Sunday 3 February 2013
Football, Music and Honeymoons
My Honeymoon very nearly didn't happen.
When L told me where we were going my first question was "How?"
"We will be flying of course".
"No we will fucking not!" I replied.
This was back in the days when I would not even entertain the possibility of flying. There was more chance of getting BA Baracus on a plane without slipping him a mickey finn than there was of me getting into one of those steel tubes.
"Well this will be one of shortest marriages in history" was L's witty retort.
L and my parents had decided to to keep the destination of where we were going to themselves until the day before the wedding. I was going to Barcelona whether I wanted to or not, apparently. In those days there were no flights from Glasgow to the capital of Catalonia and the day after our wedding I found myself on a train to Birmingham, shaking like a battery hen I suspect due to thinking about what was to come more than the effect of the festivities which had ended earlier that morning, as the following day we would fly to Spain.
After forcefully pushing me up the corridor, onto the plane and getting me seated L sat down more relaxed than anybody has the right to when they are putting their life in the hands of two jet engines, this demeanour irked me somewhat as at the same time I was having problems breathing.
Once the plane took off, the flight wasn't too bad as I ended up getting some special treatment from the cabin crew. When the steward ambled up and asked me if I would like some breakfast I replied that due to the fact that I was having difficulty breathing I would have to decline his kind offer but I could do with a Brandy. He came back with 3 miniatures and then asked if I smoked and at that time I did.
I spent the rest of the flight up the back of the plane behind the curtain smoking and getting ever so slightly inebriated on Brandy.
It would have probably have been easier for us to find our hotel if I hadn't been so "refreshed" after the flight but when we did eventually find it, I noticed that on the same street we had passed at least three record shops. This is looking up I thought to myself.
After spending a few hours sobering up we decided to go for a wee walk along la Rambla and get some dinner. Tapas L decided, I wasn't too bothered as long as I could get a drink which would postpone the oncoming hangover. So we had some food, a few drinks and then staggered back to the hotel.
I was woken up a few hours later to the sounds of "oh god" splash, "aw jesus!". What's the matter I said", "bloody Calamari, I thought that it tasted a bit too fishy" A strange statement I thought considering what Calamari is. So L spent the rest of the night on the big white telephone to god.
The next day she wasn't any better and was a rather off-putting shade of grey. I was all set for a day watching Spanish telly when I was ordered to go out. Okay I thought, I will go and have a browse round the record shops and come back in an hour or so.
One of the record shops specialised in dance music and I saw a couple of 12"s that took my interest and thought I will maybe get them later. The second shop was predominantly astacked with second hand vinyl with racks and racks of the stuff and I duly started digging. When I looked at my watch I realised that a couple of hours had passed. I strategically placed the records that I wanted, left, found a convenience store bought some bottled water, ginger and some food that I thought that L might be able to keep down and bolted.
When I got back to the hotel L looked quite a bit better but said that she thought that she better spend the rest of the day in bed . I told her about the record shop and casually dropped into the conversation that there were a few that had interested me. I was told that I could buy a few but not to go mad as we were on a bit of a budget. Ya dancer, I thought to myself. L asked me what I was going to do with the afternoon and I said that I thought that I would go to Camp Nou as she wasn't particularly bothered about seeing it.
So I wandered out to find the bus that takes you round all of the touristy places fully intending to do the stadium tour. When I got there I realised that Barcelona were playing Dynamo Kiev a couple of nights later in the European Cup. I thought to myself that this was too good an opportunity to miss and took the executive decision and blew about a fifth of our budget for the week on two tickets, it was a once in a lifetime chance I reasoned with my conscience. I hopped on the next bus and went back to the hotel to tell L the good news and show her the records that I had bought on my way.
"What the fuck do I want to go and see a football match for?" was her first question quickly followed by " HOW FUCKING MUCH!" when I told her how much of a bargain the tickets were. I could tell she was feeling much better as she had become very animated and her face no longer ashen but quite a deep shade of red.
She calmed down after not too long, well quicker than other times when I had seriously fucked up.
The last four days of our honeymoon went really well, we did the touristy things, visited la Sagrada Familia and other works by Gaudi, viewed the Picasso exhibition and found a brilliant little cocktail bar where upon entering you were transported back to the 1920s.
Oh, and the football match.
L loved it couldn't get over the size of the place, it was under half full with only 50 odd thousand in attendance, the capacity being 115 000 at that time. Barcelona got royally cuffed four nil by Dynamo Kiev, Shevchenko scoring a hat-trick. One further point of interest, the referee was a Scotsman, Hugh Dallas from Bonkle who when refereeing at home took great pleasure in persecuting Airdrieonians.
Here is one of the 12" singles that I bought in the 2nd hand record shop just off la Rambla.
The Woodentops - Good Thing (12" version)