I met Reidski and we had intended to go and see Volver.
First we ate at what has to be the best value and tastiest Italian in the West End and admired the waiter's holiday snaps of him with a camel....far better if I leave further details to the imagination!
But oh dear, the film was fully booked so what to do? Reidski decided he was going to take me to another beautiful pub which was just round the corner but we walked in to what he said was the wrong room...not the one with the amazing decor.However, he went to the order some drinks with the intention of taking me through to the other bar just as soon as I got back form a much needed trip to the loo.
Now I want to emphasis that I really was only gone two minutes at the most but by the time I got back he was already 'bessie mates' with the landlord plus half of the regulars, and had been coerced into a darts game. He confided in me that it must be 15 years since he had played darts in a pub and I feared he faced humiliation. I watched him as he scored 100 with his first three arrows.
You know when past half remembered conversations suddenly drift back? Well I found myself wondering what exactly it was he had told me along the lines of 'nearly playing darts for Scotland' before he left there and came to England. Anyway, it was pretty soon apparent that he was not going to be exactly humiliated; the jaws of the other blokes were falling rapidly. Reidski is in fact a brilliant darts player. He won the first game with his partner with embarrassing ease.
When we had planned our night out I have to say that the idea that I would come down for an evening of darts was not in my top ten of suggested activities so I was not completely overjoyed to be told I had a partner...poor Tom must have wondered what he had done to deserve me...and that I was playing next. Not only had I not played darts in a pub for well over 15 years, but when I last did I didn't exactly get close to an international call up - might have been upsetting had I not known perfectly well how absolutely crap I am at darts. But as someone not unaccustomed to showing myself up in public I took a big sigh and started playing darts.
And we carried on playing darts...all night. OK - I can't recommend this pub highly enough. I did get to see the amazing decor as the landlord gave us a guided tour later but that isn't why it is so good.It is one of the friendliest places I have ever been in. We had a simply fantastic night there and I can't wait to go back again.
As to my dart playing, well, I am still fairly useless, however......
Reidski only lost two games all night, one to a double 19 and one to a double 4 and modesty does not forbid me from telling you that I got them both. Who says miracles never happen!
Twelfth - *Regarding Saturday, August 12th....* Last Friday night, I reached The Cumbria Park Hotel in Carlisle exactly three hours after setting off from Sheffield...
1 day ago