The christmas party season

The christmas party season has started and so has my annual optimistic plan to stop drinking…at some point in the future. It was going to be december, but Ian pointed out what a stupid idea that was. So it moved to January. After careful consideration this too has been ruled out on grounds of stupidity; the coldest, greyest, miserable month of the year needs to be fought off somehow. So the current favourite is now February.

Ian was right, giving up drinking in the build-up to the let-down of Christmas would be a mistake, if not impossible. The start of the festivities was a weekend in Brighton to celebrate Mod’s birthday. Mod’s friend Claire had rented an excellent little house in the south lanes and a bunch of us went down there on friday night. Needless to say it was one long pissup and very, very enjoyable. Michele only stayed one night and went home on saturday to nurse a hangover. Persevering, I stayed another night…not that I had a choice. Ben, Ian and I had spent the day in various pubs avoiding Christmas shopping with Mod et al, and so by the evening I was in no fit state to catch a train anyway. Ben introduced me to a bar called “ali-cats” or something. You know sometimes you get a feeling like you are really in the right place ? OK it could be the fact I was quite “merry”, but there was more to it. For a start, when we got there half the bar was turned into a mini cinema and they were showing easy rider. It’s been years since I’d seen it and all of these nostalgia neurons started to fire. Even Plumstead can look nice through rose coloured specs. Not only that but there was a poster on the wall for an upcoming hawkwind concert – supported by Arthur Brown and Gong! Damn. This was ultranostalgia. After the film, the bar went back to being a bar and they decided to put a CD on of really rather groovy music. All good.
In the cold grey light of sunday morning I woke up feeling the usual aches of post-alcohol depression and shame and decided to bail out. I get this frequently but two days on the trot was probably enough. Mod and the others bravely stayed another night and went back to work early monday morning. They win.

After the excess of Brighton I needed a break. But didn’t get one. The Language resource centre had a party after work on tuesday. It was probably very good because I can’t remember most of it. Just shocking flashbacks involving being an obnoxious twat – I tried apologising to people the next day but luckily they couldn’t remember anything either.

Finally, thursday was the Staff Ball at the glamourous Rivoli Ballroom. Usual thing, nuff said. This year I managed to bore the arse of people demonstrating a magic trick I’d learned that day in the Magic shop in London: making a hankie disappear and then reappear.

Tired and emotional I was woken up, surrounded by detritus from a carribean takeaway, on Colin’s couch by Michele telling me the cab had arrived. A good night all in all. Next week is the I.S. christmas meal in the pub, followed by the I.S. party. Oh dear.

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