Thursday, 8 January 2009

To kip or not to kip, that is the question....

Happy New Year tae ye all! I had a great festive season. I restricted my visits to the pub to a couple of hours only on Christmas day - big effing result! Those of you that might read this blog occasionally know that himself likes to spend some time in our 17th century village inn. Personally I can't be arsed much of the time and like to stay at home instead although a Friday night up there for the odd sherry here and there has become a bit of a ritual in this household. Having said that, I truly cannot be arsed drinking through the day and suffering a hideous hangover as I start to sober up around tea time - much better in those situations to drink your way through and wake up in hospital the next day after having your stomach pumped and feeling smugly superb as though you've been on a detox weekend. You also don't give a monkey's as to whether the food turned out okay or not and as such enjoy a completely stress free day where the only memories you have are the ones you care to manufacture out of that jumbled pile of vague flashbacks that haunt you every two minutes or so over the following week.

And so, determined that I would resist the constant moaning of himself that, "the pub had been opened about an hour or so already and that if we didn't get up there soon some cheeky no-mates kind of sad looser type who only visited the pub on Christmas day would have nicked our table by the inglenook open fireplace and we'd have to stand all day", I encouraged him to swan off up there with our good pal Mr P who with his lady wifie and other good pal Mrs P was due to come to dinner with us later in the day anyway. Having waved himself off before slamming the door on his arse to make sure he had cleared off, I continued with my planned ritual to remain at home thus peacefully bathing in ass's milk and contemplating prepping a few bits of nosh here and there so as to cut down on the domestic stuff whilst our guests were here later on. It was a civilised and joyful start to Christmas day as ever I have had. After a leisurely couple of hours, I made my way along the three minute journey between home and inn and entered a pub full of good cheer, high spirits and red nosed drinkers with contented almost sleepy smiles and glassy eyes making their slightly unsteady preparations of winter coat donning and the wrapping of chunkily knitted winter scarves around necks before warily braving the cold in the crisp but sunny day towards home for the Christmas lunches awaiting them.

Working my way through the by now thinning throng of drinkers, I soon located himself and Mr P sitting happily by the inglenook fireplace with contented little Guinness laden bellies, both sporting red Santa like shiny faces engendered from the heat of the fire and the consumption of mucho pinto's of beero. 'Twas a sight to behold - two wee happy bezzie mates filled to the brim with festive cheer and the anticipation that a belting big dinner was awaiting their consumption to round off the day. Soon Mrs P joined us and we each snaffled two small glasses of wine before heading off home to get the dinner on the go.

It was a terribly good natured day with lots of laughter and good will from friends and strangers alike as we made the short journey home. Unfastening zips and poppers and removing coats and hats, a knock on the door meant that more good friends and neighbours joined us for an impromptu drink around our kitchen table. As Robbie Burns is oft' quoted, from his To a Mouse poem "the best laid plans o' mice and men, often go awry". But not in this case for it was the first festive season that Mr and Mrs P were not slaving away managing our local inn as they had done for the previous four years before it was sold onwards to our current new owners; it was the first festive season as happy punters on the right side of the bar and as such, free to enjoy the day as the rest of us had done so for many a year before; it was a delight for us to share the day with them and the inclusion of our other neighbours into the mix was a delightful addition to the merriment and hilarity of the day; it is a happiness that our door is open enough for people to feel comfortable in paying a visit without a formal invitation to do so.

Dinner was grand and we ate too much but not so much that we were unbearably uncomfortable. A top up of the wine glasses and a mutual agreement to have the pudding later on, we left the table and settled down in our hugely comfortable recliner chairs to do nothing more taxing than idle contented chit chat and to watch a bit of telly. The twinkly glow of the white fairy lights of the silver, green and red baubled decorated Christmas tree, the soft shadowy light cast by the various burning candles coupled with relaxing scent of the real pine tree and the essential oils of the candles alongside the open coal fire created an atmosphere so tranquil that you'd be hard pushed to find any better an environment for which to de-stress and unwind. Such was the soporific effect of the food, wine, heat, scents and exhaustion from laughter it wasn't long before Mrs P, who works the hardest and longest of all of us, was gently slumbering with her head slumped back, feet up and a huge enigmatic smile on her face. This is not an unusual occurrence as Mrs P never stops until she stops and then she stops good - a wham bam thud like she has hit a brick wall at full pelt. For this she is forgiven; for this she is loved because it is simply her and the way she is; that she feels so comfortable in our midst is entirely right and proper to us for our home is her home for the short time she is conscious in it.

