29/9/18 Hearts v St Johnstone. Scottish Premier League. Steak Pies and Jam Tarts.

There’s some fantastic views that can be had from a train carriage, not least the ones you can take in, on a trip over the border into Scotland. The beauty of the scenery, shows your life to be miniscule. I’ve had a hectic couple of weeks or so, since my ex colleague lied on his statement, and effectively, got me dismissed. Looking at the unblemished countryside, I wondered what he’d got against me, was it because I didn’t condone his ‘Daily Mail’ reading, xenophobic racism, or informing him, that we’re all Minions, including him, when he detrimentally, referred to the workers on the production line, as Minions? Either way, I was back on my feet again. Looking out of the window, that ‘big’ personal event, and what I’ve had to go through since, paled into insignificance, the world is an old place, and will be here, a lot longer than any of us humans, and that includes the lying fork lift driver, with an opinion of himself, that is far too high. I touched down in Haymarket, and walked up to the ground, to pick up my ticket, grabbing a lottery ticket on the way. After a quick glance round the shop, I made for the Roseburn, and a couple of familiar faces.


“A rogues gallery”

I was determined to take in a couple of pubs I hadn’t been in before, I wasn’t going to do the usual trail, just yet. I took in the Cambridge Bar, just down from Iain Rankin’s haunt, the Oxford bar. The friendly staff, masked the dear prices. I fancied taking in one more place before burying my face in a pie, at the Diggers. I popped into the Grosvenor.


“Not quite the Cafe Royal”

I’ve come to learn, that the Scottish for Carling, is Tennants. Same mindset, just a different accent. I wasn’t the only one, sad enough to take a photo of the place, a couple came in after, and the woman, took a panoramic video, on her phone. Just as I was climbing the hill to the Athletic Arms, (That’s the Diggers real name, not that anybody ever calls it that) I was accosted by a couple of similar aged St Johnstone fans, who wanted to know where it was, it was nice to now have enough knowledge of the area, to be able to direct them. I was starting to feel, less like a ground hopping interloper. I settled for the reigning Scottish beer of the year, and a steak pie. Both were simply gorgeous, the pie, just as filled and filling, as per usual, the pint was nice enough, to stay on it, so I did. I know it was the Ryder cup, but what is it with the Scots and golf? Every place I’d been in, had had it on, even the Diggers. They did put West Ham v Man Utd on, but kept the golf on another screen, and to be honest, there was more interest in the golf. I know I have down cried the Premier league, but I did think it would be a little bit of an appetizer for the Hearts game, especially with them being top of the table.

It was great being back, I wasn’t missing Blues. St Johnstone got an early chance, but Hearts were showing why they are where they are. One of the gilt edged chances was going to get put away. Although the football was free flowing from us, it was a set piece that led to the opener, a looping header from Haring. 1:0 half-time, but the interval didn’t disrupt Hearts, and the chances kept coming. Like the first, the second came from a header, from a corner, this time, from Dunne. St Johnstone went ridiculously close, straight after, Hearts taking their foot off the gas. St Johnstone did pull a goal back, after a bit of lacklustre defending, but I got the feeling, that Hearts could’ve, and would’ve scored more, if they’d have needed to. It might be early days still, but there’s belief at Tynecastle. I don’t usually stay and applaud at the end, but I wanted to soak it all up, this feel good factor.

I went back to the Diggers, with attention of having another pie, but I was still nicely full from the first. I was always going to have another pint of the same though. The golf was still on, but they did stick the Chelsea v Liver. . . , No, I can’t say It, it gets stuck in my throat. After having a couple, I headed back for the train. I fell asleep quite easily, luckily not having to put up with two Newcastle fans, one of which, was boasting how he travelled everywhere from his birthplace of Weymouth to every Newcastle game. I understand that it’s a long way, and commitment, but so what? In my eyes, going all round the country, watching games, is no big deal. The Birmingham based family of Hearts season ticket holders, on the table next to me, humoured them. As the Newcastle fans, thankfully, got off at Crewe, I was able to converse with the Jambo’s, without any banal interruptions. After learning names and saying our ‘good byes’ at New Street, I headed for the bus home.



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