Gnightgirl expressed an interest in the photos from last week’s entry about my holiday, so I loaded them up to Flickr for the interested few. I also don’t feel too bad about ripping off a meme on her blog recently, as I’m coming down with a cold and don’t have the energy to dream up a structure for this week’s news.
The object of the meme is simply to tell you about five memorable nights in my life.
Some stories get told and retold so many times they take on a mythology of their own; this is one of those. In my late teens my parents threw enormous New Year parties. My parents invited all their friends and my sister and I were allowed to invite whomever we wished too, which in hindsight was probably not the best idea, but at the time we thought it was great. New Year 96/97 followed the usual pattern of everyone drinking way too much till the small hours and flaking out. Not Simon and I though. Oh no. At about 5.30am, having sobered up and decided we needed to keep the party going, we thought that a competition was in order: downing Southern Comfort. Daren kindly referred and we sat on the kitchen floor racing shots until 6am. Half a bottle of Southern Comfort in half an hour is never a good idea, but, sitting cross-legged on the floor I felt nothing at all. I was quite smug in declaring my victory (this is still contested to this day, but I’m the one with the blog) and took to my feet in triumph.
The world turned over and I hit the floor before I knew I had fallen over. I have no idea what happened to everyone else as by now I was crawling out of the kitchen holding onto the carpet as though I was in danger of falling off. Somehow I struggled to the front room and collapsed in a heap apparently trying to climb into a cupboard. When I came around I was curled up around the foot of the sofa with my head in a magazine rack. Miraculously I had the presence of mind to try for the bathroom and that is where the memories stop. My parents reported to me that, at about 8am they discovered a queue for the bathroom and someone told them I was in there. Just before Dad kicked in the door I staggered to my feet and opened it, totally covered in partially digested party food and alcohol. I was, literally, green. I didn’t think the human body could actually achieve such a shade, but every day is a school day: another lesson learned.
An hour later, wearing five coats and a duvet I was still shivering like a crack addict on day two of rehab. Somewhere along the line I had been reunited with Simon and was reassured that he was as bad as I was. That afternoon, having been dragged along to my grandparents’ for lunch despite my condition, my gran kindly offered me one potato and a smattering of beef whilst my grandfather quietly laughed to himself all afternoon. Now, I have been pretty bad since then, but I have never been that bad again.
My seventeenth birthday was the first of my infamous Birthday Parties, and one of the best: a candlelit party in Bath’s Victoria Park. There are loads of reasons this was a memorable night: everyone camping out overnight and ripping the tent; Simon’s declaring there was nothing he wouldn’t drink and us testing that theory to its limits; Daren setting his afro on fire. I just remember how much I laughed all night. Every party ever since has only happened because the first one was so brilliant.
Shortly after my family moved house from one my parents hated to one they loved, I was lying on the landing reading when a soap-bubble drifted up over the banister and popped on my book. When I turned around there were loads of them everywhere. My mother and sister were both sat at the bottom of the stairs, blowing bubbles and laughing. I’m not sure how it started, but I got back to reading whilst, for the next fifteen minutes, a steady curtain of soap drifted up and around me accompanied by hoots and giggles from the two of them below. I don’t know why I remember this, but it’s a nice memory.
Friday night just gone, I went out to Bristol Deaf Pub for the first time. Pascale from work came with me – as an interpreter she promised to help me out if my signing failed me. Being a beginner I was quite nervous and honestly not expecting to be able to do very much at all. How wrong I was! I had the best time and managed to chat away as though I had been doing it all my life. I’m sure I was making mistakes left, right and centre but no one cared. Sign Language at work is just that: work. This was my first real experience of BSL as a working language where I wouldn’t necessaily know what to expect (at work at least you know the context of the conversation). Throughout the hangover the following morning, I was at least consoled by my pride in having survived and enjoyed the evening, and not needed an interpreter once! Yay me!
And finally, my first night at university. I had moved out for the first time and didn’t know anyone. I’m not really sure how it all came about, but instead of going out and partying hard, me and my future friends ended up drinking red wine and eating ice cream out of the tub. I don’t remember being at all worried about moving out, nor being homesick at all, but I do remember going to bed at a reasonable time after an entertaining evening and thinking to myself as I turned off the light: today has been a good day.