The Hangover

We were about to leave the Nowhere Inn when suddenly the first song of our playlist finally started on the juke box, Le Freak!  We had been waiting a long time and sat through track after track of thrash metal.  “Oh well, we’d better stay for another one then!” was Mr J’s natural response.  However, the playlist outlasted us, and we left half way through “She Called Up”, the juke box’s one and only Crowded House track. 

We said goodbye to our lovely green-haired barman, he was brilliant, he single-handedly handled recalcitrant freshers and kept his beer in superb condition.  It was a scruffy but happy pub and we had the greatest respect for him; it was only fair to try all his beers, including a rather weird Totnes Hemp by Bridgetown brewery, with a peculiar looking leaf on the pump clip which I’m sure I haven’t seen on Gardeners World.He sent us off with instructions to go to Union Street for the best kebabs in Plymouth, but by the time we managed to stumble of the door we were incapable of navigating anywhere but to our hotel, so we called in at a take away, extremely popular with the students, that does “melts”.  My hog melt was quite possibly the most tastiest thing I have ever eaten, it was incredible.

The next morning… I was very considerate and stayed sleeping and kept out of the way so that Nigel could get himself ready and breakfasted for the Nerds’ meetings today.  Once he was out of the way, rough as a duck’s arse, I levered myself out of bed and prepared to face the world.  The chambermaid must have seen Nigel leave and thinking the room must now be free of people, knocked and walked in, only to find me, as my mum would say, in all my glory, on the way to the bathroom.Several glasses of water and a shower later, I found the ability to go down for my own breakfast. 

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I hate the Euro Breakfast!  The idea of gorging myself on “all you can suck” slimy scrambled eggs, tinned mushrooms, tinned peaches, peaches, ham and coffee that looks and tastes like sump oil, does nothing to feed my soul.  Oh, and what’s with the aubergine, red onion and peppers in a wooden bowl? I wanted to ask them, if only I could string a sentence together.  At least they had PG Tips teabags; things were looking up.  So, I got my plate and my chosen items and found a relatively quiet place to sit. They’re always loud and echoey aren’t they?  I’m sure its to make sure that guests don’t linger for too long.“Daddy! Daddy!” Peace shattered…oh hello, there’s a 6ish year old racing towards me, but scooted past and arrived at the table behind me with a waiting man sitting at it. The child’s entourage followed which consisted of what looked like two sisters (one in a huge pram), a mum, an aunt and maybe a grandma? They swept their way through the chicane of tables and chairs towards the waiting dad.  “Be still my beating heart…” “ooops!  I’m sooo sorry!”  I looked down to see half of my precious mug of tea all over the table. “it’s ok” I soothed, “it’s not your fault” (“it is your pram’s oversized wheels though!”). 

They’re grown up now, but I do remember having to apologise everywhere I went with my kids.  On an old grain barge converted into a restaurant in Peterborough, twenty-five years ago, nobody thought it was funny when my eldest daughter and her friend threw butter knives over a balcony on to the table below.  The waiter brought them up and lectured to us how dangerous it could be for anyone below (no! Really?!), I can laugh about it now, but the girls thought it was hilarious at the time!  She’s thirty in two days’ time, and she and her sister are off to Budapest for a long weekend.  I do hope they behave themselves.

Well, as Howard Jones sang, things can only get better, so I’m off now to see what Plymouth has to offer, it’s a lovely day and I don’t think I have ever been to the Hoe, or the Barbican, or least not since I was a child. I don’t suppose they’ve changed much.Lisa Jones, 29 September 2018.

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