For 5 numbers and the bonus, it’s a million pound win, if I’m ever lucky enough to purchase a winning lottery ticket to the tune of a million squid, I will be buying two apartments, one in the middle of Brum, but also one in the middle of Edinburgh, the change from which, will enable me to give up work, and live comfortably, though not lavishly. I will spend the rest of my life, between the two places, and just carry on ale trailing and ground hopping. It’s not because I’m tired of the journey up and back, far from it, it’s so I can spend more time up there, in Scotland’s capital. It felt really good touching down in Haymarket, and I was soon picking my tickets up for the days game, but also for a game in October, and one in November. I’ve actually got several games pencilled in for this season, but will get the others, when they come available. It was then off to a bar, that I hadn’t done yet, usually I take in the Roseburn, but wanted to check out Platform 5, an Innis and Gunn establishment. I found that although it had a couple of guest ales, it wasn’t special. It’ll be good for an early drink though. There was one other pub that I hadn’t done, that I fancied doing, so went in search of it. To my dismay, it was shut. The Whatpub website stated that it was supposed to be open at 11 o’clock, by the time I’d got to it, it was just after 12, and peering through the window, there wasn’t a sign of life, disappointed, I caught a bus back into town, as it had been further out, than I’d expected. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, after all, namesake John Leslie’s past discrepancies, are well documented. After missing out on Leslie’s Bar, getting off the bus just before the North Bridge, I headed to the Halfway House, Edinburgh’s smallest pub, a place that is never disappointing. A steak pie was gently calling to me, so I slalomed though the tourists on Prince’s Street on the way to the Diggers.
“Not just Dundee”
The Diggers is a proper football pub, for me, the best in the country. Once I’d had my first pint of 80/-, I sampled a steak pie, to see if the standard had dropped, I can happily report, that the pies are as good as ever they were.
I was in the seat that I’ll be in for the other games I’ve tickets for.
“Didn’t smell of it”
The game started poorly, but then Hearts managed to grab a goal, only they didn’t, it was offside. Soon after, Clare was put through, and he coolly finished to put Hearts 1:0 up. I thought this would settle the boys in maroon down, but their play was fraught at times, fractious, the rest. Henderson went down with an injury that meant he needed replacing. Injury wise, I don’t know if they flattened a black cat, as they manoeuvred over the broken paving slabs, and under the ladder, but each and every injury results in at least three months out of the game. He was replaced by Meshino, a newly signed Japanese lad for Manchester City, who was then immediately farmed out to the Jambos. He’s arrived with a reputation of having huge potential, his initial forays, showed an over exuberance. Some nice touches, but as raw as anything in an abattoir. Will be interesting to see how, or if, he develops. Early in the second half Aaron Hickey got clattered, watching him struggling afterwards, I couldn’t help thinking, that had he been older and more experienced, he wouldn’t have struggled to carry on. I don’t, for a second, lay the blame of Accies equaliser, at his feet, but the said equaliser was due to a mix up in the defence, as they were trying to regroup. Personally, I feel that captain colossus, Christophe Berra’s knees have gone, it was like watching Steve Bruce playing for Blues in his second, and last season, he just couldn’t get about the pitch anymore, and then from a corner, Berra buried a header in the back of Hamilton’s net. His legs might have gone, but his head hasn’t.
“Yep, that’s all that the Accies had following them”
2:1, and Hearts should’ve gone on to dominate the rest of the game, but instead, as the game preceded to be end to end, lived on a fair amount of luck, at their own end. Nobody was getting to grips with the match, in fact, had I been neutral, I would’ve been enjoying it. Hamilton hit the bar, and then should’ve scored straight after, but instead of shaking the Hearts defence from their catatonic state, they yet again, afforded the Accies with enough room and time, to build an entire housing estate, complete with shopping mall in the middle, before equalising for the second time. It was enough for a lot of the home support, who sang their displeasure towards Craig Levein. Living in England as I do, the coverage of anything north of the border, is mainly about what happens at Ibrox and Parkhead, what I manage to find out about Hearts, is minimalistic, to say the least, consigned to the Jambo kickback forum and Edinburgh Evening News, obviously i do the official club website, but trying to find out what the general mood and feeling is, isn’t easy. It’s like pressing your nose up against the window, and trying to lip read. Levein has got a decent win percentage in both his spells as manager, and last season, got Hearts to the Scottish Cup final, but his record after the Semi Final, and at the beginning of this season, has been awful, it doesn’t help matters, that the football isn’t fluid, or even positive. We may not have won as much as the big two from the Weegie, but we crave good football, flowing football, football you can be proud of. It’s not happening. Levein was a great player, he’s a Hearts man through and through, he stepped in, when the disastrous reign of Ian Cathro was mercifully brought to an end, galvanised the team, but general consensus is, it’s time for him to take his place, back in the boardroom at least. The more voracious, wanting him to jump in his car, only popping back as a fan. I like Levein as a bloke, I like his sense of humour, but the football he gets HHGH to play, is awful, when it’s losing, it’s even worse. It’s time for a change.
I went back to the Diggers, and it was another pint of 80/-, as I checked all the other results. The choice on the televisions was either Scotland in rugby Union, or Liverpool away at Burnley, neither appealed, what did appeal, was another steak pie, which I ate walking back to Haymarket station, having enough time for a quick half, in the pub of the same name, before getting the train back down south. Headphones were firmly jammed in, and I was soon asleep, only briefly waking up at each station, until Wolverhampton, where I retrieved my wits from out of my pocket, enabling me to get off back in Brum, to get the bus home.