experience proves an expensive one

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The chooks are still, sadly, not back in full production, or anywhere near for that matter. In fact, three more (from last year’s hatch) have now decided to moult.

Late? Positively posthumous, as every other quail/chook/turkey finished moulting yonks ago.

So, this week, rugby. The game, rather than the place that gave its name to the game. Why rugby? Because the Young Mistress and I went up to Murrayfield in Embra-shire last weekend to see Scotland play the Wallabies, on an organised bus trip. Both the Young Mistress and Master play mini-rugby – shameless plug alert – for the Kelso Cougars. And each year they organise a trip to Murrayfield to see an autumn international. The tickets include the bus, which makes it a very reasonable day oot.

So off we went on Saturday and arrived early enough to wander aboot and partake of the ‘atmosphere’.

The atmosphere consisted of free entertainment (fab) and lots of un-free stuff that was not only un-free, but very expensive. Cheesy chips for the Young Mistress – £4. Too many fruit jellies and mini-cheddars on the bus, she could only eat half. So there was I, throwing £2 (in the form of cold, cheesy chips) into the bin.

And for me, £6-worth of Cajun-grilled chicken in pitta bread. Or rather, not in pitta bread, as there was none left. How about a nice baguette? I took the offer of tzatziki ‘sauce’ purely as the chicken was, well, a bit dry, and the baguette voluminous. It was either that or a severe case of cotton mouth, so faced with that dilemma I would have chosen any sauce, even ice-cream sauce.

Then there was the programme (£5), two bottles of pop (£4) and, at the end of the game, an extra-large hot dog (£5) from an extra-large hot dog stand. I almost didn’t purchase the latter. It was a purchase that screamed: ‘Don’t buy me!’, but it was a hot-dog the YM wanted, so I ignored all the signs. I ignored the fact that no other people were either queuing or even giving this particular stand a second glance. Even though it was a specialist stand. I ignored the fact that the young chap (yes, so popular was the stand that it took just a single teenager to run it) didn’t look the most clean-cut specimen.

And I further overlooked the fact he defied normal convention by using his fingers – not the usual knife – to open the roll. I am not against roll-opening by hand, per se, more that if the roll exceeds a few inches (as this one clearly did, being about 12 inches as it was suitable for an extra-long hot dog) it really should be opened using a knife.

So, after Grubby Teen had coarsely ripped apart the roll, he took the lid of a large tank of jumbo hot dogs and proceeded to fish for one using tongs. As they broke, one by one, when he tried to hoist them out and slap them down on the roll, I found myself saying: “That’s fine, honest, we don’t mind if it’s broken”, when really, well before this point, I should have said: “It’s OK, just forget it.”

But by this point it was too late and if he took much longer the bus was going to go. So when he managed to successfully land a hot dog on attempt number five or six, and I had hit the pump of the ketchup fruitlessly several times and resorted to mustard, I finally just smiled (falsely) and said: “Thank you very much.”

It’s nice to be nice.

However, we had a brilliant day out with the YM’s fellow Cougars, enjoyed the game (if you can ever truly enjoy a game which the team you are supporting loses) and the banter on the bus.

But next time I think we’ll bodyswerve the hot dogs.