Went back home to Southampton on Saturday to enjoy a scorching weekend of daytime drinking and all that that entails. I would have left Buckingham on the Friday evening but we were having our new stairs/landing carpet fitted on the Saturday morning. Incidentally, the hall in now looking proper bo! (photos forthcoming).
So I arrived after bearing the usual A34 snarl-up of traffic at Chively services and went straight to the Gordon Arms in Portswood for a swift lager-top with my brother. Deans and Stocky then joined us half an hour later. I had been eager to see Deans as I hadn’t done so since he’d returned from his crazy trip into the depths of Malaysia. Boy did he have a tale or two to tell! He also came bearing gifts for me: A well crafted pirate copy of Mark Knopfler’s classic soundtrack to “The Local Hero” and a perfectly snug stussy t-shirt. Bonza.
After a few more beers in the Gordon’s, I decided it might be best to leave my car in Portswood and carry on into town with the boys and get the vehicle later. We moved on to the So-Bar in Bevois Valley. Geared towards students, the place has a modern décor with a decent pub garden with decking and trendy (if you live in the 80s!) graffiti. We sank a few of the dreaded Stella’s and then Robbie and Michelle arrived to join the festivities and nearly making my day by saying they might have a couple of tickets to next week’s sold out V-festival (Coldplay, Chilli Peppers – yes please). A bunch of skinheads arrived and started smashing up the place, Hugh had a panic attack and we took that as our cue to leave (pausing briefly for a game of table football).
We ventured further into town to the Avondale house (an It’s a scream pub) whereby Deans decided that now would be time to enter into rounds of ‘Ladyboys’. This magic concoction is outlined by Alan Partridge: Beer, Baileys, Gin and Tonic drunk in that order swiftly, but in sips followed by exclaiming the phrase ‘ahh, ladyboys’. Three rounds of these later and we’re all feeling rather sozzled. By the time Ralf and Jacquie joined us the glazed-eyes were already in effect and Hugh had already sloped off, being way too pissed for his own good. We then went to the pub that used to be called ‘Butlers’ but I forget what it’s called now for a pizza. It took aeons to arrive and my head had begun to throb. I managed to sink one more pint before deciding to get a couple of litres of water from the nearby Spa (shop). I continued to drink these in the pub whilst waiting for the pizza to arrive. When it did finally arrive, Deans managed to completely drop the Ox’s on the floor. So we ended up sharing one pizza between three. Nowhere near enough dough to soak up the gallons of alcohol we’d consumed. I went back to the Spa for another couple of litres of water.
Next up (8pm), we moved on to the Varsity bar over the road. It was hideously packed and I felt decidedly dodgy. I told Deans that I would pop back later as I needed to clear my head. I walked back to Hugh’s new millionaire pad in Portswood clutching my aching head. The endless acres of garden with tennis courts etc would have truly amazed me if I hadn’t been in such agony. After the tour, I crashed out on his couch for a couple of hours. I was awoken by my mobile phone at 12pm. Deans wanted a curry. I managed to persuade them to hoof over to Portswood as I didn’t feel up to waking back into town. At 12:15 they were with me. Unfortunately all the curry houses were closed. Deans shrugged and said – “To the Dorchester for more bees!” I was less than keen. My head still throbbed and I had more-or-less completely sobered up. Still, as I was staying at Deans’ house, I felt obliged to follow the hardcore: (everybody else had left) him, his girlfriend Caroline and the OX to the Dorchester where I drank more water, watched Deans drop a couple of full pints on the floor in his usual totally gone manner and decided to slip away unnoticed. By this point I had decided to sleep in my car, I blatantly wouldn’t be getting any sleep at Deans’ anytime soon. Twenty minutes and another two litres of water later I got in my car and drove all the way back to Buckingham with a massively aching head. I got into my own bed shortly after four and slept like a baby.
The next morning I felt good and Deans rang me to see where the hell I was. I told him and he said “Shit, you must have been 17 times over the limit”. Not so, as I had drunk my last alcoholic drink at around 7:30. I had then sunk 6 litres of water, two glasses of lemonade and not driven until 2am. Seven hours later! I was, however, exceedingly hung-over but the roads were clear and I was damn tired. Probably not the best idea but next time I will have learned that I cannot even attempt to keep up with Deans’ mentalist drinking ability.