Despite all the illness and hospital visits, I still managed to go out every night to something or other.
First off, to what my mum had initially described as my niece's school play, but it turned out to be a talent show. Without wanting to be too uncharitable to the children taking part, it was a load of rubbish. My niece was first up, singing (God knows where she gets this confidence or ability to sing from - its certainly not from our side). But the organisers had wrote on her CD to mark which song it was, but in advertantly it ruined the CD so it wouldn't play. After 20 minutes of attempting to sort it out, she said she would sing without the music! What a trooper! The rest of the acts were a lot older, all in pairs or groups and all dancing. Their ability was mixed, but what was particularly awful was the over-the-top spiel from the compere (a primary school teacher who claimed that he made his classes dance for 10 minutes to Hendrix and Jethro Tull everyday). At one point, he claimed that it made you feel good to be alive when you saw the talent and especially given the bad things you read about kids today. I didn't make me feel that way particularly - the fact he could only find 10 kids to take part in this thing, made me wonder what the rest of the town's children were up to - probably in a bus stop with a bottle of cider.
We were sat during this with her father (i.e. my sisters ex-boyfriend) and his new girlfriend, who my sister gets on well with - 'this is a strange set-up', my mother whispered to me at one point. I felt compelled to point out that it was quite nice that everything was amicable and what was an odd set-up was when my mum's boyfriend's ex-wife once came to stay with us when she had burnt her house down and my mum was sat in the bathroom chatting to her while she had a bath.
After this, we visited my sister's new house. Its quite nice although the lounge is tiny and dominated by a huge wall-mounted plasma tv. She could hold film screenings with an audience sat on her front lawn.
I went to my best friend's house for drinks. She told me about her recent infidelity with a minor indie guitarist - actually nothing more than kissing as she reckoned he lacked confidence so wouldn't let her do anything more. Probably for the best, since she is actually engaged. One of her fiance's friends came round who I had not met before - what a complete knob. He is a Porsche salesman, who has recently bought a pub & enjoys shooting - I had very little to say to him. He started showing us 'amusing' clips on the internet, mainly of people in Iraq being blown up by 'our boys' (his words). It felt like a night out with the front page of The Sun.
A meal with the family in a local Greek restaurant. Fairly uneventful, but a very good house red!
A pub quiz with my sisters and their friend. We came last. I wasn't too bad, they weren't much hlep, but it was full of 'professional' quiz goers - people kept pointing out mistakes in the questions and taking it very seriously. The quizmaster was useless too - we could hardly make out what he was saying a lot of the time and he didn't explain things very well (it wasn't just straightforward questions). We all sort of knew him - he was a teacher at my sisters' school and I once went to a New Year's Eve party at his house, where I saw his sister-in-law giving a blow-job to one of my friends. I didn't mention this to him as I doubt it would have got us any extra points.
Afterwards we went round to my sisters house, where the conversation turned to cartwheels so we ended up in the garden attempting cartwheels at midnight. When I put my shoes back on, there was a slug in there and it got between my toes. I was nearly sick.