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Toon, Toon, Black ‘n’ White Europe
Relaxing & Reading
A couple of months ago I was relaxing on holidays in a fishing hamlet about 800 kilometers from Adelaide (Coffin Bay if anyone is interested) celebrating Newcastle’s heart stopping survival in the EPL while reading the latest (and third instalment) in Peter Cain’s and Barry Robertson’s trilogy about Newcastle in Europe.
And what a ripper this book is. Not only giving me something to do in the off season, it flooded back memories of when Newcastle were good and not run like a no ambition mid-tier business that Ashley has turned the club into.
I received the book by international air mail just after Xmas, but with a heavy workload I really didn't get a chance to read it until recently. Sitting in Coffin Bay to read the tome I felt a bit like Peter & Barry travelling far distances to watch Newcastle play, or rather, like me to read about them. So in some way I have created my own Australian Newcastle experiences.
This book, like the others in the trilogy, focus solely on Newcastle playing in away European clashes. The book is a bit of Geordie folklore, part travel book and part sports commentary. By reading these books you find out the best place to have a beer and meal in far flung parts of Europe while also how best to get some out of the way stadiums in a country where you may not understand the language.
So, I was glad I save the book until I was on holidays & could enjoy in between a spot of fishing & shucking oysters. Coffin Bay (not named for the dead in this remote coast, but due to an early explorer offsider, Captain Coffin - weird names you Poms have) is world famous for their oysters.
There are some real highlights in the book worth that are worth pointing out:
- I get a mention! The boys found one of my blogs on the first book – the one that has inspired me when I retire (in about 30 years!) to follow Newcastle around Europe for a season (hopefully we have won something by then!) You even get to see a picture of my family and I in the picture section.
- There is a fitting tribute to the two young Geordies who lost their lives on the Malaysian Airlines disaster. I was genuinely touched by the tribute to the two lads who lost their lives over the Ukraine. A fitting tribute for two young lives following the team that they loved.
- And there is a myriad of great fun places to stay, eat and drink that will have you on the internet booking that next getaway.
As usual the book isn’t just about Newcastle and football, it’s more about life, friendship and exploring new places. A must for not only fans of Newcastle, but also explorers.
Anyway I loved the book; it was as good as the previous editions.
See you in England
As Newcastle embarks on another campaign it is good to see Ashley has invested and the new signings appear to be good. Seip de Jong is also like a new recruit for the club. A point against Southampton should have been 3 and the next three games will be tough to win. But the future could be bright against lower ranked teams…fingers crossed. Silverware needs to the aim as well as beating Sunderland.
This Xmas I return to the UK and can’t wait to see Newcastle away to West Brom at the Hawthorns…maybe the lads can get a win for me?