Friday, 17 June 2011

McIntyre pays his bets - Confirmed

Well done Daniel Wells (Wales) on winning the 2011 European Snooker Championships. Daniel, who will be turning professional in the forthcoming season played extremely well, but proved to be too strong for his opponent Vincent Muldoon (Ireland) on the day. Unlucky Vinnie, you had a great championship.

I took a fiver of McIntyre - ha ha ha ha ha......
A Winning Bet
Just a little 'aside' to the snooker. During our enjoyable day on Vitosha Boulevard yesterday, John and I both discussed the merits of the Masters event, now that 'hot favourite' Darren Morgan was put out. Who was going to win the prestigious event now we wondered, and given that we had differing opinions,  we decided on a small 5 BGN wager, which wasn't going to break the bank, just for fun. John was off the opinion that 2008 winner Alan Trigg would be too tough an opponent.

For me, I stuck with my original pick Steve Judd (see my earlier postings for confirmation !!) and it was the Englishman who came good in the end, winning 6-4 in a tight match. The 5 BGN Lev was duly handed over this evening, Mr McIntyre pays his bets, let it be said :)

Thursday & Friday - Our time in Sofia is ending

A nice leisurely stroll to the Lions Bridge with my friend Janne from Finland where we stopped for a coffee at the nearby Papaya coffee house. Janne told be a lot about his country, and it sounds like an ideal destination for future Championships. I know his compatriot Jyri is a big fan of the idea, and is bending a few ears to the idea at this event. 

Later that evening we had a very enjoyable hour or two on Vituska Boulevard with the legend that is John McIntyre. He is one of the best 'travel companions' you could wish for and I for one hope this isnt his last trip away. Having said that if we are successful in hosting he 2012 European Championship in Northern Ireland, he will probably have one of the shortest trips imaginable. We spent the evening having a quiet drink and watch the pedestrians stroll up and down the Boulevard. The strangest thing we saw was an elderly man bedecked in flashing strobe lights from head to foot...John thought he had just witnessed a UFO landing!

Back to the hotel and I was summoned by Janie to her 'office' where she presented me with her t-shirt I had been admiring earlier and another as a gift. I won't be looking at it until I get home, I like surprises. A very nice touch from a lovely lady (even if she did give us a hard time for not attending the exhibition!)

A Special Request for Peter O'Brien
The evening wouldn't have been complete without a bit of 'ribbing' towards the experienced Irish referee Peter O'Brien. During the Mens Semi Final in which he was officiating he had a momentary lack of concentration, respoting the blue when McDonnell was clearing up the colours...his reaction once he realised was classic.....'oh fxxx' he says putting his hand up to his head before removing the blue again. He took it in good grace, an unusual lapse from a great guy. Don't think he appreciated my rendition of Phil Collins number which goes like this... 'When Im felling blue, all I have to do, is stop and think of you'....classic end to the night.

Friday Afternoon
I am writing this from the city centre, having had a quiet stroll this morning. Each day I decide to walk to Lavov Most (Lions Bridge) and get a bottle of water and maybe a slice of pizza. Once there I will decide if I can walk a little further, I continued on to the picturesqe Banski Square, sat down with my Ipod listening to Edel - 21 and watched the city go about its day to day business. As some stage in my excursion I finished up at the imposing NDK or National Palace of Culture (below).

National Palace of Culture, Sofia
Then I went up to Vituska boulevard again (I do love this pedestrianised Area of Sofia with its shops and outside eateries) before taking a detour and sitting down to write this update. Where I am I don't know and I'm not overly concerned. I have just enjoyed a nice chicken meal, washed down with a Latte, sitting in the shade of the Catcus Restuarant and Bar, there are affordable taxis applenty, so long as I remember the name of the hotel we are staying. Speaking of which, our closing ceremony is tonight, our last night in beautiful Sofia.