Left the windswept, wintery, heating still on, wilds of the ghetto on Wednesday. Went to Chester, where I got sunburn within 24 hours – just as you should do in June! Met up with old friends in the local beer garden. Nothing says “This is me – take it or leave it” like rocking up to the pub with sunburn that looks like your chest has been ironed and a coleslaw stain down your maxi! Am such a class act me.
Friday, I left the childerbeast with my folks – like on purpose and everything, I didn’t just feck off and leave them. I was heading south. More old friends to meet up with and some catching up to do.
and took that as a sign that I had made the right choice by staying aboard the train.
Checked in then headed straight to the pool. There was a hen party having afternoon tea in their bathrobes and an old geezer in the gym overlooking the pool. Had the water to myself, which was fabulous (if a little strange) ploughing up and down and then doing my meditative ‘see how long I can float like a starfish’* routine in the middle of the pool. I felt a bit like I was a one woman synchro show for the hens and the lone workout man.
Once I’d de-chlorinated my barnet and Friend No 1 arrived, we hit the **White Milf pub down the road for dinner, gins for me and copious wine for her. Think that between us, we may’ve started a love revolution with the local Hi-Vis clad community of Hatfield Heath and also possibly scared away our other friend who am not sure wanted his face licked!
Sadly, luckily, when we got back to the hotel, the drag act cabaret was all over and Miss Cosmic had left the building. Shame.
Considered making a cameo at a local house party but piled off to bed around midnight instead (not all together obviously – I only had a single bed, lol). Ready for round 2 on Saturday.
Got up in time for a full English and despite a case of jalapenos revenge from the previous night’s nachos, I resumed my position in the pool. In my calm place…under the water…no place I’d rather be. Then it was off to an old stomping ground, much frequented in the summer of 1990 (think World in Motion, Vogue and Adamski’s Killer on the juke box). I was going to meet a very much missed old mate, not seen since then!
I got very excited when we pulled up and saw this sign:-
…which I misread in my contact lenses as ‘Bros live’. Not Bros, just my old mucker in a pub I had very little recollection of, mostly due to the pints of Kronenburg Top I used to drink all those years ago. Good chats & drinks over lunch. Turns out that the house party was quite the local event. The police were involved. Not sure whether we would have improved the situation or not had we decided to turn up! I suspect we might’ve made it worse.
Funny what the memory chooses to remember and the mind opts to forget though. I was outvoted 2-1 that I used to wear a boob tube back in the day (not sure how that would’ve stayed up) and seemingly have been remembered as, and I quote; ‘lording it up’ being a ‘queen bee’ and of ‘always having loads of lads sniffing round’. I don’t think I liked the sound of myself if I’m honest. Queen Beeing it about and Lording it up I may have been but I was still the one who wrote and sent things when you needed them buddy! Forgot that bit though eh? Xx So I let myself off and decided that I wasn’t so bad after all.
I’d like to add that there might have been lads sniffing but very few got any further than a sniff. Maybe I should have took up with a few more of them. At the time though, the ones that were sniffing were not the ones I wanted to be smelled by. (Am not sure where I’m going with this nasal analogy).
After deciding that staying out all day might not be the wisest of moves at our age, I went back to the hotel for a disco snooze before going back out again at 7:30. Lame weather all day so I left the sunglasses back in my room. Should’ve kept them with me. Bloody sun came out and a passing car sprayed grit in my eye. So now I not only had my dodgy contact lenses in but now had a special eye that would make it looks as though I was just winking at everyone. Oy Oy!
Heads up to the ‘Bridge Inn’ – you might want a couple more chairs on your rooftop garden and for the love of god, sort that floor out. It is not safe for heels. ‘Baroosh’ – you are just as pretentious as the furniture store you used to be and truth be told, the furniture store might’ve been able to fulfill my drinks order better than you did. 56 types of bloody gin but none of the other drinks I actually asked for on my round! FYI. If something is a different drink, it is not ‘the same’. I might be a Northern monkey but I’m not an idiot. Apparently though, I am ‘real’ and ‘a mystery’. Oh I’m bloody real alright MoFos and I’m not going to let anybody make me feel as though I’m not!
Tiny rant aside, the night was great. The company was most enjoyable. At one point it took a bit of a comedic North/South divide edge when my counter story to hearing about running up a thousand pound bar bill on a works trip to Hawaii was; ‘We sometimes go bowling at our place’ and ‘We get excited if there are custard creams in the biscuit tin’.
Headed back to the hotel and a bit of setting the world to rights, one chocolate button and cup of tea at a time and it was time for bed and my weekend was nearly over.
Journey home was long and protracted. After negotiating various closed tube lines like a native to make my way to Kings Cross. I briefly considered doing a Reggie Perrin and disappearing into the bowels of London but I knew that if I didn’t give my mum 3 rings when I got home she’d ring the SAS (and the kids might eventually miss me). I thought about it though. Trust me. Train to Sadford took about 9 hours ( I may be exaggerating) thanks to being parked at bloody Mirfield for almost an hour. Then the sodding thing terminated at Halifax because it had to turn around and return to London. So near yet so far! I was beginning to think it was a sign.
If I learned anything over the last few days it was that other people sometimes live parallel lives but you just don’t know it. Others live lives filled with the kind of drama you couldn’t make up and wouldn’t really want for yourself. Others have done extraordinary things just to get by. I also realized that it’s ok to be in your 40s and still feel like a 14 year old dork inside and that just because you
sometimes often don’t feel good enough or that you are no good, or are not as good as the next person. Sometimes just being You is enough. You might have meant more to someone than you ever knew. You still might. Something to focus on when the black dog starts to close in.
*a bloody long time, is the answer to that – I’m like a woman-shaped surfboard me. A bloomin big old floater!
**Not really, but this is what it ended up becoming