Our Donald – Mr. Robson’s Continental Calamity

Date: 3rd November 2023

In this weeks second blog from our resident writer Donald Stewart:

Mr. Robson’s Continental Calamity 

The October Holidays… 

Half term… 

Whatever creature it may be, Mr. Robson feels ready for his European adventure.  

Relaxation, sun and a bit of touring… 

Edinburgh Airport is a distant memory as he is stood, standing with a ticket in his hand, at night in a foreign airport with his compatriot… asking questions… 

Picture the scene… 

Mr. Cormack, the senior of the two is looking at a map. Mr. Robson, the more ginger of the two is looking at a bus sign. Both have puzzled expressions.  

“Where is the car hire place?” asks Mr. Robson. 

Mr. Cormack, who made all the arrangements looks up from his map and says, “round the back of the train station.” 

Mr. Robson looks at his compatriot sceptically. 

“There is a car park there with loads of cars and nobody anywhere near them. How do we know which one is ours?”  

“There must be an office,” responds Mr. Cormack. 

“It’s shut,” replies Mr. Robson. 

Patience for both is wearing thin.  

Mr. Robson gets out his google maps and types in words. Triumphantly he announces, “got it! They shut at midnight, and it is in Terminal One.” 

Mr. Cormack looks up at the sign behind them which says, Terminal Two. He looks back at Mr. Robson who has also seen it. Mr. Robson then points to the bus sign he has been studying. “There is a free bus,” he begins. This suits Mr. Cormack as every penny is a prisoner in his wallet… 

15 minutes later they are on a foreign bus trundling along in the dark with no idea where they are or where they are going. At the first sign of the phrase Terminal One, Mr. Cormack is off the bus and standing on the pavement. Mr. Robson who has retained his sceptical expression throughout, joins him and they both wait for the bus to leave before they find themselves in a car park.  

Terminal One can be seen. In the distance…  

But there is a path. It has dayglo writing which says Terminal One on it. It also has a stick figure on it which means it is within walking distance… they begin their walking… 

45 minutes later they arrive in the Terminal.  

Mr. Cormack drops onto an uncomfortable seat in the concourse whilst Mr. Robson starts to look for the car hire office. Terminal One is a vast building and finding the car hire space involves discovering it has a second level, below stairs.  

Having arrived at 8pm, not eaten since midday and now managing to get to the car hire place together with frayed nerves and some frayed tempers between them, they are delighted to have managed at least to get to one destination, despite all the difficulties. Mr. Robson was sanguine enough to admit to Mr. Cormack, “look we have made mistakes, but it doesn’t help us now does it, arguing? It doesn’t help me any.”  

Mr. Cormack nods sagely and with the car hire agreement in his hand, gingerly hands it over as the car hire rep welcomes them with, “you hired your car from 8am. It is company policy after 12 hours to give the car away if not collected.”  

There is a silence. Both Mr. Cormack and Mr. Robson say nothing. The car hire rep starts typing in the deadening gulf between them. “We do not have a similar car, nor do we have anything smaller. We do have a bigger one but that is more expensive.” 

Mr. Cormack rises to argue until he sees Mr. Robson’s wee face and just nods. Keys are exchanged, explanations given as both Mr. Robson and Mr. Cormack head to a foreign car park to pick the car up.  

It takes a further 30 minutes to find the monster. By now both are fit to fall out, but they keep things civil.  

Mr. Robson is to drive. It’s a monster of an SUV and the roads seem quite narrow, but the time is not now to argue over the Greek roads ahead. Mr. Cormack does try to argue the point, “this happened before to us. They got it wrong then and they have got it wrong again.” 

But Mr. Robson raises a finger. “Again, what do we do? Do we sit and argue it again? It doesn’t help.” 

Slowly, gingerly even, Mr. Robson starts the car and off they go. After a few moments of reflection and making things seem lighter with a  bit of light banter, they both relax a little… 

Mr. Cormack wanting to make sure there are no more bumps on their European adventure checks the accommodation to which they are heading. Booked through a reliable online agency he has little doubt that with the discount he got for being a frequent flyer it was not just the most reasonable but also the best accommodation in the area they could find, and afford. He had done extensive research of where they were going to a 4 star hotel that would have all the mod cons, booked by Mr. Cormack for October 2024… 


Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original piece of work there is no evidence that Barry Robson and Dave Cormack, have ever holidayed together, unless you know differently, so, this is clearly a piece of fiction, though many of his words have been used.  

The fact is that in an interview with TNT Sports, after Aberdeen lost to PAOK Barry Robson said, “We made mistakes and lost goals. But the referee and VAR has made a mistake. It doesn’t help us now, does it? What do we do? Do we sit and argue it again? It doesn’t help me any. They got it wrong once – again. It’s not even hard to get right. It’s happened to us in the past. I don’t know why it’s not been checked. I know the referee has come in and kicked his own door on the way in. I don’t know if that’s an indication that he knows he’s made a mistake? But he cost us tonight. It’s a learning experience but this is a top team we’re up against. We pressed at the right times; we could’ve been better with the ball – we know that. I’m really gutted for the players, because what a performance that was.” Just how far in Europe in 2024 Aberdeen get is fortunately not dependent upon anyone’s skills at booking accommodation…  

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