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Methil-ated Spirits!

The other night in conversation with BLFP correspondent and good friend, Ferncake I discovered he intended to celebrate Boxing Day in the traditional way by taking in a sporting contest. This was none other than the Scottish Football League division 2 match between East Fife and Dumbarton. Taking temporary leave of my senses On due consideration I decided to join Ferncake on the supporters bus.

We duly boarded the coach at midday in High Street Dumbarton accompanied by our fellow flotsam and jetsam, some of whom looked to be suffering various stages of the effects of, and recovery from, the previous night’s festivities and alcohol consumption. Some appeared to still be meaningfully involved in that process.

One of our compatriots appeared with an independently powered boogie box/karaoke machine and proceeded to hand out song sheets. It was at this stage that I first began to question the effectiveness of my critical faculties in deciding to embark on the excursion.

Sure enough as we got underway the boogie box cranked into action. Although it was loud enough to drown out any attempts at normal conversation and as the Eagles belted out some of their 70’s hits I thought “never mind it could be worse”.

Then it got worse.

What is it about Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline that convinces the most tone deaf and normally modest individuals that they had only narrowly missed a stage career? Why do they sing Da! Da! Da! between the first two lines of the chorus?

Who knows? but it seems it’s a law of nature.

“Och” I thought “Never mind it could be worse”

“Her name was Lola – She was a showgirl” Aaaaaaaaargh!

Then we were treated to the club song. Believe it or not this is Ultravox front man and Bob Geldof’s Band Aid sidekick Midge Ure accompanied by the Dumbarton first team squad of 1977.

As we crossed the Kincardine Bridge (built in 1936 BTW) I noticed how windy it was. and as we drove through the Naval port of Rosyth, Tommy the coach organiser took a telephone call. “Lads the ref is out on the pitch. He’s in deep discussion with officials – The game might not go ahead – high winds!”

“If I could turn back time…….”

We passed a golf course. The hole flags would have been horizontal had the flagpoles not assumed an “r” shape.

Trees were bent over shedding leaves and branches as if they were begging for mercy.

We passed some wind turbines, they had been switched off presumably to minimise the risk of them taking off and entering orbit.

“Och it’s not too bad” we chimed in unison.

“Should be ok”

“I’ve seen worse……much worse”

“It’ll be on surely!

“The game’s aff!” hollered Tommy as we saw the sign saying ‘Methil 7 miles’

“We’ll just go to the ground ‘cos the driver has to have a break” he announced.

We arrived at Bayview and what a view of the (North Sea) bay we had with waves breaking on to the sea wall.

New Bayview. Yesterday's weather not pictured.

The crowds stream away in disappointment.

Despite the gales we all agreed we’d seen games played in worse and were a bit disappointed at the ref’s decision. However if the game had gone ahead it would not have been pretty.

The bar was open, so it wasn’t all doom and gloom.

By this time I was hungry enough to contemplate going out to catch a wild rabbit and eating it raw. Thankfully sustenance arrived via (free) pies and sausage rolls that would presumably otherwise have gone to waste. It was though a nice gesture by the folks at East Fife.

As we boarded the bus for the journey home I thought “never mind it could be worse”

The boogie box crackled into action. It seemed to be louder now.

“I AM THE ONE AND ONLY!” (Whatever did happen to Chesney Hawkes?)

Ferncake and I laughed.

It was all we could do as we contemplated the next two hours.


14 Responses

  1. Memories of one or two games at Bayview. One was against Morton, a dour affair and one against the Celtic of Bobby Lennox and that era. 6-0 thrashing that one.

    Happy New Year Rab.

  2. You would have lost 6-0 anyway.

  3. Serves you right for losing your senses Rab “titter titter”

  4. It could have been a lot worse. The day I went Annan there was a guy with an acoustic guitar.

  5. For some inexplicable reason, “Sweet Caroline” has become the theme song of Boston Red Sox fans. Not only do they sing “dah dah dah” at the point you mentioned, they also follow the next line (“good times never seemed so good”) with “So good! So good! so good!”

    We had friends over on Boxing Day, one of whom is South African and had briefly torn himself away from his Christmas holiday tradition of watching non-stop cricket broadcasts.

  6. Heres a festive teaser Rab. An ex East Fife player who managed Dumbarton.? He is my sisters Brother -in -law and ,coincidentally,was brought up about 200 yards from another ex. Dumbarton manager. Continuing the coincidence stuff, a work mate of mine is a current East Fife regular and the son of an ex Scotland star. Who he ?

    • I’d reckon the son of the Scotland star is Scott Durie whose dad Gordon once also played for the Fifers as well as Hibs Tottenham and Rangers – He’s on the coaching staff at East Fife – I saw him yesterday.

      As for the ex EF player who managed Dumbarton – David Winnie? Brian Fairliey? – actually I’m not sure either of them played for East Fife but I’m ‘fairly’ certain Alan Adamson, Jim Chapman and Paul Martin didn’t – nor did Tom Carson, Jimmy Broon, Ian Wallace or Jim Fallon – We’re then back to Murdo McLeod and Billy Lamont.

      I haven’t googled it so maybe one of the Sons fans who check in here can answer?

      Anyway anon, who are you?

  7. The way you wrote that was as if I was there! Keep at it,it’s your gift to describe our journeys And Have a Happy-great New Year!.

  8. It’s a tradition for East Fife – Sons games at new Bayview to be called off at short notice. That’s the third such occurence in the last fifteen or so years. The refs must take a sadistic pleasure in it or something. At least this time I was able to learn from the internet that the game was off before I set out. Not that my journey would have been as long as yours.
    Still a rearranged fixture on a biting cold January or February evening is now in prospect. Cannae wait.

  9. Clearly it could have been worse. The game could have been on.

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