It was a early evening and I approached the pub with Tamsin. Tamsin was my chauffeur for the evening. She promised to get me home no matter what. I was sure I wouldn't need that. The first thing I saw was Toddy in a fine yellow and green waste coat and Louisa. She was one of Tom's friends from sixth form who had since gone on to study at Loughborough University. I hugged Toddy it was good to see him. Inside it seemed like the whole pub was decked out in yellow. There were yellow balloons everywhere and everyone was wearing yellow. It was like I had come home and my own people were waiting for me. It was a good turn out given the time of year, and people had come back in August just to be there. Everyone was a story. Everyone was someone I had met along the road and I had received as much from them as I had given. I was so very grateful. I spent the evening having a few drinks and talking to everyone.
And there it is best to leave it. With the sun slowly sinking below the horizon. A happy picture of me surrounded by my students one last time. So you, gentle reader should probably stop here, close your browser and go away with the happy thought and warm feelings that picture engenders and not read any more....
...because what happened next is that Dan asked me if I'd 'done the fellowship'. Which, for those of you who do not know, is 5 drinks, all high alcohol cocktails served in 5 pint glasses each with the name of a character from the Lord of the Rings. This is served in Southampton's premier LOTR themed pub 'The Hobbit'. I had lived near the Hobbit for 5 years and been in on countless occasions, I had never, however done the fellowship.
What followed was a journey to the Hobbit. I didn't really want to do the whole Fellowship but someone bought me a Gandalf. Ok I'll just haver that one. It was a nice shade of blue. I really didn't want to do anything embarrassing. I mean I don't like drinking too much. Then all of a sudden there was the red one. Someone must have bought it for me. Oh dear it would be rude not to. I especially liked the yellow one. It was a proper yellow and that's really what I look for in a drink, being canary yellow. How could I not drink the yellow one? Oh dear! I am told I did the Green and the Grey one too. I remember talking and laughing I remember people but not many faces. I remember making friends, and I remember entering a dream like state in which there was no direct relationship between anything.
I remember eating an egg burger. I remember sitting somewhere and I remember someone saying “You like egg burgers”. I'm pretty sure that happened in the opposite order, but not certain. Someone said later it was no so much a farewell party as a stag do before I married my new job. Not that your ex is supposed to organise your stag do.
I woke the next morning with a slight hang over, a realisation that facebook was not my friend and an overwhelming feeling I needed to leave Southampton.