Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Parties and Progress (attempt 3)

Oh my dear, I just wrote the most amusing and entertaining blog of my career to date and it somehow deleted itself without reason or explanation. I feel so dismayed. And then as if to add insult to injury, I then re-wrote it and it again deleted itself. I feel as if the universe is trying to thwart me at every turn.

As such this blog entry will be a mere mockery of the splendour that was the lost two blogs, a shadow, a hollow imprint. But we must not bend to the trickery of the computerised era, we must never give up!

So again, I will begin. Apologises dear reader for the gap in my blogging. My reasons are many, my excuses few. I would blame the postal strike if I could. I hate a postal strike, it unnerves me to the very core. Perhaps this has been exacerbated by the fact I have recently won the complete set of Buffy DVDs from eBay and I am anxious to its safe arrival. Perhaps.

Anyway let’s move on from Buffy, though it’s hard I know. The hen night was the next big thing in my social calendar and it began with a road trip. Jenny, the kiddie doc , Sarah the splendid landlady and I embarked upon this great task two Saturdays ago. It was piloted by the fair Jenny in her rather nice new corsa and on our trip we made a brief sojourn to Perth to her see equally fair sister for lunch. The last time I was Perth was many years ago and for a funeral, a sad affair by definition. This visit to Perth was by far mush more cheery and I was surprised and delighted by the town. Jenny’s sister lives in a delightful little flat with curiously, two windows in her rather oddly, but sweetly shaped living room fully furnished with a very cute little fabric upholstered chair. I was also pleasantly surprised by the main shopping district of Perth, a compact and functional street populated with the high street worthies and a few independent boutiques. As a country girl (ish) at heart, I often find larger towns and cities a bit daunting. I’m finding in particular that Princes Street in Edinburgh is a rather monstrous place not helped by the streamlining of pedestrians to only one side of the road due to the never ending tramworks. Whenever I find myself on Princes Street, it enrages me to no end the length of time it takes you to go from one end to the other partly due to its length, but also the unremitting amount of incredibly slow window shoppers who go about their business in an alarmingly foot dragging fashion. Not only do they seem to walk slower than humanly possible, they also seem to expand and completely disallow passage past them. It fills me with great frustration to the point I avoid it all costs and instead, if shopping I frequent the St James shopping centre. This slightly drab centre is medium sized with medium sized shops and medium sized people. They neither walk slowly nor fast, neither fat nor thin. Nothing exciting will ever happen there, but conversely nothing truly awful will occur either. A bearable shopping experience can be had by all. They also employ the youngest shop assistant ever in the history of the world in the home section of the John Lewis. He looked about 10, I almost called the CPA, but then like all uninvolved Britons, I thought it wasn’t my problem and it was somebody else’s responsibility. It’s nothing to do with me.

Anyway after the adventure in Perth we sallied forth to Aberdeen where the festivities were to take place, depositing Sarah at her sister’s and collecting Karen (sadly stuck in Dumfries) and heading to my brother’s. In fact it seems siblings were the theme to the weekend providing food and shelter for all. After making ourselves appropriately attired for the evening - shiny shoes check, shiny hair check, unshinied face check, we were on our way. To her great surprise, Sarah the splendid landlady found herself arriving first at the pub, a fact she and we all found rather surprising and to be honest I’m still not sure any of us are over the shock. Fortunately the troops were not far away for Sarah and soon the pub was filled with the hen, old uni friends and about 72 of the hen’s aunts. I was introduced to every one of the hen’s aunts, but by the time I was told their names, I instantly forgot them due to the sheer volume of information coming my way. It was very kind of them to travel north for the occasion and made the party more buoyant and interesting for their presence. Also in the party were Lori’s sister and mother whom I was most pleased to see again and it occurred on me after the fact the last I had met Jeanette (the hen mum) was at graduation. How time flies when you abandon your responsibilities and go swanning off around the world. Once we were so gathered, we moved on the restaurant where fortunately for the other diners, we had a our own room. It was then the hen’s mum handed out some rather splendid head attire for all, Lori’s being a top hat with veil and the rest of the party having a rather nice headband adorned with a feather and plastic flower. I was most taken with mine and it provided useful for keeping my hair out of my food.

After foolishly ordering a bottle of house red for the table, I then discovered that me and one other were the only ones wanting red so I forced myself to drink this as well as some white I had already ordered. This led me to believe I was a truly talented photographer and designated myself the evening’s official paparazzi. If I can work out to do so I will post some of the photos for your delectation and judgement. After the meal was over some of the 72 aunts retired whilst the rest of the party continued on to a pub. After this however, the majority voted that bed was the next option. This included the hen. Despite the general lack of enthusiasm for drunken dancing I would not be thwarted and I was joined by Sarah (the splendid flatmate) and Karen (currently in Dumfries). We decided to relive our youth and go ‘the Nage’ or Espionage as it is properly known. Espionage is a free club that sits at the end of Belmont street and is known for its cheesy music, crowded dance floor and broken glass. The management in their wisdom made the floor an incredibly hard stone and made the dance floor adored with pillars with ledges just ever so slightly too small to accommodate the glasses they provide the various alcoholic drinks in. This results in an inevitable shattering of many receptacles and glass in many the poor innocent toes of young ladies- and I am no exception. After one particularly fateful night, rarely have I worn open toes shoes again.

