IT was one of those mornings. I woke and peered through bleary, screwed-up eyes at the clock on my bedside table - it had just clicked around to 8.59am. Oh, bugger. I had a minute to get showered, drive into work and then prepare for conference. I decided I wasn't going to make it.
I made pretty quick progress though and was out of the house in 10 minutes. Got into Bas, turned the key... and nothing happened. I had a flat battery on what must rank as the coldest day of the year.
In the end I ran for the bus, and finally got to work 40 minutes late. A pretty poor start to another nightmare Saturday. And all because of the Echo party...
On Friday night we left work determined to have a drink. But it was immediately obvious to Withers, Marc, Danny Boy (the Poipes, the poipes) and myself that this wasn't going to be easy. They were already queueing to get in The Yard and it wasn't even 6pm. Seems like Black Friday had been brought forward by a week.
Eventually we settled on the City Arms, knowing full well that it was rarely packed there any more. We even, wonder of wonders, found a table. And soon the Prince of Darkness, having inquired about our drinking habits via text, arrived to join the melee. The last pay day of the year and we were determined to have a good night.
The City Arms was ok, but the company wasn't up to much. There were three pie-eyed Cardiff City fans determined to sing loud songs while being genuinely disruptive and, horror of horrors, SMOKING in the pub.
So we opted to move on to the New Model Inn next door.
Danny Boy purloined a buxom young BBC wench who was determined to chat up the Fab BB and, when unsuccessful with that venture, moved on to the Prince. The Poipes, meanwhile, was content to admire her buxomness. She was a bit mad, though.
Then off we went upstairs to the Echo do where there was a good turnout. It didn't take long for us all to hit the dance floor - what with it being the Fab BB's unofficial leaving party.
A few more beers, a bit more Christmas cheer and I had managed to persuade the DJ to play Oops upside your head. Gathering a few like-minded idiots we scrambled on to the dirty floor to perform rowing motions to the Gap Band tune.
For some stupid reason I also decided to engage in a 'mock' fight with Nicey. Well, that was what I was supposed to be doing. Somehow at one stage my knee managed to make contact with his nose - a foolhardy action which no manner of apology could forgive. Poor bloke's eyes were streaming. Hope nothing's broken.
Swingler, meanwhile, the Echo photographer who seems to make a habit of being outrageous at the Echo Christmas do, had by now begun a food fight. Only thing was, no one else was playing.
As usual the wonderful one lost something. This time it was his suit jacket AND his phone. And as usual I found them by looking about three inches from where he was standing, crying out with apoplexy at the way the miserable world always picked on him. Numpty, as Woody might say.
Eventually decided to call it a day and wander home early so that I could get in at a reasonable time for the busy day ahead. Imagine my astonishment when I discovered on arrival that it was, in fact, 1.45 and I was totally bladdered. The only thing for it before bed was a little snack of mixed nuts. Thank God I am off work next week.