Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lowering clouds, rising temperatures

A dramatic day began on the train to Glasgow, where I ended up seasted with two guys on the way to the Celtic match. Each had an open beer, one polished off his pint of Buckfast. To their credit they did put the empties in a bag they brought with them.

There was a fan based protest going on in George Square. Some Celtic supporters think they're being persecuted for making sectarian chants, they probably deserve it. I saw a few hundred people chanting and waving flags. No arrests.

Walked from town to the stadium, picked up a greasy bag of chips from the oldest chippie in Glasgow and strolled through The Barras. This is an open air flea market that sells a bit of everything, most of which is legal, some bootleg and questionable. There were also tables of porn DVDs for sale, a good time but best to move on.

The air on the east side smells of vinegar and stale garbage, it has not rained here in about a week. Activity increased on the street as Celtic Park came into view. A place called Kick Ass Burgers was open, as was Pimp My Burger.

Had no problems picking up my ticket and walked over to an area where a crowd had gathered. The bus for Hibs, the opposition had showed up. No one booed. A few minutes later, the home team bus pulled up to applause. A few players waved, some looked more serious than others.

On your ticket, you are given a specific turnstile to enter. There are no ticket takers. You scan your ticket and the gate opens. This is the section where you will stay the entire match. You cannot move to another section or part of the stadium. I bought a Meat Pie and Coke. I did not see Irn-Bru for sale. There is also a Ladbrokes stand. Yes, you can bet on the match inside the stadium. I kept looking for Pete Rose, he would have loved this!

My seat was great. Took pictures. Asked the usher if I was in the right section. Did not see Rod Stewart.

The game itself was a bit of an afterthought, Celtic scored early, led at the half and won it 3-0. Commons had two goals and I was impressed with the play of defender Kelvin Wilson. Got to see Samaras come in off the bench and Paddy McCourt ran around for five minutes.

Watched a large fan made banner of Neil Lennon riding a white horse make its way around the stadium. It got to our section and we passed it along. Did the bounce for about fifteen seconds. This is a movie in which you lock arms with your neighbors, turn your back to the pitch and jump up and down. Good times!

The most exciting thing happened at the half when a woman sitting two rows behind me won fifty thousand pounds in a big drawing. She seemed to be a regular and no one believed her at first. Then her husband's eyes got really big Andy they went to the pitch. I could see her shout with joy as her ticket was confirmed, then she posed at mid field with the big,fake check. Good for her!

A sea of people headed west down London Road when the match ended. Very cool. Very peaceful, for it was a good result, too.

Got a bit lost trying to find a friend's flat and ended up giving up. Went to Caffe Nero to chill and edit poems, then to the 13th Note when I met my wife and her friend who came up from Bristol for the weekend.

Good day in the city, and it still has not rained. Chilling out in Lenzie today. Took a walk, now listening to Everton/Spurs as they do not have enough cable here.

Monday is a trip to the Museum of Transport and a genuine UK Pub Quiz.

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