It's been one of those weekends. You know the kind. Ridiculous verging on, erm, even more ridiculous (?).
So it started with the brother and his diagnosis, which soon turned into a wound-licking extravaganza that would have benefitted from a Celine Dion soundtrack (God help us all), such was the level of drama and self-indulgence. I'm sympathetic to his cause, but really - there are other topics for discussion this weekend too you know!
'Such as?', I hear you ask. Well, such as the Christmas party.
No naked factory boys this year (we all breathe a huge sigh of relief). Instead the powers that be decided that a horse racing theme was the way forward. So, I'm sat sandwiched between two devoutly Muslim colleagues, drinking myself into a big old gay stupour, whilst gambling imaginary money on imaginary horseraces. In how many ways did all that insult them?
Luckily, the horse racing fell at a very early hurdle, as most people stopped playing and started serious drinking. I think the company giving everyone £20 of drinks vouchers was possibly a mistake. The dancefloor became a hotbed of slurry banter, inappropriate touching and dancing that can only be described as 'regrettable'.
Two thirty a.m. and I find myself leading a group of colleagues to a local gay bar where we dance ourselves dizzy to a rather fetching Spice Girls medley and an unfortunate remix of American Boy. I'm not sure how many of these colleagues really knew where they were - several asked me afterwards if I'd seen the boys kissing. Erm, yeah....that'd have been me then, ha ha.
Suffice to say that Saturday was a bit of a write off. I woke up in the hotel room surrounded by the detritis of my life - empty chip papers, cans of pre-mix gin and tonic and a half smoked spliff. There may well have been a colleague in there somewhere, but I'm not really supposed to say. Ask me and I'll deny it.
Sunday saw me waking up at my Mom's house. She does like to see me when I'm in the country.
She woke me up with the usual 'breakfast platter' - a glass of chocolate milk and three biscuits. Truly, this is her idea of a good way to start the day. Is it any wonder that I, well, everything really?
"I've got a great idea", she said, talking ten to the dozen, trying to get everything out before I fell back asleep.
And that's how, at nine a.m. on a Sunday morning, I found myself - having climbed a not inconsiderable hill - stood in the sunshine, looking out over a glorious, blue sky-ed view of the City of Birmingham.
The name of the local beauty spot? Lickey End.
I kid ye not.