WHAT better way to celebrate your birthday (the grand old age of 48 today) than to watch The Gas win a thrilling FA Cup tie against Fulham. Well, the game was played on a quagmire of a pitch and actually finished 0-0, but our lot are becoming a dab hand at penalties, having beaten a nine-man Orient side by the same manner in the previous round. I also enjoyed one of the fantastic cornish pasties they sell at the Mem. Next stop Barnet!
I had some great birthday presents, like a retro Rovers shirt from my brother, a Fall CD, two cookbooks and Sixth Sense, the story of the Gas' promotion year from Wren. I have also got Duncan Fletcher's autobiography so I can now find out the true story of why we poor Barmy Army souls had to suffer the humiliation of a 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Australia last winter. It seems a long time ago.
On Sunday Wren and I travelled up to Birmingham to finally buy the engagement ring. On the advice of Wathanovski we stayed overnight in the city - enjoying a relaxing night at the City Inn around the beautiful canal area. We had a good stroll around in the rain, then enjoyed a tasty evening meal at the Homemade Burger Co on the tow path.
Next morning we braved the bad weather to walk to the jewellery quarter where we got some helpful advice on how to search out the best quality diamonds, settling on a ring from Bond and Martin jewellers. I had spent the previous day trying to remember the pin number to my credit card. Eventually I got it right and handed over the hard-earned dosh, only to get a big shock the next day. Checking my bank statements I realised that instead of paying out of my credit card account, I had actually managed to stump up a rather substantial amount from my bills account, leaving me the best part of £500 overdrawn. Doh!
A quick call to the bank, though, and they generously agreed to extend my limit. Now I'll spend the rest of the year paying it off, I imagine. But it's all worth it - honest, Wren!