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Sunday, June 13

Another Day, Another Drunken Night Out

"A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day."

OK, so my Friday wasn't quite at the same level of sheer grandeur as The Return Of The King, but it did take on a somewhat similar epic quality. Well, sort of.

It all began, as these things often do, with a brief exchange of text messages on Thursday night, with a mate of mine (Sketch) from back home in Melksham who has just moved to London for a year to work. I have a feeling I mentioned this in my post on Thursday, but I might as well make sure I've got the back story covered.

He's working down at Canary Wharf, in the big tower there doing some kind of banking job, so we arranged to meet after he'd finished work on the Friday. I figured that seeing as I was heading to Canary Wharf just as everyone would be leaving the office, I'd better put on at least a shirt, if not a tie.

Basically, I looked half-decent on Friday, with my short new haircut, a nice shirt (sleeves rolled up, of course. I fucking hate wearing anything long-sleeved), a classy pair of grey trousers and my black shoes. Like I said, I made an effort.

But fuck me, is Canary Wharf an impressive place or what? I had to wait outside Sketch's building for a few minutes whilst he finished work, so I snapped a few photos of the high-rise buildings on my phone. They'll be up on the PhotoBlog tonight, along with various other pictures from the rest of the evening.

Sketch came to meet me pretty soon, and we made our way to the first bar of the evening. This would be at 5.30 in the afternoon.

It was really good to see Sketch, as I hadn't spoken to anyone from back home for a good 7 or 8 weeks before Friday night. We spent ages swapping stories from our unis, and reminiscing about (drunken) times back home in the 'Sham. We also found time to visit a good number of bars at Canary Wharf.

There are a surprisingly high number of them, and seeing as it was still daylight, it was a bit of a surprise when Sketch got a phone call, looked at his phone and saw that it was nearly 10 in the evening! Ummm, can you say 4 hours of beers without noticing?

We Melksham guys don't mess about when it comes to sinking a few beers. I reckon by that time we'd had 6 or 7, but I can't really be sure. And do you know what the best thing was? I hadn't fallen asleep! What with my recent track record, that's a half-decent achievement.

Sketch had to get back home by then, so we said our goodbyes, and I hopped back on the Tube, heading back towards my house in Northwest London.

Obviously, this goes via Central London, which is where my uni is located. Friday night is Phase night, as I'm sure you're already aware, after my numerous posts from the morning after each night. This Friday was the last Phase of the year, but I wasn't really planning to go.

Of course, a few beers does funny things to a guy's mind, so I jumped off the Tube at Westminster, went outside the station and rang a couple of my housemates who I thought would be there. The first wasn't, but thankfully (or maybe not, considering the hangover on Saturday) Leigh was already there.

In my slightly (read, quite) inebriated state, I made the inspired decision to walk the relatively short distance from Westminster station to Temple, which is approximately half a mile, along the river. You can't get lost.

I got so lost.

It took me nearly half an hour to cover that half-mile distance. It didn't help that I left Westminster station by completely the wrong exit, and ended up on a bit of Whitehall that I didn't realise. I took my bearings by Big Ben, and walked in a direction that I thought was the right way to go, bearing in mind where Big Ben was.

However, unbeknownst to me, Big Ben has more than one side to it. Shock horror, but Big Ben is a 3-dimensional building, and you can thus be facing a side of it, rather than the front. This screwed up my sense of position and subsequent direction...

I wandered for what seemed like ages, occasionally stopping to look at a handy map in this area of green in which I found myself. I didn't realise until I looked the area up in my A to Z the next day, but I'd headed north-west from Westminster, had a good walk around St James' Park, and eventually ended up in Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Square I recognised. I knew that I'd got a bit lost, but I couldn't go wrong from here, could I? All I had to do was walk down the Strand to my uni. It was a straight road, easy as pie.

I promptly took the wrong turn off Trafalgar Square, heading back down Whitehall towards Westminster station once more. This time, I realised very quickly that I'd taken a wrong turn, and was able to turn down the next street on the left, in attempt to get back to the Strand.

I thus found myself at Embankment station, where I should have got to about 20 minutes earlier. From here, I made it to King's without getting lost again (I followed the river. It's big and wet, and you can't miss it. Well, you can't miss it twice).

The savvy amongst you may be asking yourself, why didn't I just take the Tube from Westminster to Temple? Well, yes, that would definitely have been a better idea, but beer does play these tricks on you. Walking around in a short-sleeved shirt at 11 at night? Yeah, that's definitely a good idea! I swear beer sometimes conspires against its consumer...

(For those of you who like maps and a visual guide, here is a map of the area. I started at Westminster tube (bottom-right), and wanted to get to Embankment tube (top-right). My route was as follows:
West to St James' Park; North in the park, past Duck Island to The Mall; East to Trafalgar Square (where it says Charles' Statue); South down Whitehall; East along Whitehall Place back to the river. Like I said, a fucking stupid way of doing things.)

On the plus side, however, I did take a few photos in St James' Park, including a fantastic one from inside the overhanging branches of a lit-up willow tree. They're on the PhotoBlog by now.

