“Just a quick update: The guy who was threatening to make an offer is apparently coming in to see me tomorrow to discuss stuff. I had a good viewing there today, despite your neighbour telling us he was a musician and played loud music x is coming for a second viewing with an architect on Monday.”
I found this in my inbox from my estate agent when checking my emails just before meeting up with IC on Friday night. As you may imagine, I was incandescent with rage and bloody nearly destroyed both of our evenings. I’m still deciding what to do about this matter. In the meantime I shall piece together the weekend, which was immense.
After partially recovering from this matter, and I have to say it was purely down to IC that this was achieved, we arrived at Sue and Neil’s in Islington to help them toast their new gaff. This heralded the start of a protracted, boozy and memorable (most of it anyway) weekend.
Just before lunchtime on Saturday, IC and I had to do some shopping for Sunday. I’d invited my parents, sister and kids over for a late Sunday lunch and was keen to prepare everything in advance as I was aware that I may not be fully functioning as early afternoon my presence was required at a stag event. It was rather important I attended as Frank has perhaps unwisely asked me to be his best chap.
I have to say organising said event hasn’t been problematic, the schedule was pretty much in place after a five minute chat at the end of last year, but as I travelled to the first pub it dawned on me that I was going to have to be pro-active to ensure things ran smoothly. As planned I was the first to arrive at the first pub in North Lambeth, and was delighted to discover it was a nice gaff without a fucking shouting sports screen but with real ale and my fellow imbibers seemed to be free of baseball hats and shiny sports attire. It was packed though, but as luck would have it a whole table became free just as the first of the party arrived.
Within 15 minutes of the designated meeting time everyone had arrived, all were sat down with drinks and chatting away. So far so good. After a couple we sauntered over the road to the Imperial War Museum, we only had an hour and a half because we were due at The Old Cheshire Cheese on Fleet St to meet some other bucks and the journey time was an unknown quantity. At the museum I designated a meeting point and time and after a thrilling and distressing period of looking at stuff I was pleased to discover that everyone had adhered to the schedule.
We all set off to catch the bus to Fleet Street; it was fortunate James who works for TFL was there because I’d not really considered the logistics specifically. The bus arrived after 5 minutes and was empty enough to allow us all to sit together upstairs at the front, so far so good.
I’d been worrying about my choice of pre-dinner venue every since the decision was made to attend. The Old Cheshire Cheese is one of London’s oldest and most famous boozers, it was Saturday afternoon and the chances of us sitting collectively were slim. Again, we lucked out for as we entered a rival stag party was exiting, there must have been 20 of the buggers and dressed like twats featuring a sozzled stag in bra and panties, leaving behind a vast empty table in the cellar bar. This was indeed excellent luck I thought as I popped down another pint.
We stayed in TOCC for a few then headed to Simpson’s on The Strand for dinner. This was the highlight of the whole do and the reason we were all dressed in a smart/casual sort of way. We arrived slightly after 8 o clock and led into an enormous oak panelled dining area where a long table, clad in fresh white linen bearing glittering glasses and cutlery, awaited our fucking pleasure. For over two hours we merrily ate and drank our weight in meat and vino. As none of us are bristling with cash I’d taken the precaution to advise the stags to start saving for this part of the evening early January as I was aware it could come to £100 a head. I had a starter of wood pigeon and a main of roast sucking pig; both dishes were fantastic but I should’ve opted for the beef, which arrived in huge silver salvers wheeled-in by suitably attired chefs who ceremoniously carved the beef right onto the plate. It would’ve been worth ordering just for that, Frank leant me a sample of his dish and I knew there and then that whilst my plate was delicious, his was fucking sensational.
It was a very happy few hours, by now the stags were all well lubricated and it was decided that we should go from the restaurant to another venue in which to throw more booze down our throats. We polished off the last of the cheese course and set off. Unfortunately I had clean forgotten the name of the place suggested to me by Harry who’d had to go home after dinner to attend to his young family. All eyes were on my to arrive at a solution, I had nothing but shrugs. We found a couple of places but one was just closing and the other was abhorrent, somehow we found ourselves in Villiers Street on Charing Cross and decided to join the shortest queue for a bunch of nightclubs just to get another drink in us, no one gave a shit what sort of place it was…
…an hour later what was rest of the group were crowded round a large white piano where some stage school type was belting out Don McLean’s American Pie with the rest of us raucously joining in. I’d lucked out again, in addition to free entry, there was room to move about, get served at the bar and have a bloody good sing song, which leant a Victorian sort of air to the night, an appropriate way to digest Simpson’s fare I felt.
By 2am we were all spent. I have to say I wasn’t catatonic but certainly not safe for operating heavy machinery. Jamie was due to stay at my gaff so we said a fond farewell to Frank and the last of the stags and set off for home. We didn’t have to wait for the bus; miraculously it just rolled up as I was wondering where to get it from.
I’m not sure where all of this good fortune was coming from but there was a little bit more left in the pot. On the bus Jamie and I were discussing the last Hawkwind gig we’d been too, how awful it was if I’m to be honest, when the bloke behind butted in. This chap was a hippy type and was also a fan of sorts, we got talking and after 5 minutes mentioned that he was going to a squat party and it just turned out the venue was virtually opposite the spot Jamie and I would have to alight on Hackney Road. He suggested we might like to come along; I’ve no idea what possessed me to agree.
We walked into the squat at 3am, I wasn’t expecting this huge place to have a stage, a proper bar and a pukka sound system. It was packed full of punks, hippies, grebos, travellers, tramps, dossers and clubbers, a right mixed bag but the atmosphere was pleasant enough for a while. Jamie and I bought a couple of cans of beer and found a place to sit. Such was our condition sitting wasn’t working for us so we got up to dance, a sure sign it’s time for me to turn in. After this we bumped into the bloke on the bus at the very same time about 50 people began having a frenetic punch-up, this lasted all of a 30 seconds before the instigator of the trouble, a very out-of-place looking skinhead, was violently ejected.
The man rolled a joint that we smoked before discovering we were now heading towards incapacitation. It was time to go, I dimly recall on leaving that the man and I slapped each other’s faces. It wasn’t a long walk back but a 10-minute walk took us almost half an hour. It was 6am when we got home, at 7 am I was stood in the kitchen poking lumps of Jamie’s earlier meal down the sink wondering why I’d not poured it down the loo.
My parent were due over at 2pm but I thought I’d said 1pm. Either way I was awake at 11am following a paltry 4 hours sleep wondering who I was. Jamie was touch and go for 30 mins, it looked as if he may throw up again but he turned a corner and by the time he left at midday (without his phone) I was almost chipper.
IC was a sight for my sore, red eyes I can tell you. I was a bit out of sorts as one could imagine so she took charge of the food and arranged the flat to accommodate the arrival of the folks and co. At 2 my sis and bro-in-law arrived with my little nieces and after getting hopelessly lost my folks finally showed up at 3. Quite incredibly I found myself drinking fucking wine which whilst utterly irresponsible did a marvellous job of staving off the hangover. It was a lovely afternoon, my eldest niece, just turned two, is now chatting away like she’s been doing lines and it was just bloody nice spending time with everyone.
By 6 they were all gone, IC and I were feeling very pleased with ourselves for making the afternoon a success. The rest of Sunday was spent in front of the box; we watched 3 films almost back to back and did the rest of the bloody wine. So there you have it, a weekend, well about a months worth of weekends in one and I have to admit I’ve felt better.
I think I’ll have Cunt killed.