The visit home. An essential part of any year abroad but one that, with the exception of the gap between my two semesters, had eluded me until this week. Having spent this term so far putting my liver through an alcoholic version of the twelve labours of Hercules, I took this six day trip as an opportunity to take a bit of a chill pill (if people still say that. They don’t, do they?) and be a good boy.
On the way back the first thing that struck me was that, despite what everyone tells me in Spain, my accent does not even scratch the surface of ‘West of Scotland’. Having not heard the Glasgae banter for three months it actually took a second to work out that the woman offering me “swee’ies” was speaking English, although I quickly re-realised that this is the way people are meant to speak and anybody who disagrees is nothing but a hefto bawbag (if you do not understand this google it, it is hilarious.)
Safely home I spent Monday re-acquainting myself with my immediate family, discovering that my brother has effectively stopped going to school, my sister has spent the vast majority of the last three months working out how to solve a Rubik’s cube and everyone is still reeling in the aftermath of a burglary in which some pikey walked into our unlocked house, stole our only car and wrote it off two streets away.
On Tuesday I went through to Edinburgh to find out exactly how bad a state of disrepair it has fallen into in my absence. It was in a sorry mess. Not really, but everybody back home has exams in the coming weeks and so most of the chat in the fair capital is based around tactics for nabbing the best seats in the university library and, in the unfortunate case of one Fergus d’Artagnan Crook, the disadvantages of seeing off a large Dominos pizza and then going straight back to revise without visiting potty first (Sorry old chap…I’m still not great at this name-dropping business).
On Wednesday, just to prove that I am not all about being an ignoble, philandering cad I went to visit my Grandmother and cut the grass while she attempted to force-feed me back to the weight I was last time I saw her in January with cakes and steaks and stuff. After deciding with a heavy heart that it would not be right to poison her neighbour’s cat with weedkiller I departed with my good deed for the week done in time for the decidedly more wicked deeds of the twenty-first Birthday party I was attending on Thursday night.
In order to explain the inevitability of the carnage that ensued over the next twenty-four hours or so it is first important to give a little background. First of all the gentleman whose birthday it was; a nicer person than Fleming there is not; a person with more common sense there is. In fact there are many. To cite my friend Struan who made the speech, Fleming can find the funny side of any situation or, perhaps more accurately, create a funny side by doing something stupid – although to be fair he was, from what I remember, on his best behaviour for most of the night which brings me to the other protagonist in most of the chaos that ensues when I come home from university: Danny.
The last time he and my other dangerously radical friend, Keith, crashed at my house, my Dad woke up for work the next morning to find himself locked in with no trace of any of the house-keys to be found anywhere; being a sensible chap he traced this anomaly back to the three drunken idiots sleeping fully clothed in my bed, although no matter how much he ranted and raved he could not wake any of us from the stupor, caused by all kinds of nasty concoctions, in which we found ourselves for long enough to find the keys, which he eventually retrieved from my pocket.
With this in mind the evening could have gone a lot worse. Someone was sick in a urinal, my brother came home from the casino to find that we had once again been locked out of the house and someone (thought to be my former flatmate, Bozza, who for some reason accompanied myself and young Daniel back to my house despite living at the other side of town – and then abruptly disappeared after hanging around for mere minutes) unscrewed the tap on our brand new kitchen sink and switched the shower on leaving it to run all night…so all in all a standard Glasgow night out.
My last day at home was far more civilised: indulging my inner geek for a couple of hours in ‘Waterstones’ before eating my last unhealthy meal until July…or next time I pass a kebab shop with a hangover.
I arrived back in Malaga on Saturday evening sprightly enough to go out and paint the town red again (although it was very nearly with my blood). Not having had any dinner, I decided for some reason that it would be prudent to steal a bunch of shot glasses, antagonise everybody I met into almost killing me (only being spared by a timely intervention from my friend Phil) and then go into every room in my flat (including all four bedrooms) and switch all the lights on before smashing a couple of the stolen shot glasses and having a well earned rest.
In my defence, nobody likes a goody two-shoes, so it is kind of mandatory to act like a bit of plonker (RIP John Sullivan) now and then. Correct? To back-up this point I will leave you with just a sprinkle of pretentiousness, as I have just started studying Shakespeare again and came across an infinitely pertinent quote in ‘Hamlet’ Act 3, Scene4: “…in the fatness of these pursy times virtue itself of vice must pardon beg…” When you guys are ready to apologise you know where to find me!