Monday, 2 May 2011

Dundee no more....

Home last night from Piperdam, a resort five miles outside Dundee overlooking the river Tay. I can thoroughly recommend it if you fancy a long weekend break.

We flew up from city airport which is so civilised, if more expensive than Easyjet to Edinburgh. Car hire and faffing about eat into a lot of the difference and we didn't need the hassle of the extra drive to and from Edinburgh. We left home at 8am on Saturday and were drinking tea and coffee by the departure gates at 8.30am. The prop flight at 9.40am landed at 11am and we were in the City of Discovery, Dundee, with friends by 11.30am. It meant our Royal Wedding viewing was limited to replays in the pub but I was happy enough with that. 

I have only ever passed by or through Dundee before and it hasn't always enjoyed the best reputation in Scotland. "Scumdee" has long been the unfortunate tagline but even my mates who long ago gave up visiting to watch Aberdeen play in the City were impressed with the regeneration that has taken place. The run-down old dockside area has been cleared and cleaned up, as has much of the city centre. The sun was shining brightly, which always helps, but Dundee looked fine to me with the Tay sparkling and impressive railway bridge curving out of the centre of town and across the wide river to Tayport on the other side in the Kingdom of Fife.

We were on-site for 4pm and checked into our Las Vegas lodge. This was very impressive. Six large bedrooms, all with ensuites downstairs. Upstairs was divided into two large communal areas, one with a lounge, kitchen and large balcony, the other with a snooker table, roulette wheel and Black Jack table. We also had the added luxury of an internal sauna and an outside hot tub which took seven. I think I spent too long in the hot tub.

On Saturday I didn't feel like golf but knew I would feel better if I played. I did. We only played the poor relation 9-hole on the complex but it was just about right. We were allowed to play in jeans and trainers and they turned a blind-eye to our five-ball as the course was quiet. Marvellous. After lunch in the main Piperdam building by the dammed lake, we got kitted up for quad bikes and a fantastic 90 minutes up in the hills overlooking Dundee and the Tay. When the ladies returned from "shopping" in Dundee, we had dinner in the restaurant overlooking the lake and got dressed up for a casino evening. I have to admit to feeling very tired and sloping off to bed early at Midnight. 

In between all that, I got the news of our two-nil capitulation and was asked several times by concerned looking friends "what's happened to Charlton." It's hard to know how to simplify that answer without boring someone to death. Whilst we have all given-up on this season a long time ago, I am distinctly unimpressed that we haven't managed to break out of this historic bad run, even when the pressure of expectation disappeared weeks ago. A double defeat at under-pressure Walsall was simply not good enough in my view and I sincerely hope that big questions have been asked throughout the club and positions established in terms of future expectations over everyone from the management team right down through the squad. I also expect to see a large churn of players this Summer as we cut out those who haven't shown enough fight or footballing quality. We badly need some players with attitude and we have to start the campaign with a bang. Slater and Jimenez need to splash some cash and we need several wow signings as well as a several that turned out to be inspired. The pressure's on.

Yesterday was a day of relative relaxation in the Scottish sunshine and after a late breakfast we walked through the woods to the bar to watch the lunchtime football. Our flight home from Dundee's tiny airport was hitch less and we were back home within 25 minutes of landing. 

This morning looks like another cracking day and we have the added bonus that the Yanks have finally got their man and Osama Bin Laden has run out of luck. No doubt it will spark another round of terrorist attacks on the West but it's an undoubted blow for Islamic fundamentalism. I'm off to Greenwich for the day with my neglected girls....


Crowborough Addick said...


If you look at the League tables for TheChampionship, League 1 & League 2, we could end up with just Northern teams being relegated and promoted to League 1 and replacing Southern teams going in the opposite directions.

As a betting man, what are the odds on a clean sweep in all 4 permutations? Plus how likely do you see this happening? Sorry as it will add to your travels next season.

Dave said...

CA - good spot! I reckon Wycombe will make it up and to be honest, I don't mind more trips up north as long as are competing in them.

Floyd said...

DDTG - I spent some time up at Piperdam last winter in a foot of snow plus - beautiful. Very jealous of your time away. BUT it is rumoured folks are looking to put nice wind turbines up all over the place!!!

Dave said...

Flloyd - interesting you should say that. I noticed for probably the first time ever just how incongruous electricity pylons look as they span the landscape there. I have always found something reassuring about wind turbines although there are certain places they look better in than others. I could never imagine them in the Cairngorms or somewhere majestic, like Glencoe.