So, all girls love to scream right? Especially when you hear the wonderful news that one of your closest friends is tying the knot…in Lake Como, Italy, of all amazing places! So, you can imagine our screams when precisely this happened sometime last year. As a collection of girls, we screamed, then hugged, then talked (all at the same time) and when the chatting had died down our minds drifted to all things wedding…BUT first and foremost the little subject of the hen ‘do’ had to make an appearance…
Friday, 12 noon (prompt) the invite said…oh don’t you worry (I thought) I wasn’t going to be late, I had waited patiently for this weekend, a weekend of my dearest friends, of laughter, fun and games and just a little alcohol! All of this and not a dirty nappy in sight, not one bottle (feeding bottle you must understand – I fully anticipated the wine kind and the fake tan kind) or not one episode of Fireman Sam! ‘How am I going to cope?’ my other half joked; it was his first experience of looking after the two of them alone…’just survive’ I said, ‘oh, and please dress Imogen in clothes, please don’t leave her in her babygro the whole day’! I say ‘joked’ because he clearly knew how he was planning to ‘cope’…he’d go off and play football on Saturday and ask my amazing Aunt to have the kids, I’d return on the Sunday and he’d rather conveniently slip off and play a round of golf! Now if that was coping, I’d like to do that on a regular basis please!
So the wait was over and the Friday at 12 noon (prompt) had arrived; we boarded a coach (our very own coach I must add) to start our journey to the home town of The Beatles, the lovely Liverpool. I was a certain shade of tangerine after undertaking a nice bit of St Tropez the night before and I felt sure I would fit in nicely amongst the wags of Liverpool. The fun and games had already started as we reached the M25 and continued throughout whilst we stopped at a local pub (somewhere near Rugby we were told by the, I must say, rather scared looking barmaid) so the coach driver had his 45 minute break (required by law apparently) and enjoyed a ‘JD on the rocks’ (surely not required by law?!).
Five hours and endless wine later we arrived at our city centre apartments and what a better way to settle in than to open a bottle of wine and continue. We were apparently ‘staying in’ on the first night and had pizza on order, copious amounts of alcohol and a ‘butler in the buff’…who was rather (refreshing) quite a nice fella (if you ignored the fact his clothes were missing) and as one of my friends said ‘it was actually really handy having him there as you didn’t have to keep topping your drink up’ – I think she was missing the point to be honest!! So needless to say ‘staying in’ turned into ‘going out’ and my memory of the latter part of the evening was doing big wedding style dancing to Wham and Spandau Ballet.
The next day and with everyone sheepishly nursing their hangovers we boarded another bus, this time it was the Magical Mystery Tour. By lunchtime the Hen was flagging so she had strict instructions to eat and sleep (in that order) so she would be ready for the evening ahead! While I enjoyed a cosmopolitan in a hotel bar that afternoon my mind wondered to the little people I’d left at home, I love being a mum and wouldn’t change anything for the world but these rare weekends are just the tonic (with a dash of vodka!) you need. At that very moment the only things that I had to think about were which cocktail I’ll try next and the haphazard girly conversation going on between us, again, all talking at the same time, fiercely trying to be heard over the giggles and wild laughter.
After an excellent Saturday night with more big move dancing and laughter, Sunday morning arrived and we found ourselves hungover (again) and boarding the London-bound coach. The alcohol wasn’t as freely flowing and the games had all been played but the giggles remained, albeit in between naps! I couldn’t wait to get back to my brood, to change a dirty bum, to wash the bottles (not the wine kind) and to catch up on the latest Fireman Sam. When I walked through the front door my house looked like we had been robbed the night before, toys everywhere, shoes left where they had been kicked off and a dirty washing basket that would challenge The Ritz – but did I care? Hell no; I got the biggest cuddle from Fin and a dazzling smile from my little Imogen…who was wearing, yep you guessed it, a rather comfortable babygro!…’cope’ he obviously did!