Anyway we brave three, we merry three, we band of bladdered, made our way to the mecca of our past and danced the night away. Or at least we tried. The Nage has a peculiar habit of being perfectly fine and pleasant to dance in and then suddenly without warning becomes full beyond capacity and causes major crushing upon the dance floor. However this did not stop us and we danced very compactly until the music became too unbearable and we left. Karen and I waved Sarah off in a taxi – all of us still wearing our lovely hen bands and then decided despite the mountains of food we had earlier that evening that we needed more food. Fortunately, my brother’s flat is situated upon a 24-hour shop and there we purchased seemingly unending mountain of crisps. Now I mentioned earlier that Jenny was also staying at my brother’s but there was only one set of keys so when she had retired earlier we were left with only option but to ring her to be let in. Now, as she been in bed for some time of course we were gentle and quiet when we rang her demanding the gatekeeper release the drawbridge. Or as quiet as we could be until once arriving in the flat and deciding to eat our crisps enthusiastically in the other room. Fortunately, Jenny informed me the next day she been so sleepy that she barely remembered our squawking and to my further relief my brother himself had been gadding about until a good while after our return and as such was not disturbed.

The next day I was surprisingly fresh and Jenny and I met Lori for lunch before we all went our separate ways. I being the unemployed waster that I am had decided to stay on a while in Aberdeen before going north to see my mother. This gave my brother and me a chance to take my grandfather out for lunch which is always a pleasurable affair. I may have mentioned that he recently turned ninety and had a huge party not too long ago. I had not seen him since then, but it appears that since that event he has gone from strength to strength. It’s like the party filled him with a new lease of life and our lunch soon turned into coffee and a chat around the fire for some hours as he told us some fantastic stories about how our great grandparents forbade him to marry their daughter (later to became our grandmother) and the like. It was a most pleasant afternoon.

Because I stayed on in the 'deen this meant I also had the opportunity to play poker with my brother and his friends the following evening. When I lived in Aberdeen I would infrequently attend my brother’s poker nights whenever my rota allowed. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I never improved at all during my multiple attendances and that I am a terrible bluffer. Every week Niall records the players’ rankings and whenever I play I am almost without an exception last or 2nd last. However , that night was to be my night. In some freak of nature and in defiance of god’s law not only did I win poker, but actually won so convincingly there was almost no doubt of the outcome at any stage . I consistently bet and bluffed well and drew good cards. It was quite astonishing and I don’t truly know how I accomplished it. It was just a shame that it wasn’t for money.

After my triumph at the card hall, I then went north to see my mum and to inspect the progress of her house. I am happy to report that the bathroom is finished and the kitchen is underway. The cat is surviving despite having a rivalry with one of my aunt’s cat and is getting fatter by the minute and the Borg, sorry I mean the dogs, are as troublesome as ever. I was informed on my arrival that Tom (three of five is his Borg name) had not only eaten Richard’s breakfast that morning, but also my mother’s hard back library book. He was quite literally in the dog house (or the van which is standing in it's place).

The next few days mostly consisted of eating and being amused by the Borg. The Wednesday was mum’s birthday and in the evening joined by two brothers, one fiancĂ©, one aunt and partner and of course mum and Richard, we went through to Fortrose to a very nice hotel/bar and had a most delightful meal. In an unusual bout of generosity I offered to drive for some reason and as a result got the pleasure of watching my family get more progressively drunk and most amusingly see my mother after 2 glasses of champagne. For most, 2 glasses of champagne would be nothing, but in my mother’s case this resulted in her near stupefaction and some rather school girl antics around the dinner table.

After all that excitement, more was to be had when I checked my email to discover that I had not one, but two job interviews. This turn of events came at just the right moment as I was beginning to lament that I would never find a job and become a productive part of society again. I don’t want to say too much about the jobs, not because I’m superstitious, but mostly because as this is the third time writing this blasted blog, I am now tired.

I returned to Edinburgh after my mother’s party and since then have been preparing for these interviews whilst of course finding the time to visit the chocolate shop, buy Buffy from eBay and start selling my old DVDs eBay myself. You see I am becoming very enterprising in my unemployment. First winning poker, now an eBay seller. The status.

Right I’m off to see if I can get some of these photos on the page. If they do not appear below, well then, I’ve not managed and as such won’t be adding photo-shop extraordinaire to my CV.

Oh, I seem to have manged it, but they have become before the blog and are sequentially backwards. And I could only seem to download 5. Ah well, you can't have everything. Oh and sorry Sarah, but I couldn't resist putting your alternative hen band positon pic up.

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