I dedicate this blog post to Marianne Farrell, if it was not for her, my Friday evening wouldn’t have been half as eventful as it ended up being.
In my world, one has to prepare for moments of regretful drunkenness. I believe that people neurologically have a self-control switch. That thing that kicks in when after two glasses of Pinot grigio, you know a pint of Stella is the way to go if your idea of a great Saturday morning is cleaning the remnants of the Buffett off the side of your toilet, boil washing your pedestal mat with 4 times to recommended amount of fabric softener to hopefully eradicate the smell of ethanol, pre treating grass stains off your shirt whilst saying to yourself “I don’t want to know how you got there” or going through your text messages wondering 1) who “Alisha” is, 2) why she “can’t wait till Scunthorpe”, 3) why you called her at 3am for a duration of 27 minutes, and 4) why she has text you saying “LOL see you there at 1pm babe”.
I have no such self control switch. But alas Friday went my way. I arrived at the work do, and stuck to one variety of drink, refusing to move whilst I had polite company. So I was very reserved. We kept conversation to that acceptable in work company. I quite like 31 year old Adam. He doesn’t quite descend into the drunken chaotic mess that his younger counterpart was often found in.
We drank and had a good time. Work events are something you grow into. As a younger man, I think what happened was that you compare it to the equivalence of your social life. So of course, the company isn’t quite 100% your cup of tea, the location is never what you would have chosen, the night always starts early, but eats into the time your mates are in another pub and it always felt like, quite frankly, a bit of a ball ache. I’ve managed to manage my expectations. I’m now able to enjoy the Victoria Wood-esque humour of those colleagues who aren’t quite au fait with social events, and are just bizarre. “I couldn’t possibly have anything from the buffet, there is a chicken jalfrezi in Headingly with my name on it”.
After about an hour of conversing with someone who insisted on dissecting every story we told, line by line, it began to grow a little jarring. M-C “Gill turned up” A.N. Other “Hang on, Gill went?!?!”. MC “Yeah Gill, she was wearing odd socks, one striped, one spotty” A.N. other ” Hang on, she was wearing socks?! Why socks?! And why odd socks? I can’t believe it”. You get the picture. It went on. One humorous anecdote took about 30 minutes to get through. All the fun squeezed out of it. So we jogged on for a spot of prosecco and pudding at Ego. Which was lovely. I had some chorizo and a tiramisu, fact fans. Pete had a pizza and a cheesecake. MC and Amy shared a garlic bread, fries and a cheesecake. Obviously staggered.
So after a moments down time in the restaurant, a dimly lit calm in the storm of events, we headed off for more fizz. Now, Ego in Sheffield is opposite Tudor Square, where the Crucible and the Lyceum are based. The floor in the square has a steam effect thingy in it now. Which looked very atmospheric so we started over towards it, invariably to muck about like kids till we got bored. But I stopped in my tracks on the footpath, dumbstruck by who was opposite me. None other than Lester Freamon from The Wire. Clarke Peters. In the flesh. Well I screamed “MC is that that chap off of the wire?” (Subtle hint I saw him number 1). MC tottered up and confirmed it was. And next thing you know we were following him. For no reason I can mention. Until we walked so quickly (he is little) we over took him. And panicked. What do we do? The photo moment would now look odd. And we were both too drunk to do anything subtlety. Including it would appear to discuss our current predicament in a quiet or subtle way. So what should happen? Yes, the unthinkable. The celebrity actually walked up to us and introduced himself just to move us along. So what did I say, you may ask? Well here is the thing, I have never watched The Wire in my life. I got that name off of IMDB. But I have watched Notting Hill, which he was in as the block at the press interviews who said “tell me which bit you enjoyed and I’ll tell you if I enjoyed making that bit”. And I watch Holby City, and loved him as Donna’s Dad. So I said to him “I’ve never seen The Wire, but MC knows you off it. Me and Pete know you off of Holby City”. Thats it. Oh and “Hope you have a nice weekend”. Which at least was polite of me. In the cold light of day, I’m mortified. But it was funny. I think we chuckled over that for an entire bottle of prosecco.
