I suppose I had better tell you what I've been up to though
this last week has been somewhat exotic and dramatic and sounds more like a film
script than a sober life.
How can I put this in a few words?
Let's see... I went to a friend's arranged marriage in deepest Turkey (the bride
was drop-dead gorgeous) and then I met my own last wife who looked like she hadn't
aged at all and I would have remarried her on the spot if she hadn't had her new
and rather quiet new husband with her.
The first engagement
was in Islamic territory and there wasn't a drink in sight. I watched about a
hundred people dancing about as though they had all been on the pop all day. But
I was with all the brothers throughout the morning and the most exciting thing
was when they bought a water melon from a man on a donkey in a rubble-strewn street
in Adapazari, the epicentre of the devastating earthquake that killed 40,0000
people two years ago. The bride was in white and I wore a suit and tie, which
was what they expected an English gentleman and important guest would do. I didn't
drink of course which came as no particular surprise to them because they don't,
even when their sister is getting married to a stranger.
the ex flew into Manchester from America, which was a bit of a feat considering
most planes were grounded when the Holy War started.
you have to understand that we spent a lot of time in Ibiza in the drinking days
and I seem to remember having to carry her home not once but twice in one day.
She had told me she too wasn't drinking any more, but
I caught that look about her and took her to the Hard Rock Café where we
sat under Jimi Hendrix's braces and I had a cup of coffee while she sipped tenderly
on a glass of beer that looked like it had followed her across the Atlantic. The
new husband had nothing, not even a grimace. If I was him, I wouldn't have been
I took a good friend with me to give me strength
and he calmly downed a pint of best bitter while we talked of days gone by and
whether the world and why our once-happy marriage had gone daft. It was the drink.
I must also tell you that I couldn't tell my mother where
I was because she hates her like you might consider finding a snake coming up
out of the toilet.
Can you imagine telling your ex wife
that you don't drink anymore while explaining you've been to an arranged marriage
in Turkey and then struggling through the menu in a Japanese restaurant next door?
I wanted a drink, I wanted a cigarette, I wanted a bar
of chocolate (I'm diabetic as well as sober) and what I really wanted was to be
out of there. I wanted to curl up in bed and hide. I wanted to speak to my mother,
I wanted the years to roll back and I wanted to write this column so Gary wouldn't
ring me up and ask me where it was because it was overdue.
finally, after the inevitable coffee and tears, it was all over. She was like
a lap dancer in the end, crawling all over me with a wet face.
new husband didn't hit me or anything. He just sort of went away with her and
my friend said that was an interesting afternoon before we got the bus home.
in Turkey, the arranged bride was refused permission to come and live in England
by a rather bored official at the British embassy and I still hadn't unpacked
my suitcase which appears to contain her underwear.
was the kind of week when I could have disappeared under a sea of drink, never
mind a bride's bra and panties. I mean, how did they get in there when I was completely
I think I'll just send you this column and go to
bed with a mug of hot chocolate, if that's allowed.