On Friday night, Northern Ireland lost 2-1 to Serbia in Belgrade. By my count, this is the first competitive game I’ve missed Northern Ireland play since October 2004 and frankly, I was gutted to not be there.
The reason for not having a ticket relates to the rioting that the Serbia Support involved itself in before, during and after their scheduled match with Italy late last year. The authorities decided that Serbia should play two games behind closed doors, but later reviewed that decision after an appeal by the IFA on behalf of those Northern Irish fans who’d already booked flights & hotels. I was not one of them so I lost out.
However I still did have the day booked off work, so Friday was a pretty (read as very) lazy day for me. Frankly I achieved nothing apart from several hundred runs on ‘Ashes 2009 cricket’ on the PS3 and watching the game on SKY sports.
The rest of the weekend followed in similar fashion if I’m being honest, though we did make an excursion yesterday over to Putney for dinner with Dan & a few friends to celebrate Dan’s 29th Birthday. We went to a restaurant called Rodizio Preto on Putney High Street. The concept is that you go to the salad bar, gather your leaves and then wait for the meat to come to you at your table. When you’re done, you turn your individual marker over to display that you just can’t squeeze in another Chicken Heart, or Garlic Sirloin…
I also have this entire forth coming week off as Dina is moving to Belfast, so we’re travelling over tomorrow. I’m helping her move in, sorting stuff out, then watching NI v Slovenia in Belfast on Tuesday, hopefully meeting friends in Belfast for Lunch / Dinner on Thursday, before the Carling League Cup Final between Distillery & Portadown on the Saturday. I’m planning to return to London on the Sunday evening.
It feels like a long time since I’ve had any decent time off work (1/2 day in February is all I’ve had off since my four week vacation in Australia in December / early January), and it feels weird going in to a week off with no exotic destination in mind (no, South Belfast doesn’t count as exotic). I guess it’ll be nice to have some time over home with Dina so I can show her some of the sights & sounds – as well as provide a brief list of the ‘Do’s and Do Not’s’.
I’m also planning to enjoy a lie in or two along the way!!