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The Party's Not Over Yet

When I was a little girl, I hated bedtime. I hated having to go to my room leaving people awake, knowing that I just might be missing out on something.

About 20 years on and I still hate leaving the party.

As I struggled this morning to pull myself up out of bed after only rolling into it about 4am, I cursed myself and contemplated my dilemma.

Why is it I'm the last to leave? Why can I not just give a big wave to the all nighters and say cheerio and good night?

It's funny to think that just over a year ago I was slightly distraught by the lack of social life I was able to have, not knowing anyone in this city. Last night, we had 3 invitations to various parties in various parts of the city - all quite important and unmissable.

The first was a wedding - er, well the reception as the couple had gone off and eloped.

The second, a house warming party for my dear German friend who, because of the ridiculous high price of home ownership in Germany, had bought her first home in her early 40s. This was also a 'not to be missed' party as she had done some extraordinary DIY and changed the look of the place by knocking out a wall.

The third was to be a bar appearance, one last hurrah for another Australian friend who is heading back down under after 3 years here in Belfast.

We didn't make it to the wedding - it was an early start and quite out of the centre and well, we had napped in the afternoon, leaving us little time to get ready and out by 730.

We managed to get to the house party an hour late - 9pm - but then, isn't that what you do at these types of things? It was a very civilised, adult evening, one that for a change D and I were actually the younger of the group there.

Lovely conversation and admiration of the house and about 3 hours later, we had exhausted ourselves of anything else to say or do.

But we were in a odd position as we needed to get a text detailing our next location before we could leave. It came by 1230, we called a cab in a mad dash to get to the bar before last orders at 1am.

We managed it alright and, despite the sea of people we had to wade through, we managed to find the rowdy bunch, who had actually been karaoking it up all evening (if only i knew THAT..)

We were having so much fun that by the time they kicked us out of the bar by 2am, I was ready to keep on going with the group.

D was slightly stunned when I suggested that instead of walking back to our house 5 min away, we should continue on with the group, struggle to find a cab and possbily get stuck in a house until the wee hours, if only because the cabs are difficult to come by after 3am.

But no, I was adamant. We were going to continue partying with the gang. And so off we went. Back to a house with a tiny living room (which, by the way, describes most of the homes here) jammed ourselves in and scavaged around for any alcohol that had been left lying around.

Happy as larry (as they say) with the some gin and tonic I found, I chatted away to strangers becoming 'best friends ever' instantly in the way only an entire evening of alcohol can achieve.

This was the life, I was thinking. I'm never leaving.

Except I finished my drink and D had indulged me for 2 hours more at this point so it was time to go.

It was 4 in the morning. And I still didn't want to go.

There was dancing. Singing. Falling down. Passing out. We would be missing it all.

I wonder if I will ever be able to say goodbye when things are going strong.

I guess I'll leave that up to my liver.

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