Friday, December 18, 2009

July - September: Legal yet?

The third quarter of 2009 things changed a little bit. The countdown was on to get my visa, I tried to prove I was tough, roasted at a brilliant festival and on a boat, and had a reason to spend a little more time in London and less in Europe.

But first it was time for The Ashes. About 9 months ago Mum, Dad, my uncle and my aunty were looking for tickets to the First Test. Knowing the tour group that I volunteer to take tours for, The Fanatics, I got four from them and passed them to the family; however, without telling them I bought my own. Heading off to Cardiff for the first test the plan was to surprise them. I told Dad a few weeks before of my plan, as I hadn’t seen Mum in nearly 2 and half years and I was wary of a heart attack. So plan hatched, the morning of the First Test I was crossing the road and heard a voice behind me: “Is that you Bart?” And there was Mum – surprised the shit out of me. I nearly had a heart attack.
Aussies went on to a draw and we know the rest, but God damn Cardiff is good fun. We even got in The Daily Mail.

Can see me (top right)?

A little closer (on the left with the headband)

Following the Ashes, I boarded a train for Rock Wercheter, a four-day festival in Belgium; and what a four days. Hovering around 35 degrees each day, it was blinding heat, smashed antics and some brilliant bands. When there's too much to say, I'm going back to slideshow story telling (and for those that couldn't figure out the Vegas slide show, just click the play button). These little videos are great. I use to put all photos on a flicker website, but this is so much easier. Good to see we’re about to go in to a new decade and I’ve just caught up to 2004 technology!

So after not showering and being in the baking dry heat for four days, I decided to switch it around and revert to the 8 degree weather, mud, water and barbed wire of the Tough Guy competition, which is an assualt course set over a half marathon. It sounds like hell, but it's actually really good fun. Apart from the nettles, cut knees, the claustophobic tunnel crawling, electrified wire maze and falling backwards in to a pile of burning hay bails - it's a dandy little stroll in the English Countryside. So in a time of 3 hours, 54 minutes and 59 seconds I pulled myself across the finishing line.

Behind the guy in red

Definitely doing it again – and there were only several dozen broken limbs and a few people taken to hospital with hypothermia - well it was in the middle of British Summer.... Like a new relationship, fuck I was happy to finish, but I know I’ll give it another go, and hopefully it will be less painful - but more dirty (I really can go on with this analogy all day to be fair, so I’ll stop).

About now London, and all of Europe shuts down for Summer holidays. Late July to the end of August is fairly quiet, so most people take this opportunity to travel. However, my visa application was in and I was enjoying spending time in London, so I decided to not go very far. It was pretty enjoyable just concentrating on football, after work summer drinks with a few people, other functions, and yes Catherine, a sailing trip that involved sitting completely still for at least 2 hours next to the world’s most unthreatening ‘fort’. And speaking of the Irish, I managed a U2 concert in there somewhere.

Anyway, after several seasons of moderate success, 2009 proved to be a cracker for the Demons, winning two of the three premierships available (losing the Firsts by a measily 7 points)!

I was actually supposed to fly out of London for a holiday on the Thursday night, but changing my flight for the game (couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t) – and a pretty good Thursday night from memory – we celebrated well in to Sunday morning before Lukey, Dutchy and I made our way to the airport. Dutchy and I were drunken, smelly messes, while Luke on the other hand was fresh after returning home after the game to have a shower, and promptly falling asleep for the rest of the night!!!!
But on board, I was out like a light, before touching down in my favourite country – Croatia!!!!

Once again, what a place. This time I had Tricia in tow. Tricia and I worked together in Sydney for a few years, and now she had been let loose on Europe. So wanting something a little different from the usual Italy, France and London, I invited her along.

Tricia looks so excited to be there

So from Split we made our way to island of Brac and the port of Bol, and boarded a boat (lots of Bs here) to cruise up and down the Croatian coastline for a week. Brilliant time. Can’t really be bothered with making another video though (but when you see all the photos below, you'll understand the ease of the videos).

There was dancing...

..and eating...

...and we can't forget finally being close to the sea again!

.....and at the end of the month I got my nipple pierced on footy trip in the back streets of Majorca, Spain.

Let's end it there.


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