30 Songs In 30 Days – Day 7

Day 7 – A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event

Hotel California – The Eagles

The song is a classic, the event it reminds me of is The Rink Rush.  What’s that, I hear you ask?  In 2005, myself and five friends from the ice hockey in Nottingham organised and completed a charity event that we called The Rink Rush.  It involved the six of us travelling to every ice rink in the UK where hockey is played in just 7 days, catching a few matches en route, meeting players, coaches, fans where possible to collect memorabilia for auction, all to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Overall, we completed around 2500 miles in our minibus, as well as flying to Belfast and crossing to the Isle of Wight on the ferry.  The final total we raised was over £13,000 for this great cause.

It was an amazing week, by turns exhausting, hilarious and inspirational.  The Eagles song reminds me of the Wednesday, day 4 of the trip, and the most tiring.  We began at the crack of dawn in Belfast to catch our flight to Birmingham.  From there, we drove to Telford, up to North Wales, across to Manchester and then north via Blackburn into Scotland, to the final couple of rinks of the day.  In the space of twelve hours, we were in all four countries of the United Kingdom!  By the time we reached the last rink, Dumfries, we were all shattered, behind schedule due to traffic delays around lunchtime (despite my best efforts to pick up time by flying up the M6 on one of my driving stints), morale was a little low and tempers starting to fray a little. With a lengthy drive to our overnight stop, we put on a special compilation I’d made, full of classic songs I thought we would all enjoy, and singing along to them totally restored our high spirits and camaraderie during the journey.  I could really choose any of several tracks from that compilation, but Hotel California was the most memorable because we were spontaneously making up alternative lyrics based on the failings of our team, the Nottingham Panthers, at that time.  Much hilarity ensued, and we owe a debt to this and other great songs for getting us back on track after that long day.

Delighted to be able to include The Rink Rush in this list in some way.  It was an unforgettable experience, something I am hugely proud of.  There are friends I have known for longer, and friends I see more or might even be closer to in some ways, but my friendship with those five blokes is something very special to me.  And as I look at the framed photo of the six of us from my wedding, which stands on my desk next to ones of my wife and my dad, I can’t help but smile at the memories, and feel the huge satisfaction of what we achieved together.

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