For a glorious surprise, we got to go home from work two hours early on Hogmanay – or rather, one hour early, in my case. (Damn these early starts!) Still, hurrah! Or – wait. This looks great on paper, but is actually a dilemma. I was planning on working on a bit till the Edinburgh trains got cheap – screw it, I am getting older and Hogmanay is no longer the deal it once was, besides, my workload for next Wednesday is massive. Putting in extra hours on the eve of a holiday is one thing, however – putting in extra hours on the eve of a holiday when I get an hour off scot-free is suddenly a no-go.
So, what now? The ‘cheap’ trains (only ten whole pounds!) start at half six, and it is only three o’clock! What to do for three hours? Well, I could go to the cheap pub and drink cheap red wine while putting in three hours of Sums, assuming I can get the damn things out of this over-stuffed rucksack; but then I will be broke. And, more importantly, drunk, and in charge of a big load on a packed train. On the plus side, that presumably means the hordes of drunken arseholes on the train will then accept me as one of their own, like zombies would once the worst has happened. In theory.
On the other hand, I could run now and get the inexpensive bus over. And then… sit in a busier pub, where there is no room for the Sums, drinking more expensive wine, I suppose, until Rice Krispies finishes work. At which point, I will once again be drunk. And, more importantly, broke. Argh!
I decided to be good and leave immediately for the inexpensive bus – that way, if everything goes wrong, it will Not Be My Fault and I can rail at the universe without feeling guilty.
The bus turned out to be rather more expensive than I had anticipated – but it was also emptier, and after an initial snarl round the bus station, the traffic melted away and I was at Haymarket within the hour. And Rice Krispies is not at work, praise every god – no, she is stuck at Argos. Hee.
Oh, this guy will let you in! she texted. Since your batteries are running low, I will say this now – don’t buy booze!
Rats. I haven’t bought booze; I have carted rather a lot of it on my back for five miles, however!
But it was all okay. I walked to Rice Krispies’ place, the door was indeed opened to me by this guy; who turned out to be lovely and a friend of Weetabix’s over from Holland. I’m not sure what all the sudden surge of passers-by made of us exchanging names on the doorstep before he let me in.
Weetabix was in the shower; he came out wearing a kilt, and I got to shower, hurrah, for all that carrying stuff was a bit melty. Rice Krispies came back and we opened the strange Dutch gin and Weetabix made chilli. Ah, bliss; clean, fed and with some much-needed liquid reward for today’s panic and mule impressions.
We need a nice, quiet plan where we don’t drink too much and get an early night, given our plans for tomorrow! said Rice Krispies, handing round the expensive, weird foreign gin with no sense of irony. Shall we go to my friend’s place? She has home-made baileys truffles!
Ooh. But it was an hour’s walk each way and I was fairly glad when everyone said, Screw that.
So instead we had a nice, quiet New Year, sitting in and waiting on the bells so we could get an early night. As well as the weird foreign gin, we drank the homemade mead I had brought (already this is not a good recipe for tomorrow morning). And champagne. Everyone said the mead was good, but a bit bland, so I got given Dutch syrup for the next batch. This is not a metaphor. And we ate Dutch syrup pancakes (also not a metaphor). Weetabix and his mate faked fighting and snogging so we could try out the new camera Rice Krispies had got stuck in Argos for; they then took photos of us, looking extremely unphotogenic in black velvet frocks (this always happens, even when we’re wearing something else).
We popped the good champagne at the bells, had hugs and well-wishing all round, opened the door so we could see the Edinburgh Castle fireworks in real life and completely out of sync with the Edinburgh Castle fireworks on the telly. And my mobile died under the weight of twenty incoming ‘Happy New Year!’ messages. As I have no charger, that’s that.
And then we somehow became suddenly wide awake and stayed up till three slagging off music videos. Dammit!