As the Christmas party was thinning out a bit in the garden, I wandered up to talk to Wes and hit another rich seam of polish vodka. He had small claw shaped holes on his face that were filling with flecks of blood. I'd missed his mauling by Katie, his wife. She had just left. People passed shots and tried to decide what he should think it all meant.
I remember looking through to a brightly lit room and seeing Ann & Claire and Andy (in an orange wig) dancing like all lives everywhere depended on it. Johnny was involved in the affray. After a period of time which could have been hours I became one of them, as did the remaining ten or so casualties.
It had been light for maybe a couple of hours and Ann had demonstrated some less well-known falling over moves to an eager audience when we decided it was time to leave. We 'walked'. I managed to keep her upright and moving in broadly the right direction only through full physical effort, combating a left lunge with a right brace and so on. I must have taken my eye off the game by the time we were on our street. Anyway, she went off the other way with a vengeance, I couldn't hold her and the only way to protect her head was by swivelling her round as she went down. With both my hands trying to hold her I plunged face first across the gravel of the pavement.
There was a fair bit of blood from superficial cuts and grazes across the right side of my face. Drinking tea, speaking and especially smiling all hurt. I will tell the people in Newcastle that I had a mountain-biking accident.