In the city (In the disco)
After a hard month of non-drinking had fucked with my sleeping pattens, threatened to destroy friendships and almost changed my sexuality, I set sail (on a plane) for North America. Staying with friends (and bl*ggers.. and couchsurfers) meant that I was made to feel very welcome and got to see everywhere I wanted from a locals point of view - borrowing peoples friends and making new ones as I went. I may regale some tales from the trip, depending on how creative I'm feeling at the time.
I've just completed my second week back in the country after spending a slightly longer time away, and on the weekend I got well and truly stuck into my first big Cardiff night out since the end of March... and what a great night it was! It was one of those nights where I just seemed to know everyone wherever we went - Cardiff's a small city so bumping into people you know happens frequently*, but this was just out of control. We started with a couple of pints in the local, where I caught up with a couple of the bar staff and then we headed into a favourite club of mine, Clwb Ifor Bach. We went along to watch Space in the 50's but we were there in time (along with about twenty others, not a good sign) to catch Lt.Meat and Frommars - who were both great. By the time the 50's boys had finished their set, the place had filled up significantly and I was doing my fair share of hi-fiving, ass-slapping and hand-shaking as friends of mine started appearing.
Within half an hour of the end of the set, the bands had been cleared away and the 'downstairs disco' had fired up. My mood was significantly lifted when Elastica were blasted over the sound system and my foot started tapping as I stood chatting to a tall blonde, this caused my concentration to wane (not helped by my friends in the background attempting to make me laugh), they finally succeeded and I had to excuse myself and go to collect some more beers which were waiting for me. The music swiftly turned towards the Madonna end of the scale so I headed upstairs to the 3rd floor in search of some alternative tunes. To my delight, I discovered another group of friends hanging around the bar - after a few more hi-fives we did the natural thing and jumped around to the Smiths together. We were hit with great track after great track and despite our clothes beginning to soak through with sweat we just kept on dancing.
Finally it became too much so I decided to descend to the cooler climes of the 2nd floor. I quickly learnt that there was to be no respite - my housemates were strutting their stuff to some funk, I couldn't resist so I picked up another beer and hit the dancefloor once again. The rest of the night continued in a similar vein... the bands and friends got obliterated on the ground floor, my housemates got down to disco-funk on the 2nd floor, the indie kids on the 3rd floor turned into giant sweat buckets and I ran up and down the stairs and got a taste of it all - it was tremendous!
The next morning I made myself laugh by asking "Hey, do you remember those two Finnish rock chicks I was talking to?" - If the presence of Finnish rock chicks isn't the sure sign of a good night out, I don't know what is.
*Which reminds me of a funny conversation I had with my friend Tash. Tash and I were standing in a London pub waiting for Will's arrival on the evening of May 1st - the day I'd resumed alcohol consumption in earnest.
Curly : "Do you ever get the feeling that you're going to bump into someone you know?"
Tash : "Yeah, but I've lived in London for most of my life so I often see the same people"
Curly : "I've had that feeling since I got here about two hours ago, and I only know a handful of people in the whole city - but I keep looking around to see if I recognise anyone"
Tash : "That's odd, I wonder who you're expecting."
Curly: "Someone like Alex"
Tash : "What? Why Alex"
Curly : "Because he's right there...."
Tash spun round to see what I'd just spotted, a good friend of ours named Alex walked into the pub and almost fell over with his surprise at the sight of us both grinning back at him.