11 Jul 2003 - Nicko: Golf and lots of wine

On Board jet from Faro Portugal to Jerez Spain.
Time: 1 'o'clock pm

Well, well, well,
How are you all today?
I’m doing great thank you.

I have just had the best ever day off. I’ll explain in a minute.

First though I have to tell you about our show in Lisbon on Wednesday night.
Cor blimey mateys. It was blinding. The Portuguese fans went absolutely bonkers, I can tell you. We had a great time. The show was fantastic. There was a little problem with a few idiot fans that decided that they wanted to ‘Kin beat people up instead of having a good time.
Sheesh, what a bunch of prats. The gig was great we played out of our shoes that night.

After the show we went back to the hotel. I took a shower and had an early night. The next day we had off. We decided to go to Faro and spend it there.

We left the hotel at 10 o’clock in the morning and were wheels up by 10:15am. The flight was just over 30 minutes.

When we arrived, a wonderful guy called Sergio met us. He had arranged for a bus to take us to the terminal. When we boarded spirits were high and so was the high jinx.

Wally and geezer Gadd were messing around, mock fighting, and gaddzy made a left hook at our Wal which connected to his reading glasses that he had hanging around his neck. Snap goes the frame and there’ the lenses lying on the floor. It was so funny Wally then hid behind one of the holding posts saying he wasn’t on board and making out that he was frightened of geezer. It was so funny.
When we were checked through, H Davey, and myself grabbed a cab and went to the Meridian hotel at Valle Do Lobo.

Ian had arranged a tee time for me at 12:53pm.
We had asked two of our crew to play with Dave and myself as they were going to spend their day off with us in Faro. The next show is in Jerez and it’s pretty much on the way from Lisbon. We had also planned to have a party with them that evening.

So it was Martin [prince of darkness] Brennan, Andy [I’m not sure of the tuning] Ball, Davey and myself on the tee. We had paid up for all the necessary bits and bobs such as club hire electric cart etc and went to the practise tee. While we were there a lovely lass came over and said that we were to be guests of the club and that they were going to give us our money back. What a result AAHHEEE.

So after a few pictures with their director of golf, John Pinkerton, and the head pro, Luc, and the lass we were on the tee ready to play.
It was the best time for a day off that I can remember.

While out on the course we all decided that we needed a beer. I was just about to call the clubhouse when the Beer buggy appeared. We went over to speak with the driver who then informed us that he was out of everything. Well I can tell you he was a lucky man to walk away from that encounter. He told us that there was another buggy on the way and not to worry. I think it was the other way around with the worry thing don’t you?

We played the Royal course at Valle do Lobo. They have two courses there the other is called the Ocean coarse. Both are very beautiful.
We all had some great moments, especially on the 18th hole. We had all teed off, and Martin had sliced his shot into the right hand trees, which ping-ponged onto three or four of them before coming to rest.
On his second shot he hit most probably the same three or four trees and then decided to chip out sideways onto the fairway. He didn’t quite make it and left himself in the rough. ‘That’s OK’ I said. ‘At least you’re out of the trees and you have a clear shot to the green’. Having said that he smacks an iron onto the back of the ball and proceeds to hit the yardage marker ten or twelve yards in front of him. Guess where the ball ended up? Yes back in the trees but this time on the opposite side of the fairway. So over he goes to his ball and whacks it again hitting even more trees. Well you can imagine his disdain by now. He was getting very upset with himself. He did finally manage to get to the green and finish the hole. It was so funny. We teased him for it a little.

After the game we went and had a beer. We all decided that we would like to carry on playing. We had a couple of hours light left and so made our way back to the pro shop to get the OK to do that. No problem there. Armed with a new starter chit we made our way to the first tee on the Ocean course. We decided to play a best ball game, That’s where each man hits from the tee and you choose the best ball to hit your second shot from. Then you all hit from that point, choosing again the best shot until you hole out. It was great fun. We finished just as it was getting dark at around 8:45pm. We had missed the planned dinner party with the rest of our crew and so decided to go to the clubhouse bar. Oopps. That was the beginning of a very merry evening. While at the bar I received a phone call from H who was sitting in the hotel restaurant. ‘What’s happening’ he asked. ‘Oh we’re just taking a beer or two’ I said. ‘Do you fancy waiting for us so that we can have dinner together’. ‘Ok’ he said. So we all finished off our glasses of Port wine, yes we were on the Port by now, and made our way back to the hotel. It was only a short distance away and we were there in next to no time.

We sat down and had a great meal although Davey was not too impressed with his baked Sea bass. We consumed vast quantities of wine and a few more beers. By the end of the evening meal we were all very happy.

We said goodbye to Martin and Andy at a little after midnight. They had to be back in Faro for 1 o-clock to jump on their bus and go too Jerez.
Well it didn’t end there boys and girls. Young Davey Murray decided that I was going out with him for a few more libations, which we did. We headed out to Monty’s bar just down the road from the hotel. We had arranged to meet John Pinkerton there but we were a little late and we had missed him. We stayed there for a while and then moved on. A little after three in the morning the Frenet Branca reared it’s ugly head. We lifted a toast to me mate Solar from Sweden, whom as you may have read from a previous diary, was responsible for introducing me to the stuff. And then we made our way back to the hotel.

A great day was most definitely had by all. The only slight was that we missed the crew party and meal, but I think they all enjoyed themselves at their bash as well.
Well that’s it from me.
I’m actually sitting in me hotel room in Jerez finishing off the old diary.
Ross Halfin is out on a mission for MORE photos so I have to get ready to do them as it’s nearly that time [1:30pm]
More to follow.

Stay safe and well.
God Bless you all.

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