Who’s the Daddy column: Sobering words at midnight

West Side Story
West Side Story

Picture the scene. You’re a mum wearing your posh new frock at a New Year’s Eve party and the bells have just gone. You see your youngest daughter making her way over and she gives you a hug. Then she whispers words in your ear that nobody wants to hear, “You’re back at work tomorrow!”

That popping sound you just heard? That’s your bubble bursting. The fun’s over, tax slave, so get back to work and feed the beast.

New Year comes and goes in a blur faster than Christmas.

Before you know where you are it’s early January, the kids are back at school and your team’s been dumped out of the FA Cup.

At least 2014 didn’t start with a hangover. Yours truly played the hero for once and stayed dry for the first New Year since the mid-1980s so our friends didn’t have to shell out for 3am taxis to get home from the party out in the sticks *polishes halo*.

But staying sober while everyone else around you gets drunker and louder is like taking some mad hallucinogen. Even nice people like our friends go a bit funny after one too many scoops.

It’s almost worth sipping Coca-Cola all night to watch folk unravel. All that’s missing is the popcorn and the 3D glasses and it’s a better night out than a zombie movie at the flicks.

Still, everyone had fun and nobody lost an eye. The only downside was that I was still buzzing at 4am, wide awake from drinking Coke all night while everyone else slept off their booze.

If that came as a shock to the system it was small beer compared to a Saturday afternoon in Manchester in the middle of a packed and expectant crowd waiting for the main event. United? City? No, West Side Story at the Palace Theatre for the occasion of the boss’ mum’s 70th birthday weekend.

Finely balanced at half-time (Jets 1-1 Sharks) it was an afternoon of musical magic. It was in the warm and the dry, it cost a chunk less than a ticket for the football and at the end United didn’t get beat. What’s not to like?

After a family meal out it was back to our rented apartments where we spent the rest of the evening rubbing 70th birthday balloons on our jumpers and sticking them to the ceiling.

What larks!