Now that that’s out of the way, I give to you, the REAL version. I have taken the liberty (and as such disobey Jonny’s explicit orders) of writing this, the true events that occurred throughout. Let us begin with a song which will resonate with many of you (you all know who you are) who were not the most……dignified of people.
DISCLAIMER: A tradition of recent has been to have no photos of freshers’ trip, to avoid embarrassment. In keeping with this, I shall remove most of the names associated with the more shameful acts performed.
The evening began well, Kevin, Grew, Fyfe and myself headed down early to set things up. This of course amounted to Fyfe and Grew setting out speakers and lighting for the rave, and me and Kevin doing very little. And so I set upon the task of climbing a tree, where I perched myself at the very pinnacle of the being to drink a tin of Magners. It was at this point that I braced myself for the inevitable ruckus that would ensue for then next two days. As I sat in the tree of enlightenment sipping on the only slightly more classy than Carlsberg drink, I relapsed to thinking that this was the last time I could truly look the freshers in the eyes. The inevitable debauchery, the unspeakable acts over the years had hardened many of the older members to this yearly ritual. We often think we have seen it all, but this year we would see…….just a little bit more than we ever had before.
Soon word reached our ears through a telephonic device that the bus was on its way form Newcastle, so Fyfe and I headed down the lane as the welcoming committee to help carry gear back to the cottage. As we approached we saw many a familiar face, and also many a new face. Oh how they shined with the enthusiasm of one not yet versed in cottage bedlam. Notably the bus driver was the same man we had previously had take us back from Gola last year, and at that moment I knew the quality of the trip immediately. If they gave us that lunatic for a driver, surely the weekend was to be lost to the aether of madness.
The first of the drinks was had, by the fire and cheerful chat was had by most, with some generous lad giving me a gin and tonic (thank you strange man) and all was fairly calm. Thankfully this ended quickly when we were summoned to the barn by Lord Jonny. All crowded in hushed tones, marveling at the vast and grand hall we had gathered in. I myself have often wondered, with no answer to be found, “How is the roof standing?”. An agenda for the weekend was lain down haphazardly and quickly followed by the President’s song, this year “Climb of Your Life”. This was then followed by the chair, and ancient ritual involving the embarrassment of various committee members. After the humiliation was had by these poor folks, the festivities moved to a faster pace, the Rave in the Barn!!!
With the tunes pumping, as they say, much gesticulation and forming of shapes was enacted (dancing for you plebs). Soon party mode was in full effect, drinks were ingested (quite a lot by some) and the usual talking was done (that is to say, the conversations consisted of very little substance). Some people had a………recreational smoke……….in a car……….for four hours (you know who you are), others managed to be sensible and head to bed early. One fresher was so eager to go to bed, that they fell over the fire pit and down the hill in the rush. Others were the more content to worship the Porcelain Gods for a while, a yearly occurrence it seems. After an almost unlikely amount of various liquids were ingested by the group, things began to wind down a bit, and by about 4am most were in bed (or an approximation of one at least). And so the silence was total, until the horrific hour of 9am when those began to rise to make porridge for the household, and the age old pot worship was conducted to signal the begin of the day.
It soon became apparent however that one person in particular, who still remains unknown, disagreed with the Porcelain Gods, and in protest left an…..offering…..to the Floor God. The degradation of the club is complete, we are all truly degenerates now.
We then began to head off to Lower Cove, some of us were fresh daisies (as of being youthful or sensible) while others were more like delicate orchids trampled into the ground, by thousands of cattle. The walk offered a method of redemption for the latter, and a lovely view for the former. Arrival at the cliffs thankfully reached a 100% success rate, and the olders began setting about the process of dragging freshers up good, sharp, Mournes granite while protecting their valuable (sort-of) heads. As an interim break many experienced the dark damp holes available in the Mournes, and some people even visited the cave at third corner (if you see what I mean). There was even a fancy dress competition, with the winner being dressed as gnome child (from the popular game runescape), this is gnome child.
Aimee gave the option of a gentle walk over the hill tops to the cottage by a more scenic route. This of course, meant going over the top of Lammagan and Binnian (yes very gentle). After a sufficient time spent climbing, there was a general conclusion that food was required by all, and so the packing up began. After not too long, many headed along the lovely path to the carpark. One man remained to climb a thing and caught up earlier. This man’s actions are not condoned by the club in any way. Two very smart men stayed to be sure he was to follow the group (top men to be sure).
After the long walk back, all had arrived in the cottage very tired, much earned and critically acclaimed stew was then consumed by the party at large. Festivities, remarkably and probably against better judgement, began afresh. Games mainly aimed at displaying one’s finer qualities as a superior mate to the opposite gender, such as flexibility and determination. Namely, we played the cardboard box game. The level of competition was raised past the normal of flat cardboard on the floor. These feats were considered to be before their time, but I say these acts were just the next step in the evolution of the sport. Such incidences included; the no trousers pick up, the tandem (two people, two feet total in contact with the floor), the triforce (same as tandem, but with a third balancing atop the pair), the no hands (using a wet toe to pick up cardboard and pass to the mouth) and the no feet (two hand on the floor, instead of feet). Though as things progressed, it was noticed that a second……..offering…..had been left to the Floor Gods. Degenerates left right and center.
Thankfully, the party (pronounced as Parr-tayy) never moved to the barn, on to the fire pit outside, where older members naturally sat about and felt old. Much more sociability was engaged in, yet the antics did not stop. A row broke out, as one man accused another of the most heinous crime, that is the theft if a horse. After much shouting, an agreement was reached to discuss at length the day after. This night was more calm, though there were some die-hard party goers who were hard to move to the bunks. Eventually they did go, and the house was again silent. The final morning was much more satisfying for the older members, as the younglings had finally succumbed to the effects of alcohol, the toxin it is, and were less energetic than the night before. A final walk was planned for We Binnian, and Binnian proper for the faster group.
On the way up, the faster group headed for the gully, and moved on afterwards, while the easy going lot went for the more exciting scramble straight up the side. The previously top men of the day before tried to accomplish this feat without hands. This was a mistake. All arrived at the top in good health, and so the gobshittery began in earnest. Left and right all were engaged in rock wrestling of a low down and safer variety. Soon this lead to more adventurous attempts, much to both the praise and heart stopping fear of the top men who had been left in charge of this band (who’s fucking idea was that?!?!). But in the end a good time was had by all a counts, and no injuries did occur. Now all that had to be done was survive the decent process, easier said than done.
The descent went rather well, however there were two seriously backwards fellows who decided that it was a fine idea to have a race down the last section. The rules of this competition? No hands, and no standing. What ensued can only be described as glorious, two men, one used the bum-shuffle method, while the other made most progress rolling in any manor possible. For those interested, the bum-shuffle is faster. A final dander past some bewildered cows, and all were back safe and ready for the bus to return them the relative sanity that is Belfast (paramilitaries and all). Soon tales of the clean up crews ordeal crept slowly to me, I shuddered, that is all I can say about it.
SERIOUS NOTE PEOPLE: A great weekend it was, reveal any photos only with the consent of those in them, not for legal reasons, only it isn’t considered good etiquette as many are embarrassing. A HUGE thanks to those who helped out this weekend, primarily to Grew, Fyfe, Jonny, Jo, Owen, Aimee, Kevin, Thomas, Colin and Stephen. To those who WON’T be named, there was some nasty stuff to be cleaned up, like really nasty, so MAD RESPECT to those folks (sadly you folks know who you are, my thoughts are with you).
This one is for the cleaners, were I to name them they could never achieve employment in our bigoted society, but this one is for them.