But I digress. I spent most of the last day in the office swanning around, saying good bye to everyone and generally getting quite emotional. The most emotional moment was possibly when dear Terri, Michelle and Claire presented me with their own little goodbye present - a hipflask for me and a new bow for Henry.
Recording my out of office was very strange. I don't like to think of someone else having my 1666 extension number. I did the Devil proud with that one.
Everyone popped up for the traditional cake and goodbyes but all most of them were waiting for was to get to the pub and have a few civilised drinks in order to give me a proper send off. And a proper send off it was. A pure whirlwind of trying to make time to have a few words with everyone in between posing for photographs and serving behind the bar. Not to mention getting up to sing a few songs with the band. Now that wasn't really in my plan, although the last few leaving parties we've had have all resulted in the person who is leaving singing 'Don't Stop Believing' with the wonderfully talented Totally Wired. The last time I tried to sing with them was at my birthday last year. I had consumed copious amounts of whiskey and was unable to remember the words, even with the lyrics written in front of me. Not a complete success. This time, I chose my own opening number 'I Will Survive', followed by 'Don't Stop Believing', 'Spancil Hill' and, of course, a wonderful duet of 'Horse Outside' with dear Emmet. There were some other tunes also but, to be honest, it all kind of blurs a bit as the night wore on.
Plenty of laughs, dancing, a few tears also, particularly when I was presented with my leaving present from the Fitzgeralds staff. You know you've spent too much time in a bar when they give you a Newbridge Silver charm necklace when you're leaving the country. The charms were lovely, a good luck charm and a cocktail glass. Deduce what you will from that symbolism......
Moral of the Story - do make the effort to get to know your local bar staff; when you're having a leaving party, invite everyone you know. A handful may only turn up but they'll be the ones that you know you'll keep in touch with forever. Whether they want you to or not.