Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Last Day Of Paulmas

I woke up not knowing where I was - that's nothing new. Not knowing who I was however, was new.

It only took a second or two to remember my raison d'etre and I looked at my phone to see that I had beaten the alarm I didn't remember setting by a good half an hour. This was a minor miracle - I was going to vacate the Menzies Prince regent Hotel, Woodford Bridge, Essex before midday. I scrubbed myself down, pilfered every toiletry I could find, made a cup of tea and got out of there haste post haste, only stopping at reception to tell lovely Kate working on the desk (Not Gibson, the other one) that I had had a rather disturbing dream about her shaving my beard off and drawing it back on again in eyeliner. I've had better dreams. Judging by her response, she's had better compliments.

I've never gone home the same way twice from the hotel but today really took the mick. I started off well enough, re-tracing my steps North and West from the night before but then missed a left turn, took the next one, that took me over the previous one, doubled back on itself, sent me Southbound without realising it and then as I got more and more disoriented with every hopeful adjustment to my route, I eventually, a good twenty minutes later, found myself a good mile further South than when I had begun and heading East on The North Circular. Rather than make any attempt to get back on my ideal route, I instead just turned round at the first opportunity, went back the other (and correct) way on The North Circular until I picked up the A10, branched left on the A111 to Potters Bar (thinking it wasn't far away) and had a particularly tedious and arduous drive through Palmers green, Oakwood and Cockfosters before finally getting back on the A1(M) North and towards home about an hour after I should have done.

That night I went down to The Vic for a birthday meal with nine close(ish) friends by way of celebrating The last Day Of Paulmas. They do excellent cheap food on a Monday night and two courses with wine came to about fifteen quid each (I opted for a mussel pot with thai noodles and the cheeseboard. Vic (Serving) brought us extra mussels). During the meal I received a couple of late birthday cards and a little gift from my mates Limburn and Georgie who bought me some comedy pants. Not wanting to appear rude, I put them on immediately and wore them for the rest of the evening

I'm a bit of an animal
I stayed behind after everyone else left and had a couple of late ones with Vic the lovely landlady and her excellent barman, Nathan. Then it was off into the night to reflect, rather drunkenly, on five successive nights of middle-class carnage. 2012 is Olympic year - I'm going to have to pull out all the stops to make Paulmas a big enough event to do it justice.

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