New mantra: “Even if I have nothing to write about, I should still write it anyway.”

Gosh, this does still feel a little strange. Still, at least I’ve opened the “Create Post” window, which is further than I usually get…

I got proper, proper drunk on Saturday night, for the first time this year (and that includes spending a weekend in Amsterdam trying to keep pace with Reluctant Nomad, whose boozing capacity borders on the biologically freakish).

Not Falling Over And Puking Drunk, admittedly (hello, I am FORTY-SIX, and hence not completely devoid of Life Lessons learnt the hard way), but the sadly more age-appropriate Bellowing Along To Neil Diamond At Glastonbury At Three In The Morning After Everyone Else Has Gone To Bed variation.

In mitigation, we had Young People staying with us. Well OK, a married couple in their thirties with an eight-month daughter in tow who had already retired for the night, but it was as if their mere presence on the premises had ignited my tippling touch-paper. (Gratuitous forced alliteration, how I have missed thee…)

This turned yesterday into something of a trial, as I emerged blinking into the daylight almost four hours behind our guests, who had been bouncing around since half past parent o’clock. Kindly disregard what was said in last week’s MEEM about being the “perfect host”; clearly this was blatant self-embiggening bollocks. Never has a breakfast table been cleared so slowly or grudgefully. (Our guests were baby-dandling in the garden by then, so I think I might have got away with it. But only just.)

No sooner was the last egg cup loaded into the dishwasher, than the call went up to Get Your Shoes On, We’re Walking To The Pub. Not the village pub, but the Unspoilt Period Charm, Oh You’ll Love It, Such A Special Place gaff in one of the neighbouring villages, seventy-five minutes’ walk away. When we got there, I could barely touch my shandy. (Note to self: shandies are still rubbish, and K is a bit weird for getting back into them.)

The guests left. We waved, smiled, shut the door, and slumped within seconds. K went for a little lie down, and I shuffled round in a zero-concentration-span daze. Hell, even the large type “funny” pages in the middle of Private Eye were too much of a stretch. The sun came back out; I hacked grumpily at the geraniums. (The giant pink hedge is past its best, but good for a few more rounds before we start getting drastic.)

Early-ish night, slow 7:30 start. I’m a monosyllabic sonambulent grouchbag on the best of Monday mornings, but this week’s decamping exercise drew on all my reserves. Yup, it’s a two-dayer all right.

Self-pitying hangovers and hastily hacked free-form extemporisations: it really is 2003 all over again, isn’t it?

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