Last night was our good-bye dinner for J, who is sadly leaving us to return to England. She'll be very missed, personally as well as professionally. When I work in Shetland, I usually stay at a self-catering flat in Lerwick, which made a good base for our evening. By the time that C and I got to the flat after work, J and The Empress had already been there long enough to have changed into their party clothes and to have had a couple of glasses of sparkling wine apiece. C, in her joyously pregnant condition, had to make do with some fizzy juice but I managed to catch up in the wine stakes by the time we left for dinner.
Dinner was at the Scalloway Hotel in, of course, Scalloway where we were joined by I (that's I as in the initial, not I as in...well, me). It's supposed to be one of the best restaurants in Shetland, and its reputation is deserved. We all had starters, main courses, and puddings and those of us who were drinking alcohol shared two bottles of prosecco. Lots of laughing, gossiping, and laughing some more. I'm only in Shetland three days each month but it feels like home when I'm there, and these women are a big part of why it feels that way.
After the puddings (sticky toffee for me, by the way), we went back to my flat where J and The Empress were spending the night. They very impressively had another bottle of prosecco between them, with a bit of help from I (the initial, not I as in...bad grammar). I (that is, me) wisely but a bit sadly stuck to herbal tea. I would like to now make a public apology to Dee for snickering when she mourned her diminishing ability to metabolise alcohol and for insisting that this would never happen to me. It has.
Sensible as I tried to be, I still slept the sleep of someone who had had too much to drink. And when I did manage to drift off, I was woken up by the sound of J falling out of her single bed in the next room when she was startled by The Empress's phone beeping. Nothing to do with the prosecco, surely.
In the morning, The Empress took herself off for a swim before work. J and I (me again, as I the initial had gone home to sleep in her own bed) watched Breakfast news, had some tea, and eventually dragged ourselves to work only ten minutes late. The Empress was already there, looking quite awake and ready to start our team meeting; unfortunately, much reading and sharing of Jonathan Cainer's horoscopes and the more outrageous bits of the Daily Mail on-line had to be done before work could take place.
And then we went to lunch, where J finally got to have the hang-over cure of a bacon butty; we all had coffee and cake after lunch; and then we went shopping (soft furnishings, handbags, scarves, boots, and sparkly dresses). I love working in Shetland!