In our last episode, our heroine was dancing like a drunk demon at the AU formal. I won't go into great detail about the rest of the week, but this is as much my diary as it is a publication, so I do want to note a few things so as to preserve them for posterity. (I don't trust my memory any more than I trust Donald Rumsfeld to equip impoverished black soldiers with the latest in military technology.)
Wednesday-- got up, was extremely ill. Combo hangover, graduation stress, and 4 sleepless nights with violently snoring Aunt. Got dressed, looked stunning, went to uni to take care of business. Returned to hotel to pick up family, was given message that surprisingly thoughtful friend had telephoned to wish me well. Attempted to reach surprisingly thoughtful friend, failed. Drank some wine and had a mince pie. Threw fam in van, went to graduation. Sighed mounfully over empty chair in front of me which should have been occupied by surprisingly thoughtful friend who was boycotting cremony in protest to being fucked over by uni. Graduated. Nice ceremony; no Elgar. Went to reception, drank wine, schmoozed with profs. Back into van for dinner. Snoring Aunt bungles dinner reservation. We walk all over Manchester in freezing drizzle looking for food before concert while grumbling. I park van in space so small that I can't open any doors; resort to climbing over seats and signalling random passerby to open rear hatch for me. After tense and hurried dinner, we walk 7 blocks to Bridgewater hall to attend marvelous Christmas concert performed by funny men in late 18th century dress and sing christmas carols. I am exhausted to tears. All I want for christmas is a full night's sleep.
Thursday--I take drugs and sleep on floor of bathroom of hotel to escape snoring aunt. it works-- i get a full 9 hours. Take family into town to see sights and peruse Christmas market. Parallel park van in space with only 6 inches clearance on either end. In TWO MOVES. I am god. Family gawkes at my skill, random pedestrians applaud. Visit town hall, do some shopping. Go pick up friend who is dining with us. Find resturaunt and park with no difficulty, thank god. Note that friend looks characteristically dashing. Have lovely dinner, saw panto of Dick Whittington, laughed pants off.
Friday--Drove family to Chester for one last day of sightseeing. We visit Roman ruins, walk on wall down to river (famliy wants to see where I rowed). Arrived at river front just in time to say "hello" to mubc crews coming in off the water. Wish I were with them instead of dragging geriatric nun around Roman ruins. Sigh. Mom notices wistfull look in my eyes; realizes I'm lost forever. We stop for lunch in local watering hole built in 1660-something, then walk up to cathedral, take audio tour. Get annoyed because they've changed tour and the new one isn't as good. I tell them so, politely. We walk down to main drag, have high tea in Grosvenor Hotel by Eastgate. Drive back to Manchester (naturally, it began to rain the minute we arrived in town) and packed our bags. Family goes to bed early; I spend last evening enjoying company of old friend.
Saturday--wake up several hours before ass-crack of dawn. Drive to Heathrow. Stand in line for hours. Get frisked at security. Wait at gate. Mom asks if I want to leave. "No," I say. Family makes me get on plane anyway. They frisk me again at gate. Either I look like a terrorist or Heathrow security thinks I'm hot and can't keep their hands off me. Not sure which scenario creeps me out more. I spend 9 hours on cramped aircraft with 40 million screaming childrend being taken to visit grandparents for holidays. I attempt suicide, fail. Plane lands. Crap, I'm still alive. And I'm in the United States; a fate worse than death. I resume social life consisting entirely of computer and parents' friends. Merry Christmas, everyone.