King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Thursday, November 23

The longest week

Ten years ago this week was the longest week of my life. I’d taken a few days off and been on a visit to Blackpool, and had returned home to Manchester to find phone messages from my new potential boss. I’d previously applied for a job in South Wales, designing fruit machines for a company set up on the back of my last employer, and they’d seemed very keen on me working for them. A conversation on the phone late on Sunday evening had planned out the itinerary for the following week, and it was apparent I was going to be visiting Holland at some point. I needed a passport, so I’d told the new boss I’d be there on Tuesday.

Monday: I headed into Ashton-Under-Lyne, to get my local bank to countersign my passport application. I then caught the train to Liverpool, and with urgency caught a taxi to the passport office to get my application accepted just before the 11am deadline. I then found a pub near to the passport office, and proceeded to drink for the next 5 hours. I collected my passport at 4pm, very drunk, and returned to Liverpool’s Lime Street station to head home. I got on the train successfully, and promptly passed out. I woke up in Huddersfield, some half an hour further on then my destination, and returned later then planned.

Tuesday: I caught another train to Swansea, arriving late lunchtime. I was given a tour of the area, factory and staff. We checked out a few estate agents, and checked out a couple of places for rent. Finally I was taken for dinner and checked into a hotel for the evening.

Wednesday: Got up at 3am to get the "Red Eye" first flight of the day from Cardiff Airport to Rotterdam. Got there for 9am, where I was interrogated interviewed on all my technical knowledge. Minds were laid to rest, and I was offered the post as games designer with a crap salary but all my moving costs paid for. I phoned the missus, and accepted. The boss’s missus was also phoned, and instructed to go and put a down payment on a house we’d seen the day before. We then adjourned for lunch, heading to the pub. I spent the afternoon going through technical theories and basis, before finally leaving about 6. We checked into the hotel, and then went out for the evening (again to the pub).

Thursday: After the Dutch interpretation of a full English breakfast (boiled egg, manky bacon, dried out chipolata), we returned to the office for a few hours of hard work before heading airward again on the return trip to Cardiff. The house I’d chosen had been withdrawn from the market, and so when we returned to the office in the late afternoon, we settled down with newspapers to find me somewhere to live. The evening was spent driving around looking for signs saying “To Let,” but after not spotting anything too obvious, we returned to a restaurant again for another meal.

Friday: We find a local estate agent with a house available, and after meeting him briefly, legalities are exchanged and I now live in a small detached bungalow on the outskirts of a Swansea Valley village. I go for lunch with Adrian (the manager), and we get a bollocking for being out too long. Was this an omen? I get a few hours to relax in the afternoon, and for the evening Adrian decides he’s going to take me to Neath for a meal in a local hotel. They don’t open until 7, and we are due back in my boss’s local for 7:30 for a quiz night, so we head back to Adrian’s local for steak and chips. We get there at about 6:30 but even though Adrian phoned ahead an order for food, we don’t actually get food until about 7:10. We grab what we can (I have big hands and get handfuls of chips as we head out of the door), and rocket up the valley to get to the pub for bang on 7:30. The quiz night is being held upstairs and we have a team of me, my new boss, Adrian, and the boss’s wife. I seem to remember we did terribly, but had a fun night anyway. By 11 I’m chuffed because I’ve had a fun night, I’ve had a few drinks, and I was looking forward to a long restful sleep. Only my boss had other ideas, and we go to the main bar downstairs and settle down to drink much too much. Some 10 pints later (I kid you not) I seem to remember leaving about 1:30am and getting a minibus to Adrian’s girlfriend’s place, where I am going to camp down on her sofa.

Saturday: Not sure what time it was, but I vaguely remember wandering around in the backgarden in heavy rain and then having a pee into a drain. Returning to his sofa in a drunken stupor, I wake up about 4am green and the inevitable phone call to God happens. As I leave the toilet (about an hour later) Adrian appears, naked, and we hold a conversation about how rough we both feel. I return to the sofa and more greenness returns so I find a large bowl to blow chunks into and settle down to sleep. I am stirred about 8 o’clock by the feeling I’m being watched, and I look up to see Adrian’s girlfriend’s 8 year old son greet me. We play on his Nintendo, and when Adrian finally surfaces we head back to Swansea to get the return journey home. One of the rare moments Adrian has actually been ill from drinking, I now feel fine and rib him all the way about being green. I get on the train and promptly curl up into a little ball and sleep for the next few hours. I wake up just outside Abergavenny, and finally get home to Manchester for early evening.

Sunday: I spend the day packing.

Monday: Up bright and early ready for one of the boys from the company to appear with a 7.5ton truck. Only, also on this day, the man upstairs it’s time for snow to make its first appearance. We have a blizzard for a couple of hours, turning my local area into a winter wonderland. When the driver finally appears about 2pm, we load as quickly as possible, before heading south. We finally get to the new house at about 10pm, and spend an hour unloading.

What a week. I have got a new job, a new house, a new passport, and a need for a new liver.