Another day in the life of The Travelling Goalie :) yeah it's tough . Sometimes I feel like a prisoner LOL ! Who am I kidding right ? Yesterday I slept in took it easy and walked over to Vodafone to top up my SIM card ,only problem was that the place I went to was an office and not a shop . So I had to walk another 20 minutes into the city center on Sauchiehall St. which is a pedestrian only street for a bit of a stretch filled with shops where I found my Scottish backpack flag and a nice magnet for my fridge :) once I got my phone sorted I had to find a place to eat ... J D Witherspoon is always a good choice with their £2.99 breakfast which sure as hell beats the £13 they wanted at the hotel !!!! Not exactly happy with my hotel service as the cleaning lady woke me up at 9 am ?!?!? Wtf ! Really don't you know people are actually fucking sleeping , don't you have a list and do I really have to put a do not disturb sign for you to leave me alone ... What year is this ? 1980 ? Stupid shits never cleaned my room over the day and left a bag full of linens in the hallway ??? Is this self service here ! Get the fuck out of here ... Thanks for the shit service Hilton Garden Inn ... I won't stay here again !
Enough of my rant :) I had my nice meal and began to feel lonely ... When you travel alone you have these moments and if you don't you must be a robot or something cold . I don't know it just came over me that I wished my gf was with me wandering about trying to see the city and I lost my train of thought and started wandering ... Then I ended up at Central Station where I actually had to get to later on anyway to head out to meet Robin in Paisley near his work , where my gear was drying and where I did some hard time lol ! So I got my ticket then walked out and heard bagpipes :( immediately I started to well up and got teary eyed thinking about my grandfather who I loved dearly . At his funeral bagpipes were played and it's something that triggers memories , so I'm lonely and now I'm almost in tears . I was going to do a hop on hop off tour but instead opted to walk along the River Clyde and talk to my gf , it helped clear my mind and did me some good .
After my walk about I decided to head back to my room that was not cleaned and I took a nightmare filled nap :( must be the withdrawal hahaha ! When I woke up I got ready to head off to the station to catch my train and meet Robin who has been such an amazing host for me here , I honestly can't say enough good stuff about this guy and I'm sure I will babble good things about him as the days go on ! I truly met a good friend with a good heart ... Again thank you for everything and thanks Daz for hooking me up with him .
Robin has sorted all my hockey out and driven me around and stayed up late and yeah just amazing . We passed by his friends hockey shop called Cold Blooded Sports which I will write more about when I get home . Solid place with great people working hard to make it a reality . Got a couple goodies from them too which I will proudly fashion for you all in the next few days . Then we headed off to Robins place for a quick cuppa tea :) I will do a full write up about the shop when I get home with links so you can all check it out if and when you come over .
So my first night here I skated with a rec league team and tonight it's time to step it up as I'm skating with the North Ayrshire Wild who compete in the SNL ( Scottish National League ) which is the next level down from the pro Elite League ! When I walked in the room I saw a lot of really young faces and man did I feel old and of course I still didn't understand half the things people were saying ... Crazy Scottish accent LOL ! So I concentrated on getting my gear on and to be honest I was a bit nervous but quickly got comfortable when I jumped on the ice . Got a good stretch in and I was the first out of the 3 goalies to jump between the pipes ... No fear ! These guys were pretty good and quite fast , it's a full contact league so nobody here can be a pussy as toughness is needed . It kinda felt like a tryout as team officials were there signing people up for the team and filling out the league requirements . Apparently there are teams that will let skaters play for free and there are teams that charge fees and of course the issue with playing for free is that you aren't guaranteed to play if the team has players they rather play so naturally you would think guys would just sign up and pay and get more ice time and with these guys they have a gym to use and a great coaching staff . As I said though there is the free option and more then likely some of these kids will opt for that and will spend the upcoming season rotting on a bench :( if they even make the bench . That big free sign is the kicker though and unfortunately the ones that opt for this might not play this season and by next season they might not even be playing ice hockey anymore ... I hope that some of the young lads read this and realize that staying with this club is probably their best option ! I wish the North Ayrshire Wild a good upcoming season as they kick off in 3 weeks . If I lived here I would want to play for you guys :) I enjoyed the ice time and I thought the coach was straight forward with no bullshit and that is the kind of leadership every team needs . Thanks to coach Steve and the rest of the guys and the organization for giving me the opportunity to skate with a proper SNL team .
All in all yesterday was an emotional roller coaster and today as I write this I am in a much better space so I'm gonna get up off my bed soon and do that hop on hop off tour and grab some breakfast ( not at the Hilton!) I might even go do some Scotch tasting at the Pot Still this afternoon and hopefully I will be fine for my last ice time here in Scotland . After tonight's skate I am going for drinks with the guys and tomorrow I head to Birmingham very early so I should pack up before I get too drunk HAHA!