Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Glasgow & more ( a long blog!)
On Saturday I flew to Glasgow - see picture above of sunset over the river Clyde - for Christi's fight against undefeated Jojo Calderwood. We flew from Bristol and arrived at Glasgow airport where we were met by the gorgeous Hilary Mack, an accomplished Thai fighter, and taken to Guy Ramsey's griphouse gym for the weigh-in of the fighters. Christi had struggled to get down the 52 kgs that was required of her but weighed in successfully on the day. That left us with the rest of the evening to play with so we ventured to our hotel to tidy up and prepare to pop out for the evening.
I must comment briefly on our hotel, the etap, it was truly awful. Ok so it only cost £32 per night but I would rather pay a little extra for a bit more comfort. There are no hot drinks facilities in the room, teas and coffees had to be purchased from the reception at a cost of £1.80 each, you re not allowed to take the drinks back to your room and they must be consumed at reception! There is no hotel bar or restaurant just a small counter with overpriced sandwiches and drinks. The rooms are tiny and the windows do not open more than an inch, the breakfast is an additional £2.99 which is basically for a piece of toast and very little else. The hotel ran out of mugs half way through breakfast and as there are less tables than rooms some people had to queue for breakfast. The room walls seem to be built out of paper resulting in a very sleepless night as the various stag and hen parties returned from their night's out. I could go on but won't, I just felt that the hotel was not actually providing economy because everything cost you extra on top of the £32. I will not be staying in an etap hotel again.
Any way onto nicer things, we went to Merchant city in the heart of Glasgow and had a pre-meal drink at the Beer Cafe, this place is my idea of heaven: over 25 different ales on offer and great customer service. I failed to drink the 25 bottles to get the free t-shirt and instead opted for a simple pint of Tetley Ember, a dark ale brewed in Glasgow, very nice! Also check out their beer tower pictured left!
After our drinks we perused - see picture shown right of Sid, Christi and her dad Darren - some of the brass tourist plaques that adorned the pavement and contained some interesting if not macabre facts! Click on the picture below to read its facts.
We then ordered a pre-theatre supper (this is a money-saving option if you are eating out in Glasgow)at the City Merchant and delved into the most divine set of dishes, trust me - the Glaswegians can cook! I had a fillet of fresh mackerel in a thermidor sauce accompanied by a traditional Scottish heather beer: Fraoch - it was simply outstanding.
Sunday was the day of the fight at the most beautiful venue: Oran Mor, Here are a few pics from the venue to give you an idea of what it was like:
Christi fought valiantly as always, round 1 & 2 weren't her greatest but she picked up the tempo on rounds 3, 4 and 5 despite some controversial throws from her opponent Jojo. In my opinion Christi won but the judges gave a majority decision to Jojo. Despite my reservations about the result both Christi and Jojo provided us with fight of the night. Unfortunately I felt the judges and referee slightly let the show down but it was still a great show because of the fantastic hospitality from Guy, Hilary and the rest of the griphouse team and the stunning venue.
The last fight was a World title between James Doolan representing Scotland and current world champion Rung from Thailand. Rung's vast experience shone through and he finished the fight in the 2nd round with a fantastic elbow to the head, the elbow opened up James' head like a zipper and it was a stomach churning moment as the ref struggled to close the wound. James needed stitches but was fine.
After the fight we ate out at another brilliant Glasgow eatery and then returned to Bristol after a severe delay at glasgow airport, I think we actually got in at about 3am and were absolutely shattered, still no peace for the wicked, straight back to work on Monday! I have to be honest that all the hours are taking their toll on me both physically and mentally and I am desperate for a proper day off and a good nights sleep. I finally get to have a lie in tomorrow and have a luxurious salmon breakfast planned.
Thanks to Dominic Jeff at the herald for his lovely article on Tamar's and my win at the Pole Divas qualifiers, click here to read the full article. Plymouth Sound news to follow - very funny!