Craigsman’s Trough Guide to Belfast

Are you feeling hungry? Good. AoD’s very own trencherman Craigsman has just the menu for you from the luvverly time when AoD went to Bangor Belfast.

The Trough Guide to Belfast

Belfast can be confusing for innocents abroad for the first time. Fortunately, Craigs had equipped himself with the very latest in navigational technology

Appetisers

Mrs Craigs initially expressed doubts at meeting Craigsman’s imaginary friends…

‘Right, so you say you’ve only met one of these people before, and that was a long time ago?’

‘Yeah, but I speak to them most days. Don’t worry we know each other.’

‘Oh great, so what are their names?’

‘Piperboy, Lorenzo, Thaum, TCod….’

‘Wait, no, their real names?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘What are their real names?’

‘Oh, dunno. I’ll find out. To be honest I’m shit at remembering the real names anyway.’

‘Sooo, we’re going to Belfast, to see people you talk to everyday, but you don’t know their names, and you don’t know what they look like?’

… fortunately Craigs’s eloquence soon laid all her fears to rest.

‘Well, we sort of showed each other our faces once, but that was years ago.’

At this point Mrs Craig’s looked sceptical but luckily the airline called for everyone to board the plane and thus started our adventure to Belfast. However, this initial scepticism continued….

‘And everyone else is bringing their other halves?’

‘Probably, I know Thaum is bringing hers.’

‘So, it’ll be a load of blokes shouting at the screen in a pub?’

‘No, it will be fine. Don’t worry about it. They all know you as “Mrs Craigs” anyway, from the various anecdotes I’ve told on the blog.’

‘Uh huh.’

Mains

Shamefully I’ve never been to Ireland, so I had been looking forward to this trip for some time. Also, meeting new notabloggers is always fun. After a few uneventful hours we rocked up to the Morning Star Pub.

Larry was waiting for us at the top of the stairs and we settled in to a nice conversation about how Ireland were going to win the 6 Nations for England. The only dissenter seemed to be Mr Thaumaturge who was sitting there quietly confident. However, it was Agreed that this was a Thing.

The Steak in its pre-Lorenzo glory…

I’d missed the Italy vs France match but the consensus seemed to be that it was ‘shit.’ So with expectations high we turned our attention to the next game…

‘Ah fuck, I don’t think we’ll win this year,’ I whispered to Mrs Craigs.

‘It’s only been 10 minutes.’

‘Yeah but some games you can just tell, early on, what’s going to happen. Generally what happens then sets the tone.’

‘I’m sure it will be fine.’

‘Mmmm’ I said as another Welsh penalty sailed between the uprights.

More beer was needed. For everyone. More beer was had, by everyone.

‘Shall we just fecking have the steak?’ said Larry.

‘It’s not dinner time. Or any kind of meal time.’ What kind of person commits to a meal and then fucks with the timing?

‘Yeah, but, let’s just have the steak’

… and post-Lorenzo.

Larry needed cheering up. If I could do that by stuffing a load of food into my mouth, I wasn’t going to complain. Even if that meant going against the normal conventions.

So let’s talk about steak. There is steak in its wonderful variety across the world with its different cuts, sizes, cooking methods, doneness and sauces.

And then there is The Steak.

The Steak, when it came, dwarfed all others. It was a truly monstrous. I didn’t know they made cows that big. The Steak was the best steak I have ever had. It will never be beaten. I’m pretty sure of that.

The last game of the afternoon started and to be honest I was having an amazing time. Tries were raining in for England, the company was great, the beers were flowing. Perfect day. Half time came and went and I sat brightly waiting for England to finish the job. As I said, you can tell the result from the first quarter or half. Generally. So I was generally confident.

Just Desserts

‘Ahhh, don’t worry, they won’t have enough.’ Tcod was being far, far, far too nice to me as Scotland got to within 15 points.

‘They actually might fucking do it!!!’ Larry was enjoying the game as a neutral when Scotland equalised. I found myself glued to the TV like some hypnotic torture as England spunked the lead.

When the nasties in navy blue took the lead I became vaguely aware of the first 2 lines of The Flower of Scotland being sung drunkenly around the pub. How was this happening? A mixture of bewilderment and rage was surfacing so when I let out a (too loud) yell of celebration I didn’t mind the eyes turned in my direction. To be honest it was an amazing turnaround and we didn’t deserve to draw.

But I didn’t care. Second overall. Just gloss over it. It’s fine.

I must admit that after the match the night became a bit more blurry.

For example, we lost Piperboy. I’m not sure how. Larry, however, proved to be an able tour guide as we hit a few more venues (saying goodbye to Tcod, Mrs Tcod, Thaumaturge and Mr Thaumaturge along the way) before settling at the Dirty Onion. Live music played and whiskey and beers flowed in the caverns below Belfast’s oldest building. It was a belter.

Embed from Getty Images

Party poopers

Coffee and Whiskey

Eventually Larry turned to us and bowed out. I think he wanted to be able to hold up a conversation the next day so we couldn’t blame him. He disappeared into the darkness and we decided to go too. Back to the hotel and bed, glorious bed…..

I’ve been to four blog meet ups and met a few of you separately. I have always enjoyed them and it’s a great thing to be able to go to new places to meet up with friends and watch the rugby. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Belfast is one of the friendliest places we’ve been to and the company was great. And the bars and pubs are fantastic too. We’ll be back.

Many thanks to Craigsman for documenting what AoD got up to on the last day of the Six Nations. The photographs of exactly what they got up to will be released for the usual fee in used 50s, plain envelope, no questions asked.


610 Comments On “Craigsman’s Trough Guide to Belfast”

  1. I think it was Dawkins who pointed out that if you had the same number of kids but later then you significantly reduce the world’s population.

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