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Today I have the hangover from hell. I think “really bad hangover” is one of those terms that gets rather overused, so let me be clear. I do not mean that I have a headache and feel a bit tired and sorry for myself. I mean that I have been throwing up all day, barely able to keep water down or move. I laugh when people talk about fry ups, walks and Bloody Marys as cures for hangovers.

Last night there was a party at work. I think I managed not to make a fool out of myself, but suffice to say I slightly overdid the free champagne. And the Jaegarbombs. And the tequila.

There were two signs that suggested today was going to be painful (well, apart from the fact that I was throwing up and struggling to walk in a straight line).

1)I smoked a cigarette. I can’t tell you how drunk I need to be to do that. When I say I don’t usually smoke, I don’t meant I’m one of those social smokers who’ll have one after a few drinks. I mean I have smoked ten cigarettes at most in my life. Every time I was so drunk that the next day was much like today.

2)I went to bed with my make-up on. However tired, stressed, ill or (99% of the time) drunk I am, I am evangelical about using my Liz Earle cleanse and polish. But seemingly not last night.

I get so mad with myself on the rare occasions this happens. I have what I can only describe as a delicate constitution (does anyone know a slightly less Victorian sounding term?!) As a result, I’m usually so health conscious, all vitamins and avoiding problem foods and doing Pilates. And then once in a while I ruin it all by doing shots with the senior management team.

So to cheer myself up and prove that things can always be worse, I present you with the list of my top three worst ever hangovers:

1)My first night in Oxford. There was an event called “Fresher Cocktails.” Older students were filling pint sized plastic glasses with brightly coloured cocktails that seemed to be at least 50% vodka. I was so excited to be there, having the best time ever and then ended up passed out in my room by 10pm. The next day I was desperate to explore and to meet people. Instead, I had to stay in bed, the slightest movement or sip of water making me sick. In the afternoon, we had to attend various introductory lectures. In front of everyone, I had to run out of one of them to be sick again.

There’s a scene in Oxford Blood where Harriet is a bit hungover on her first day and has a meeting with her tutors, which is lightly based on this. If however I’d made her first day as bad as mine was, that scene would have been the most terrifying and upsetting in the book, making any of the scenes were people are brutally murdered by vampires seem fairly sweet in comparison.

2) The night of the school leaving party. I had spent months preparing for this party. I had spent fortunes on my dress, my hair, everything. And then I drank a ton of red wine, kept falling over whilst dancing and proceeded to be sick in the loos of the very swish venue. I had a reputation as the top student in the school and someone who was utterly sensible. The teachers and most of the students looked on in utter amazement.

The next day was particularly painful as I stayed at a friend’s house, slept on the floor and was covered in massive bruises from constantly falling over. I wasn’t actually that ill, but as my first ever proper hangover it deserves special mention.

3)The time a group of Cavalier-esque guys deliberately got me as drunk as possible, not, I hasten to add, with any very sinister motivation, but just because they thought it would be funny. There are few things more infuriating than when you ask someone to get you water and they get you yet another gin and tonic. Eventually, someone from the year below who I hadn’t consciously met before, came over and said, “excuse me, I think you go to my college and I’m taking you back.” For this he earned my everlasting friendship, though it was a bit embarrassing being rescued by a fresher in his first week.

I woke up the next morning in full make-up, pearls and a cocktail dress and spent the next eight hours constantly sick. If there’s one thing I learnt from this it’s don’t get drunk on port. Seriously.

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