So we headed back to the works do to see the stragglers. Now, we had just had this ridiculously silly experience and were buzzing off it. We sat down and started chatting on, babbling on about celebrity spots, work, what we’ve seen in the shopping baskets of people we all know, the usual pub chat. When the unthinkable happens. Someone spews. Now we’ve all done it, the drunken slump and sick moment. Now I’m fortunate, I have not done that for a long time. And it was always a fairly anonymous slump and sick in a club corner. Never a work do slump sick moment. This was a subtle spew, but it was at our table. On our table. And on this person’s self. Mortifying. And also demonstrated a flaw in myself. I have no idea what to do in a crisis. I stood up and got my phone out, pretending I had to reply to text messages which a slight pace. Which Pete felt looked vaguely like I was filming the aftermath. Which I assure you I was not. Horrendous, I had a lot of sympathy for this horrendous situation.
N.B whilst I shall not name this phantom spewer, it was not Marianne, MC, or Amy. Just to clarify. Marianne spells this out quite clearly below. Amy prefers to puke out a car door.
After this situation descended, we headed on, heading to Dempseys. Dancing, prancing and drinking ensued. I returned home. To bed straight away. Remember being 18? You’d roll in at 3am, go to bed and wake up at 11:00am, watch a bit of SM:TV live and CD:UK and it would be all better. You’d have beans and sausages on toast, a cup of tea, then head into town for a spot of retail and a few beers and the cycle would continue. Let me introduce you to 31. I get in at 2:30am, bed by 2:35am. Time awoken?7:30am. Bloody 7:30. The hangover was not so bad, but I was groggy and tired and grumpy all day. I have an empty feeling now when I have drank, and have a slightly resentful feeling when I have an entire day doing nothing and one of my two precious weekend days is spent sat in the sofa a bit mardy and being entirely disagreeable when it comes to choosing something to watch. I was arguing with things that in retrospect were odd “stupid More 4, as if THIS was the episode of Grand Designs I wanted to watch, stupid people”. I settled on The Lake House. I cried when Christopher Plummer died. I cried when the dog ran off. I cried whenever I noticed that Sandra Bullock’s hair was an unflattering length. I then fell asleep 10 minutes before the end and awoke far less emotional than when I fell asleep.
Ultimately I blame Marianne. If we’d moved on before she settled in with another pint of Hip Hop, we would never have returned. I would never have seen the spew. And wouldn’t have had to drink a lot of vodka to forget. I wag my finger, Farrell. It’s wagging.
Today was a better day. I went to the gym, I ironed my weeks work clothes, I roasted a chicken and veg for dinner, I made scones and I made some biscuits. I was desperate to make something from Edd Kimber’s new book The Boy Who Bakes. I could not be bothered to go for a big cake, so I sat down for a moment, when I noticed my bunny cutter gathering dust. So I turned in hope of a cuttable biscuit. Et voila, shortbread.
It was a cranberry and macadamia shortbread. Now I find dried cranberries hard to eat after eating cranberry porridge everyday during my marathon training for LA. Familiarity does breed contempt. And Macadamia nuts are very expensive for the pitiful quantity you get. So I went cheaper, and tho ugh to myself that classic combo of chocolate and hazelnut may be a good bet.
So cute. I haven’t eaten one since I glazed them with the chocolate. Too cute. I’m apprehensive.
I’ll feedback when I have fed myself! Today has been glorious for baking. Radio 2 has been off the hook. Live music from Hyde Park. I love the randomness of the playlist, from Big band to folk to soul to pop. It was all there and it was all sensational. But a day in the kitchen with a Radio 2 soundtrack? 1993 flashback!!! It’s a bit different though, we’ve moved on from the days of Desmond Carrington and Sing Something Simple. My dear old Dad would argue for the worse, I’d argue for the better.
Right world. Off to bed. Sleep well. I’ll blog soon.
Let me finish with a photo of a shop which seems to have moved to a fitting location.
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