Today’s the last UK public holiday before Christmas. The last time we get a state-mandated three-day weekend, and it’s all we have to sustain us through that gulf of nearly four months. I’ve always found the front loading of the year with public holidays a little ridiculous. Obviously I don’t feel like that during the first six months of the year when I’m getting all that extra time off. I only feel like this when the end of the year rolls around and the prospect of a free long weekend dries up. I shouldn’t really complain though, I’ve still got sixteen days left of my yearly holiday allowance and through the tactical deployment of days-off, haven’t worked a full week for nearly two months. What I can complain about is the fact that I’m manfully attempting not to drown in my own mucus. Unsure as to whether it’s hayfever or a rotten summer cold I’ve been double fisting handfuls of cetirizine hydrochloride and ibuprofen in a frankly vain attempting to stem the tide. As I write my nostrils are plugged and capped with rolled-up strips of kitchen roll to stop the flow of watery snot long enough for me to write this post. But enough with my unnecessarily graphic descriptions of my personal maladies.
Today is the last day of 2012’s Edinburgh Festival, subsequently I think it fitting that today I draw my Tales From the Fringe to a close by recounting my last day at the Fringe; Sunday, August 5th, the arse end of JP’s stag-do and our weekend of debauchery and self-inflicted liver damage.
Edinburgh; well known for its dapper, cycloptic, cat-beasts
I’m back from a Kentish wedding, a wedding which I would swear took place on the surface of the sun. Being from the grim and icy wastes of northern England I am still not yet inured to the blistering heat of the late southern summer. To put it bluntly, I was sweating buckets. My heart really went out to the groom, the best man and the usher, all of whom were kitted out in full formal dress, waistcoats, cravats and all; while I sat comparatively smugly in a shirt, without a tie and with my sleeves rolled up. So JP is finally married. I thought I’d take the time this week to continue regaling you with some more Tales from the Fringe and the aforementioned JP’s stag-do.
We did not wake up easily. It came in fits and starts. All of us swaddled in that early morning darkness that gives you no real idea of time. Devoid of a clock you all lie there half awake, playing a deranged game of sleep chicken, not wanting to be the first to wake up, not to be the one impolite enough to wake everyone else up, yet all the time vying against the boredom of just lying there and the gnawing hunger in the pit of your gut. A bloke and friend of JP named Matt was the first to really cave, but under the pretext that he was off to see some triathletes who would be passing through central Edinburgh that morning. Myself and the two Richards dragged our carcasses out of bed shortly after. We had all had perhaps only 6 hours of booze fogged sleep. After spending nearly an hour trying to wrangle all of our rag-tag group together we sloped off in search of a breakfast composed primarily of fat. As any Venerable Sage will tell you, a proper old-fashioned fry-up has magical powers.
Rich: “I’ve seen things man. I’ve seen things…”
As I write this the sun is setting here in Slough and the oppressive heat of the day is leaching away into a slate blue sky. Outside the wind felt warm and stale, providing nothing in the way of respite from the baleful rays of the Day Star. Even safe within the confines of my home with the curtains closed, the heat left my brow slick with sweat. I tried to sweep my hair away from my forehead but only succeeded in making myself look like a cockatiel. This has been a lazy weekend. Even had the heat not been so strong as to sap the strength of any sane man it would still have been a lazy weekend. I need a lazy weekend. I need a lazy weekend bad. For last weekend was not lazy, it was not relaxing, it was a hectic roller-coaster of gross and improbable mischief. I was north of the border in the ancestral homeland of Scotland; in its fair capital of Edinburgh; visiting the Fringe. It was an experience to say the least.
When this post goes live I’ll be somewhere in the vague and misty reaches of northern England, on a train returning from a weekend of gross and improbable mischief. This is of course assuming that I am, in fact, still alive. This is not something I can at the present moment guarantee since I am intending upon approaching this weekend with reckless abandon, fully intending on giving the coroner no choice but to return a verdict of death by misadventure. The source of this noble quest of self-destruction? A stag-do in Edinburgh. I have to date only been on one other stag-do and it was not what most people would categorise as a stag-do. For most people the prenuptial send off is all about wild, unrestrained and highly irresponsible debauching. The stag-do I went to involved us all traipsing round to by friends house, getting roaringly drunk and playing boardgames. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing of course. The lucky gentlemen who is to be the focus of the festivities in my good friend JP.