Well, Happy New Year folks, and welcome to ZOLO.
And with the introduction of the mighty fandragon of ZOLO, we have to wave goodbye to the hefty ZOOG, all 365 parts, but as we wave, perhaps we can discreetly wipe a tear from our eyes. Goodbye ZOOG, though in truth it was one of the lesser fandragons to have bellowed its fire. Nonetheless, it had its moments; I visited all kinds of mysterious nations (albeit to different degrees): Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mozambique, Azerbaijan, Angola, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Germany and, of course, the United Kingdom; I purchased laser eyes; I smeared myself in a large amount of vegetable curry while sleeping; I successfully cooked edible meals on two occasions for my drunken cousins and we all sampled my many housecoats; I tied myself to several large owls and they flew me across the English Channel; and of course just at the very end, I moved to Scotland’s historical capital city, The Edinburgh.
It is this last development that has, for obvious reasons, preoccupied much of my last month, and which I will briefly detail now, as most of my other tales were covered earlier in the year (though I’m not sure if I mentioned the owl story). In truth, it’s been a sordid tale, heavily tied to the malign influence of my illegal lodger, Mike. Mike, a documentary filmmaker propelled by the vast power of his ego, has been in entertaining form, and in a quite relentless party mood, and seems to exist only between the hours of 6pm and 6am. In just a couple of weeks, I have an absolute wealth of incriminating information about him that should make me a lot of money should he ever take political office.
Thus I must gloss over much of the last week or two, although Cyronic Shock evening is worth a quick gust. Mike has discovered that his iPhone – which, like other iPhone owners, controls him and dominates most of his conscious thoughts – has an application that can choose a cocktail based upon a selection of inputted ingredients. We have, I am proud to say, a very large selection of many interesting alcohols in the flat, thus our scope for cocktails is great. And so upon randomising, we came up with something called The Cyronic Shock.
Cyronic Shock, for those curious, goes something like this (or, at least, our remixed version did): 4 shots of rum, 2 shots of whisky, 2 shots of cognac, 2 shots of Curacao, and an entire lemon.
It may not surprise you that it was unutterably revolting. Deeply, unswervingly acidic, we diluted it with some lemonade with only the unfortunate result that we had a greater quantity to drink. But drink it we did, as our cocktail rules demand, and quite drunk we thus got. We went into, we realised, a deep Cyronic Shock. Our faces went numb and our minds began spiralling out of control, and soon we were in a jazz bar, feeling both hyperactive and ill, which wasn’t helped by Mike’s insistence of drinking Sambucas with three coffee beans inside. I think that sent me over the edge, as suddenly I was waking up in my own home, and Mike... well, God knows. I think he got back at something like 6am, made another cocktail for himself and covered the entire kitchen in it in the process (the blender has no lid).
So Mike has been setting a ferocious pace, one that in my advanced years I can’t keep up, so I was very glad for some days back in Dingwall over Christmas, where I was able to drink wine and whisky at a leisurely rate, except at my uncle’s as I believe my uncle was somewhat like Mike during his own younger years.
And I was saved from Mike over his New Year mania by my sister. I had no real plans for Hogmanay, except to hang about in Edinburgh and see what happened, but my sister was going to a ceilidh in Glasgow... except at the last minute, for whatever reason, she didn’t. And so she generously gave the ticket to me (well, in exchange for £35). And so I ended up in Glasgow, with my cousins and their respective romantic associates, and other associated characters vaguely known to myself.
I love ceilidhs, let that not be understated, and this ceilidh certainly did not disappoint. Years of dancing practice at school, being forced as an awkward greasy youth to pick a deeply reluctant girl to dance in a bright gymnasium, paid off in the end as my brain kicks into gear the moment the music and dances begin, and my subconscious leads me into an approximation of the correct steps. And better still, as the years have matured and progressed these awkward youths into strutting young peacocks and peahens, the reluctance has been replaced with an enthusiasm. Ladies are so keen to dance that they dance with each other if no man is available, and ladies at this event were in surplus: terrific. Thus I was allowed to whirl and twirl and rotate vigorously a selection of delectable flowers in embraces that would usually lead to slaps/drinks thrown/arrest, but in this case met with melting smiles. Oh ceilidh dancing, how I love you; oh whisky, how I love you too.
So the ceilidh finished and after some shenanigans we ended up at some nearby house party, where I subjected some poor girls to some dire chat, but as I was wearing the full kilt regalia I got away with it. Without Mike to corrupt my pace, I managed to not completely lose my sanity, and even woke the next morning/afternoon with a feeling of reasonable health.
And there are, a delightful introduction to ZOLO. May it roar and belch a year of flame, and ignite the passions of life in us all.