Category: Going out

The Dancing Queen And The Thieving Gits

Last night, we had our work’s Christmas do, in a hotel in Slough. That would account for why my head has been hurting all day.  The downside to a free bar, I s’pose.

Inexplicably, my legs are also aching. I think might have over done it on the cucarachas.

But, it was a good time and everyone seemed to enjoy it… even if much of the music was unrecognisable to an old fart like me. 

I admit to losing all faith in the DJ, when I told him toward the end of the evening, that it was about time he played Come On Eileen. “I don’t have it”, he said. 

Don’t have it?!  What sort of party DJ doesn’t have the  Midnight Runners’ greatest party hit?  A staple of every decent party playlist, surely? And my signature dance tune, to boot. They missed out on me busting some serious shapes, to that one.

Their loss.

But, there was also a walk-around magician. Everyone knows just how much I love magic and illusions, so he really made my night… although he probably thought I was a pain in the arse, following him around all night.

And there was a fight at the end of the night, which always rounds up a party nicely, I think.

I stayed over in the hotel, to save faffing about with taxis, etc, and it was great to be able to just stagger upstairs at the end of the night.

But, it nearly didn’t happen.

You see, I went up to the ATM to get some cash beforehand, but it refused to give me any. It was dishing out tenners willy-nilly to everyone else, but not to me. So, I phoned the bank. “Ahh, glad you called, we’ve been trying to contact you. We have put a temporary stop on your card due to some suspicious activity.”

“Riiight”, I said. “What kind of suspicious activity”

“Did you make a payment of five pounds to a company called TI Ltd, this morning…”

“No”, I said, stopping him in mid-flow.

He carried on though: “… followed by a payment of fifty pounds, one hundred and then two hundred pounds?”

I most definitely did not”, I stated. “I’ve never heard of TI Ltd. Who are they?”

“They are an online gambling company” he said, matter-of-factly. 

“Definitely not me. I don’t gamble. Never have.”

“This is why we have stopped your card.”

“But I need money. I’m going out tonight and need to pay for my hotel.”

“We will put a new card in the post to you.”

“Yeah, but that doesn’t help me tonight.”

“Sorry. Is there anything else I can help you with?”, he asked, brightly.

Back at work, I went on the scrounge; begging people for money. Twenty quid here; a fiver there and, before long, I had eighty quid. That should be enough: it’s a free bar, so no money required there and the room is fifty quid. Sorted.

I checked in and handed five of the new fancy ten pound notes to the male receptionist. He looked disdainfully at the money resting in his hand. “It’s a hundred pounds”, he said, “Fifty pounds for a deposit”.

I explained that I didn’t have another fifty quid in cash. “You can use your card”, he said, and so I explained that it didn’t work. He shrugged his shoulders at me and handed my fifty quid back. He then watched as I spent the next twenty minutes, vainly trying to get hold of anyone on the phone who might be able to help. Eventually, he took pity on me and handed over the key to my room. “You can bring me the deposit later”, he said.
Thankfully, I promised him I would do so and then scarpered off at speed, with no intention of going back later.

I don’t know how the thieving bastards got hold of my card details, as I am always very careful with it, both online and otherwise, but it has certainly caused me quite an inconvenience.

If my new card doesn’t come through soon, Mrs M might have to pay for her own Christmas present!

Showing a girl a good time

I took a day off work on Friday, so that the current Mrs Masher and I could spend some quality time together.  Sans kids.

To be honest, I fully expected that would mean a day being dragged round the shops. But no: Mrs M had already done the bulk of her Christmas shopping and didn’t fancy another trip to Lakeside.

“You don’t want to go shopping?!” I was close to calling the doctor, but she assured me that she wasn’t ill.

It was  a still morning; bright but frosty, and so we took the dog on a lovely long walk through the woods. There wasn’t a soul around and we thoroughly enjoyed our stroll.  With just the two of us, and the light dappling through the trees as we walked, it was almost… romantic.

“Fancy going somewhere for lunch?”, I asked. She was right up for that so, come lunchtime, we took a walk up to our local. It was a bit busy in there, but we found a table and perused the menu.  Having picked out a couple of rather splendid looking burgers, I went up to the bar to order our grub.

“There’s an hour’s wait for food”, said the surly bartender. An hour?!  Sod that!

“Let’s try the Beefeater up the road”, I suggested. It was only a further ten minutes walk.
But when we got there, we were aghast at the prices.  i don’t mind paying forty quid for a proper meal for the two of us, but not for a lunchtime snack!

“There’s always The Bramingham”, I said. This truly is our local, but we don’t visit it very often. And so, we set off at a brisk pace, as lunchtime was now rapidly turning into mid-afternoon.

We arrived at The Bramingham to find it closed for refurbishment. Yet again. It’s one of those pubs that seems to change hands every few years.

There was only one thing for it. Across the road was Sainsbury’s. We both looked at it.

“Cafe?”

“Cafe!”

And so, we had omelette and chips and a lukewarm cup of tea, instead of the burger and pint that we’d both been so looking forward to.

Later that afternoon, I had to take some rubbish up to the Tidy Tip. I invited Mrs Masher along for the ride, but she declined.

I suppose a girl can only handle so much extravagance in one day.

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