Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hogmany 2005

In order to celebrate the New Year to it's maximum effect and with the imminent departure of Thomas and Kath to Australia (with a few months backpacking round South America first), it was decided to push the boat out this year and have a major celebration.

Kath was the organiser for the event and after a vote was taken from the list of possible venues, it was decided that the Hilton Hotel was the winner with a champagne reception, five course meal, band, disco and bagpiper and drums to guide us into 2006.

Those attending were the usual suspects; Thomas and Kath, Jim and Wendy, James and Susan, Hammey and Kay, Robert, Fiona and of course, me! Ann was not in attendance, but that's another story. The lads were to be dressed in traditional Highland attire and the ladies in their best frocks. Being a Paisley boy at heart, I had went to Burton's, as usual, in order to get my 10% student discount on hiring a kilt. I picked up my outfit the day before so to avoid any last minute hitches.

I had the entire day to get showered and dressed for the 5.30 kick off, so as you would expect with me, I was still in the shower at 4.45. However, I did make the deadline and when the taxi came to pick us up and we headed over the back roads to Neilston to pick up Jim and Wendy.

By 6.30 we were at Thomas and Kath's and a long hard night of drinking began. Everyone was already there, with all in attendance looking very smart except for Hammey, Jim and Robert who had neglected to hire kilts. At least Hammey and Jim were wearing suits. Robert just looked plain scruffy! Kath was running around in her white dressing gown trying to get ready and was quickly christened "Bubbles".

Just after 7.00, we left the flat and walked the short distance to the hotel. As we entered the room with our glasses of chamagne we surveyed the scene. The room was full of people who, for the most the most part, like us had obviously decided to treat themselves. However the rest of the people there obviously thought they were a cut above and eyed up us commoners with some disdain. I was sure by the end of the night that we would drag them down to our level, and I was of course correct!

All the gang Posted by Picasa

Ready for the feast Posted by Picasa

After a short time we were ushered through to the room where the party was being held and we sat at our allocated table. Crackers were pulled, silly hats were donned and a round of drinks were ordered. Kay's years of Pub management surfaced and she quickly took control of ordering the drinks from the bar and taking the appropriate money from the kitty. The round was over £70 and I winced as I realised that my final ever student bursary that had been deposited into my account the previous day was going to take a hell of a beating tonight.

Kath & I Posted by Picasa

Hammey desperately tries to find a loophole in the upcoming smoking ban! Posted by Picasa

After a short time the seating allocation had to be reviewed as Robert managed to piss Fiona off by just being, well just being Robert! I thought the incident was funny. Fiona did not and gentleman Jim swapped sides so that Fiona was no longer sitting beside her tormenter. I had to wait outside the toilet for her to emerge and reassure her and of course put the toys back in the pram.

The ladies share a joke Posted by Picasa

The food began to arrive. Course after course of delicious cuisine. I love my food, I love to drink and I love my friends, so I was in heaven. Highlights included the beef dish and Haggis, Neeps and Tatties which were delicious! The drink continued to flow unabated, but to try and save a couple of bob, I bought a can of coke from the bar and sneakily topped up a glass with the coke and a wee shnifter of Southern Comfort which I had sneaked into the premises in a hip flask inside my Sporran!

Me, drinking my smuggled Southern Comfort Posted by Picasa

Nice jugs, Kath! Posted by Picasa

We decided that Robert was letting the side down badly with his poor dress sense and so Thomas removed his Cravat and tied it round Robert's neck, although not tight enough in many people's opinion (only jesting, Robert). Robert began to pace the room in full school teacher mode with his hands clasped behind his back, surveying the peasents.

A "smartened up" Robert Posted by Picasa

After the meal was finished the band took to the stage at around 10.00 and we were soon on the floor making asses of ourselves. They played the usual crowd pleasers that all bands do, and we lapped it up.

Kath & Thomas on the dancefloor Posted by Picasa

Our table was starting to look a bit worse for wear by now as several hours of binge drinking began to take it's toll. The tartan napkins that had adorned our table all night were now being fashioned into headwear in the same way your Grandfather would knot a hankie when using it to shield the sun from his head. Sentences were becoming harder for people to complete and the general noise level was rising. A sure sign that we were pished.

Portrush Pig starts a new fashion Posted by Picasa

The McDobbers Posted by Picasa

The bar closed 10 minutes before midnight and everyone took to the dance floor to sing Auld Lang Syne. The singer of the band counted down from 10 to zero and chaos ensued on the small, busy dance floor. Shortly afterwards, the pipers arrived with a few drummers in tow and belted out a few Scottish tunes as the crowd clapped along.

The pipes and drums Posted by Picasa

Back at the table, Thomas and I lit cigars and mused how much we love it when a plan comes together! By now a DJ had taken over and played party tunes galore as we continued to enjoy ourselves.

Thomas and I "Havana" laugh Posted by Picasa

Jim & Wendy Posted by Picasa

By 2.00 it was time to leave and I was delighted to find a man selling bowls of stovies for £2.50. This was obviously the Hilton's version of buying a kebab when you are minging drunk. Susan and I wolfed into a bowl each with the others picking away at them like vultures!

The girls jumped into a couple of taxis, while the boys slummed it and travelled on foot. On the way home, Jim and I had a good long chat, which we have not been able to do for a while, and the rest of the lads gave up waiting for us and headed on without us.

When Jim and I finally arrived at Thomas and Kath's place the girls had changed into casual clothes and everyone was relaxing and chatting on the couch. After a few drinks Singstar inevitably reared it's ugly head and yet again more classic pop songs were vandalised by us.

Susan decides that a 5 course meal AND stovies just isn't enough to fill her up, while the Portrush Pig tries to stay awake Posted by Picasa

Kay and Hammey get into the swing of the party Posted by Picasa

Hammey and Kay crashed out on the couch and Portrush Pig was flagging too (doesn't he always?) and so I called a taxi to come for us. I have no recollection of the journey home and had to be reminded the next day that we had dropped off Jim and Wendy in Neilston.

As usual the alcohol had numbed my common sense glands and instead of going to bed immediately I farted around the house and watched some TV.

By 7.00 AM I was fighting sleep. The sun was up and I looked out of the window into the countryside on the first day of 2006, I decided that it was time to go to bed. Family would be here in a few hours and I knew it was going to be a long, rough, day.

All in all a fantastic night was had by all. A big thanks to Kath for taking the time and trouble to not only organise the event but to have us drunken louts back to her house too!