It wasn't long before I became aware that Mr P too had headed the same way as Mrs P. Given he had been drinking rather earlier in the day than myself and Mrs P he could be forgiven for needing a restorative nap. His chosen position was head slumped forward with his chin resting on his chest, arms resting by his side with his feet tucked in towards his body - he looked rather like he had been shot in a hit and run drive past. Himself and I smiled gently to each other for we like nothing better than our guests to pass out so that there is no squabbling over the remote control and we can get on with the business of watching what we want instead of being polite to them. Err, actually what I mean is that we are delighted that our two great pals, Mr and Mrs P are like family in that if they want a nap, then as with all of us, they just go ahead and no need to worry what others think as there is simply no need.

I sank back further in my super duper recliner and felt enormous contentment as I sipped my red wine and enjoyed the companionable silence broken by the low telly dialogue and the odd snore or two from the unconscious guests. It wasn't long though before a snort to my left indicated to me that himself had also taken a stroll off into the land of nod, no doubt frequenting with Mr and Mrs P in that hinterland of alcohol induced coma. Well, bugger me, Himself's chosen position to nod off in was with his body in full recline, head slumped to one side with his arms flailed outwards, two dogs slumped over him and acting as a further heat generator - and God only knows how he didn't start convulsing with a probable body temperature that would melt steel. It crossed my mind that he reminded me of a fallen murder victim and I was fair tempted to get a piece of chalk and make one of those chalk outlines on the black leather recliner for him to have a look at when he came round later on.

I sat up in my chair a bit and reviewed the scene before me. Feeling jolly merry from the wine I started to laugh and then the more I tried to stop it lest I wake them all, I started to laugh even harder to the point I almost wet myself trying to hold the laughter in. I kept stopping and starting and each time it became harder to keep any kind of control. "Fuck me", I said to myself through the laughter as I bit on my balled fist in an attempt to stem the rising hilarity. "It's like a fucking care home in here". The only thing missing was the smell of boiled cabbage and wee but I imagined that if I sat there any longer I would no doubt be supplying one of those odour's pretty soon if I couldn't control the laughter.

I needn't have worried about waking any of them. They were much too comfortable and content as was I. Y'see Mrs P and I have had a hard time of it over the past few years what with our simultaneous and joint suffering of the menopause. We have narked at each other, avoided each other when we wanted to rip each other's heads off. We've commiserated with each other about our severe symptoms, shared tips on what works and what to do when it suddenly doesn't and so on. We started off as great friends, our husbands are good friends and it works terrifically well. That's the thing about great friendship - it survives changes, trials, challenges and comes back together if it was ever worth a toss in the first place - we've successfully stayed the course and it is a better friendship for it. Now that we have things more under control, we laugh again, tease each other, help each other out and just enjoy the friendship. There is no one more like family or has earned the right to kip in my home after a good meal and a few drinks. God knows, if himself and me worked as hard as she does, we'd have no trouble falling asleep in her company and feeling no ill about it either.

Order was restored an hour or so later and we all retired to bed. They respectfully left around 8am the next morning and let us sleep in. We'd arranged to meet up at their place later that day where she returned the favour and made dinner, plied us with drink and was a terrific host. So there it was then, their first festive season as Joe Public instead of landlords and hopefully, they will remember it as fondly and with affection as we do. We've talked endlessly in the past about the four of us buying a retirement home in a hot country and retiring together. I saw a glimpse of that on Christmas day night, and do you know what? There's worse that can happen than to hole up, decrepit and disabled but with mates you can drop off in front of and have a laugh with when you come round again.

34 comments:

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Brilliant read! A wonderful insight into your day of friendship and togetherness. I love your sense of humour, mob.

CJ xx

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi MOB,
Truly wonderful!
There's nothing like great friendships! and I laughed a lot with your post, especially the smell of cabbage and wee! haha
Your writing is so vivid and funny and I love reading your posts! X

Maggie May said...

Glad you had a good time. I wondered if you were suffering a hangover! LOL!
Your description of himself lying semiconscious under giant dogs was funny. Once laughter like that sets in it is difficult to stop. I know as I am prone to it.
Well we are into the New Year now and all my New Year resolutions have been broken so far. How about you?

auntiegwen said...

Hello my dear darling Mobsy, what a fantastic smile you've given me , if you do open a care home, save a bed for your auntie, would you ? xxx

GoneBackSouth said...

What a delightful read. Good friends like that are the best thing ever. Did you take a photo of the 3 of them fast asleep or were you too busy laughing your head off?

Jane said...

