Sunday, January 29, 2006

He's Big, He's Red, His Feet Stick Out The Bed


And didn't he deliver a beautiful goal, right in front of us on New Years Eve?!

Rob was finally on the mend after going to the walk-in clinic and getting some antibiotics and not a moment too soon either. On New Year's Eve, he and I took the train up to Liverpool to watch the Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion match. Rich and Jules' friends Debbie, Dan and Andy managed to get us tickets in the 2nd row of the Kop. No match on TV can compare to the excitement around the stadium on match day when 45,000 other supporters are parading around in their Liverpool scarves and shirts. I haven't had the opportunity to experience it enough so I'm still completely mesmerized by it all.

Outside the Shankly Gates at Anfield

Stevie Gerrard--What a man!

Harry Kewell fixes his hair. This was about the only thing I saw that reminded me of my own game.

Would have been great to get a slew of photos but neither of us could bear to look through a camera lense when we had the real action right in front of us.

Liverpool won the game 1-0 due to a lovely goal from Peter Crouch--he must have been only 15 feet away from us during his goal celebration so it was fantastic.

Coming home again, our taxi told us we couldn't get dropped off right at the train station as there were fireworks going on but he could get us close. As he dropped us off, he told us to just go behind this building and the train station would be there. As we rounded the corner, we found ourselves in the midst of a giant New Years Eve celebration with fireworks and flames and loud music and tons of people. It was as if the entire city was celebrating Liverpool's win! We made our way through the crowd singing "Time Warp" from Rocky Horror Picture Show all the way to the train station where we somehow managed to find a train back to Birminham (not as easy as it sounds).

1-0 Liverpool

crewe train station

"While We Sing Together"

While Rob was snug up in bed with the Liverpool v Everton game on the radio, the rest of us went to check out some quality football at the Ricoh Arena--Home of Coventry City FC. It had only been 20 years since the last time Bob went to a footie match so you can imagine our excitement! All of it nearly went to waste when the parking proved to be difficult and Bob threatened to just drop us off and go home. Luckily, we soon found something or I'm afraid even my American charm couldn't have held him back.

We hadn't even made it to our seats yet when Jo started to say hello to people. It's remarkable the number of people she runs into around town but we hardly expected Bob Brolly to be one of them. Bob Brolly is a "singer, TV and radio presenter" who has a radio show on the local BBC station in town. Rob and I have heard quite a lot about Bob Brolly from Jo, who listens to his show every day and has an unbelievable talent for winning phone-in prizes including tickets to the theater, to Cov City matches and to the cinemas, to name a few. In fact, before I arrived in England for Christmas, Jo took Rob into town and made him walk past the radio station where you can watch Bob Brolly through a glass window as he does his radio show. At any rate, I knew Rob would really appreciate a photo of his wife with Bob Brolly--

I'm sure he didn't, however, appreciate the smell of Bob's aftershave which you could still smell on me several hours after the match. I'm sorry to say Bob didn't remember me two days later when Rob's dad and I went into town and waved at him through that glass window.

Anyway, we soon made our way to our seats for the match. Julie and I delighted in shouting our new "Ernesford Dynamos" chant every time Gary McSheffrey came to our end of the pitch. We never managed to inspire the crowd to join us, however. I also became a sudden hero in the Carey family when I busted out 4 chocolate bars at the beginning of the second half. After seeing a player sent off, and then another come off due to injury after all the subs were used up, Coventry were down to 9 men. The referee made a few interesting decisions to which the crowd had a strong reaction. Jules, Rich, Jo and I sat in suspense, wondering if the crowds anti-ref chants would steer Bob (Carey, not Brolly!) away for another 20 years but he took it in good humour. And then, with only a minute left to go, Crewe Alexandria managed to score a goal bringing the final score to 1-1. A very disappointing result. The good news was, back at home, Liverpool beat Everton 3-1.



Holiday Wrap Up

We're like a proper married couple--Rob and me. He starts the conversation and I butt in with my version of the story. For example, he writes about London and then I butt in with my London stories. He writes about Christmas in Bournemouth and guess what I'm about to write?

I won't mention much more just that I also thought Rich and Jules were the perfect hosts. They thought of everthing, from decorating the table runner with candles and holly, to actually lighting the Christmas pudding. Does it get any better than this?


The only things they didn't do for us is

1) Give us blankets

1) Cut the vegetarian "turkey"
Doesn't this picture really make my husband look manly? No? Well how about this one--

If you didn't know better you'd think they were in New Hampshire.

