I’ve been very busy for the past two weeks with two things: one, (almost) voluntary work, where suddenly I’ve got a million and one things to do, and two, I’ve been enjoying myself. Rather too much, it appears, because my puritanical middle aged body has taken revenge, striking me down with gout in the left sole of my foot, an agonising reminder that I can’t stay up drinking until four in the morning like I used to when I was in my 20s.
That didn’t stop me trying when we went to stay with my old friend Gerald and his wife Sarah a couple of weekends ago, which, on the alcoholic consumption front, was a seriously wrong move. Gerald has a huge estate, obtained by mysterious financial dealings (something about two men named Nobby and Knuckles, a mining drill and a high street bank).
Sarah and Gerald’s ‘drum’, as he’s taken a liking in calling it, has many bedrooms, a flat for the staff and an indoor swimming pool.
What’s more, the estate has its own pub, The Gaylord. The Gaylord has its own Faceache page and everything. So, most of the weekend was spent in The Gaylord.
Trying to keep pace with Gerald drinking is like challenging Mo Farah to a race around the block, with a similar outcome; I end up fighting for oxygen, dizzy, exhausted and unsteady on my feet.
You see, Gerald has an enormous capacity for drink. He is the only human being I know who could drink an entire bar dry, pass out and still stroll around a room making polite conversation whilst unconscious. Well, almost. He may think he is saying, ‘ I was reading in the Financial Times the other day that the implemented fiscal policy in the far east has impacted favourably upon the NASDAQ’, when in fact what comes out is ‘Not wobbly wheel on a church should we, no?’
The man’s a machine. I’m convinced that when his life finally comes to an end, he’ll still manage to walk around for an extra month in order to say farewell to everybody.
I’m sure many of you would love to visit the Gaylord.
“ Many thanks for your interest in visiting my fine establishment. The Gaylord is a top quality pub offering the finest ales, wines and spirits, accompanied by a large range of bar snacks. Anybody who would like to visit, don’t bother. You’re barred. That includes you.”