Well late Friday night was fun, but laughing our way around the Crawley branch of Tesco and then staying up and chatting until 3.30am was never going to make an early start to Brighton likely. Neil (my best man) is putting myself, Nick and Pat up in his flat in Haywards Heath, West Sussex. He has gone to a lot of effort and we he also opened up a bottle of champagne to celebrate the weekend last night too.
Upon waking up the first thing I remember seeing was Neil with the video camera, filming me in a state of semi-consciousness on his bedroom floor (he's putting us up, but you've got no chance of getting Neil out of his bed - he put this down to "dirty sheets", the sly git!), which I'm sure will come out well... if it doesn't get burned first! ;)
We ended up leaving Neil's flat at about 11am and arrived (via one of Neil's normal, ridiculously twisty routes) at Rottingdean (just outside Brighton) at about midday. Along the way we had an epic singalong (in my hired Ford Mondeo, which shockingly didn't have a tape player - a bit gutting considering we had made up about nine tapes between us), and launched into a massive chant of "Back down, you're going straight back down" (in regard to the local football club).
The pitch 'n' putt at Rottingdean didn't go to plan. It was scorchingly hot, but stupidly they didn't allow drinks on the course. None of us played well, and worst of all Pat almost hit a motorcyclist when one of his tee shots hooked, went up over the bank and across the road. I honestly couldn't tell you how near he was to hitting the rider - I couldn't look and turned away before anything happened (the rider was wearing an open-faced helmet and the last I saw the ball was travelling right towards his head).
We decided to pack up the golf early (minus one club, which could have been taken by any one of the idiots behind us that day), and headed down to Brighton Marina with Mark and Martin now in tow. Having got some lunch (Tuna Baguette - I was probably going to eat far too much unhealthy food otherwise) we went Ten-Pin Bowling, whereupon the six of us easily surpassed our target of a combined 600. We ended up with a total score of 725, with Nick leading the way with 162.
After a brief flirtation with a pool hall we headed back to Haywards Heath, whereupon we changed into our "See You Jimmy" hats, before quickly abandoning them and heading out for dinner at Zizzi. I couldn't help but laugh when we made an initial drinks order, five Cokes with Neil being the typical exception to the rule with his exclamation, "I'll have a beer!"
The meal was fantastic, and became very bizarre towards the end when first Martin and then Mark tried to stick Amaretto biscuits up their noses. Pat followed by actually managing to get a sugar cube stuck in each nostril. Naturally enough we left the money for the bill and left pretty quickly.
However as nights go, being out at dinner with five of my best friends, who had travelled considerable distances and gone to a lot of effort to give me a good send off. I am lucky to have such good friends.