Tuesday, 14 August 2007

αντίο - or farewell

Well kids, the day has finally come - or almost. We leave for Dover tomorrow (Wednesday).

Currently sat amidst piles of boxes, my computer on overdrive copying years of photographic and musical memories from one whirring disc to another, my mind doing something similar.

The plumber has just left, having mended all the leaks which have been plaguing the house for donkey's years and the pigeons have finally moved out of the loft.

Leaving always feels strange. This is the third time I've left Nottingham with the aim of never returning but this time it is different. My previous attempt at leaving was called "The No Plan Plan" which says it all really. This time we have a plan - admittedly it could be called the "No idea what is going to happen Plan" but I prefer to think of it as the start of an incredible adventure with my partner and furry things at my side.

So, with almost all of our goodbyes complete, we are ready to bid a final farewell to the very special house that is Addison Street. The place has inspired so much love and laughter over the years for everyone in our friendship family - and without which, we may never have found each other and turned an inspired fantasy into reality.

Thank you everyone, friends and family - you will all be missed terribly (oooh, I felt a twinge of emotion then - it must be a big thing!). We love you all.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Picture of Monty B

Several weeks ago, Stephanie, a colleague and friend of Tim's invited us round for dinner and gave us this beautiful picture. She had taken pictures of Monty B from the internet and together with Tim's burble about what we were planning to do to the boat, had asked an artist friend of hers to create the picture you see.

We were both incredibly touched, to the point of a rare tear from Squires and speechlessness from Tim. As well as it being an exceptionally thoughtful gesture, seeing Monty B afloat made us both appreciate exactly what this all means. She is ours and she will be beautiful.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

A week to go

It has been a strange couple of weeks. After months of easy mornings with coffee and internet then afternoons of making the most of the Peak District's offerings with eager dogs in tow, I have been plunged into a stressy hell of packing and life sorting. The end of Confetti's rein of work-monkeying terror ended for Tim 9 days ago and heralded a new start for both of us - relative ease in pressure for him and upping a few gears for me.

The last (official) day of work for Tim ended with a heartfelt farewell in the Malt Cross, followed by a feed at Chutneys (THE best curry in curry in Nottingham) then a stagger up Mansfield Road to catch the tail-end of the RDF gig at the Maze. Then home and bed for 2.45am - a surprisingly quiet night. But there was a good reason for that.............

Saturday was a mad rush to finish getting Addison Street ready for its final party. By 9pm, the first pirates and sailors were arriving whilst we were still carting a car load of booze into the house, tweaking the decks and lighting etc etc. But we had our first DJ (an already drunk, unintentionally camp-looking sailor who was scheduled to play at 5am but decided to start 8 hours early and get it over with - no prizes for guessing who) and the party began.

And it was a great party - a truly great party. A bunch of happy, smiling faces clothed in the finest nautical attire creating a buzz and warmth that you could almost touch. As Addison Street parties go, this was less muntered than some - though witnesses to the 10am Animal Fight Club (which I won, by the way) may disagree - but less muntered in a good way and we called it a day around 12. See http://crewondeck.blogspot.com for pics. I am actually quite shy which is why I am only pictured wearing a dog costume.

Day two was something of a wash out for us (you can't go to bed at midday then expect a full day 2 anymore - it just won't happen) but many did make it to the Fleece. Managed a nauseous stagger to the Shabab for a curry that evening, two mouthfuls of dhal then back to the house and bed for me. Shameful. Others made it to the Vernon for a pointless pint.

Monday dawned hot and sunny so Tim and Jamie put on their full Nelson costumes and armed with an 'England Expects" flag and a crew of dishevelled misfits, showed Trent Bridge how to drink off a hangover in the blazing sun whilst (occasionally) watching England battling but losing to India. Most notably with England on 333, (called "Nelson", for any multiple of 111 in English cricket is deemed unlucky), the admirals took the salute of the crowd. This was silenced next ball by the loss of Monty Panesar, the 9th wicket in the 99th over - something higher at work here?

Meanwhile, I entertained my mother (a brave woman, entering our house after the battering it had taken over the weekend) then set about mopping up the stinking, glistening layers of dried on booze and filth from the floors. Met the cricket mob early evening in the Fleece (who appeared to be sober but that was only my warped perception after a few glasses of catch-up wine - and confirmed by the first casualty, the Nurse, who sneaked off before we all noticed his eyes rolling back into his skull and was found in a pile by our front door by his girlfriend having left his key in the Fleece). Some went off to the Mayfair, others the Poacher, it got messy and we all returned to Addison Street for the real day 2 - though it was day 3 for some - and had another party. Well done to all.

Awoke 10am to more sunshine. By 11am we were in our seats, soaking up the rays and beers/special breakfast juice while we watched the final balls of the cricket at Trent Bridge and talked hungover rubbish. The best way to start any day, I reckon.

Managed to eek out a reasonable pub crawl after the cricket ended at lunchtime. The highlight was a rather surreal argument with the "chef" at the Fellows whose response to a polite complaint about the almost inedible food (even Tim thought it inedible - it was that bad - and he would eat fried cardboard if it had cheese on it) was to confront us, arms across chest and aggressively defend his poor cooking skills, which culminated in him trying to get other punters to tell us how nice THEIR food was. Most bizarre. Eventually, the numbers dwindled to three. We put up a good fight but with no reserve troops, called it a day around 7pm and dissolved onto the settee with a huge plate of Chinese food in an attempt to rehydrate ourselves. Then slept.
Almost a week on and I'm sitting at Tim's mother's, feeling remarkably smug after a week off the booze and a mountain of packing and preparation semi-scaled. But the smugness is less to do with action and more to do with last night's Road to Damascus experience. For the first time ever in the my life, I stayed sober while everyone else got drunk. It was surprisingly okay for the first few hours and, as I have been told, you get energy from other people's lack of sobriety. Then it was funny for a while. Then 2am was beckoning and suddenly the shouting and pointing started. It was time for bed. I never thought I'd say this, but Gareth is so right.

9am, I'm fresh as a daisy and possibly the most smug I've ever felt as I watch Tim flounder in hangover hell. Not so belligerent now, are we Mr Layton? I really do feel that I have gained, while others have lost. I think I may be onto something.
Watch this space.

Additional Notes: I am on hardcore antibiotics and cannot touch alcohol for 9 days, unless I want to make myself violently sick.