I am not a pub goer, nor am I one to join in on ward nights out.
In actual fact in the 6 years we have been in Wales I have turned up at no more than four works do's , so catching me socialising with colleagues with a beer in my hand is a rare event.
Last night I was glad I made the effort as the reason for the celebration was the fact that Roy, one of the senior staff nurses, was leaving for pastures new in London.
Over ten years ago, finding staff for critical care areas such as intensive care was difficult and many Hospital Trusts looked to a "foreign" pool of nurses to plug the gaps so to speak. In Sheffield large groups of beautiful Spaniards arrived "en masse" while at ITU in North Wales it was the hardworking Filipinos that arrived, and around a decade later eight of them still remain on our unit.
Roy was one of these staff. A talented and well respected nurse he proved to be one of our unit's best assets, and I wanted to break my usual habit of not turning up to a night out to offer him by best wishes.
A small tidy wine bar in Prestatyn was chosen as the venue. Usually quiet and relatively "classy" for North Wales, I thought the place appropriate for a measured pint and chat.....hummm ......how wrong I was.......
I had forgotten it was St Patrick's Day, I had forgotten that Wales had won the Grand Slam at Rugby and had forgotten that all of the Prestatyn "rednecks" were on the prowl on a Saturday night..
The place looked and sounded like something out of the wild west.
Zombiefied , beer goggled over weight men in red rugby shirts leered over orange faced shrieking women as I pushed my way though the front door.and my hope of having a delightful time over a couple of crisp pinots literally flew out of the window .
In the end it was lovely to pass on my good wishes, and a chat over several slightly watery Budweisers
it WAS fun.
But I was sure I was standing outside the bar exactly at 11pm so Chris could get me the hell out of there!