Well... Friday usually doesn't count for the FANS of BritBowl, but the helpers start much earlier. :)
We left Edinburgh at 2pm, fully packed car with the BAFL Shop stuff we didn't sell at our home games and a poor Allan being slightly cramped on the single back seat. Weather to start with was ok - so no horrendous rain like last year!!!
Had a fairly good drive down the A1 but when we arrived before Newcastle we had the annual problem with the bridge crossing!! Don't know why, but arriving at the bridge at 3:30pm just doesn't work. We were stuck for about 15 mins for no apparent reason!! :( And yes, we had the same problem last year. Once we got past the Angel of the North, the traffic was flowing again. There was a car with a nocked bonnet on the other side with a police car around, so I can only assume it's that "human curiosity/morbidity" that made the traffic slow down.
The rest of the trip went ok, we stopped at the Service Station before (?) Scotch Corner for a quick loo run and lunch.
We arrived at "The Home of BritBowl", Don Valley Stadium (DVS), at around 7:30pm, found our hotel (ETAP Hotel, part of the Accor group), dumped our stuff and met with the others to go for food ... TGIF! YUMM!! I tried my luck again with the Strongbow Fruit Cider but to no awail. I only found this yummie cider at The Crags where I tasted it for the first time. Apparently Tesco's was selling it at some point, but I couldn't get it. :(
It's fun when you just get re-acquainted with people you've only met once before. No problem with Glen Shild (BAFL Chairman), Ken Walters (BAFL Media), Mark, Jeremy or Nigel Clift (from the Stat's crew) as I've met them a couple more times, but people like Nathan, Nigel Payne (one of the BAFL photographers) and Glen's son Chris for example... names just fail me but I KNOW I've met them before. :)
The 3 of us opted for the "East meets West" offer at TGI's, I had the Soho Asian Nachos (YUM) and then the chicken fingers. Doug was the only one to get a dessert (he didn't chose a starter).
Met a couple nice new people, like Simon Newman, one of the coaches from the GB squad, and while he's the type you don't want to make angry (just by the looks of it) we had lots of fun talking about everything! :)
Room was very small, window was very small, remote control for small TV was £10 (geesh, do they really thing people steal those???), the shower was fairly big actually but only had a frosted glass door, toilet was a small box room ... and the bed/s ... Well, a double bed below (more a futon, with a fairly hard matress, which was actually good for my back) and then a high bunk on top sideways! ;) So after sharing our 3 story house for more than 10 weeks with Allan I didn't have too much trouble to share this room with him (and Doug of course).
We quickly sorted out a "schedule" for using the shower anyway.