Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I was the old boot

The heat of the past week coupled with a few juicy hangovers has laid me low. Certainly too low for me to find the desire to author anything insightful. As ever, I refuse to apologise.

Having recovered from having my inner ear irrigated on Friday night, Saturday morning saw me and Housemate Reggae - whose ribs were still sore having heard about my encounter - lunching on our poorly turfed lawn, absent mindedly listening to the South African who resides across the other fence effortlessly dropping profanities into his conversation with the frequency only he seems able to manage. Our proposed road trip to Leeds had been called off - which I, not fancying four hours in a hot car, was quite glad about - and we were mulling over what alternative excitement we should instead seek out in our fair city.

And then it struck me. Today was the day of my old schoolfriend Jon’s annual Monopoly Board pub crawl; an event which was entering it’s 5th consecutive year and one which, despite having been resident in the city and never more than a stone’s throw away from at least one square for each and every one, I had never managed to attend. I got on the phone and found out they were at Liverpool Street, having thankfully already got the dirty browns out of the way, and were heading in my direction to Angel. Thus, the day’s entertainment was sorted.

Having jumped on the Angel bound bus on Holloway Road, who greeted me on the steamy and crowded upper deck but the Cute Swedish Waitress. My immense satisfaction at this pleasing coincidence lessened as I noticed that the temperature inside the bus was comfortably in the forties, and this could only mean I was going to get a spectacular sweat on (and I am blessed with The Gift of the Sweat at the best of times). Although London on a hot day can swelter with the best of them, such occurrences happen about 9 times out of the 365 available days, and therefore it's perhaps understandable London Transport doesn’t stretch to providing any form of heat relief on its buses (in fact, it's quite common for them to leave the heating on on days like these). Any hope I was harbouring for a breeze of exhaust-filled air to whip through an open window and across the upper deck was nipped in the bud by Holloway’s inevitable congestion. As we sat and made inane conversation I stealthfully made use of her glances out of the window to remove the gathering reservoirs of sweat on my brow and splash them onto the aisle floor. Twenty perspiration filled minutes together later (and not of the sort I'd really have liked) our bittersweet encounter ended and I peeled my drenched back off the seat and made my farewells, smoothly recovering from a near arse-over-elbow slip on my own puddle of sweat.

We'd been unsure what to expect of the crawl and were pleasantly surprised to find a veritable army of crawlers on arrival at Angel, and we swiftly got stuck into some lush pints of Magners (on ice). I hadn't seen Jon for ages - we know one another from when we shared a table for Maths with Mr Smith when we were thirteen - and but we share a very maintenance-free friendship which means we can happily pick up having not seen each other in years.

The beer and cider continued to flow throughout the day and the temperature continued to soar, until dusk brought our sunburnt and muddled group to Leicester Square and the final few squares to be attempted. Soon time was nearly up, and with 19 of the 25 squares imbibed upon (damn you, poxy Vine Street, and your lack of pub), I held the sacred board and watched Jon by twilight dancing in one of the fountains in Trafalgar Square as heritage wardens furiously tried to bait him out from the sidelines. Satisfied, he finally emerged and we headed to the final square of the evening, Pall Mall. Miraculously, on this most exclusive of streets we managed to find a pub, although how happy they were to see us was questionable. "Fucking Monopoly lot" was the specific greeting, if I remember correctly. But the balmy summer evening and Jon's encyclopaedic knowledge of sing-along songs in the absence of a jukebox eventually won them over, to the extent that last orders had been rung and free drinks were now (perhaps unnecessarily) being poured.

I awoke the next morning with little recollection of my journey home but feeling surprisingly unhungover. This was taken as a good sign that the previous day's suggestion that we attend The Church in Kentish Town was a goer. Not that sort of Church, you understand. Rather, one of the larger collections of pickled antipodeans you could hope to come across indulging in some hedonistic Sunday afternoon boozing. By 3 o’clock I was steaming drunk before dinnertime for the second day running, and my 9-tin addled brain was becoming caught up in the heady mix of boobies and compere Neil Sand’s unique brand of Commonwealth patriotism. Forgive me, but I may even have roared "Fuck Yeah!" with the braying crowd and punched the air at one point. Emerging into the ferocious heat of the late afternoon, the weekend was catching up with me and it was the best our motley crew could do to stagger to nearby Hampstead Heath and snore in the sun, providing a somewhat refreshing alternative to the wholesome scenes of happy families that surrounded us.

Sometimes, the weekend can seem like harder work than the week itself.


deanne said...

God - I remember the Church. I went about six years ago, when it was still in Kings Cross. So long ago!

Shane said...

And I remember those forget yourself punch the air moments - I tend to save them for occasional minor sporting moments - all hugely uncool and laughable to friends who expect more 'reserve' from Shane.

Glad that you and fountain boy didn't get arrested.

Lanette said...

I had 4 drinks at an 80s Theme Birthday Party this past Friday night, and woke up so hung over I SWORE to never drink again. I think that was about the 7th time I had vowed that.

Of course, not being a beer girl (odd, with me being from Texas), I had 2 Jello shots and a very strong Bacardi and Coke (I have never really POURED myself a drink before, so I just kept on pouring...). They also had Hawaiian Punch and Vodka streaming from a large jug that everyone could take part in. After having my first drink of the night on an empty stomach and promptly becoming a bit tipsy, I decided that I could not taste this so-called "vodka", and decided to spike my already alcoholed punch with my Bacardi.

And I wonder why I was so hungover the next day. Note to self: Never drink liquor on top of liquor, and be sure, before a night out, to fill my tummy with something OTHER than more alcohol before drinking.

Glad you had fun. Glad you were safe. NOT glad that you weren't hung over.

La Bona said...

Hi there

Apologies for posting an off topic question here.

I am invitation your views on ABORTION in order to present a case to help those in the developing world.

I personally see abortion as a NECESSARY EVIL and that unwanted pregnancy is not only a personal problem and it is also a very real problem for the society at large.

Do you think it is right to burden say a 15 years old school-going girl with a new life when she is yet to have any economic mean to sustain herself and obviously, most girls of her age are not mentally ready for a family life. Furthermore, is it fair to rob her of her career, aspiration, dream etc., in the name of preserving a life that is yet to be fully developed.

If you have an opinion, please email it to me at divinetalk@gmail.com or if you wish, you may post your comment here: Your Onions Counts!

Thanks, La Bona

Huw said...

Hi there la bona,

Apologies for posting an off topic response here.

I am not invitation your views on RANDOM UNWANTED COMMENTS in order to present a case to help those in the blogging world.

I personally see random unwanted comments as an UNNECESSARY EVIL and that unwanted random comments are not only a personal problem and it is also a very real problem for the blogging society at large.

Do you think it is right to burden say a 24 years old unemployed fellow with a new unwanted comment when he has excitedly rushed to his blog having received a 'new comment' email and obviously, most men of his age are not mentally ready for the resulting crushing disappointment. Furthermore, is it fair to rob him of his, ahem, career, aspiration, dream etc., in the name of stimulating your own barren comments section.

If you have an opinion, please don't email or, whether or not you wish, you may not post your comment here.

Thanks, Huw

Lanette said...

Well done.

Shane said...

I concur with your views on unnecessary evil.