Oh, I was not in a good place.
The noise my eyelids made when opened them was deafening, and my throat and nostrils burned with the acidic residue of bile.
Yes, vomit came out of my nose.
My head was pounding, I was thirsty - but surprisingly, I wanted breakfast. If I had been a third party observer, I would have been sure that just the thought of food would have made me sick, but apparently not.
I got dressed and went down to see what breakfast was on offer. I found Dan in the eating area, who was feeling a little rough himself although he was not as bad as me. I grabbed a cooked breakfast which was sausages scrambled eggs and beans, and a cup of coffee. I ate carefully, but grew in confidence as I felt more settled. Buoyed by my recuperative powers, I finished my breakfast, and then went back for a bowl of cereal and then a bowl of grapefruit segments.
And three glasses of Orange juice.
By the time I had just about finished, Jay appeared - looking worse than I felt!! He was like a Zombie, shuffling along, with a blank expression, trying to eat people's brains. Well, the first two at least. He spoke very softly and quietly - so we all knew he wasn't himself.
Apparently he had drunk too many cocktails the previous evening, and had got back to the hotel with the aid of his dad. David had got Jay up to his room, but then Jay wandered off again and ended up outside the hotel in a bush, which he couldn't get out of. While he was in the bush, he did manage to text his Fiancé informing her that he was in a bush. So he was able to unlock his mobile and send a text to his Fiancé - but couldn't send the right electrical impulses to the muscles in his legs and arms that would have enabled him to get out of the bush.
Incidentally, by all accounts his Fiancé was not overly impressed by Jay contacting her - possibly because he had also rung her four times during the small hours. Funny things Women, aren't they? So fickle......
Jay tried to eat some toast and sausages, but found it difficult. However, he did keep wandering off with a sausage in his hand, which was presumably the only thing that gave him any sympathy - because he got none from us.
Today was the day we did our activities, and a minibus arrived at 11am to take us to Max Events a few miles down the road. By now I was feeling fine, but Jay was not good. He had to sit in the front of the minibus with a plastic bowl (that the driver just happened to have under the seat - not that he's had Stag Parties before) on his lap just in case, and have the window open. He spent most of the journey with his eyes closed - except when he was sick in the bowl. In truth, the road close the events centre didn't help - it was pitted and uneven and the ride was very bumpy.
The centre was in the middle of nowhere, and had no real buildings to speak of. It offered many activities - Paint Balling, Quad Bikes etc. and each activity had its own area. It was quite spread out. There was a small shack where tea and coffee were served, and a seating area nearby. We congregated there and waited to go to our first activity.
It was really quite cold, and as most of us were in t-shirts it was not ideal. I had my hoodie on - but Jay asked me for it. As he was suffering, and I'm such a lovely bloke, I gave him my hoodie. From that moment on, I was freezing.
We had to wait quite a while (about an hour or so) until we could start our first activity. This was a good thing for Jay as he needed the time to continue his recovery. The first activity was Hovercrafts - there were only 2, so we had to go in pairs (I can do maths, me). The man who ran through the safety briefing - which basically consisted of "don't break my hovercrafts", and "be careful with my hovercrafts" - had no passion for it. He obviously had been doing this for far too long.
Me and David went first. While the hovercrafts were easy to operate, the tricky part was getting the balance right. Balancing correctly helped you to go faster and steer better, and you had to corner really early because the steering only turned the hovercraft about a third of the way you needed to. To make the turn, you had to lean over on the side you were turning in to (being careful not to break the hovercraft).
The hovercrafts were fun, but they were slow. We did them on grass and they only go about 20mph - apparently, on water they can do 70mph!
Happily, Jay was recovered enough to be able to take part, and even show off a little by doing pull ups with his legs straight out in front of him on a flimsy wooden frame by the hovercraft course. We all secretly hoped it would collapse.
The next activity was Rage Buggies - single seater dune buggy type, that definitely went quicker than a hovercraft. Keeping the same order we did the hovercrafts in, we all had a go. Most of us averaged around 20 - 23 seconds a lap (it was a small track), but some were down to 18 seconds. It was a good rush driving round the track, sometimes spinning out, gravel and dust flying around. I was a little nervous at first, but I soon got into it. We all enjoyed the Rage Buggies - especially Brendan, who had a bit too much rage, and not enough buggy. Mind you, he doesn't know how to drive.
The final activity was Clay Pigeon shooting. This was my favourite of the three activities. I'd never done any of the activities before, but I really liked the clays. We each got 14 cartridges, and the average according to the instructor was 4 clays hit out of a possible 14. I got 4, and was pleased with that. David and Justin both got 9 clays, which was an amazing effort. By the time we got to do the clays, the sun had come out and it was a lovely day.
At 3:30 we headed back to the hotel, but went straight to the bowling place next door, as they had a sports bar and were showing the England vs Belgium game at 5:15. We grabbed a bite to eat (which was a bit iffy for me because I was feeling rough again).
We watched the game, and then headed back to the hotel to get changed into our Fancy Dress costumes. When I got to my room, my door card would not work, so I went down to reception to find out why. It transpired that the hotel had deactivated my card because there was a £50 fine for me to pay for the cleaners having to clean up vomit in the room. As I was sharing a room with Pat, I had no choice.
Plus it was my fault.
I got the card changed, paid the fine, and got back into the room.
The theme of the Fancy Dress was "Posh" - upper class, that sort of thing. I went as John Cleese doing the Ministry of Silly Walks. I'm tall like John Cleese, and only needed to get a suit and a bowler hat. The other guys were:
David - Victorian Golfer
Justin - Biggles
Dan - Royal Guard with Bearskin
Marky B - Naval Officer
James - Sherlock Holmes
Brendan - Boris Johnson
Mike - Willy Wonka
Pat - Boer War Soldier
And the Stag? - he was Posh Spice of course!!
We hit Oxford town at about 8pm, and initially thought we might be in for a crap night. The first pub we found, the bouncers wouldn't let us in because of our Fancy Dress, and they said they thought we would struggle to get in anywhere. Fortunately, we only walked a little further on before we got into a pub.
The effort we all put in to our Fancy Dress, was plain to see and we all got loads of attention and people coming up to us to speaking to us. Jay got a lot of comments about just how good his legs were. In fact he got a lot of black looks from jealous females.
This time we all were sensible, we took it steady and enjoyed ourselves. Pat did his best to liven things up by very generously buying three rounds of Sambuka shots, and even one bottle of champagne. But everything was spit on.
We stayed in the pub for a good while - largely because they had awesome live music. Eventually, we moved on to a club where we had prepaid for VIP entry and got a free drink voucher.
The club was really loud, hot, and busy - but we all had a great time. We all busted our moves on the dance floor - in full fancy dress!!!
The only slight dampener on the nights proceedings was that Dan didn't come out with us because he was poorly - oh, and when a taxi nearly ran over James, and when Mike complained, some of our group were locked in a taxi for half an hour, when they were released, every taxi from that firm had been told not to take them. Luckily, they did get back to the hotel eventually.
I can honestly say that I had an amazing night. I really enjoyed myself, and was so glad I was in such great company. We did the Stag proud, and he took to his costume fabulously.
To Sherlock, Biggles, Tiger, Seargent Pepper, Boris, Willy, Captain Birdseye, and of course Posh Spice - thanks guys for a great night!!