Sunday, March 21, 2004

29 March 2004 (Monday): Pained by my sleep, Monday morning I get rudely awakened by a panicking Mr Boyle screaming: "shit, my alarm didn't go off, can you give me a lift into Rye?" I slowly emerge from my beauty sleep giving excuses as to why I can't comply. I feel bad but go back to sleep. Later Mr Boyle then rings me to tell me that it is ok; he safely got to the train station in time by taxi. This time I am up for keeps. Time begins a passing and the clock is immediately on for the infamous ATP wake up call of Pontins thugs bashing on our doors at 10.00 AM, not so subtly telling us to "get the fuck out".

I prepare myself and get my shit together and packed up and put in the car, no fear of the Gestapo catching me unprepared. Mr Baldwin however looks out for the count on the foldout bed, I seem to remember him coming in at 5.00 AM and causing a commotion. And there is no sign of Mr Coogan. I make subtle moves to wake the bitches up with television, first with too loud GMTV followed by too loud Trisha (where some bloke made a point of saying ten times within three minutes that he did not have Chlamydia). Packed and ready to go, I light up my final fat Cuban cigar and proceed to fill the room with a smoking haze. Slowly Tristan got up but Mr Baldwin seemed dead to the world. In a curious sense of community, Tristan set about full on cleaning up the chalet for our departure. The horrible capitalist in me however was to be found saying "they hire cheap foreign labour to do all that, don’t worry about it". Pottering about, I check my pockets and find the passport of a person I have never met or seen in my life. As I return the keys at the check in spot I consider selling it to an immigrant but look around and realise I won't find any at ATP, it's white boy central. When Mr Baldwin eventually stirs he is looking and acting very ill, confirming this with sign language. Apparently Mr Coogan slept in his own chalet (home of Foxy Boxing ) last night but I still find him to check that he's all right. He emerges in better shape than Mr Baldwin, although hilariously the rumour goes that Mr Coogan did make a woman cry the night before: job done!

Eventually all our stuff gets packed up into my car ("I'm sure we brought more stuff") and we get ready to head home. Goodbyes get exchanged all round with a genuine sense of well-being. In some ways ATP really does bring out the best in friendship (if not the breast). Eventually we get going, flying out of Sussex as the clock nears midday. Mr Baldwin looks uneasy in my car, about to puke, still with that there same N.E.R.D. song in his head driving him insane. Indeed she likes to move. On the way home I mess up and actually forget how to escape this hell county, the idea of just driving fast in one direction doesn't seem to work. The drive home feels infinitely longer than the drive there, spirits are lower and people are falling asleep all round, not really knowing where they are. Around 1.00 PM we are driving through the Dartford tunnel and there is a huge feeling/sense of relief as we pass the Welcome To Essex sign at the other end. Soon we are on the A12, officially John Peel's most hated road and it feels like only a matter of time before we will be home.

As we enter Colchester we find ourselves suffering from fatigue and screaming "TIMMY!!!" South Park style at random strangers from within the safe confines of my car. At 13.54 (1.54 PM) I take a photo of the Hub Bar with my mobile phone and we are truly home. We drop Tristan off at Colchester North station and head back with Mr Baldwin where we continue the weekend's running motif of him cooking for me. We watch About A Boy on DVD and I am really disappointed, this ain't no ATP TV. When I finally get back home to the comfort of my flat I almost immediately flake out. My Sopranos Series 5 VCDs have arrived and I watch one but fall asleep in an act of gross disrespect.

I reawaken foodless in my flat, so I go to Asda for groceries and walk around like a zombie seeing people and thinking I recognise them from ATP. I am paranoid and I have the fear. I quickly get home and I run a bath (I stink) but also find myself running very late/slowly. About an hour after running the bath I get in it around 10.30 and enjoy lukewarm wares. I suffer, I suck. After ATP, I really am back in the real world.


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