Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Quins vs Leicester – Twickenham

Posted by Oli on Saturday 27th December, 2008

We’re up unconscionably early for the morning after the night before at around 9am to grab a bacon sarnie and hot cup of much needed caffeine-delivery before jumping into the cars for a 3-hour trip into London to Twickenham, where my Godfather has a box.

Once there, we are treated to more wine (from a regular bottle, this time – if a 2001 can be called “regular”) and another fine meal before adding as many layers as we were able to carry with us to perch outside in the stadium for Harlequins vs Leicester. As a Northampton Saints fan, I’m duty-bound not to support the Tigers, but since Quins were sporting an old school friend wearing their captains armband, it stopped me having any kind of conflicted of – dare I say it – neutral feelings about the game.

Entertainingly, for a game without huge excitement, my old school buddy gets himself sin-binned 10 minutes from half-time, during which time he sees his side ship 13 points to the visitors. The second half isn’t a whole lot more entertaining, until the last 10 minutes when Quins come back from 26-16 down to draw the game with a last minute try and conversion which is all but the last kick of the game. Stunning come back that had me properly out of my seat.

After a warming glass of brandy and some good steak pies, we all pile back into the cars and head back. Wtih my eyes arguing with my brain about staying awake, I’m glad I opted to stop the extra night in Ipswich so I don’t have to do any driving this evening. As soon as we’re out of London, my body sides with my eyes and sends me to sleep before waking just short of the Dartford crossing, from where I stay awake-but-monosyllabic for the rest of the ride back.

We get back and all grab a thirst-quencher (mostly non-alcoholic) and chill in the living room, introducing my ‘rents to the glory of Outnumbered, after which K hits the hay early and I challenge Dad to a game of his newly-acquired Really Nasty Golf, a board game that’s far more interesting and entertaining that it sounds, I promise, even if you don’t like golf. Mum excuses herself to bed as we play and slowly the house quietens as people head off for kip, before we head up to follow them at the end of the game, around 11pm.


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