So a weekend away for our 14th wedding anniversary and a return to Edinburgh with Mrs Fay previous Edinburgh blog HERE
In previous years we have attempted to have the same number of pubs as years we have been married. It gets a bit tougher every year as Mrs Fay does not have the drinking capacity of me but we shall give it a go this year. First up my little packed lunch of a sausage roll from the local bakery Wilsons in Garston village which was closing the Saturday we were away. I had to have my final fix of the lovely hand crafted sausage roll. Serving Garston since 1963 it will be a sad loss to the local community and fat bastards like myself. Speaking of which time to grab some cider for the train and M&S finest crisps. After an hour it was a quick change at Wigan and onto the train for Edinburgh. Even though we have been married 14 years I was expecting a virgin for our wedding anniversary, train that is but sadly it was a trans-pennine express but we got into Edinburgh just on six and after 4 cans of cider I legged it to the toilets to spend a penny or in Edinburgh Waverley stations bogs it was spend 40 pennies. After a quick turnaround in our Travelodge it was out into the Edinburgh evening and first pub up was some new ground “The Jinglin Geordie” and we headed into the new town via a Wetherspoons a pop up bar on Princess Street Gardens. Having been to Edinburgh for a third time now it is still amazing the number of pubs that I still had not visited. Having had a few down the old town we headed up to the Grassmarket area which was a lot quieter than when I visited the previous two times and we headed off down Cowgate and this seemed to be the new “lively” place with the roads now closed off. We got given some tickets and ended up in pub 9 “The Subway” which turned out to be more of a club that a pub playing some kind of noise and we were roughly double the age of everyone else in there but it was a cheap round. With a final drink in Bannermans making it 10 for the night and Mrs Fay headed for a scran at a pizza and burger gaff that didn’t even sell chips ?? Lucky enough the Travelodge had a machine and it was a biscuit boost and diet coke for bed about 1.30am as this was the quiet night before the big gig and Deacon Blue live at Edinburgh Castle on the Saturday night.
So I went for a nice stroll around Edinburgh whilst Mrs Fay was in bed though mainly to score some toothpaste. The weather had took a turn for the worse and it was raining. Once Mrs Fay had made herself beautiful we headed out and I knew a cracking little cafe which was very cheap and when in Scotland I said to myself Och Aye and had a square sausage on a barm and a can of Iron Bru. Just a shame I wasn’t 5ft 2 with red hair, pissed and wanting to fight (Can we do gags like that these days ? I suppose so if the thieving scouser jokes still get fired my way) I had woke up to the news that a fella I had shared a few pints with back in the day (Ray) who was around my age had died from cancer. Always had a smile whenever I had a bevy with him and tragic to die so young. I guess I am getting to that stage in life when the odd person around me pops their clogs. So after a bit of shopping (New orange Liverpool kit for the youngest) the rain wasn’t getting any better so nothing else to do apart from stay dry in a pub and pub number one of the 14 pub challenge was “The Last Drop'” though it was the first drop and in the words of Alanis Morissette isn’t that ironic. There were a few homages to pay to previous trips and a pub called “The Waverley” which last time was run by an eccentric old Scottsman called Ian. We did ask for some choons to be put on as we were the only people in the pub and he said no. We carried on asking him and he put the national anthem on at full bast ?? A couple later walked in the pub and we advised them there was no fun to be had in here whilst Ian is in charge. Anyway Ian had died and the pub was closed last year when other people I knew had tried to get a drink in there. It was now however open again and with Deacon Blue playing it was a sign of its new found levels of enjoyment. En route we stumbled across Deacon Blue doing their soundcheck and the weather was still wet with large drops of water coming down from the stage roof at times. We had also popped up to see Greyfriars Bobby’s grave and the final homage was to an Irish Pub we got told not to sing in when last time I was there. But it was closed and no chance of singing in their this time. A quick change of gear and we headed up to the gig via you guessed it another few pubs. The scores on the doors before the gig (No ale at the gig !! ) was drinks 12 but pubs 13. The goal of 14 different boozers was on.
Onto the gig itself and the rain was now drizzle and a mist was starting to form around the iconic Edinburgh castle and at 8.25 Deacon Blue came on stage and no messing about and straight into it with “Wages Day” as the seats were wet once everybody was on their feet they stayed on their feet in the floor section where we had our tickets in. A couple more songs and then it was “Born In A Storm” into “Raintown” and ethis balmy summers evening was indeed a Raintown. It was soon apparent that as it was a 30 year celebration that the album Raintown was to be played in full. As the night darkened the rain stopped but the moist mist was hanging in the air. The final track of the album and one of my faves was a splendid rendition of “Town To Be Blamed” I am becoming more of a soft shite as I get older as that performance almost reduced me to tears as it so vividly takes me back 30 years to listening to it whilst doing my Liverpool Echo paper round. Fast forward 30 years from now and at 73 I might just be drawing my pension if I am still bloody alive and they haven’t extended it again like an extra year added last week !! Still time for “Real Gone Kid” and a sound issue plagued “Your Town” and it was on and off for an encore including “Fergus Sings The Blues’ and “Twist And Shout” Deacon Blue often finish on a random song and tonight it was “Sunshine On Leith” a cover of The Proclaimers song which as a scouser went right over my head but the Scottish crowd was lapping it up. Due to weather and some sound issues don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a bad gig but having seen Deacon Blue over 20 times now it wasn’t up there with the top performances I have seen but we still had a might fine evening and walked out into a dark Edinburgh summer night which was now that cold you could see your breath and a fog had formed. Scotland in July Eh ! Gig pic below taken from Deacon Blue Facebook and setlist (not mine) found on Twitter.
So only one thing left for the evening and the attempt at the 14 different pub crawl. We attempted to go back to the Irish Pub that wouldn’t let is sing last time and it was now open but once through the door they wanted a fiver to get in. I should have said I will pay a fiver if you let me sing but me and Mrs Fay could spend the tenner saved on more grog ! So we ended up in the Three Sisters were they played some decent choons and we had a dance in the courtyard surrounded by lots of young people and we ended up having 4 drinks in there with a highlight being “Apache” by The Sugarhill Gang and the low light “Robbie Williams” well it was nice to rest my feet for one song. We staggered onto The Pilgrim with the Dj again playing some good choons but by now we were seated and I was on double vodka red bulls to give me wings. Anyway that gaff shut about 1.30 and after taking bollocks to the DJ who was a young lad and a Liverpool fan we fell out The Pilgrim and headed back to the pizza burger gaff that didnt sell chips but this time I had a burger to soak some of the ale up all washed down with yes you guessed it an Irn Bru.
So final count was 20 drinks in yes 14 pubs (Waverley 2, Three Sisters 4 and The Pilgrim 2) That might explain why I was sweating ale out of my pores on the train home from Liverpool which left at a handy 10:12 and we were back in our house at 2.30 just in time to slouch on the coach and watch the final round of The Open Golf. Another thoroughly good weekend in Edinburgh and easily one of my fave places to visit and I will be back again I promise though on my 4th visit after snow, cloud and rain this time a bit of sun would be a bonus and maybe I might get sunshine on Leith. Thanks Deacon Blue for another good gig and a final big up to the in-laws who had our sprogs and without them Deacon Blue at a misty Edinburgh castle would have just been a pipe dream.
Fay x x x x x x x x x