From one menopausal old bag to another, your description of the 3 sleeping beauties made me laugh so loud I startled my dog out of his snoring slumbers.

Stinking Billy said...

wee mob, to my shame I have the habit of dropping off while drinking in company, too (well, I do drink more quickly than the others). Unfortunately, I am invariably the host, and that is even worse than being a Mr P (guest), I suppose?

Mima said...

A wonderful read, and I love that they are comfy enough to slip off to sleep in your company, that does truly show a huge depth of friendship, and I'm also glad that you were all able to start a new tradition for them away from what they are used to - the start of a new life!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

CJ – ah thank you dear lady, it is always a pleasure to read your blog too.

The Brit – again thanks Donnie, you always leave such a great message. Yup some friendships are a laborious affair just not worth the effort and others just flow and if like all relationships you can work your way through the tougher times it is well worth it in the end. I know after what you have been through you value the close friends that you now have. Worth working at in the end. No pain, no gain!

Maggie – rather surprisingly I had not one hangover this festive season. That is the joy of not spending too much time in the pub drinking on an empty stomach. We spent much more time with friends and family at home having dinner parties and wine with that. Much more sensible. You know the two dogs that were lying on himself are actually two small Jack Russell’s’ but it made me think about how better I should have described them as it was clearly open for interpretation as you saw two giant dogs! Re the new year’s resolution; I never make any of any real consequence as it is too easy to set myself too big a goal to achieve. But having said that, I am working much harder on my novel, taking it much more seriously and making good headway. I am also considering taking up an MA in literature as there is so much more that I need to learn and my curiosity factor is high. I’ll pop along and see what resolutions you have made too ad if you keep to them! Good luck!

Auniegwen – hello darling poppet! I’ve been meaning to get back to you on that email thing and sending me a Hogmanay wish. I fully intend that my care home will be soo different to any old one that exists today and it will be filled with an eclectic mixture of cultures, colours, creeds and abilities! I will of course be certain to keep you a spot because the place must have a healthy number of Scots, Welsh and Irish to keep up the gut busting laughter that the Celts are famous for. I can’t imagine anything better so you’re in hen!

Gonebacksouth – oh I’d never capture them having a snore on celluloid – that’s like nicking their soul while they sleep! - I think I might have been Amish in a previous life! I have clear memories of what we all looked like and will live off that for a while but my God, they’ve seen me and Himself staggering off down the road after a night in their pub so they know how much worse we have looked too!

Jane – welcome, glad you had a laugh. This was a mild tale – we’ve all been in much worse in our time! They were a delight to have here and what a laugh it was.

Stinking Billy – it has been known in our house too that myself or himself have dropped off whilst we have had guests but only after ending up drinking in the pub for longer than we expected on an empty stomach. There was a couple that we used to know where he was really funny but the wife was a trial and difficult socially. She was bloody hard work and I have to say that I dropped off when she was around! It meant spending less time with her too! Result! Maybe you need more stimulating company!

Lane said...

Fantastic. They sound very good friends indeed:-)

I wonder - did you take a photo of the snoozing group? Better still a video:-)

DARWEN REPORTER said...

Sounds like a great community spirit which is sadly lacking in many places these days.

LittleBrownDog said...

Ahhhh, lovely. I often find myself daydreaming about ending up in a retirement home with all my bestest friends and a ready supply of sherry. Can we come and join you?

Excellent post.

Mean Mom said...

What a lovely post! I'm glad that you all had such a good time and it must have made a nice change for your friends to be invited out for Christmas lunch, for once.

I'm all for a little nap after lunch, if I'm not too busy. Was anyone dribbling?

Retiredandcrazy said...

This is not a menopausal story MOB. I was waiting to be told that you had forgotten to put the oven on or something. You have let me down you are getting far too mellow. Do you think that you might be through the other end yet? I know I'm a bit late, but Happy New Year.

Valleys Mam said...

Happy new year MOB loved the post
We ended christmas day singing and dancing , my daughters and friends decided on a concert. It was great , worked of the pud and stuff a treat
Boxing day - we decided on a walk in the beacons, walk - it was miles and hours - then I slept !!!!!

Sandi McBride said...

OMG I have laughed til I'm sick and had to stop and then come back and stop and then lean on the computer, drool into the keyboard which will never be the same. Decided to buy a ticket on the next plane and come visit with you at the pub and maybe come home with you for entertainment...but Mac says no...says I can't get my own drunks to leave so why should I go help you shift yours...men..can't live with them can't just shoot them...
Hugs and cheers! Happy New Year
Sandi

Working mum said...

