Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Day 6,7,8 & 9

Friday morning was the usual hung over stumble from bed after team selection on the Thursday night. With the finesse of a ballet dancer, I managed to cartwheel out of bed and actually went for a run. Now there are three types of people that you see when you go for a jog at 6.30am. One is the hard core athlete with all the kit, sprinting up through the park. Then you have the mothers with their prams, and then you have the fat, fat, fatties lumbering along trying to feel less guilty for having three danishes and an entire pack of Kruspy Kreams before getting up and pounding the pavement. I’m not sure where I fit in as I can keep up with the hard core athletes, but am sputtering and yawning the entire time.

Anyway, the usual day at work followed by after work drinks made for an uneventful day. Visited Danny up in Angel after work and was dazzled by his stories of midgets wrestling an African lion. Had me laughing all the way home. I’m sure more things happened, but I’m writing this on a Tuesday morning and remembering Friday so long ago is difficult.

Saturday morning we met the team at Clapham Common to catch a bus down to Bristol to play the Bristol Dockers. Arriving two hours late and most of us in a sore state from the night before, we favoured the 30 second warm up after the Dockers had been ready for 2 hours. Coming out hard in the first quarter I knew the weekend was going take it’s tool when by the end of the first I had being slung to the ground and injured my shoulder, kneed in the ribs, injured my little finger again (which after seeing the doctor can now confirm it’s broken) and kicked in the head. We ended up going down by 7 points, which in part I blame on the umpire – who was one of their players who hadn’t been picked for the day, had never played the game before and had only been learning it for 1 month – good choice!

The compulsory beer, BBQ and night out ensued, where we decided to take Bristol by storm. The night was getting a little out of hand by about 10pm. I won’t go in to details, but by 2.30 we were forced to bribe bouncers to get in to clubs as we weren’t in the greatest state. Bed time by 6am and the next morning a few fellas who hadn’t played the game the night before came through Bristol in a campervan to pick me up to head to Gloucester for Monday’s cheese race. It was going to be interesting road trip, when considering the company I was in. One such fella is named Danger. He’s called Danger as a few years ago he actually changed his middle name by deed pole to Danger so he could in all honesty say: “Danger is my middle name.”

Liquid courage for the cheese run

After a cramped hour drive in the back of a tarago converted in to a campervan we arrived in Cheltham, about 15 minutes out of Glouchester. Finding a little Irish pub we decided to settle in and look for some accommodation after a few beers. Nine pints of Guiness later we had made friends with the bar maids, a lovely young couple who started buying us tequila shots and had sent the girls who were on the trip with us to find the accommodation. Luckily they ended up finding two rooms at the Travelodge, but what did we care, we off to some club about 10pm to continue the madness. Henno must be congratulated for tearing his hamstring last week and redoing it by being slapped on the arse, Oz for having a lady come up to him saying she wanted to be introduced to me and then forgetting to relay the message, and Brutes for simply wanting to smash things.

An entertaining evening, followed by antics in the kebab shop and an interesting cab ride back to the rooms meant a few of us struggled with the 8am call to get back in the vans and head to the cheese rolling. But cheese rolling we did. A muddy trek through the paddocks of Copper’s Hill brought us to a sheer cliff with grass. The TV does not do this thing justive. It is has a decline of at least 40 degrees and more than 50 degrees at the beginning. And when that cheese flys down it picks up speeds of 70mph and is travelling fast enough to smash walls. Not to mention when you roll down the fucker. I couldn’t believe the speed people picked up when cart wheeling, falling, running and sliding down it, all to be rugby tackled at the end so you don’t slam in to a wall. There was one miss roll so the whole field of people sprinted down the hill, but the cheese wasn’t, so they re-rolled it. As one guy was trying to get up after a brutal fall, the cheese flew down the hill and collected him. I suspect a broken leg. Only 20 people were injured this year, which seemed a bit disappointing when there were about 40 paramedics standing around scratching themselves waiting for action. Hobbling off the hill I think we were all glad to be heading back to the cars and I was heading back to London. Photos and video of the crazy cheese here.
A hot shower and bed by 10pm and I was off to la la land to dream of steep hills, cheese bearing down on you and cute little kittens.


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