Russell’s Birthday weekend

Well, the secrecy is over, the cat’s out of the bag and the cover is blown. No, not the Somewhat-Obscured Santa! It was Russell’s Surprise 30th Birthday Party at the weekend. I’ll apologise in advance for this rather long entry. The people that were there will know all of this and the people that weren’t won’t really be interested. Ho hum.
On Friday night I met up with (M)andy and Tim on the way to Mandy’s, where Andy would be driving us from. Mandy engaged in frantic packing while I helpfully set in her swing chair, criticised her music (it’s traditional, not vindictive) and looked for vodka. When everyone was packed, we headed down to Andy’s car, with me clutching half a bottle of vodka and some mixer.
The journey north went smoothly, and especially rapidly for Mandy and myself as we were quite happily steaming through the bottle of vodka. It ran out half way through the journey and I, for one, was certainly glad that we hadn’t brought a full bottle. We would only have drank the whole thing, ruining all of Saturday.
Eventually we made it to the hotel in York, where everyone removed their luggage from the boot. Except for Mandy who, while remembering to pack, had foolishly forgotten to pick up her bag and it was still sitting on her bed back in London. For some reasons she assumed, without checking, that Andy would pick up her bag. Oops. No clothes for the weekend, no hair straighteners for Lynsey and no lack of piss-taking.
Saturday morning, involved (M)andy going clothes shopping while the rest of us wandered through York. I can’t remember if I’ve been to York town centre before, but it’s certainly very picturesque. But finally we found the outdoor ice-rink. It was a tiny thing, small enough to spit across, but it certainly was fun! I’m not sure how much fun Andy had as he was the only person to fall over and did so three times. And to add insult to injury (quite literally), there are photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sburn/sets/1570541/
Eventually, nursing bruises and aching muscles, we headed to Russ and Andrea’s place and hid in the kitchen as Russ approached, ready for us all to stream out en mass. The surprise was certainly successful, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Russ speechless before!
The party itself was a success. The wine flowed like a river, fireworks were enjoyed and much fun had. The only moment of horror was when Amy accidentally trapped her fingers in the fridge door, prompting a panicked trip to the hospital for fear of broken fingers. Thankfully it was a mere flesh wound.
People left the party at various times. As can be expected, with the exception of Andy, all those who left last were in a pretty inebriated state. And yes, I was amongst them. But Apparently I wasn’t the worst, which is a benefit. I think Mandy deserved that acoolade considering how rough she felt the next morning! Personally I was pretty glad for the big bowl of leftover chili at R&A’s. That, together with some ibuprofen and rehydration salts had me feeling quite perky.
While at R&A’s, Russ’s birthday present arrived from us, a rather nice widescreen TV to replace the ancient monster he had been suffering so far. And we were shown another example of Russ speechless, twice in as many days.
It wasn’t long after that that we all decided to make out way home. What with the M1 being closed due to the blaze, we all felt that it didn’t pay to dawdle. And a good thing too, what with the jam we got into on the way. Things were nearly desperate enough that widdling into cups was considered.
And that was it. Eventually we all got to our various homes, ready to start priming ourselves for another week of work.