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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Paint Your Wagon

I do like birthday parties. Not mine, now I'm approaching the Final Countdown, but I'm game to attend others.

On Saturday a neighbour of ours celebrated his 40th. I had been invited -au natural - and I was keen to go along and help him blow out his candles.

We had started on an alcohol free week before the Saturday - having bought in cases of very low alcohol beer. Friday was fuzzy head free and as Saturday loomed I made a mental note to ensure that the weekend would be given over to wine, wine and more wine.

The party was to start at 7 pm, but we were invited round to friends who asked us over to sign some important papers related to the sale of their house.The day had been tough so we had a late afternoon tipple and went around to our friends: the ones that are moving, eventually to deepest Cornwell. To show their appreciation they offered us a glass or two of wine.

I headed off to the birthday party around 8 pm. The place was packed, and the middle room was given over to casks of craft beers, and a few bottles of wine. I had a glass of beer and met up with some other neighbours and we chatted and drunk and drunk and chatted. I fell into the company of a group of architects - birthday boy is one and runs a local agit-group of like minded professionals so the place was full of members of the RIBA.

I'm not sure at what time I found myself talking to another neighbour who was going to be a stand up comedian - he was rather serious - but I do remember volunteering to write his jokes. I also remember standing in the kitchen with a load of blokes - passing lewd comments on those going to the loo. A great reminder of my student days when most parties were spent in the kitchen; while my flat mates were successfully chatting up the birds.

I do remember thinking that I ought to go home as everything was starting to look rather stereophonic. I remember walking down the road to our house, entering our house, climbing the stairs and expressing some surprise that the missus was still awake. Apparently that was so I'd be safely put to bed.

I offered to make a cup of tea, went down to the kitchen and promptly fell down the stairs. A cut nose and a distraught wife later found me in bed and asleep as my head hit the pillow.

I awoke late Sunday to be regaled by accounts of my antics. I e-mailed the party giver not actually apologising for having a skinful but describing the events on leaving the party and thanking him and his girlfriend for a great time. I subsequently learnt that they carried on for another two and half hours retiring at 3:30 am. Like me they have promised to avoid the fruit of the hop for a while.

It was while we were cutting down one of the street trees: it had died that we learnt of Cilla's death. I never really liked her as a singer and definitely thought "Blind Date" and "Surprise, Surprise" were proof positive of the need for BBC2,3 and 4. Clearly I'm in a minority. Her death brought a ground swell of genuine regret at her passing.

And of course, in my student days in the flat in West Hampstead, I'd be in the kitchen listening to her warbling "Any One Who Had A Heart" and wondering why I wasn't lucky with girls.


Steve said...

"I had been invited -au natural" - or au natural?

Good to hear you are the life and soul of the party. i.e. the person other people talk about.

Mr and Mrs said...

My husband got very drunk once. He has never been the same since

Barry Coidan said...

Dear Steve, it's the least I can do. People of my age need something to keep them occupied.

Dear Mr & Mrs, an improvement I hope.