Last weekend was our friend Calle's 30th birthday and to commemorate this milestone in his life he decided to host a birthday party at Norrmälärstrands Bar in town on the Saturday night. Aicha and Calle go back a long way as they used to work together and since I have moved here to Sweden I have got to know him quite well.....................plus the guy can drink!!
We arrived at the party around 7:30pm and it turned out that most of the guests had already been drinking since around 3pm so everyone was pretty merry!! I had met Calle's brother Jimmie and his sister Sara before but other than them and his friend Richard I did not know anyone. Still, I never really knew anyone when I moved here and that never stopped me!! It was another opportunity to make some new friends!!
We had a sit down meal first of all, which consisted of beef steak and potato wedges, then once we had eaten there was normal tradition of singing 'happy birthday'. Since moving to Sweden I have been involved in several birthday celebrations and I am now fully up to speed with how to sing happy birthday in swedish..................or so I thought! I was happily singing along then from out of nowhere came a second and third verse!! This really threw me as I felt quite good about myself having sung correctly the first verse but I had no idea that there was more to the song!! It reminded me of when I found out the our National Anthem had six verses!!
Once the happy birthdays were sung and the customary speeches were out of way, it was time to mingle. Whilst Aicha was catching up with some old faces I was busy working the room trying to strike up a conversation. Most of the blokes I spoke to were die hard football fans so it was actually quite easy to make conversation!! I really enjoyed the party and I got to meet some really cool guys. Ever so often whilst we were talking I was handed a shot by someone which over the course of the evening turned into about 5 or 6!! I even bought a round of shots myself at one point!! Downing shots is not something I would normally do but I couldn't let these swedish blokes think I'm a pussy so I necked them thus not to lose face!
I regretted it the next morning though as I had the worst hangover I've had in a long time!! The strange thing was that when we left the party around midnight I don't remember feeling that drunk! The Sunday morning though was horrendous! I couldn't eat or drink anything through the fear of being sick..................which I was a few times!! I had the worst headache imaginable .....................which was made worse by Aicha telling me that she felt 'as right as rain'! We were having Aicha's cousin Samir over for dinner that afternoon and I was really worried that I would be in no fit state to eat! Luckily for me I started feeling better around dinner time, so I was able to join the dinner table with no problems..................abeit somewhat sheepish!!
I was also quite concerned about playing football for The Tudor Arms, as we had a very important match that day! Fortunately for me it was an evening kickoff so I by the time the match came around I was back to normal...................had kick off been any earlier than 5pm I would have been screwed!!
The match was an important one because there are only two games left in the season (including this one) and we can still win the league if other results go in our favour. Going into the game we were level on points with the top team Ursvik, having played a game more, but we lying in second place by way of goal difference. Every game for us at the moment is like a cup final and this was made even more so by Ursvik being held to a 2-2 draw earlier in the day. This meant that if we won then we would go top of the league by 2 points going into the last game. The last game of the season is tomorrow night against.................yep, you guess it! Ursvik!!
The fact that Ursvik had dropped 2 points would have meant nothing if we did not get the win we needed to take it to it to the final game. I knew before the game that Ursvik had drawn but the manager told me not to tell my team-mates as he did not want to put more pressure on them. It was a good move by him actually because we eventually won the game 5-2, but the result wasn't quite as convincing as the scoreline suggests because 3 of our goals were scored in the last 10 minutes!!. We were behind twice and conceeded a late penalty when we were narrowly leading 3-2. Luckily for us they produced a shocking penalty which I was able to save with ease!!
After the match the manager informed the team of the Ursvik score, which had everyone chomping at the bit. This now means that if we win tomorrow night then we are champions, no matter what result they get in their final game. If we draw then they can pip us to the title in the last game so we have to win to make sure. It feels much better knowing that your fate now rests in your own hands rather than having to rely on ther teams to do you a favour. I am a winner and I am proper fired up for this game tomorrow! I can't wait play! I have won many trophies playing in England but it will mean a lot to win a trophy in my first season here.
Win or lose it has been a fantastic season. The Tudor Arms have never won this league throughout their entire 40 year history so to come this close is an achievement in itself. I'm sure whatever the result we will all be out for a few beers after.................but no shots!!!!
C'MON THE TUDOR!!!!!