Sunday, November 06, 2005

Boy's weekend to Nantwich

With the departure several months ago of the Portrush Pig and the Portrush Sow, aka James and Susan. A long overdue trip to visit them at their new home in Nantwich was organised with Jim Arthur being kind enough to drive, and myself and Thomas keeping him company. Del was flying in from France and was being picked up from the airport by Susan who has only recently passed her driving test and was keen to show her driving prowess!

Unfortunately, I was working on the Friday that we were leaving and the earliest I could escape was one o'clock, and so, as is customary when we get together, everyone was waiting for me. Jim came to pick me up at the house and we were on the way to collect Thomas by 2.00.

As we drove there was much to discuss as we hadn't seen each other for a while. The hot topic being that Susan would be joining us tonight even though it was intended to be a BOYS night out! I felt sure there would be more said on this matter later in the evening to the hosts, and I was correct.

The journey was supposed to take around 4 hours however, thanks to yours truly keeping everyone waiting and driving through rush hour traffic it was after 9.00 before we reached our destination. James, Susan and Del were already in the pub, but Portrush came outside and squeezed into the car to take us the short distance to their flat.

After a quick freshen up and change of attire we were ready to leave. The Portrush Pig decided that we should use a short-cut that he knew through a field to get to the pub. A couple of minutes later we were walking in the pitch darkness through a muddy field. I was eager to have a pint but I would rather not have had to risk being rescued by the emergency services to get one! Anyway, we made it in one piece with only dirty footwear to show for our little adventure.

20 minutes after arriveing at Susan & James' place, we were in their local pub!

Note to self. Never take one of the Portrush Pig's shortcuts through a muddy field

A kitty was collected and a round of beers with double vodka and cokes were ordered from the bar in an attempt to kick-start the night. Of course, Jim being Jim, couldn't handle the beer and so proceeded to pinch everyone's vodka and cokes and I realised that our plans of "taking it easy" on the first night and going for it on the second night would be replaced with the usual display of binge drinking and reaping the consequences the next day!

After a while, with some alcohol and food in our bellies, and a couple of wind-up digs aimed at Susan for being present, we decided to move on to the local dancing. Time was against us here and as we left the pub we quick-marched onto the next venue. However, Jim and Susan were a long way behind as they discussed the implications of her honourary status as a boy for the weekend!

It was decided that we would stop off at a pub on the way to re-evaluate our strategy (and have a drink). Unfotunately The Leopard Bar was a complete toilet and this was insentive enough for us to redouble our efforts to make it to the dancing before the bouncers decided to stop letting drunken Scotsmen into the premises.

Jim & Susan discuss exactly what is meant by a "boy's weekend" as we leave The Leopard bar

Amazingly, we beat the curfew and got into the local dancing. It was pretty busy and everyone was well on by the time we arrived (ourselves included). We found a big enough seating area for all of us and sat down with our drinks to survey the scene. I don't think I was alone in thinking that it was not up to much and so I decided to go for a walk and sus the place out.

Imagine my delight, when I found a flight of stairs that led to an upper level with a bigger dance floor and far nicer talent for us to drunkenly lear at, or was that just me? I hurried back down the stairs to break the good news to the lads. I think I arrived just in time as they appeared to be flagging slightly, with there being no stimulation that we so richly deserved.

James looks unimpressed as Del tell's him how good a dancer he is

We trooped up the stairs and the mood immediately lifted as we took to the dance floor and swung our pants! Susan had met some of her friends and was now in their company, thus resolving the issue of it being a boys weekend. It was now just a free for all!

It's murder on the dancefloor, as Thomas has a boogie

Susan and friend

Del swinging his pants

Much drinking and hilarity ensued as we tried to impress the locals with our smooth moves and had a few boogies, but it was all in good fun. The time eventually arrived to leave and return home. We walked back and despite vowing never to do it again, Mr. Snelling persuaded us to walk through the muddy field again! A sure sign of the level of our inebriation.

Susan went off to bed and the rest of us cracked open some beers and talked pish for a couple of hours. The only snacks available were Monkey Nuts left over fom Hallowe'en so you can imagine the mess of the place before we retired for the evening.

James, looking a bit worse for wear

Me in a druken stupor, with monkey nuts in my ears!

The next morning was horrible and if it wasn't for the Portrush Pig cooking a large, greasy breakfast I don't think we would have left the house. Del informed me that I was a loud snorer, unfortunately, I was sleeping at the time and have yet to be convinced of this!

A few ideas were suggested as to what we could do this afternoon before "part 2" this evening. A trip to the Museum at RAF Corsford was chosen as it seemed to be not too strenuous and a bit of fresh air would do us the power of good. However, the drive there along winding country roads did not do us a power of good at all, with Jim looking decidedly green by the time we arrived an hour later. James' sattelite navigation system repeatedly tried to send us down the wrong way along one way streets and I was pleased that I was able to not worry about the driving. At least if I was going to die it would be with my friends and would be after a good night out!

I have to admit that I thought the museum might suck, but how wrong can you be?! It was superb with aircraft, weapons and other militiary memorabelia from the last century and a happy couple of hours were spent by five big kids.

