Sunday, November 06, 2005


One of the things that has really changed since I left London nearly 5 years ago, is my tolerance for alcohol. In New York, I would have great nights of cocktails with my buddies, but it wasn't cool to get 'fall over drunk'.

Then I moved to Paris, and in Paris, it's just not cool to get anywhere close to drunk. A couple of glasses of wine with a meal, biensûr, but I stuggle to remember times when I was really tipsy.

Well, now, I think it's safe to say I have drunk more in the last two days, then in the last two months combined.

Frog and I have been getting very wound up recently. Long days, early starts, travelling, back pain, wedding budgeting, blah. So, I knew we were both looking forward to a bit of an escape this weekend.

We started with good civillised intentions. Friday night, an apéro at our flat with this lovely lady, followed by dinner. Actually, champagne apéro turned into dinner with a good couple of bottles between three, and then champagne and ratafia bottles drained back at the flat. Fuelled by drink, our poor guest was subjected to Frog's solo dancefloor exhibition. The living room parquet became his piste to convince us that a waltz would be ideal for a first dance at the wedding. Yeah, not really convinced. I think, around the time that Frog moved onto his favourite animal impressions*, it was clearly time to call it a night.

Hungover, the alarm went off at 7:30am and we dragged our sore heads up the motorway to Lille. A bunch of my old friends were descending on the city from London, to join up with the boy who now lives there with his lovely French girlfriend and baby daughter. It was a boys' birthday celebration weekend, wives, girlfriends, children all left behind, and I was only allowed there as honoury (French resident) guest, making the group ten strong.

I will pass over the hazy details of the past two days. They'd already been going 24 hours when we turned up. It was a city that 'charmed us', as Frog put it. But I'm not sure the city was similarily charmed by our drunken bufoonery. Pubs; cafés; restaurants; drinking game forfeits; dodgy, smokey underground bars with UV lighting; sweaty clubs where the married friends egged on the single boys of the group, intent on wooing the local female population with their beery English charm. Final shapes were thrown on the dancefloor and the last crawlers got back to the hotel shortly before breakfast was ready.

But it was fun. Once a year, completely trashed, kind of fun! Frog loved it, and my English boys loved Frog, and so do I. Hungover in exhaustion, we will slob in front of a DVD tonight, weekend escape having been sucessfully completed.

* Can you guess what kind of animal? All national stereotype kind of answers are encouraged.

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