On Friday evening I took my lifelong best friend Swill out for food for his recent birthday and we headed to Piri Fino, Walsall’s best chicken establishment. We were told upon arrival the grave news that they had no mash. Shocking stuff but not that troublesome as Tesco is round the corner and I can whip up a portion of Smash like a diva but it was chicken we wanted so we proceeded and were shown to a table right in the middle of the place between the food station and all the other tables. I like a prime spot so all good. The place was doing a roaring trade for early evening but our food arrived quickly and was as excellent as ever.

Me with Piri Fino in the background. Love the reflections in the water. Makes it look like the old Thames TV logo.

From there we went to the Brewers Fayre. This is a place I only ever visit to play the quiz machine with Craig or to pig out at the all you can eat buffet, which I used to do very regularly. No wonder I ended up the size of a double wardrobe with Narnia thrown in for good measure.

Swill had announced earlier in the week that he wanted a mention in this blog and had been wondering how to obtain it. He opted for a bike ride as these are now available to hire in the town centre and he suggested we did this for the trip to the next pub. I like this. People coming up with ideas for material or trying to earn mentions. This I am certainly encouraging.

Anyway we got our bikes, I initially struggled to get my leg over – story of my life eh? We set off and it was great fun. Absolutely superb. My bike had a flat tyre which didn’t help and it was a tough slog going up Freer Street but I soldiered on on the off chance that Victoria Pendleton might be watching. She probably wasn’t.

Bring on the Commonwealth Games.

The bike people had conveniently put a docking station opposite the Black Country Arms so we parked up and ventured in there very much needing a pint. Kim the landlady had played a blinder and the amazing ice cream cider was on. I drank it in minutes. I might not have set a pb for the bike ride but the pint drinking time was surely worthy of a gold medal.

This is amazing.

We ended the night in Flan O’Briens. The highlight here being the very loud rendition of Sweet Caroline. A guy at the bar turned round very slowly as we did the “so good so good so good” part with arms aloft. As he finally looked at us arms were down and we’d gone full deadpan expressions. He looked confused and turned back to his pint – quicker than he’d turned to look at us I might add..

Swill had to be up early on the Saturday so he headed off and I went to the Walsall Arms. The DJ Gaz was on and he is just the best entertainment around so I knew it was going to be a good visit. And it was.

Saturday was very lazy start to the day. I popped to a new cafe in town then caught the chuff chuff to Bescot Stadium accompanied by a large group of Mansfield Town fans who were in good voice. I had announced on Twitter to @dazfellows that I wasn’t drinking before the match for once. But I was at the ground 20 minutes before kick off and the door to the bar is right there when you walk through the turnstiles. It’s almost like they want you to go in. So I did. It was very busy in there including a group of 15 lads on a stag do that were all dressed as cricketers. Not a sight you see at Bescot very often.

Hands, touching hands, reaching out
touching me, not touching windows.

The match was ace. We played very well but at full time it was another trip to the train station as I was going with 2 fellow Walsall FC fans for drinks in Birmingham. Unfortunately they missed the train by seconds, but I was joined by my long time friend Paul Mitchell and his entourage so I joined them for a pint in Brum whilst waiting for Gaz and Daz to arrive. Upon arrival it was all kicking off outside The Shakespeare with police in full force.

It was just me, Paul and Simon that went to The Colmore which is a Thornbridge pub, a brewery which I absolutely adore. The building is magnificent. I had a pint of Crackendale which is 5.2% pale ale and it was superb. Then it was toilet time. I didn’t know where it was but I saw a stairwell and this lad approached and we asked each other at the same “where is the toilet?” He suggested we go down the stairs and we were rewarded. He did a celebratory point at the toilet sign dance whilst I did the arms out front and bowing up and down gesture at the sign. Oooo toilet finding friend and all that.

From there I left and went to meet Daz and Gaz in The Trocadero. But I got a bit lost. It wasn’t where I thought it was and to be fair as I walked past the street I should have turned up I was distracted by someone being arrested and the ranting of an onlooker.

Anyway after a quick phone call I found the place and 4 of the cricket lads where in. Turns out this stag do was postponed 2 years ago so this time they decided to pick a random match, and enticed by the cheap tickets they headed to Bescot. They had a great time and said they might come again. I opted not to warn them that it’s not always this good.

Top lads.

From there we headed to The Windsor, a pub I don’t think I’ve ever been in. After ascending the stairs at Bescot Stadium railway station twice in one day I was glad to find a table and chair in this place. After this I wanted to visit the Shakespeare to see what state it was in after the earlier trouble. It was fine. You wouldn’t have know anything had gone on. Beer was in plastic glasses which is just about okay with lager but not for a pint of Wainwrights. Although with the earlier aggro it was a good call to use them.

Booooo.

I bid Daz and Gaz goodnight and ran for the 8.10 train. Which was cancelled. So I ran for the 8.15 McDonalds and I made it back to New Street for the next train. McDonalds Monopoly update, I still haven’t won the hot tub which is a shame as it would look ace in my now clear back garden. I’ll keep trying. Garcon more chicken selects.

Double boooo.

From there it was a beer in town with Dave then I headed up to the Walsall Arms where I met fellow Saddlers Goughy and Andy. Baileys made an appearance then I ventured home to fall asleep on the settee.

The absolute top lad that is Goughy.