Well here we are again. Again I said I wished I wrote more often and Again it has been months, in fact more than a year since I last wrote a blog. There is no way I can be bothered to go back over the last year and a bit and tell you in detail about all of it because that would be long and stupid. Instead I shall do a flying tour of the big points in a list and then in detail tell you of my very recent weekend!
The reason I chose the above title is two fold, a) because this post is going to be largely based on the 'alumni weekend' I just spent and Essex University and b) because the fact that I have now finished university is effectively the biggest thing that happened to me within the last year. If you don't know what alumni means, it effectively means old student. Now for a quick list, 21st birthday (cartoon themed, dressed as Woody from Toy Story), Easter Hols, Ben's 21st Vague Computer game theme, dressed as Wrestler Jeff Hardy), Exams, Graduated with 2:2 in Government and Political studies, Moved out of Uni house, GOT A JOB (working for the UK Border Agency), Went to Rome for a week, Got drugged and mugged in the same night, got arrested and spent a night in jail for something I didn't do (and subsequently got released and apologised to), Christmas 09, New Years @ the Swan in Stockwell, Kalistra's 21st in London, my 22nd, went to Sheffield and saw baby Harry and then this weekend Alumni. It was actually a pretty intense year which I wish I could have blogged about but I don't wish to live in regret, thought there would have been some great blogs in there.
So onto Alumni weekend, I decided a couple of months ago that I would go to this event, along with my friend Mark (who I work with and turns out graduated from Essex Uni 2 years before me). I booked a couple of days off work and even made a Facebook event. Unsurprisingly the event flopped as my friends are all lazy, busy or in other countries, largely though it was the first which was a shame but I didn't fret. Dan and Steph now live in Colchester and so I would definitely see them, I would definitely see Mark and I would definitely see my friends who are now in the third year BUT I would also see my sister who now goes to the very same University that I went to. So it is not like it was a total wash out.
So I left work and made my way straight to Liverpool St. station and managed to catch the train with seconds to spare, I got to Colchester at about 8:30 where Dan was there to pick me up, what a nice man he is. We went back via the curry house, bought some food and sat down in front of the 3rd leaders debate which was pretty uninspiring with a lot of recycled drivel from the 1st and 2nd speeches. With Dan and Steph both working on the Friday (and the fact that they have both aged into their 50s since leaving university) they decided not to go out but that didn't stop me. So I made my way to Alternative night (now Oscillate). Here i met my sister, Steve, Soley and various others and I danced away to my hearts content. I do miss the days when I DJ'd mostly because it meant that I knew some decent music was going to seep into my eardrums which unfortunately I can't say happened for the majority of the night. It turned out that since my days the night had fallen by thet wayside a little, now heavily taken over by Colchester's 'the Lick' which was effectively just a metal night from town. Gone were the days of a mix of everything from guitar indie to metal via pop punk and drum and bass to be replaced by endless raspy voiced buffoons making noise. Due to this changeover it didn't surprise me that the turn out to the night had drastically receded to approximately a third of what it was last year. No matter, I grinned and bore the pain of all my (the teams) hard work going to waste and drunk and danced away and to be fair I still had a good night but largely due to the company rather than the music. It being the night Steve had finished his last essay of the year, he got himself well and truly sloshed and I had to walk him home, convincing him that I was not doing this for his safety but to see my old haunts. In effect it was somewhere between the two. It was nice to see the old house again, still with Ben's basketball hoop in the back garden. I then jogged back to campus and up to my sister's room where I was to spend the night, we talked until the wee hours and then fell asleep.
A mere 4 hours later I was to be awoken as Caroline was working in the SU at 12. Unpleasant, yes but it did mean I got to make the most of my time at Essex. I watched a bit of TV and then went down to the SU to buy a drink off my little sister, which was quite fun. I then wondered around the campus a bit bumping into various people that I knew before heading back to Caroline's room. I then got ready for the night ahead. We were going to Waffles, I'm sure I will have mentioned Waffles before as it is effectively the greatest bar in the world but just in case I haven't I will describe it. Waffles is a magical place of 1950s, some may say tack décor, cheap cocktails, karaoke and the greatest atmosphere in the world. Whether it be the friendly manager Charlie who even a year or so after our last visit remembered us and asked how we were or the general acceptance of anybody of any background it is just amazing. Me, Dan and Caroline were the only 3 who made it waffles as many were still hungover from the night previous and weren't as determined as me to make the most of the weekend. We got there at about 8 and made the most of the half priced cocktails before 9. Dan more-so than the rest managing to buy 8 in one hour and finishing them all within an hour and a half. And so onto the karaoke, in waffles you get the good the bad and the trannys. As I said, waffles is the most accepting place in the world as 3 very much pre-op transvestites took to the stage singing in their very low and booming voices, my favourite song from these was the rendition of human by the killers sounding like it was being re-worked by Leonard Cohen. Then you had the Old man who sang sweet Caroline just for my 18 year old sister, now in any other place in the world I would have been worried for my sister's safety but not waffles, you genuinely knew he meant it in a nice way, later even telling Caroline that he wished he had had a granddaughter. And to our songs me and Dan started as usual with a camp rendition, this time it was sophie ellis-bexter's murder on the dance floor. Caroline then did a Beatles song in a strong American accent soon to be followed my my very long and sad version of Ralph McTell's streets of London (note to self, this song does not make ideal karaoke material). We did many more between us culminating in our final song of the evening which was me and caroline singing day dream believer which became a sing along. At closing time the whole pub sang along to a Coldplay song and then we soon left. We walked up back into town where we shoved Caroline into a taxi and me and dan walked home via the kebbaby. That should really be the end of the night but no, on the walk home me and Dan stupidly decided to steal a no entry sign and put it outside a local shop.. I say local I was carrying the bloody thing for over half an hour and it did become a bit heavy towards the end. This although stupid did make the walk home a little more amusing and eventually we made it home at about 3:30. We watched a little TV then Dan went to bed and I lay out on the sofa but before I knew it, I was awake again at 8am. 2 nights down with only 8 hours sleep between them.
