Started April 29th, ended May 9th. Geographically, Amsterdam to Manchester, Blackpool, Castle Bromwich, Derby, Birmingham, Amsterdam.

Blackpool was a riot. >5K "Young Farmers" there for their "AGM". I am not aware of a venue they hired for their "meeting" but they did pack out the bars from opening to closing from Thursday to Sunday. The larger pubs, aware of their reputation, had removed all tables and chairs and had covered the floor with straw and/or sawdust. The bar owners were sensible. Credit to the young uns, apart from being drunk, very drunk, they were no hassle to anyone. I do suspect there were many attempts at "breeding" over the weekend.

Met loads of Blackpudlians who were happy to see Rams fans and there was a certain brotherhood. We'd backed them in their fight with Oyston and they had reciprocated in our current plight.

Post match I witnessed something which might have been a genuinely unique occurrence in English professional football and possibly even worldwide. As we were exiting the stadium their fans were applauding. Not their team. Not our team. US!!

Have to say the 4K Rams there were magnificent.

I was also there for the 3 day Soul Weekender at the Tower. 3 wonderful nights of music and dance. Met some old friends and made a few more.

Soul Weekender and DCFC. What's not to like?

On the Monday Mrs Amster and Nr 2 son arrived and we did the tourist thing for 2 days. I have to say Blackpool disappointed. Lots of shops boarded up. The further you got from the promenade the worse it got. Buildings look in disrepair and a fair few hotels were being renovated. Others were closed down. More were closed for no other reason than that they couldn't get staff (on the wages they want to pay). Nevertheless we had a good time visiting various hostelries, many of which were micro pubs selling weird and wonderful libations of their own and other small breweries in the town. Chatting with one barkeep about all those nice beers, i mentioned I'd had one called Wonky Donkey. Oh, you've been in the Brew Room, he said. Spot on. He knows his local beers that chap.

Wednesday to Friday in Castle Bromwich staying with my Sister in Law. A quiet couple of days which were enjoyable..... as well as being necessary.

Friday to Sunday, Derby. Again a tour of hostelries meeting friends old and new. Friday night we got back to the hotel around 10 and settled down to a few more sherberts and games of pool. 1130 nr 1 son arrived and we sherberted for 2 more hours of the same mix of drinks and pool. Saturday morning breakfast in the hotel which we left at 0930 for the 400 yard walk to the Brunswick which didn't "open until 10". We got there to find the door open and we weren't the first to find it. Then the match followed by more food and beer in town. Sunday, a few beers in town prior to flying back.

An arduous 10 days which I greatly enjoyed thanks to all the friendly folk I met up and down the country.