Legal Alien: A Scotsman in Montreal

You know it's your birthday when...

- the games machine in the pub pays out 6 times your original stake in the first game!
- you don't seem to buy any drinks but find yourself very drunk
- you drink amaretto and baileys at a folk night in a local pub
- you don't blink twice about going to 3 different clubs in 2 hours
- a friend buys you a drink that contains tequilla, vodka, southern comfort and lime, but no mixer
- despite all the abuse you put your body through, you wake up feeling a little tired, a little queasy but overall ok.

The REAL celebration

Techincally, Thursday wasn't my main night out for my birthday, it just sort of happened. Saturday was when my house was to be invaded by around 20-30 people (I can't claim I knew them all, some were my flatmates friends). So I went to the supermarket, stocked up on all the necessary foodstuff, including the actual BBQ, and tidied up the house.

Overall it was a good party, I think. I didn't get a very good view of what was going on cos in the beginning I was cooking on the BBQ which meant I had my back to the action - a design flaw to be rememdied next time. Then towards the end, I was flitting between the rooms (we had a 'party' room with the EyeToy and DanceMat games going on, and a chillout room where it was more about music and chat) as well as occasioanlly having to field complaints from the neighbours.

It's not a real party unless the police are involved

I had warned our immediate neighbours either side of us (we live in a terrace) but apparently the people in the houses behind our house (our gardens back onto each other) didn't like the noise and so phoned our immediate neighbour Jean, to tell us to keep it down or she's phoning security (she assumed we were students). This was first done at around 10pm when there were a lot of us outside making quite a bit of noise. So we shooed everyone inside, then apparently a little while later, got another complaint. Allegedly, they came to our garden (jumped the fence or so they said) to tell us off. So then we lock the back door to stop people going outside. Then we get another complaint this time about smokers out the front of the house! This is at about 11:30 and they're complaining they couldn't sleep. But this was ridiculous - our house is fully double glazed which meant that with the door shut there's no noise at all - I even went next door at one point and our neighbour could hear nothing through the walls!

Anyway, the party went on until the early hours - my friends from Scotland who'd come down for the event, were the first to crash out (they're not used to starting to drink that early I guess). There was one minor mishap when one of my very, very drunken friends took something I said too literally and stormed off and was really upset. In fact it was the same friend who emerged from the kitchen at one point holding a green drink and told everyone someone had made for him and it was real absinthe and dope in the same drink. Unfortunately for him, we worked out it was sirop-de-menthe and gin, with mint leaves!

The day after

After kicking everyone out at around 3, I got to bed, only to get up about 6 hrs later. I then cooked up some bacon for my friends before tidying up a little and then acting as a tour guide as I showed them the splendours of Durham (took about 45 mins ;) )

They all left at around 2 so I then went and played football for a few hours before coming back to my house, tidying some more and then just dying in a crumpled, exhausted heap.

Paying the Piper

I woke up on Monday morning and realised my body was rebelling against me; it had had enough shit from me for a while and was going to make me feel rotten and appreciate just how badly I'd been mistreating it. Seems my immune system had a hit a low and I'd picked up a cold bug. I then proceeded to take the next two days off work to spend them on my couch watching TV.

It's the closest I've come to actually meaning it when I say in the morning "I'm never drinking again!"