In 3 days the journey begins. It’s surreal that I’m now able to say that. It’s taken it’s time getting here but it’s now finally upon us. Friday marked my last day at work after 3 years working in the department and it was a bit emotional. Now obviously it wasn’t due to the fact I’ll miss the work, no, I’ll miss the people massively though. Luckily, I’ve been given a career break so I do have the option to go back once my year in Australia is up, if I wish to do so. So that does offer some comfort that I may see the people again, however, a year is a very long time and people may have left by this point. Anyhow, the day panned out pretty much the same as every day did that week, I did very little work wise and instead spent a lot of time speaking to people and daydreaming about the sand, sun & alcohol that awaits in Sydney. My desk was decorated with banners and balloons which was a nice touch. I even got a balloon with my name on which is a first for me, it really made me smile actually.
Now one thing I was really not looking forward to was a big fuss. Sometimes in work when it’s a birthday/somebody leaving you get a whole host of people from across the department coming round at once to look at you and say bye whilst you open your cards/gifts etc. I’m quite outgoing and I’m quite confident as most of the people who know me will confirm, but I don’t do well in situations like the aforementioned. Luckily, my team didn’t organise a big send off and instead opted to give me my card and gifts in a nice intimate little team meeting, even then I was blushing as I opened my card to reveal some dollars everyone had got me. I was probably a bit red as I felt really shy and a bit overwhelmed, I was finally leaving..it all became very, real.
Fast forward through the day and we all went out after work (we work until 9pm unfortunately) to a local pub, The Toby. I’m not really very clued up on pubs around Skem but The Toby is pretty central to most of my colleagues and most know where it is so that was the chosen venue. Now I can’t name everybody who turned up and I don’t want to run the risk of naming some people and not others so I’m going to try and avoid that and just instead say thank you again to everybody who came, it really was appreciated and it’s times like that when you realise how much people mean to you. Now I’d planned not to drink much because I had another leaving do planned for the day after so I wanted to have a level head and be fresh for that. No chance. Everyone, kindly, wants to buy you a drink and they won’t take no for an answer. At one point I ended up with vodka, lemonade and lager in a pint glass…bit of a strong shandy wouldn’t you say? I’m one of the biggest lightweights around so after a couple of pints and the 3 (I think) tequila shots that were being poured down my throat I was very much tuned in so I obviously start to think I’m in a photo shoot and the cameras are all out.
What I will say is I’ve met some real great people through work and I don’t like labelling them as “work mates”. For me it’s a bit of a negative connotation because it suggests that they’re in some way not your proper mates. This isn’t the case. You spend most of your time, generally, with people at work and for me they are at the centre of my life really. So I wanna take this time to say that I really will miss you (I know some of you will be reading) and I’m gunna do my best to keep in touch whilst I’m away. Keep fighting that fraud. Keep coming up with weird questions to ask the fraudsters. Keep winding Chud up by telling him DCL is better than Rashford and Harry Kane is a tap in merchant.
Saturday can be summed up in one simple word. Heavy. Me, Jack, Jamie, Rob & Isaac all met at the bottom of Upholland outside Rewie’s (Probably not spelt correctly) at about 2:20pm. We needed to walk up to Upholland train station which is inconveniently not even located in Upholland. It’s an absolute mission away and our previous trips to catch the hourly train usually result in a 500 yard jog/run because we massively underestimate the time it takes to walk there. So we set off with plenty time. Isaac, Rob and Jamie decided it was a good idea to buy 4 cans of bud each for the journey, why not? I mean it’s not like we had 7 hours drinking ahead of us. We made the train in good time and met Elliot on the train as we passed through Orrell. Job’s a good un.
Fast forward to Manchester, the day started in Bierkeller. We all got a stein, as you do, and I’m not gunna lie it was hard to drink cause I was still feeling the effects of the night before in the Toby. Now I think I may have fallen in love with two waitresses in Bierkeller. Very much my “type” according to Isaac. He wasn’t wrong either. Not sure which one I preferred. Maybe the brunette just edged it, it’s all a bit hazy now. Anyway, we were sat waiting for Alix to turn up, our very own Pizza Hut extraordinare. We don’t see Alix as much anymore because he lives in Manchester so it was good to see him when he eventually turned up, late, of course. Formalities out the way, we finished our drinks and moved into the markets to get some food. Most of us were starving and there was only one possibility. Mustard Chicken & Garlic Roast Potatoes. Not the best option if you’re hoping to pull but it’s fantastic for lining the stomach before the abuse you’re gunna expose it to.
Once we demolished the chicken, Alix/Isaac directed us to a nearby Revs just near Bem Brazil. You know what you’re getting with Revs don’t you? Cocktails. What we didn’t expect to receive though was a pair of women’s orange hot pants…. How do I look?
We stayed in Revs for a couple hours whilst we waited for Joel, Nicole & George to arrive to fill the quota. I’m not sure how many cocktails I had but I had a fair few bananarama’s. Power. Robert De Niro wasn’t waiting though, nor was he talking Italian. I hope at least some people understand that joke. Rob, by the time J, N & G turned up was already tuned in. Loves sinking ale that lad, doesn’t know when to stop either. We had another photoshoot in Revs, highlighted below.
After Revs we headed over to Oast House in Spinningfields were Rob gifted us with one of the best drunken videos I’ve ever seen. I can’t post it on here but here’s a couple of screenshots from the video.
Sank a few ales here, nothing new. Within our group we have a wide range of drinking speeds so the gang split up at this point. Some of us headed over to Impossible and the others stayed in Oast to finish up and then wander over. Now I was planning on getting the train home at half 11ish, however, it doesn’t take much persuading when I’ve had a drink to get me to stay out so we abandoned that plan and South was on the cards. One last hurrah before Aus they said. It’ll be fun they said. 3 cans of red stripe for a tenner? Go on then. The night went downhill from there. Must’ve drank about 6 of them.
Getting home from Manchester is an absolute nightmare when you’ve not prebooked a taxi because you’re charged extortionate prices that you’re all too willing to pay when you’re longing for your bed. I had my head hanging out the taxi window for a lot of the journey home to be honest, it seems to help for some reason when I’m fighting not to be sick. About 70 quid lighter we’re back in Upholland at George’s house. For some reason me and Rob wanted to get out at George’s and then walk home (20 minutes away) in the rain. Somehow I lost Rob on the way and also nearly caught pneumonia. Nightmare of an ending to an otherwise fantastic night but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
1,475 words up until this point in this post. Sorry for that, I probably should’ve made two separate posts or just learnt how to say more in less words. Oh well, I’ll get the hang of it all won’t I? Surely? God knows. Thanks for sticking around anyway, I say it all the time, but I appreciate people taking time to read the drivel I type. There’ll probably be a shorter post up on Thursday pre flight if you fancy coming back? I’ll leave that ball in your court.. bye for now.