Saturday, September 19, 1981

Drink-a-drink, a-drink-a-drink

I woke up early and laid there for hours in the top bunk just awake, not moving, everyone else up and and banging about, shaking things, quiet laughter and murmurs.

All of the Egley lot set off for Chapelside, Steve, Nigel Muff and I all playing gooseberry to the affectionate, all-hands-and-eyes lovers Robin and Wendy/Tim and Sharon. We wandered around the shops dodging downpours and sauntered down toward Chapelside Tarn. I’d kept promising to go for a swim and so, although the choppy water was a steel slate-grey with skies to match, Tim Moyles and I stripped off in some bushes and gingerly padded into the icy water. It was freezing, but once we were in it got a little warmer and I quite enjoyed swimming and splashing about. The lake bed was pebbly and shallow but I felt ill afterwards, with an aching jaw and a headache. I hung around the cottage most of the afternoon, venturing back into the village with Sharon and Tim where we visited the C. L. Nolan museum.

In the evening, after tea, everyone else went down to the pub but I stayed behind reading Kerouac and listening to a Pink Floyd tape (Relics) which was just superb. People started dribbling back at eleven or so, and then a big party of former students turned up, some of whom I recognised. Someone brought 20-gallons of homemade beer that stank of urine but tasted OK, so I started to drink, dropped a bottle which smashed, and drank some more. I wanted to get drunk.

Things started to get freaky, the ex-students smoking things in the other room - marijuana someone said. It did smell strange. The beer was potent and I ended up drunker than I've ever been, swaying to and fro and talking to anyone within earshot, trying to assimilate my school self with this bloodshot, swaying fool, slurring like an idiot. But then I couldn’t care less, loving the carefree feeling I'd been captured by. People were slumped in the other room, glassy-eyed and murmuring, some of them lurching to and fro with glasses and cups in their hands.

Graham Sykes, who's doing a degree in Political Science at Gloucester Poly, was arguing with Mr. Scott about Tony Benn and “fighting the system from the inside.” To me: "That's why you've got to get to Oxbridge because from the outside you’re banging your head against a brick wall.” There was a confontation in the kitchen, angry words, and Jackson and Robin threw some people out and it was raining outside and in my drunken stupour I was all for letting them stay. I went upstairs, then down again for black coffee, back up, lurching about, my world really spinning now, hurtling backwards, forwards. . . . I streaked in the dorm, looking for my underpants, lying on the floor. General amusement at my performance.

In the dark, everything was spinning round.

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