James and Rox got engaged in January 2010. Hes a 6ft 3in Brummie, and shes a Yorkshire lass who tops out at 5ft 2in on a good day. They were together for seven whole years before James proposed, so either Rox has the patience of a saint, or he was well worth the wait. Sadly, its the former. James will be representing the boys every week up until the big day in August.
We can all breathe a big sigh of relief now. You see, last weekend was my stag do and not only did I come back in one piece, but I still have a full head of hair and both eyebrows intact. Its my understanding that Rox was pretty anxious while I away. Bless her, she tried her hardest not to check up on me, but I got the following text after the first night out, Really sorry to text you babe. Just let me know youre still alive please so I can sleep tonight!
Im not surprised Rox was concerned shes met my mates. But my instructions to my two best men were to avoid the usual stag do clichés like the plague. My idea of fun doesnt include me wearing a mankini, or downing a pint of spirits. Thats utterly humiliating and guaranteed to shorten your night.
So we hired the most extraordinary house in the mountains of Andalucía, just over an hour north of Malaga, called Cortijo Andalus (cortijoandalus.com). There were 18 of us, but I reckon it couldve easily held 40. It had a swimming pool, plenty of seating and cooking facilities, a number of reception rooms and stunning gardens. But crucially, the house is a mile from the nearest neighbour, so the party just kept going till the last man passed out.
On the first night we went out into Malaga. Our preconceptions of the town were pretty negative. We thought itd be a fairly soulless airport town, but we couldnt have been more wrong. We went to the old part of Malaga and it reminded me of Milan. Wide boulevards, busy outdoor bars, vibrant people. This was of course a pleasant surprise, but we werent there for the baroque architecture. So we hit a club at 1am and the rest is none of your business!
The next day was pretty painful to begin with. A lot of paracetamol was consumed with breakfast. But after years of searching, we finally stumbled across a fail-safe hangover cure. We drove, slowly, to a beautiful lake nearby; the largest in Spain apparently. Theres a road bridge suspended about 40 feet above the lake, so like moths to a flame we hurled ourselves off it. It probably only took about three seconds to hit the water, but what a rush. Adios hangover. And adios shorts for my mate who dived in head first.
The second and final night was spent in the house. We cooked the mother of all barbecues and partied till the sun came up. No strippers. No degrading costumes. Just me and my best friends loving life.
So, that was my perfect stag do. Back to reality now Im afraid. Suddenly my regular sized house seems woefully insufficient, and I find the absence of a swimming pool in my back garden rather depressing. I know in time the holiday blues will fade, but right now Im pining for my mansion in the sun. There are seven weeks until I get married I wonder if I could squeeze another stag do in. Ive got two best men, why not two stag dos?
W Day: 53 days and counting
Catch up on James 33rd week of wedding planning (and links to earlier weeks) here.