or ten minutes to sort out where we were going to sleep, and once they had gone we had some tea and went to sleep. I slept on my Therm-A-Rest in the kitchen part, on my own, because I was hoping to leave early in the morning to visit a friend that would be going travelling very soon, and it would be the last opportunity I'd get to see her in about six months. I set my bed up for the night, and went to sleep after doing my night time injection. It was approximately 0315.
Having got to bed at gone 0300, and being up for around twenty-one hours, running around like there was no tomorrow on and off all day, you can probably imagine that setting my alarm for 0800 wasn't the easiest thing to do on going to bed. It went off and I contemplated staying in for another five or getting up, but realised that if I did go back to sleep, I probably wouldn't get up again, and there would have been no point in setting the alarm in the first place, other than acting as a device to interrupt my sleep. So I got up and had a shower. I wasn't feeling too bad considering, but then I hadn't had too much to drink. I was just a little thirsty, so made myself a tea in semi-darkness (the kitchen curtains being closed) and then packed my things away in the hallway, where I could see what I was doing. When this was done, everyone else was still in bed, and probably asleep as well, apart from Joe, whom I told I was going and then off I went. It was around 0915.
Excellent, I thought. Up and out and ready to catch my train to Nottingham. It was leaving Manchester Piccadilly at 1004, but I needed every minute because I wasn't totally sure where I was going. The bus came at 0924 and cost just over a pound. I knew how to get in to the city centre via bus, and waited around five minutes before catching one straight to Piccadilly Gardens. From here, I did have to ask which corner I was heading for in order to get to the train station, but once I'd asked it seemed obvious really.
When I got to the station, it was 0945, leaving me just enough time to buy a ticket to Nottingham, grab a sandwich for breakfast and find the platform without having to rush. The train left promptly but got in to New Street a little late. I changed platforms and waited for the train to Nottingham. It also left on time and wasn't stopping at many places on the way. It was a Central Trains service, which got rather packed, and on pulling in to Nottingham station, I was literally surrounded by young girls - I assume they were on some group trip or something. I couldn't actually move for them. It was a few minutes late getting in to Nottingham, but this was OK because my friend was also delayed. I got home quite late, after having to get a train back to Birmingham and then a connection back to London.
This tournament is unique in that the get to play with random people, and that always makes makes things more interesting. We had a good team and I am pleased with our final ranking. I enjoyed going for a curry (being a student in Birmingham might have affected this slightly), and although there were a couple of events at the social that I wouldn't really like repeated, it was still a good night. Finally, getting to see my friend on Sunday really made the weekend. How I managed to get myself up and to Nottingham for lunchtime is beyond me.
|Game number||Time||Teams and scores||Pitch||Game length (minutes)|
|1||1100||A : 2 - 1 : B||1||25|
|2||1200||A : 1 - 2 : C||1||25|
|3||1330||D : 7 - 4 : A||1||25|
|4||1430||E : 8 - 4 : A||2||35|
|5||1630||C : 5 - 4 : A||2||35|
|1st : Rusholme Beavers (F)||Joeri van Proosdij (Captain)|
|2nd : Get In The Hole (E)||Nick Wilkins (Captain)|
|3rd : The Crabs (C)||Mike Wyners (Captain)|
|4th : Withington Wolves (A)||Debbie Etheridge (Captain)|
|5th : Boomtown Rats (G)||Dave Ansell (Captain)|
|Laura van der Berg|
|6th : Fallowfield Eagles (D)||Russell Field (Captain)|
|7th : Mikasa Magic (H)||Chris Sidebottom (Captain)|
|8th : Victoria Park Bears (B)||Paul Dewey (Captain)|