Just an average day. End of August. At work, on my break, playing about with my phone. Feel it buzz. Odd. An unfamiliar icon appears in the top left corner. Twitter private message. Don't get many of those.
"Hi, Matthew. Would you like free trade tickets to IndyManBeerCon?", it said. Am even more peculiarly, it was authentic. IndyManBeerCon WERE offering me free stuff. Thank you, I replied.
And so, Friday arrived. Inconsiderately, they'd scheduled the even for Retail Christmas Merchandising Week. Seen all that stuff appearing in your local shop, which you probably moan about saying " Bloody hell, it's only October". Well, someone has to put it out, usually staying until 3:30am to make the morning deadline.
That's what I'd been doing for the previous few days. And yes I was knackered. I woke up at 11 on the day and thought "I can't face this." You know you're in trouble when you're still tired after 8 hours sleep. So I stayed in bed for the whole day. Reader, I was so out of it, I didn't even drink.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I'm not really a social bunny. I usually find beer festivals hard work, as I'm on my own and there's little else to do but drink. And one of the bitter ironies of alcohol is that it impairs your judgement at the times you need it the most. I've got lost and confused numerous times. It makes life more interesting than it really should be.
So, you can imagine how I felt when waking up exhausted. Spending 4 hours in an empty swimming pool in Manchester, drinking Evil Keg with crafty hipsters would not have been the best thing for me that day. People plus strong beer plus unfamiliar surroundings was too much to contemplate.
Maybe next year.