Very funny. I would have laughed too, but I'm usually one of the people asleep!

Happy New Year to you.

i beati said...

Good friends good meat good God let's eat.. you are right - nothing better that someone you can be comfortable with and lean on if you have to sandy

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Sounds like the perfect Christmas day. I envy your friendship and lack of family members.

blogthatmama said...

How cosy, warm and jolly that post was, glad you had a good time during the festive season MOB, long may it go on!

Scott said...

Hi,
I love your blog and I think you would appreciate my sense of humor. If I link to your blog on my blog is there any way you could return the favor? I think we could both get more exposure!

Check it out: Http://scottstipoftheday.blogspot.com

Thanks so much

Flowerpot said...

Sounds bloody wonderful particularly buying a retirement home. Go for it!!

Lin said...

You're one helluva good friend to have not photographed and posted pics of the snoozefest!

Great post!

aims said...

You're right - you're absolutely right.

There are worse things.

(good lord - my word verification is winges - how apt for me)

david mcmahon said...

Kip.

Always.

Ticklish Mermaids said...

Ok loved it..very nice. I enjoyed the part about the flashbacks over the next two weeks..haha been there done that.

aims said...

K MOB - I tried emailing to you but I couldn't for some reason.

Here's a link I want you to have a look at - she reminds me of you in a way.

http://thenewadventuresofjuliette.blogspot.com/

Scott said...

Thanks for the kind words on my blog. You're really sweet. If you still want to do a link exchange let me know! I will do it gladly!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Lane – Nope no filmic evidence of any kind. I wouldn’t do that too them as it’s fine to write about them with their permission but a photo of us all dribbling would be a step too far! They’d kill me.

Darwen reporter – welcome and thank you for your comment. It is a terribly nice community and we are lucky that we can afford o live here although it is becoming cheaper and cheaper by the day!

LittlebrownDog – yup just bring a truckload of sherry and yer in!

Mean Mom – everyone was dribbling, the place was positively soggy!

Retiredandcrazy – oh how I wish I was through the other end of it for I was in a rage just last week in a pre-menstrual for the third time in six weeks kind of way. I am iron deficient and have had a serious sense of humour by pass. I have wanted to choke one person in particular whom I normally tolerate rather well most of the time!

Valleys mam – sounds like you had a great time and what a way to celebrate it. Happy new year to you too.

Sandi – glad you had a laugh, you should have been there – I almost expired trying to hold in the laughter. Hop on a plane anyway, we’ll give you lessons on getting shit faced big time!

Working mum – goon on you, catch up on that sleep anywhere you can! You could save on heating bills if you just travelled the land staying with people and having a snooze each place you go!

I beati – welcome. Yup I agree, good friends are worth their weight in gold. I’ve ditched some real horrors in the past that were just old users and I lose no sleep over that!

Coffee – it was the first year we were without the boys as they were with their mother and we missed them – they are 20 and 24 now so they too can join in the adult frivolities up the pub. But we made up for them not being here by having Mr and Mrs P here instead.

Blogthatmama – it was a cosy old time and a very relaxing one and as long as Mrs P and me keep taking the tablets we should be okay hopefully.

Scott – welcome – I’ve linked to your excellent blog – loved your humour and yes by all means please link to mine!

Lin – welcome – I’d never post a pic of them – too intrusive and some things just aren’t for publication. They are kind enough to let me write about them and that’s pretty good as they are great characters in real life!

Aims – oh it is just the best having good friends and you don’t have to stand on ceremony with either of them which is just great. I’ll email you tomorrow by the way in response to your other comment.

David – thanks for the post of the day award again – you are very generous!

Ticklish mermaids – welcome and thank you for your nice comment. I’ll pop along and have a look at your blog soon. You sound like you might be a kindred spirit!

Scott – link me, link me link me! Pleeease!

beth said...

I can almost hear an accent (English, Irish?) in your words. And I'm jealous of your tight friendship; we should have friends like yours!

dani c said...

I'm glad that I stopped by .. :)

Carolina said...

Thanks for the lemon juice-tip! The cashier at the usual supermarket will be wondering why I am buying so many lemons. Or probably not, because they tend not to think and take it all in their stride.
And I will smell so fresh and juicy too! ;-)

Poutalicious said...

..."our home is her home for the short time she is conscious in it." I laughed out loud. Arizona is a great place to retire. It's been in the 60s-70s this week. Today I plan to take a walk with my hat (have to wear a hat in Arizona) and silk scarf (fashionista) wearing my flip-flops.

Casdok said...

Very funny! Great post as always!
Belated happy new year!!