Saturday, May 23, 2009

Aberystwyth Mon Amour

Ryanair had no flights available from Derry to Glasgow, so I took the Belfast-Stranraer ferry instead. Just as well; I'm reading Malcolm Pryce's Aberystwyth Mon Amour, and this way I was safe in case Ryanair decided to charge passengers extra for carrying books with long Welsh names in the title.

I regard with affection any novel that begins: "The thing I remember most about it was walking the entire length of the Prom that morning and not seeing a Druid" and includes exchanges such as:
"`Is that Caldy Island?' she asked pointing at the map of Borneo.

"`No, it's Borneo.'"
Had dinner in Glasgow with Donna Moore, a wonderful hostess who regretted that there was no dead body on the premises as there had been the day before; Allan Guthrie; and Ewan McGhee. Made plans to visit Edinburgh today, to which one Glaswegian replied: "You should have a lovely day as long as you don't have to mingle with the people."

Cheers,

Peter

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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12 Comments:

Blogger Lauren said...

Hmph. As a resident of Edinburgh I can assure you we don't bite! (Well, I'm not a native. Maybe the true locals do...)

I gather you were in town today (Sat), but if you're likely to be around on Sunday, non-rugby related visitors are nice.

May 23, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

I must have done that exact journey 100 times. You know whats fun - doing it on an Old Firm weekend when the boat's full of Rangers and Celtic supporters. Sometimes the cops put them on separate ferries but other times...Such such are the joys.

May 23, 2009  
Blogger Lauren said...

My friend from Dundee is leaving town this weekend to avoid the onslaught of Rangers fans! (And I'm grateful Hearts are going to Parkhead rather than the other way round.)

May 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lauren, the trains were crowded, as were the pubs before the game. But the rugby fans were a relatively well-behaved group, I must. And I suffered no bites from anyone. I had a fine time in what I found out too late is your adopted city.

May 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, the ferry was full of Leinster fans coming over for the Heineken Cup. (Leinster beat Leicester.) The parking lot at Belfast port was an impressive sea of blue pennants.

I would not want to be on a boat full of Rangers and Celtic fans. I have heard that rivalry is the worst. As it was, I was prepared should my taxi driver have asked where I was coming from. First I'd have asked which football club he rooted for and then, depending on the reply, I'd have said I was coming from Derry or Londonderry.

May 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lauren, I know this is a big weekend for Scottish football. Combined with the rugby, that's a lot of potential strain for pubs, trains and police, I'd say. As it was, the only incident I witnessed was a shortish delay during which I saw several officers maintaining an attitude of relaxed vigilance outside the train. Once we got moving, the conductor made a laconic announcement reminding passengers to pull the emergency brake only in an emergency.

May 23, 2009  
Blogger Lauren said...

Glad you enjoyed Edinburgh - I didn't know you didn't know I lived here. (Is that even an English sentence?)

Over the last few years, I'd say drunken festival-goers have been far more annoying than either football or rugby fans. (A fair chunk of the fringe takes pace on my doorstep.)

Even my current jaundiced view of rugby fans is temporary - a Leinster fan conked me on the head with an oversized flag on the bus on Friday evening! I've had a lot of fun watching visiting six nation teams in the past. Am particularly fond of the cheerful Welsh family from 2007 who seemed to find nothing amiss in walking around decorated in leeks and large plastic daffodils! And the rugby league crowds a fortnight ago were also very colourful.

The fact that neither Edinburgh football team wins things very often may, I suspect, keep a lid on things over here these days. I know a couple of pubs that won't serve Hibs fans and vice versa, but the ridiculous levels of aggro (and crime rates that can apparently go up by 1000 on derby weekends) seem *largely* confined to Glasgow.

I don't envy train staff when football crowds are travelling - I came back from Glasgow on the same evening as an international where Scotland had lost, and it was akin to travelling in a tin of drunken sardines. (I have fonder memories of the evening when Scotland beat France in 2006 - even in Edinburgh the streets were full of ridiculously happy people looking for passers-by to kiss!)

Finally, the correct answer to the question of which team one supports in Glasgow is, of course, "Partick Thistle."

May 24, 2009  
Blogger Lauren said...

By the way, I'm aware that in American English it's perfectly acceptable to discuss the team one "roots for", and in British English it's equally OK to "root around" for something you've misplaced, but to my Australian-tuned ears, the implications are substantially less polite!

May 24, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It's not only an English sentence, it sounds like the chorus of a country and western song I saw and heard one crime writer singing to another at the hotel bar in Bristol.

I'll reply at greater length some time after breakfast, but for now, I like the image of rowdy arts fans being more annoying than drunken sports rooters. And thanks for the tip on Partick Thistle.

May 24, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

OK, so no rooting around when it comes to sports, though "drunken sports rooters" has a charm all its own. Call them drunken sports fans who cheer rather than root for theie team.

May 24, 2009  
Blogger John McFetridge said...

I like the way Scottish soccer (you that looks funny, even to me in Canada) shows up in crime fiction.

There's a scene in a Christopher Brookmyre novel where a hostage taking at a bank goes bad - some of the hostages are wearing blue and some are wearing green and white....

And Patrick Thistle show up in the first Denise Minna noval.

None of that meant much to me until we got a soccer team in Toronto and they hired a guy I'd never heard of named Mo Johnston to be the manager.

May 29, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"Scottish soccer" -- does that conjure up images of guys running around in kilts, tripping over their own bagpipes?

Speaking of kilts, no one much wears them except on ceremonial occasions, but some men do wear them then. In addition to kilts for sale in souvenir shops, one will see them displayed in formal-wear rental shops, exactly as one sees tuxedos in North America.

In addition to all the sports, the Church of Scotland was having a big meeting while I was there -- I don't know if this was during or just before its general assembly -- and I saw a few kilt-wearers waiting in line and standing at the door for an event.

The team is Partick Thistle, not Patrick. (Partick is a section of Glasgow.) I'm guessed that this team may cause more typographical errors than any other in the world.

Go, Thistle!

Which Brookmyre has that sectarian hostage taking? Thas sounds hilarious.

May 29, 2009  

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