Out there and back

Journal

Out there and back

On Saturday there, I went into Liverpool to meet Graeme, Lisa, and Simon to watch the football and have a few drinks. We started off at a shady old man’s pub for a quick one, before heading down to a new-ish sports bar in the regenerated area of the town center.

The sports bar was very similar to the one I frequent in London with Cousin Iain, so I think it’s part of the same franchise. Anyhow, it was mega crowded – leading to immediate thoughts that we’d be better served elsewhere. Literally – it took Simon a good ten minutes to get the first round in and he’s not the kind of person who goes unnoticed at the bar.

Graeme, Lisa and Simon headed off to find somewhere quieter, while I opted to hang around with oirish Gavin who we’d met there. As Simon had noted, it actually was a good atmosphere for watching football, but after they’d left the place continued to get more crowded and I was glad to go and join the rest of the gang in a quieter pub at half time in the match.

The match over and done with we went to Pizza Express for some very tasty pizza’s and a couple of bottles of surprisingly good house white. We were in the restaurant for quite some time, finishing off the wine, so when we left Simon decided to call it a day, while the rest of us went off to meet Gavin in Flanigan’s Apple. We had one drink there, before heading to a bar called Revolution, a trendy new-ish place that replaced the previously trendy Bluu Bar, to meet Tom.

It was quite a nice place and we got a seat around a table after not too long, which kind of camped us there for the rest of the evening. Truth being told, I had probably had enough to drink by the time we got there, so several hours later when we left I was pretty well sloshed. Graeme and Lisa left at that point and I headed off with Gavin, who had offered to put me up for the night to save me an expensive trip home.

Gavin wanted to go to some other place, I was too drunk by then to remember the name, and it became apparent after a short while there that I was in no fit state to continue drinking. As I was both swaying and falling asleep on my feet, I told Gavin I was off to get a burger, thinking that some fresh air and more food would do me good, and set off up to the area of the old bombed out church – a bit of a fast food zone.

As I sat eating my burger and fries on the steps beside said bombed out church, two lovely girls, who really should wear more if they don’t want to die of frost bite, joined me to help me eat my fries. The thought struck me that if you’re next to naked, female and reasonably hot you get away with that kind of thing – I doubt I’d have the same success even totally naked.

Burger devoured and chicks departed, I realised that the night bus was sat in front of me ready to leave in the general direction of home. Eureka, thought I, I shall get on the night bus which, although it wouldn’t take me all the way, would get me within cost effective taxi distance of home. My own bed was but a short time away.

I boarded the bus, paid my three pounds, and took the seat on the top floor by the front window. I couldn’t resist peering down that periscope thing that the driver uses to see what’s going on on the top floor, and noted that he probably couldn’t see that much through it. As the journey progressed I fell in and out of sleep, waking only to take stock of my location with the aid of various landmarks;

Aigburth road McDonalds; Check.
Otterspool junction; Check.
Junction at cricket club by old house – nearly home; Check.
Odeon Cinema, London road, Liverpool city center; Check.

Huh!?

If it hadn’t been for the shocking state of Liverpool’s roads, I dread to think when I would have woken up. However, jarred from my slumber by a particularly nasty chasm on London road, I woke to find that not only was the bus in complete darkness, but I had been correct in noting that the driver couldn’t see much through the periscope thing. To my dismay and disappointment I had been asleep for so long that I was now back in the city center, a mile further from home than when I’d gotten on the bus.

Bollocks.

I staggered downstairs and accidentally startled the driver with my opening dialogue of “Hey there!”

He visibly jumped before spitting “Your not supposed to be on the bus!” Like, no shit, I thought; you’re preaching to the converted.

“Sorry, I fell asleep.” I said sheepishly. I felt like pointing out he should have checked the bus was empty before commencing the return journey, but that seemed overtly pedantic at what was now 4am.

“You’ll have to get off.” the driver said dismissively, and with a pshhhht the doors swung open and I hopped out onto the pavement, still in a bit of a daze.

All was not lost – a quick call to Gavin and I was sorted for a place to stay. A very nice place it was too; I’d never seen Gavin’s flat beforehand and he’s done very well for himself. Gavin and a friend of his that had been at the last bar were watching The War of the Worlds (the Tom Cruise one), so we ended up making a late night later by taking in the middle portion of that. It was five in the morning before I finally got my head down on the inflatable mattress Gavin had provided for me.

I tend to sleep with my head under the blankets, which only made the realisation that I hadn’t made it home more crushing when I woke in the morning and lifted the duvet to see an entirely strange room surrounding me. My head was pounding and I felt simply awful. Looking at my watch I could see it was after ten and I needed to be home by half twelve for a GTR race.

I dressed, said my goodbyes to Gavin, and made my way up to Lime Street station. I bought Nurofen and water, then more by luck than judgement I caught the right train back to Halewood. A brisk walk later and I was in the house just in time for the start of my race. After leading the first ten laps I faded in my sleep deprived state to finish a poor fourth. James Hunt eat your heart out, though!

What a night out – I really should start taking my passport when I leave the house, as it’ll open the door for even more unpredictable excitement. Thanks again to Gavin for giving me a place to stay, and to Graeme for suggesting going for drinks in the first place. :o)