The Slivovitz was getting to me and eating the bread roll hadn’t helped. I had to think of one more score. Suddenly, it felt really warm in the garden, the more distant trees and flowers seemed to be out of focus, and the birds’ singing seemed further away. I couldn’t think of very much at all so I decided to be creative. I wrote on the paper: England 3 Bulgaria 1, Wembley, 1953. He looked at me suspiciously and stroked his chin, as though he couldn’t make up his mind whether I was telling the truth. He drank his slivovitz and reached down under the table. He brought out a second bottle, again with no label, and laughed at my obvious discomfort at seeing another bottle of strong alcohol.
I covered my head, I couldn’t drink five more glasses of slivovitz; I couldn’t drink one more! I held up my hands to indicate my surrender. I got to my feet slowly and shook his hand. I then wrote: Slivovitz 5 Julian 0, Pernik, 1994 on the paper. We both laughed out loud and had a final slivovitz to celebrate this result!