Friday, 24 January 2014

Dumfries to Moscow!

A lot has happened over the last week, so it is going to have to be split up over several blogs or it will turn into a novel.

Before heading out to Moscow, we had the small matter of securing qualification for the Scottish Men's Championships down in Dumfries. The previous weekend had left us joint top of the standings with Kyle Smith on 3-0. Keen to avoid any tiebreakers, as we thought this would result in us missing our flights, we were looking to get early wins on the board. We had our bye on the Friday morning and were running into Kyle Smith in the evening. As this game was webcast on the Dumfries Curling youtube channel, I was really hoping the second half of the game was going to be uploaded, as Dave had a shot that was certainly worth watching again, but probably not if you were one of Kyle's team, one of their brushes, because it was quite a lucky shot. But unfortunately, it has not been, so you get a description instead!

We had a double for 4 which was a hair tight and rubbed a guard. At that point we thought we had given up a steal of 2 to go 4-2 down, but instead the stone clattered into a guard on the other side of the sheet only to be redirected onto the stone we were trying to hit initially. We all had to watch as both stones trickled to the back of the 12ft to an angry cacophony from Team Smith..... which was fair enough.

The footage from the first half of the game can be found HERE.

Half way through the game, all the lights in the ice rink switched off for about 10 minutes, which was a new experience!

We thought that the win was probably good enough for qualification but we had a game against Stuart Taylor on Saturday afternoon to seal the deal. When we arrived at the ice rink in Dumfries, Colin made an extremely sharp exit from the car bound for the changing rooms. When the rest of the team were walking through ice rink doors, they were met by a sprinting Colin Campbell exclaiming that he had left his curling stuff in his car, which he had left in Lockerbie. Spacker. With only half an hour before the start of the game, this was not ideal. Dave handed his car keys over to Colin so he could retrieve his curling gear, which I am not sure he would have done if it was Scott or John in this situation. We had Greig Henderson available to fill Colin's spot if he was not able to take to the ice, after a short team discussion, we decided that we would just take the penalty points.

Thankfully, Colin made it back in time to sweep Dave's draw shot challenge in the practice which picked and came up short of the hog line. Good work, Colin. We were not very sharp in this game and we had to make a nose hit for the win in the 10th end. We finished top of the table on 5-0 without having to play our last game which was nice, so for the third year in a row, we will be making an appearance at finals!

With a whole day before we thought we were flying, we decided to go out in Lockerbie for a few beers. The next morning we stuffed Dave's car to the brim before heading off to Edinburgh Airport, where we departed the Edwards household for the last time this season, which was, as always, great!

So we made our way up to Edinburgh with plenty of time in the bank careful not to miss our flight. Little did we know, we were in absolutely in no danger of missing it.

Copy of our ticket
The picture above shows a copy of the ticket that we were emailed. The sharp eyed among you may have noticed that the tickets are booked for the 19th December 2014. Not the 19th January, which was quite the error. We would like to state that it was not the team that booked the tickets, but I guess we probably should have checked! After a frantic hour trying to get alternative tickets booked via a Russian travel agency, we finally landed some. Unfortunately, the tickets couldn't be printed out, so we missed the flight by two minutes and were now onto option number 3!

Colin killing some time

To make option 3, we had to do a fair bit of running to get to the gate on time. We were successful and finally on our way!

During the flight from Charles de Gaulle and Sheremetyevo, Colin had a window seat and was trapped for the duration of the flight by an increasingly intoxicated and sexually aggressive Russian female with limited English. Obviously, the rest of the team picked up on his predicament and did not help him in the slightest. The lady was getting a bit touchy with Colin's lower regions at points which was quite clearly making him a bit concerned. For the team, and Scott especially, it was extremely hilarious to watch Colin have the most stressful flight you could imagine. She was a seriously intimidating Russian.

Surely the karma of laughing it up when Colin was receiving this unwanted attention would not come back to kick Scott in the nuts really hard? Like come back 100 times worse and over a much longer period of time? Nah......

When we arrived at the airport we got a bus out to the hotel which was the most phenomenally extravagant place we have ever stayed. We arrived so late that we were able to get breakfast before we went to bed. Thankfully it was included in the cost of the room as the price list was later discovered. With a standard breakfast coming in at £42, continental at £32, a glass of fruit juice at £12 and a coffee at £9, the 4 courses the team managed to fit in would have hit the bank account pretty hard. This was the best breakfast I have ever had. You could have steak in the morning. It was pretty sound.

So that got us to the hotel, another blog will follow soon!

Team Edwards

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