So, I'm in the UK for our company Christmas party. Yes, I know it's March.
See, we were given a choice - either have the party at Christmas when the drinks budget would be less because venues cost more, or wait until March when venues become cheaper and have more free alcohol on offer. I'm proud to say that my colleagues chose the latter option.
The main event is tonight. I'm not dreading it - by any stretch - but would I rather be elsewhere? You betcha.
Last year's party saw the factory boys getting naked (yep, bare nekkid) on stage and the wife of one of the sales team taking her underwear off and draping it over the table centrepiece. As a group, we're truly not classy. I'm usually amongst the classiest, although I did end up wearing a pair of red stiletto heels last year, so I'm not really in a position to judge. Lord.
I got to Birmingham on wednesday afternoon and was greeted by a text message from my brother.
"Can we go for a drink later?" it said. "I need to talk".
Panic set in. What on earth? He never, ever wants to go to the pub. So, I do the obvious thing. I call my Mom to find out what's going on.
Turns out he's been diagnosed with depression, signed off work for weeks on end, prescribed pills and generally feeling like hell.
As you can imagine, it wasn't the most fun I've ever had at the pub. To say it was difficult is putting it mildly. Although, at least I have more understanding of why he was so fed up when he was in Paris.....
I have a real good friend who's a counsellor - an NLP Master in fact. I put my brother in touch with him.
Before calling him to make the apppointment, he called his doctor for advice. It seems the doctor told him that counselling was a bad idea and a waste of money. What on earth? How crazy can that be?
And if that wasn't enough to make this into the craziest visit ever, I had a Facebook friend request yesterday. From the boy who tried to kill me.
Seems to me like it's high time I was back in Paris...