The guys... and a big plane!

Me...and a not so big plane

A spitfire

A Red Arrow

A V2 Rocket

At the end of our visit we went on a Tornado simulator and were thrown about to our hearts content. Not bad for £2.50 a head.

Time to go back home and get ready for tonight. We were meeting some of Del's friends in nearby Stoke and Susan was going to a fireworks display. A stop off at the local fish and chip shop took care of dinner as the healthy living weekend continued!

Our taxi arrived and took us to Stoke with the sky full of fireworks making it quite a pleasent journey. We arranged for the driver to return at 1.00 in order to get us back home safely and entered the pub where we were to meet them.

The pub was nice enough, however the locals didn't look quite as nice with a few of them growling at us. Not to worry. We discovered that if we purchased a members card we would be able to buy cheaper drinks all evening, so we signed up. On the TV screens above the bar, advert after advert appeared for the cheap price drinks, followed, curiously by advice to to drink sensibly. Surely, mixed signals?

Del announced that his friend, Mark, who was soon to arrive, looked like a character from the Muppets and he challenged us to be the first one to say who it was. Ten minutes later and Mark and his friends arrived. "Beaker", I shouted. I won.

Red Bull and Coke all round as we arrive in Stoke

"Beaker" and Del

We moved onto to a nearby "theme" pub. Couldn't quite work out what the theme was as there was every kind of shit that they could possibly cram into one place, including an actual car that had belonged to Sir Paul McCartney, raised up on a platform, a pair of snow shoes, vinyl records over the ceiling and numerous pictures of TV and film stars.

Thomas and I mused over what, if any, of the crap we would take away with us if we had the oppotunity. I decided on the framed photo of the Star Trek actors, and Thomas decided that he would leave with the snow shoes on his feet and the two foot plastic scooby doo that was behind the bar, tucked under his arm.

Us in the "theme" pub

It was decided after one drink that the theme pub was truly too awful to stay in any longer. The decision was helped by the appearance of one ugly woman after another. Now, I'm no oil painting, but when I'm out with the lads in pastuers new, and my girlfriend isn't there to glare at me, then I expect, no demand, that there is at least some decent talent to look at! We moved on.

Our next destination was more like it. A smart venue, dance floor ten feet away and some nice eye candy. We all settled down and indulged in some tradional Scottish binge drinking once again and it wasn't long before the "shots" arrived and if memory serves me well, at least one of us (who will remain namelesss) couldn't handle the pace and discraced himself by going to be sick.

I of course did what any good nurse would do and told him the toilets were downstairs when they were actually only a short distance from where we were sitting. He was less than impressed.

Trouble ahead as the "shots" arrive

Mr Snelling mingles with the locals

We stayed there for the rest of the night, until it came time to leave and go to the pre-arranged taxi pick-up point. We rolled out of the bar and straight into a passing hen party. Never ones to miss a photo opportunity we took it in turn to pose with Gemma and friends before walking round to the "Quality Hotel". We bought some food on the way in an attempt to do some damage limitation and soak up the alcohol, but it was far too late.

Thomas joins "Gemma's" hen night

Me, Gemma and friends

We had about twenty minutes to kill before the taxi arrived and so I went into the hotel to use the loo. When I returned, there was a rather irate Slovakian gentleman talking animatedly to the lads. It turned out that he had been refused entry from a nearby lap dancing club for being too drunk, however he insisted that he wasn't and it was his accent that had confused the bouncers. I think it's fare to say the lads were not too convinced either.

The Slovakian protests to the guys about how strict the bouncers were at the Lapdancing club

Having the low attention span that I do. I decided to return to the inside of the hotel and have a nosey. Imagine my joy when I discovered there was a wedding reception in full flow. I entered the hall which had at least a couple of hundred people in it, many of whom were dancing away in the middle of the hall as the DJ pumped out one cheesy disco song after another.

I grabbed a couple of sandwiches and a sausage roll from the buffet table and started to mingle. Five minutes later I was on the dancefloor dancing with some poor unsuspecting woman who had a kind of "who the hell is he"look on her face.

I noticed a man with no shirt, but still adorning a tie, drunkenly dancing with a group of women and I hooked up with him and as we all danced away together I commented to him on "what a great day it had been". He nodded back enthusiastically. I lauged to myself at what an evil genius I am.

I left the reception before "Auld Lang Syne" came on, as that would have just been taking the piss! I shared the story with the guys who just shook their heads. I think it was a case of "Durty Bob" strikes again!

Me and my new mate, the Best Man

The taxi arrived and we made our way home and straight to bed. Del was leaving at 9.00 to catch his flight and Jim was driving so there would be no late night tonight.

In the morning James and Susan took Del to the airport, giving us ample time to get showered and organised. We were ready to go when they arrived back and so to get up the road as quickly as possible we said our goodbye's and departed from Nantwich.

All in all another top weekend. However, it does make me a little bit sad that there were be fewer of these times ahead. James and Susan live several hundred miles away, Del stays slightly further away and is about to become a Father and Thomas and Kath will be off down under in a few months time. Which is exactly why we kick the arse out of every night out we have.

Bring on the next one!