Didn't start my day too early and actually skipped my bus from Bearwood to Digbeth in favour of a taxi .... I booked the ticket just in case but I would have had to wait 2 hours at Digbeth with my goalie bag which means no washroom or really doing or going anywhere so I waited and paid a taxi . I went to call Heritage Cars which is a local taxi company in Smethwick that Karl put me on . As you all know Karl was supposed to do most of this trip hanging with me and going to Sheffield but his work put an end to that so this is why I'm taking a bus . I know some people would have thrown in the towel and cancelled making this trip but I don't like to do that , when I make solid plans I go through with them ! Now it's time to call my taxi and my phone is out of minutes ????? Ummm how is this possible ... I paid EE £10 for a card that lasted me 1 day before it ran out then went to top up and was contacted by them only to find out that my credit card wasn't accepted because it's a North American bank ..... so I went into shop paid an additional £15 which got me 500 minutes on phone and unlimited text and that wasn't working 3 days after ???? SeriouslyWTF ! Tried sorting it before I had to call taxi but agent was useless and I had to figure out that Heritage actually has an app .... so , I uploaded that and used it to call taxi . Disaster diverted :)
Got to Digbeth grabbed some snacks for the bus and got on and everything was perfect :) didn't have anyone sleeping on me or anything and I started dozing off and then we stopped ??? I looked around took my headphones off and saw a woman running off the bus with her baby yelling there is a fire !!! I looked back and there was smoke billowing out of the engine of the bus .... seriously this was a massive WTF moment lol ! The bus didn't eveacuate and wasn't actually on fire . We were on the motorway so we couldn't get off the bus in the middle of road so we were asked to stay on the bus and we would have a repairman on way as we were only half an hour away from terminal .... our bus driver was a nice guy and it wasn't his fault the bus actually over heated and the smoke was actually steam as the water all drained out of engine . What a disaster :( mechanic asked what size tools he needed and of course when he showed up he had wrong tools ... honestly WTFF ? Yes there are 2 F's there hahaha . Cmon seriously a mechanic that works on these buses should A) bring all the tools or B) not waste our time ....so the ding dong went back to get more tools and in mean time another us was on the way . That bus never showed.....we sat in that National Express bus for over 3 hours and I couldn't leave the bus and I could see a McDonalds across the highway that I was dying to go to . No doubt I was starving and pissed off 😡
A is with other passengers showed up finally and didn't pick everyone one and was more selective about who they took and I was one of the lucky ones . Kinda hope the others didn't have to stay there stranded much longer ! Anyways National Express gave us vouchers that we could use for our next trip as long as it's in next 6 months ✊️💦💦💦 anyways I'm gonna write to them about this ridiculous experience . By the time I arrived in Sheffield I was in better spirits . Daz picked me up at Meadowhall and we went to grab a quick kebab and before you knew it I was at Ice Sheffield getting ready for some hockey . Unfortunately nobody from the Island Monkeys was there aside from Daz and Sarah . Bit disappointed in them lot but whatever maybe I will see them next time ? :( would have been nice if some of em took a night off to play hockey but at the same time I'm not even here in Sheffield for 24 hours . Ahhh ! Whatever lol :)
It was great that my hockey buddy Ergun came up from Nottingham for the skate . We met way back in Ulm , Germany quite some time ago and we kept in touch and Ergun always makes the trip up to see me and play some puck . Next time you should spend the night buddy :) another ghost from the past showed up too .... Chris Willey ! Haven't seen him since Iceland and haven't heard from him since 2014 or so .... let's just say we drifted apart but it was great being on the ice with him again also . Obviously we were skating with a club called the Sheffield Squeelers who are a rec hockey club here . Good group of guys . Still trying to break myself into getting used to these bigger pads so it was good getting on the ice and working on some positioning and getting more comfortable every time I wear them . I gave up 4 or 5 goals over the hour and a half skate which started at 10 pm and finished at 11:30 pm which is a half hour before the big Leafs game .
Of course this wouldn't be a trip to Sheffield without Dazza's fantastic nachos , some beer and an NHL game on telly !!!!! We stayed up until roughly 3 am watching the Leafs play the Capitals in NHL playoff action . Really tight game which Daz called and said would go to OT . I was fighting to keep my eyes open near the end and when Washington scored the winner I shut 'er down and went to bed . It was definitely worth the trip and all the disasters to get here.
I really really really have to thank Darren and Sarah for letting me spend the night and once again thank you Sheffield Squeelers for letting me skate with you guys . Let's do it again next time I'm over !!!