So, eventually I made it to my uni, bought a ticket from a friend of mine who was working the door that night, and headed upstairs to meet my housemate. Thankfully, he was still about, and we headed further upstairs into Tutu's.

Leigh, my housemate, was also fairly pissed by this stage, and so it was straight to the bar for another beer. Actually, I think it was Snakebites this time, although memory from now on is a little hazy.

I do remember a couple of things very clearly though. The first was my relief at seeing a sign at the bar which said that their card machine was broken, so they couldn't accept any credit or debit cards, and couldn't give cashback. Everyone was told to go downstairs if they wanted more cash. I knew that I'd be too lazy to go all the way down three flights of stairs and back up, just for money to buy alcohol, so that was a good thing, especially bank-balance-wise.

I then headed upstairs, where I bumped into my fans. You know who you are. You all love me...

For those who don't know, a few people from my course read this blog, and are apparently quite addicted to it. How very sad. ;) (And no, I'm still not going to stop putting little comments to myself in brackets. I like putting comments to myself in brackets, even though they might make me sound pompous or whatever. How did Wales get on in the Rugby World Cup, by the way? I forget these things)

I took loads more photos, of them, and of the dancefloor and of a load of random things / people which I don't remember seeing at all. I was getting quite drunk by this point, if I wasn't at that stage already. By now, I'd switched onto the double Southern Comfort and lemonades, which the (fit) bargirl managed to get right at the second attempt (I can completely understand how you can confuse someone saying "two double Southern Comfort and lemonades" with "two double whiskey and cokes". It's an easy mistake to make. She was so very fit though).

Another quite random thing happened whilst I was standing around upstairs with a few of the guys, chatting about random shit (mostly me and my blog, if I may say so myself). This random (sorry, I keep using that word, but this truly was random) girl came up to me and just, well, kissed me.

Cool, no worries, she was pretty good-looking (I think), and she thankfully didn't use the word "buff". In fact, I don't remember there being any exchange of words at all. What happened next was quite strange too. Her friend, a pretty brunette, then said something along the lines of "that's not fair", and then proceeded to kiss me too, before they both walked off.

I gather that they were on some kind of who-can-pull-the-most contest, but that's fine with me. Just so long as I wasn't the "champion" of a pull-an-ugly-guy contest, I'm not too fussed. Actually, that couldn't have been what happened, because Ant was standing nearby. He would have been a worthy champion.

The rest of the night becomes a bit of a blur, with a few stand-out moments. I'll do my best to remember those and describe them briefly here.

A friend of mine from halls last year, as well as from my course, was working in the club that night, and I spent a good 10 minutes or so chatting to her about, well, I've no idea. All I do remember is that I was talking to her for a while, or more probably slurring at her whilst she talked to me. That's a much more likely scenario.

The next clear memory is being in the shots bar, strolling up to the bar to find a couple of mates buying a few random little shooters. I was offered one, and had it down my throat before I'd even bothered asking what was in it. That could have been a very stupid move, because I will throw up instantly if I drink tequila or most whiskeys (whiskies?), but thankfully this was just a mixture of Bailey's and Creme de Menthe, which slips down very nicely.

Whilst in the shots bar, I think I remember chatting to Mike, amongst others, about the idea I'd had for a website called King's Stings, which would be in a blog format, but would be a place for all sorts of gossip about King's students to be posted. The idea came from a combination of PopBitch and the quite hilarious (true) story of this guy I know at King's who quite literally shat himself after drinking too much one night. There are photos to prove the first instance of this happening, and many, many witnesses to the second (yes, SECONF) occurrence. Of course, he doesn't know that we know, which makes it all the funnier. I might write up the full story at some point. If not, it will be the foundation of King's Stings. Why did I have the idea for this website just as I'm about to move to Germany?!

What else happened? I remember waving quite manically from the balcony at someone who I thought I recognised on the dancefloor, but evidently was someone else, judging by the confused and disturbed look on her face before eventually returning my wave. I do that too often when I'm drunk, thinking I recognise someone but it actually being someone else.

The next thing I vaguely remember is going into McDonald's on the Strand, as I was heading to the bus stop. Yes, shame on me, I know, but I hadn't eaten all day! That could go some way to explaining the drunkenness, come to think of it. It was as insipid and crap as I remember from my last trip to McDonald's, which must have been over 2 years ago. I told you beer conspires against its consumer. It even impinges on any morals that they have!

I think I got the night bus home, although I can't really remember. Come to think of it, I definitely did, because I remember fiddling with the ticket machine at the bus stop for fucking ages, trying to get my coin back out of the slot. I'd put it in before I remember that my tube pass was valid for the bus journey, and then spent a good 5 minutes trying to shove my fingers in in an eventually vain attempt to recover it.

No doubt if I did I tried to talk to everybody on there, and probably made a tit of myself. I don't mind, I can't remember, so it's all good. I think I got home sometime around 4, which isn't too bad...

And that would be Friday night. Just wait until fucking Saturday morning...


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