Yes, Stuart was back to grace us with his presence over the weekend, and his behaviour was as legendary as ever. The usual disclaimer of not advocating this behaviour applies as it generally does to the Legend.

Friday night went pretty much as predicted, though he did make the schoolboy error of rounding off an evening on premium lager and shots with absinthe. This spirit, flavoured with wormwood, comes in at a useful 110 to 144 degrees proof, and is so poisonous that its production was banned in France for a good long time. It was implicated in the poor mental status of several artists, including van Gogh. Anyway, it’s so horrible that Marilyn Manson drinks it, and look at him. Not much of an advert for the stuff, is he?

Consequently, on Saturday he was, as he puts it, ‘Hanging out of my arse*.’ Undeterred he did what everybody tends to do in these circumstances, and got back in the saddle. Once again he went down the route to possible death. Several buckets of premium lager (drunk in the sun, just to maximise the toxic effects), followed by a lot of gin. He just might have got away with it had he not remade the schoolboy error of imbibing absinthe.

He and his girlfriend were staying in the flat of my friend Mark, and arrived back there in a pretty parlous state. They managed the tricky task of getting through the front door, then completely lost the plot. You’d think they’d have thought that putting a light on was a wizard idea, wouldn’t you? No. They tried to find the door to their room by touch, but were so wasted that the door eluded them.

When they did finally reach the shore, Stuart was incapable of keeping still. His girlfriend claims that it was like sharing a bed with a restless toddler. At some point he headed for the toilet, had his gyroscopic guidance system go out of whack, and entered Mark’s room. Fortunately, Mark sleeps the sleep of the dead, and Stuart left him to it. Only to repeat the process a short while later.

He told me he’d spent the first 15 minutes of Sunday consciousness apologising, his conversation with his girlfriend consisting predominantly of the word ‘Sorry.’ He told me this as he was piling into the lager again in preparation for his return to the real world down in Plymouth.

It’s a disturbing thought that, at some point in the future, the defence of the realm might be in the hands of the Legend and his shipmates. Why should England tremble?

*That means having one of those hangovers that others, including myself, can hear from a couple of yards away.

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