We’re going down to Liverpool


Posted by in July's Magazine

Sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. I’m the stranger in town – think Spencer Tracy in Bad Day at Black Rock – off to spend some time with seven cowboys. We meet at the station, not so much Magnificent as five short of a Dirty Dozen; viewing each other through narrowed eyes, trigger fingers twitching (at least in my imagination). One of them cuts into these imaginings: “You’re late, and it’s your round”. Bingo. We are off to the races. Aintree, as it happens.

The train journey down assuages any doubts, one quartet plays a card game of their own invention, whilst the other four rips the pish out of one another in admirable style, the whole coming together when choirmaster Neil improbably leads the whole carriage in a sing along, (with sign language) of children’s nursery rhymes. It would have taken an awful curmudgeon not to join in and, just this once I do. (Making no mention here of the scattering asunder of the booking system in our carriage to facilitate our party having two tables as near to each other as possible – the ticket inspector developed a pronounced twitch as matters unfolded.)

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What happened next?  We went racing. Aintree was en fête…

My roommate – one Derek Lovell pronounced himself “bored” immediately upon arrival in our ‘well appointed’ gang hut before slipping up a gear to “awright”, perking up more than somewhat when we returned to the bar of our hotel, perched atop a motorway, for nightcaps. Where he gave a deeply satisfied sigh and said, “I feel like I’m home now,” smiling and twirling the while on his bar stool.

Gordon took me aside – after one of my regular jaunts to the parade ring to study the rather wonderful horseflesh – and politely pointed out, with no little gravitas that “if he saw my face on the telly again I was getting it.” Helpfully pointing out that I wasn’t pulling my weight in the bevvying aggregate stakes.

Bubbles Rothermere, aka Barlo – “it’s Barlo not Barlow” – Donaldson, packed three delightful selections from his extensive ‘spring collection’, the Ladies Day creation proving a particular success, lacking only a fascinator comprising of some snooker balls and a mini cue. (We shall make no mention here of his near miss in the catastrophic wardrobe malfunction department on the steps of the All You Can Eat – 4 plates as it happens – Chinese Buffet.)

Kevin Riddell missed a Hearts match, no greater sacrifice, showed me pictures of Gerard Butler hiring a car, and took me under his wing. Appreciated.

And what of the young bloods – no names, Danny, no pack drill, Chris – they talked about rampaging into Wigan town centre to paint the town not so much red as vivid scarlet but were invariably tucked up in bed in their romper suits by 9pm.

Me? Being a pretentious twat, I took it upon myself to blow the cobwebs away with bracing walks before breakfasting. Getting, in no particular order, lost in a maze-like housing estate, trapped on a dead end pedestrian bridge over a motorway and misdirected onto the actual motorway.

When, finally returning from the wilderness, I foolishly asked the redoubtable breakfast waitress if I could have, “two soft boiled eggs with brown toast”. She rearranged her ample bosoms Les Dawson style, looking for all the world like a fully rigged Spanish Galleon, and said “you can ask, but I very much doubt you’ll be getting.”

Lastly, I was the subject of an elaborate scam involving Mr. Riddell channeling the spirit of Matty ‘We All Live In A Sea Of Tangerine’ Hutchison and an elusive DUNDEE UNITED lyric.

In conclusion, the boys forewarned me on setting out, of the old saying, ‘what goes on tour stays on tour’. I feel sure I have not, ahem, let them down – give or take the odd leakage. And, while your asking, I had a rare old time. 

One response to “We’re going down to Liverpool”

  1. gauravs335 says:

    He’s exaggerating of course!!!!

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