Arg. I know I haven’t updated in ages.. *sigh*. I feel bad. So now I’ll try and catch up on everything I haven’t said.
Hartlepool… They lost. We played great though, and I’m not kidding – ask anyone. The ref was against us from the beginning, and I’m not just saying that in a typical ‘I want an excuse’ style. If you’d seen it you’d say it too. He was just looking for an excuse to crack down on us for every false step and never take any action against Sheff Wed. After we took the lead, he was looking for any excuse to give Sheff a goal. So when one of their men dove (false foul) in the goal box, he sent one of our men off and gave them a penalty. They scored, and it was downhill from there. Knowing the ref is so against you makes it hard for morale, and playing with one man less affects you too, and Hartlepool tried, but you could tell they were down. They still played great though, they’d just seen that it wasn’t just the other team they’d have to fight to win this game, but also all the officials! And that’s fairly intimidating.
Anyway, on the happier note, Kenneth was the mascot of the game (young boy who gets to lead the team on the field and bring them luck.. not a fuzzy animal), so he got dressed up in the full Hartlepool kit and went out on the pitch at the beginning, and thought it was great fun.
We stayed in a hotel an hour or so from Cardiff (where the game was), away from fans and players (and the Norwegian company executives.. we’ll get to that later). It was a lovely hotel, and it was great fun running around and playing with Kenneth and the twins. The whole weekend had an air of celebrity because most people knew who my dad was due to the final. My dad told us that there was supposed to be a “mini-bus” picking us up on Sunday morning to drive to the match. Well… apparently my dad has a different idea of mini-bus than me…
As we drove through Cardiff, the streets were seas of blue and white (both teams have the same home strip – blue and white stripes. We played in our red away strips, but only a few people buy the away strips. So this was an odd chance to see a stadium all in the same color cheering for two different teams!) When we pulled up near the Hartlepool fans at the front gate, they cheered us. Exciting!!
The Norwegian company executives spent the whole weekend.. well… drunk. Thirty-five of them. They got on the private plane in Norway drunk, from celebrating the victory before the game (“in case Hartlepool lost”). Then they emptied out the plane of alcohol. They filled the sewage container on the plane, so halfway through the flight, piss-drunk, they had to stop using the bathroom and hold it. They got to Wales a little more sober, and collapsed in their beds. That night (Saturday) they decided to celebrate again, in case Hartlepool lost. They invited my dad. He left our hotel around 9 at night. By the time he got there (they’d been at it for a while) they’d drunk the whole hotel out of white wine, so they’d had to start in on the red. My dad joined in the merriment, arriving back at our hotel at 4am, after falling asleep in a taxi after being too drunk to remember where he was staying to tell the driver. The driver drove in the general direction of the hotel, then had the fun of prodding my father until he remembered the hotel we were at. Ohhhh my dad. He clambered up the stairs, falling a few times, and burst into the living room, where the twins were sleeping on a sofa-bed, and promptly sat down on Heather, forgetting they were sleeping there. He was yelling, singing, and soon wandering around naked, trying to open a locked door to the porch while yelling about not being able to get into the bathroom. Luckily my step-mom, Liz, genlty coaxed and guided him until he collapsed in bed.
What happened to the Norwegians? A lot of them turned up missing in the morning, not in their rooms. It was Ian (works for my dad)’s horrible job to find them, round them up, and herd them to the game. Some of them were found in the bar, fast asleep. A few in various hallways of the hotel, a couple on the front lawn. All asleep. Company executives. Hm…. My dad was still a little drunk when he woke up, but luckily the long bus drive gave him a chance to sober up. I was staying in a different room with Elizabeth and Kenneth, so this story is pieced together from my Dad and sisters’ accounts. Oh what a night : )
We were in the executive box at the game, and were well fed strange and not-very-good food before the game in a big, fancy room. Luckily they had more normal food on a buffet at various times in the game, so that’s what I ate. After the game, in an attempt to find my dad, I wandered into the Norwegian’s box (they were drunk, of course) and that was quite an experience. Gerdt (big millionaire mega-boss man who’s my dad’s friend and boss) introduced me to his oldest son and some of his friends and then we talked about the 1.5 years in my early life that I spent in Norway, the two Norwegian words I remember, (fem and og – five and ‘and’) and how I qualified for a ‘Made in Norway’ tattoo. I’m not a huge fan of drunk people, but these Norwegians were just plain funny. Gerdt also talked a lot about his other son, the one I’m one month older than. He always brings him up when he’s talking to me, and I feel that someday in my future, there will be a meeting attempt arranged between the two of us. Not sure what to think of that.
^A rather bad picture of Gerdt. He looks a little like Elton John and he wore purple sunglasses and a pink shirt. As far as I know, he’s straight. (He has a wife.)
Anyway, it was a great, fun time. Also I flew over first due to BA making mistakes on our booking and apologising by giving us seats in first.. talk about travelling in style!
PS – If you’d like to watch a video I took of the stadium while everyone sang the national anthem (God Save the Queen) please ‘save target as’ on this link.
Friday, June 10th, 2005
I spent last night in my new bedroom in my new condo.. pictures and more to come later. : )