I was bone weary tired.
I was tired in a way that only a night of over exuberance can create. Where my sugar levels were crashing hourly. Where diet coke was providing only momentary relief and where my body was staging a protest about the white wine I had forced it to consume the night before.
So when I say bone weary tired, I really mean horribly hung-over.
Do you know the worse thing to do with a hangover?
The most dreadful, horrible, thing to do?
I can tell you. Travelling on the fine London underground transport system is possibly the worse thing to do with a hangover. Yet I had no choice. I left the conference, which I had attended Friday afternoon, evening and Saturday morning, and picked up my brick filled bag and headed to Liverpool Street station. I should have been excited, I was en route to Wembley, and I was going to a Rock concert (I know – at my age!).
However the waves of nausea as I slowly edged through the streets of London threatened to overwhelm me, and kept my excitement firmly at bay. In fact, my excitement was so put off by the hiccups of late night Kentucky fried chicken, and cheap white wine, that I feared it may never return. I had images of myself sitting at Wembley Stadium, surrounded by energised fun seekers jumping to the music, and myself in among it all, with downtrodden face, waiting for my excitement to come home.
The short walk to the tube station took forever, and when I arrived I made a prat of myself by emptying the contents of my handbag onto the floor, searching for my Oyster card. It had inconveniently jumped from my purse and wedged itself between a dry used baby wipe, and my Dior sunglasses that currently only have one arm. When I found the blue, credit card shaped tube pass, I hastily tossed all my handbag belongings into my suitcase. It seemed easier than trying to refile all the crap in my bag. I was told recently that a tidy handbag was the sign of a successful woman, whilst I believe this to be crap, I didn’t want to tempt fate.
My handbag was lighter, devoid of all its contents, except one tiny toddler counting board book, a broken biro, a lip gloss that makes my face look paler than normal and a brand new nail file. My suitcase felt like it contained enough bricks to build a play house in the middle of Liverpool Street Station.
I lurched through the tube ticket gates and cursed out loud, using a word that would horrify my mother as my suitcase became stuck behind me in the too quickly closing gates. The sound of the expletive summoned a short man, in a British Transport Uniform, who tutted at me, nodded at the small children walking past me, and then finally set my bag free.
Mumbling an apology and hiccuping out some of last night’s wine, I hurried away down to the escalators with more speed than I would have thought possible with the hangover from hell thumping through my noddle box.
The platform was full of tourists, residents and over excited children. I walked to the far end. The sign said ‘1 minute’, my heart rose. Then the train arrived, I moved in a mass of people to try and fight to the death for a seat. I got on the train and saw one chair sitting unoccupied, again my heart rose, the hangover started to subside. As I eagerly stepped forward I heard a small ‘excuse me’ and turned to my right. A woman stood there with a bump so huge I was surprised her legs weren’t in stirrups already. She looked at me, she looked at the seat, and my heart plummeted down through my belly, past the rotting KFC, through the ocean of wine and it came to a standstill by my big toe.
I appreciate she was with child, and liable to labour any moment, but it did cross my mind to try and explain that I was suffering from nausea which was caused by something she probably hadn’t touched in nine months. I thought this explanation would appeal to her sense of reason and she would give me the seat. However, she didn’t even give me the opportunity to pitch, instead she swept past me, cradling her bump, and sat, firmly, in my chair.
It was standing room only.
I stood for an hour on the tube. My pores started to sweat Pinot, my head threatened to burst, my bag grew heavier by the moment. At one point, a young chap got on with his small bulldog. The bulldog licked my ankle for a while, it clearly had a taste for regurgitated alcohol, and I was very pleased when they got off.
Finally, I arrived at Hangar Lane, my home for the evening, just outside of Wembley. The fresh air lightened my mood, and the hangover seemed to start to ease as I glugged the best part of a litre of water. Excitement started to tiptoe back into my mind.
I was going to a Rock concert.
I lugged my huge suitcase down the stairs into the subway, looking for exit S7. My empty handbag hung uselessly at my wrist. I knew the walk to the hotel was only short and my mood improved.
Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt a yank at my wrist, a screech of brakes, a churlish chuckle and then a cry of ‘got it, let’s go.’
My bloody hangover and I had been mugged. My huge suitcase remained stapled to my person; my handbag now flew out of sight, attached now to a young male, who was pedaling furiously into the distance. I could see, even through my bleary eyes, the bag did nothing for him. It was the wrong colour for his Demin jacket, and too big for his skinny frame.
Mugged, and the battery on phone, which was safely in my jean back pocket, was deader than Shakespeare so I couldn’t even call my mum to get instant sympathy.
For one moment, I froze, waiting to see if my confidence would shatter, if I would collapse with nerves, if being the victim of crime would impact me.
Then I began to laugh, a deep belly laugh, one that banished my hangover and cleared the smog from my head. I had been mugged for an empty bag. They had stolen a nail file.
Silly, little, feckers.
I walked on through the subway, my load slightly lighter. I came to the exit and chortled some more as I saw my empty bag laying on the steps where it had been tossed away in disgust.
My ‘attacker’ had clearly realised the style didn’t match his frame.
He must have also realised that I own very cheap bags.
Adrenalin had killed my hangover; I walked on, two bags in hand. Excitement caught up with me.
I had a belting night!
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