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Reminiscing THE Toulouse weekend of 2008

Last time I was here in the pink city I was with a whole bunch of friends. The memories I hold dearly as it was, in my book, my favourite foreign Bath Rugby away trip to date. Sadly so many of us have not travelled en masse since. Life has moved on, priorities have changed for so many. For some of us tho, they have not!

For those that were with me on the weekend I thought I’d take some time to reminisce for a moment and list the memories that will make many giggle, and bring back what I hope will be for them too, many happy memories.
Ring of fire – da da da dadadada daaaaa
Meeting Peter & Andrea for the first time
Meeting Nick, Dick & Vince in the German blue berets brought especially for the trip (now sit almost next to my season ticket seats & wavers of THAT massive flag!!
Hearing all about how Nick’s wife was throwing empty beer cans at the tv in frustration with the ref during the match
Meeting Ellie’s Greg properly for the first time
Their flicking the bird game from anywhere & everywhere
Jim’s Angels
Running away from freaky Bath supporter in Frog & Rostbif ALL evening
Taking pictures of Lousia chatting to jandarniere!
Glow sticks
Pea flicking & trying to get photos of them coming out mid air
Rich ‘pole dancing’ in Frog & Rostbief
Rich being filmed for French TV prior to the match in full gear
Nick being interviewed & responding in pissed French for French tv
Drinking the bar dry of: Magners, White Wine & Corona
THAT conga line which included the bar staff at the end which we only realised having led it outside, down the street & turning round
Being spotted on TV & getting a mass of texts from back home of people spotting us
That tackle on Butch which did so look like he was dropped on his head
‘Racing’ each other on the merry go round in Place du Wilson
HGs sleeping position & me re enacting it
Ellie faces
Jizz hands
Licking the ice cream plate clean – tut tut
Finding the French version of Diagon Alley down one of the back streets in Toulouse
Seeing people wearing the ‘eye heart Bath Rugby’ t-shirts we created
Being the FIRST person to spot a ‘stranger’ wearing one and scaring the crap out of her with our squeals
Paddy’s one liners – fluffy dirty springs to mind only at the moment! Can’t think of the others at the moment
Those grapefruit glasses I now have on permanent loan from James – stupidly failed to bring them this weekend.
Hearing about Jock’s visit to the Red Light district whilst he was talking to us with his hands down his joggers – eeeewwww
Being given a very smelly drunk old man’s Toulouse shirt – didn’t have heart to say no as he was so adamant I had to have it. Washed as soon as I got home and donated to the next SOS Kit Aid collection!

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First few days in Brisbane

Well I’m in Australia!!! Feels very weird, which I guess I can really only put down to jet lag but then it is also shock I think. After all I’ve been through, reality is starting to settle that I am actually out here?!! Just feeling kind of all out of sorts. Got REALLY sleepy during the day yesterday & had a kip this morning/afternoon but still feeling a sort of spaced out I guess. Seem to be in a total daze at the moment. Do hope it jogs on pronto.

Met up with others to run through the tour together, how things were going to be working and so on and all seems fine. Got sorted with a portable wi-Fi device which is blooming handy, as well as an Australian mobile which takes me HOURS to text on as I try to work out how to use it!!

We are staying in an apartment, kind of like a serviced apartment block here in Brisbane & I’m sharing with Sophie who is looking after another VU group. We have a room each & share kitchen & living area. It’s on the 30th floor and we are in the City area if the town. Not really done any sightseeing at all yet. Was going to do some today but the weather is pretty rubbish, raining but not too cold. The idea on getting a water hopper up & down the river to see a bit if the city in this weather did not really appeal when weather for next 2 days is bright sun & nearer 20 degrees!

I spent my evening at the airport last night, as you’d expect to be honest with my role! Welcomed in two sets of people but 3 different flights – was there for at least a couple of hours!! Some of ‘my’ group and some that were heading to the same hotel as Fliss & I jumped in the last transit back to my hotel as there was thankfully room for me. Everyone seems lovely – all in high spirits but shattered! Spotted rather an odd sight at the airport – you can kind if see in the photo below, arriving off a plane headed to Wellington that had been diverted was this guy who was wearing a t-shirt, shorts & gum boots??!!! Now that’s a random choice of attire for a flight if ever I saw one!

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We have the most amazing breakfast place where Sophie & I have had the same thing every morning so far!!

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Feeling mighty full after that! I have managed to get the avo stuck up my nose on both occasions so far though – attractive!!

Friday I was all ready to go out exploring but it was cold and damp and so I opted for an extra kip after breakfast & had a late lunch with Fliss & Sophie after Fliss had dropped the tickets off for me to hand out to my group for all the matches that they would be going to in the morning -good to get them handed out & make them no longer our responsibility!!

Turns out we were sat next to George North in the little place that we had lunch in – knew I blooming recognised him & he kept turning round after the bloke who he was with, assume his Dad, commented a couple of times as I was wearing my Bath shirt (obv!!). What with that & the Sky boys all in the hotel too – Barnsey, Wallace, Greenwood, Quinnell & Alex Payne it was true to say that we were in the hub of the action!

Friday night was the welcome dinner = dress time!! We met before in the Pig & Whistle which was heaving, unsurprisingly & full of red shirts. The location was Cha Cha Char and the food was divine! We had David Campese there too as well as, later on, a couple of other retired Wallabies. It was lovely meeting some more of the group, even though I was sat on a table with only 2 of my group having been moved last min. Great company and a real giggle! They were also quite keen to go out to the Koala Park in the morning which I was planning to do on my own, they suggested seeing if anyone else wanted to join us and so suggested asking around at ticket collection in the morning. Easy enough to do!! Afterwards we headed up to the Bavarian Beer place above the restaurant where we had one more drink before we headed home, I was starting to get pretty excited about a cuddling a koala but mainly the first test the following day!

Post meal drinks at Cha Cha Char

Post meal drinks at Cha Cha Char

The news today gets better though – I’ve definitely got a ticket for the match tomorrow night, James is feeling better, been in touch with Kev & Lou & Timmy & Sue & hopefully catching up with them perhaps tomorrow or Sunday morning before we fly down to Melbourne. All go!!

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