After lunch, which had been taken quite late in the day already, there was a brief excursion to the back room of the pub to play the quiz machine. Sadly this machine didn't yield to our general knowledge and, at a crucial moment, I was struck with the need to visit the cubicle of the gents. This wasn't a result of the obstinacy of the machine... just nature taking its course Possibly encouraged by the sheer power of the dessert. I'll never know.
While in the toilet, I realised that I was not alone. I was alone in the cubicle, but there was footfall in the main body of the loo. Such is life. However, one of the voices of the loo-goers, was not male. I was in the right loo. They had urinals and everything. No. There was a woman in the toilet. This didn't bother me. I was quite happy to continue what I was doing. Playing Scrabble. Well, having a poo. Having and poo AND playing Scrabble on my mobile phone. I'm classy.
Talking of classy, the couple who were copping off in the main thoroughfare of the toilet - including the woman (I would normally refer to women as ladies... as a mark of affected respect... this wasn't no lady, though) I'd heard... this couple were anything but classy as they joked with other pissed up users of the toilets. Phrases like "Get it in her" and "Shall we have a spit roast" were uttered by someone. I had to get out of that toilet, it was offensive. It seemed to defile the spirit of heartiness of the pub. Hearty doesn't mean rutting-like-animals. No, it means eating-like-it's-your-last-meal. Somehow, I managed to wash my hands AND dry them, without actually looking at the couple in question. I was aware of them both by sound and with my peripheral vision. The foot of the woman even knocked into mine as she squirmed against her beau (that's beau, not "bo" or "B.O.") and as I washed my hands at the sink... but I pretended that they weren't there.
Then we left the pub.
In an attempt to find entertainment, we went to Portsmouth. I've not been to Portsmouth. It's not very different to any sort of normal seaside town. You can smell fried food and it's full of chavs and teenage preganancies. We didn't experience any teenage pregnancy while there, so I'm only guessing - well stereotyping. Such is my way.
We went to the arcades and played 2p and 10p games. The little penny-drop machines have certainly advanced since my childhood. We also played a couple of physical games, including a horrid horse racing thing (well, it was quite good fun) and the dance-mat style game which shows you how uncoordinated you really are. I am very uncoordinated and lost my "battle dances" every time. I was playing against someone who was younger and more nimble than I.
Deciding to play the crazy golf, despite the rain, a visit to the cash machine was in order. On the way there we walked past a woman using one of the 2p penny-drop machines. Her technique was amazing. She just threw coin after coin into the machine. The coins went into the machine in two slots next to the trough out of which any winnings dropped. She just scooped coins from the trough into the slots - almost like she was swimming through coins. It was amazing to watch her arms flailing in bursts. Then she'd wait to see what dropped. There was no technique. It was just a blunderbuss technique. I thought that, perhaps, she might have something. Perhaps this is how you beat the machine. Once she'd ploughed through her 50 or so coins, I realised that, in fact, this didn't seem any better than my chosen method of timing the release of each coin. However, her method was more spectacular and it was amazing to see that she'd even chosen her seat carefully so that she was next to the change machine. As her coins ran out, she reached into her breast pocket for a pound coin and got it into the change machine without missing a beat. We could have stayed, mesmerised, but had a round of "adventure golf" to play... the rain wasn't going to stop us.
I may have been a loser on the dance mat, but I managed a respectable trot around the crazy golf course. However, I fell at the final hurdle by not winning a free game for next time at the final trick shot. My companion pulled out a corking shot to win the free game... so we'll have to go back at some point.
We headed back to Southampton as I needed to pack and get on the road. I was hoping to get back home early. After a 5 hour (well, nearer four and half) uninterrupted drive, which was accompanied by, in order, Miss Saigon, The Producers and Pulp's "This is Hardcore" album, I arrived home early. Early in the morning. It was about 3.30am. I had been waylaid in Southampton. Packing had taken longer than expected and I'm quite bad at goodbyes. A trip to the petrol station had also turned into an opportunity to stock up on treats and supplies for the trip back. I had a "hearty" in-car picnic. The heartiness was clearly in the air.
Still, despite the lateness of my arrival home, and the difficulties of saying goodbye, it had been a real corker of a weekend. Weekends like that leave you feeling good. Well, it left me feeling very good. Let's see if next weekend's constant gigging will contrast the weekend of good company and being entertained which was this weekend.