The last away bout

After covering the bout I headed to my lodgings. Stopping only briefly enough to drop my gear off before heading out to the after party. It was a hefty walk but I knew this part of Edinburgh and it was good to wander round where I once lived.

The B&B was pleasant enough. However it was on the far side of Edinburgh to where all the action was happening. But it was cheap. Well the cheapest I could get at the time, and as I walked down the road I was thinking I was lucky in getting a room at all. All the other B&Bs displayed in their windows various, card, hand written and neon, No Vacancy signs.  I noticed that the B&B opposite mine was called the Auld Reekie guest house. Had ARRG branched out and were running a chain of Roller Derby themed guest houses?

I planned to stay only briefly at the after party as I was tired and had reckoned I had walked the good part of a half marathon that day. Two pints in and I was ready for bed but decided to stay for a third. The third became a fourth and I decided at that point to call it a day. I said my goodbyes and headed for the door. Another beer was thrust up my nose. That was it. I was staying for a fifth. I seem to always do this. Plan to be sensible and then get coerced to stay by the prospect of another.

That was it. I’m leaving.

Awaking the next day I got a better feel for the B&B. The décor wasn’t to my taste. I got dressed and headed down to breakfast. I headed to the dining room. The owner was there to greet me but surveying the space I realised that he didn’t wear the trousers in this place. The bone china, wallpaper, little characters dotted around the room were the taste of someone else. Someone I had not seen as yet. I sat down to breakfast and ordered. A full Scottish. Which consisted of the same ingredients as a full English. Well, I thought, I am over the border. Baked beans seemed to be an issue. Did I want them? He was very particular on this point as if they were some strange delicacy I might not enjoy. Perhaps they were a lot less common up here. An oddity. I said good morning to the couple just finishing their breakfast as they got up to leave.

As soon as they departed the room the woman of the house scuttled in with a little silver dustpan and brush and hovered up the crumbs they left behind. The table was hastily cleared and reset. The B&B could not have had more than 8 rooms and there were 9 tables in the dining room. But it seemed important that everything be perfect.

My breakfast arrived. Nothing odd there. Except that the baked beans were served in their own ramekin. Odd I thought. This need to be tidy seemed to be obsessive. As my hostess left I quickly upturned the beans on to the plate and began breakfast hoping she wouldn’t notice. I finished up and planned to return to my room, collect my gear and head in to town. However I could feel the landlady’s presence. Waiting for me to leave so she could come in and tidy up. I was becoming paranoid. I tried to sweep the crumbs from my toast in to a neat pile as best I could. I didn’t want to appear uncouth. I then realised how much of a mess my room was.

I hurriedly headed upstairs. I needed to tidy my room before I left. It wasn’t that messy but I could tell that it was beyond the standards expected of my hosts. If it wasn’t tidy enough I imagined that the landlady would fax all the other B&Bs in the area with a photograph of myself and my contact details, detailing my faults and how none of them under any circumstances should allow me to rent a room. ‘He’s messy and he tips his beans out of the ramekin’.

I planned that this trip would be my last away bout of the season and had told everyone so. As I walked down to the train station to go home I remembered it wasn’t my last away bout. I had promised to head to Manchester in a few weeks to shoot New Wheeled Order play against the New York Shock Exchange.

Another lie. Perhaps the landlady was right about me. I’m a lair, and untidy. I can’t be trusted.


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