Unfortunately, the fun ended here for a few days as Rob developed a chest infection and spent the next couple days flat out in bed. Thank goodness I really like Rob's family or those couple of days could have been a real drag for all of us!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Christmas in Bournemouth

After a short delay as you have read about and formed your own opinions, we arrived in Bournemouth and headed to Rich and Jules' house.
The weather on Christmas morning was lovely and we headed out to the beach for a stroll before dinner, Kari wouldn't stop asking when we were going to open up the prezzies. I got flashbacks of summer holidays in the 70's when we would have to follow my parents' friend Basil, who would walk for hours before finding just the right spot on the beach, usually about 2 miles away and as an 8 year old it was torture. As my dad says "If you had a football at your feet you would run a marathon", which might be true but that's beside the point, as is this drivel I'm writing.
Ok so we headed back to the house, watched the queen's deluded speech on the television, opened up some cracking prezzies then enjoyed some wonderful food and drink, Rich and Jules were the perfect hosts.

Some senile old biddy

Jules just loves her prezzie

Mum and dad pulling crackers

The clan on Bournemouth beach


Sunday, January 15, 2006

The London Wrap Up

Rob did a good job covering our London trip. If it seems like he didn't tell much, that's because our time in London was way too short! We were only there for a day and it went way too quickly. It was enough to get us excited about going back again to spend more time there.
One thing Rob didn't mention is that the trip to the London Eye was a really cool surprise he planned just for me. He bought us tickets for 10:00 am on Christmas Eve and the streets were really empty and quiet. Even though it was 10:00, the sun was really low in the sky--this combined with the quiet streets made it seem like we had the London morning all to ourselves.

Our quick vist with Darren and Diana was really nice. It was great to get to check out their place and to walk around their neighborhood a little bit. We've definitely missed having them around San Francisco.


And it was great to spend a couple hours with Phil--who travelled all the way to London, with a hangover, just to have lunch with us. Now that's love! The one disappointment is that his girlfriend Helen was able to come with him. Hopefully we four can arrange to meet one of these days so I can begin turning her into a football fan.


Finally, Rob failed to mention that our whirlwind London trip ended in chaos. Having what we thought was plenty of time to get to Victoria Station to catch the bus to his brother's in Bournemouth, we decided to walk through Portobello Street on the way to the underground. Portobello Street is an extremely busy street market in London and probably very interesting though we didn't really get to check it out much. As soon as we got there we realized the underground wasn't as close as we thought it would be so we immediately started racing our way down the hill to the station, wheeling our luggage through the crowds. When we finally arrived at Ladbroke Station, we learned it's on a different line then Notting Hill Station (which we walked past on our way to Portobello Street.) This meant that we had to change trains to get to Victoria. We watched the minutes ticking away as we waited for our train, constantly recalculating how much time we had left before our bus left. When we fnally got on the correct train, I asked a fellow passenger how close the buses were to the station--thinking they would be right outside the gates. To our dismay, I learned it's a good 10 minute walk to the buses. Doing one final recalculation, we realized we would only make the bus if 1) we RAN to the bus stops and 2) the bus left late. Well, we did our part and ran all the way, but the bus let us down by leaving on time. We missed it by a couple minutes. It was another 90 minutes until the next bus which, in retrospect doesn't seem so bad, but at the time felt completely heartbreaking.

Waiting for the train at Ladbroke station

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Here's a few more photos from our trip, to answer Mr Anon in the comments section, we are going to add a few pictures at a time so you don't get bored and to keep it exciting, thanks so much for your concern, not.
Anyway, the photos are all still in London, we met our frien Phil who lives close to Ispwich, he took the train into London on Christmas eve and we spent a few hours with him. One of the photos shows him looking extremely excited by a Coca Cola advert, let me explain, Coca Cola sponsor the league which his football team, Ipswich Town, play in, and the advert was displaying all the teams in the league for about 5 seconds each, we waited for a few minutes for Ipswich to appear and Phil nearly wet himself with joy.

Phil pulling a cracker.

Phil gets incredibly excited by the Ipswich Town FC sign.

In other very careful!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Merry Christmas & a happy new year to all!

Blimey, we haven't posted in ages. Too busy, too lazy, too many people in the apartment!
The Great bathroom build is still going on it's been 3 months now, we have to update the bogblog aswell.
Anyway, we spent Christmas and new year in England, visiting Coventry, Birmingham, London, Bournemouth and Liverpool.
We always have to try and cram in as much as possible and see as many people as we can, it's very difficult and this time it was made even harder as I caught a chest infection and was out of action for a good few days, but a trip to the doctors and some antibiotics got me back in gear and off to Anfield for our final day, phew.
Well here's a selection of photos from our trip starting with London.

We stayed with Darren and Diana for a night in Notting Hill, had a great time

Diana in usual pose around 8pm

The London Eye, sort of a sightseeing big wheel.

Houses of Parliament from the London Eye, HP sauce mmmmm.

View from the top.