So I woke up on the Saturday with a plan to watch Mark's hockey match at 2 and then out to Sub Zero in the evening, so naturally it started with a lazy morning in front of the playstation, playing Heavy Rain which I heavily recommend. We left for town at about midday to pick up Dan's car which had been left in town from the previous night. We were in colchester around Lunch time, yes we did go to Embassy Chinese Buffet and as usual we filled ourselves to excess and felt worse for wear afterwards but I never regret it. Stomach full Dan gave me a lift back onto the campus where I made my way to the 'all weather pitch' only to find that Mark had pulled his hamstring in the warm up and thus would not be playing. Now I don't particularly enjoy hockey so I walked off back to my sister's room and watched some facejacker. Soon after I made my way back to Dan's house where we had a few brewskies and prepared for the night ahead. We made our way down to campus for around half 8 and sat in the SU where we met Bex amongst others and drank away into the night. At 10.30 we thought we should get stamped ready for sub zero, unfortunately it turned out that this was just about everybody's plan and we managed to join the longest, least organised queue in the history of queueing. 45 minutes or so later we got to the front of the queue only to find that there was still no one in Sub Zero, this did not impress me much (da da da da) so I persuaded Dan to come upstairs with me and get some more alcohol in a place where there was more of an atmosphere. The SU bar was too packed so we went to the newly 24 hour opening SU shop where we both downed a large bottle of smirnoff ice which was good and manly.. That done we moved back down to Sub Zero which was beginning to liven up and so we started to dance as you do. The music played and the dancing continued until Steph's friend Zara got too drunk, started crying and wanted to go home. Dan and Steph decided to go with her, luckily I had already instigated a back up plan should such a thing happen. I danced the rest of the night away finding various people along the way, Mark was there as was Michael Maloney and Ben Soley and various others. Dance dance dance, drink drink drink until 3am when the night finished. My backup plan was to sleep on Mike's floor which was in the University Quays, in my 3 years at Essex I had never set foot inside the Quays and so this was an experience in itself, not that I was too bothered being drunk and tired, so I soon fell asleep.
I woke up at 11, having had a good 6-7 hours sleep, by far the longest I had had all weekend, so I felt remarkably refreshed. I left Mike in bed and walked up to campus only to find that Caroline was still on a training course, so I decided to walk down towards Tesco's and Ben Soley's house. On the way I passed a sports team of some sort who all gave me a round of applause. I was confused at first but then realising I was clearly still wearing what I had been the night before they had assumed I had 'got some' this thought proven when I heard a cry of 'the walk of pride'. Despite this not even slightly being true I found myself enjoying the praise and letting out a rye smile. I got into Tesco and bought myself a pasta salad, a pair of £5 shoes (so I could change out of my Converse which had a whole in and were letting in rain water) and some socks (for the same reason) and then up towards Soley's to collect my VHS and poster signed by the Holloways. Don't ask why he had it as all I will say is it's due to one of the stories of the last year mentioned in the 1st paragraph. I then walked from his house back to Dan's, thinking all the way that this kind of morning could only happen whilst at Uni and that although I loved it, it was time to move on. Got back to Dan's, watched some football, had a lovely meal cooked by Steph, got dropped off back on campus said goodbye to Caroline, hopped into Mark's car and drove home. All in all a wonderful weekend. At the moment I am 50/50 as to whether or not I will go back up for 'The End', it will prbably depend on anyone else going up.
Well that marathon was my return to blogging. As I am now finishing this the day after the General Election results I do have plenty of information to play with for my next blog. Hopefully I will be writing it soon. Either way, much love