Life has actually been pretty wonderful for the last couple of months now, so I've got a bit of catching up to do. A key reason why I have started blogging again (I blogged pretty relentlessly while I was travelling) is that frankly I'm too scared not to! I'll come to why - eventually.
On 6th May just gone, a group of 20 or so 'respectable' women made their excuses and exited their daily lives. They left behind their husbands, boyfriends, children, responsible jobs (though not necessarily their Mulberry hand bags). Hungry for fun, laughter, hot tubs,wine (lots of), karaoke and the opportunity to wear a boob tube, they made their way by road, rail and air to Bakewell in Derbyshire for my hen weekend. A group of 30-40 (and shhhh - up to 60) something ladies, hungry to be Bakewell Tarts!
A truly beautiful and glamorous weekend where the sophistication was only briefly marred by the hen (me) sweating on the first evening over vats of home cooked chilli (meat and vegetarian option). No one would choose to be greeted by a purple bride to be, but at least I could be described in some languages as 'glowing'!
The whole weekend floated by in a haze of hot tubs, chatter and spa treatments. But the real highlight of the weekend was our evening of glitz and glamour, fully professionally catered (phew!). And the real highlight of the evening was our 'pass the parcel' - with a difference. It was so beautiful and the stories shared so personal, hilarious, poignant and touching, that I promised that I would narrate them to share with a wider audience. It's funny what your friends and family remember about you, what special stories they have squirrelled away where yours and their back stories come together. It's also strange how two people can remember exactly the same stories, but with a different emphasis. This is my side of the stories - ladies, feel free to exercise the right to reply!
If all goes to plan, there should be 19 of these stories, so it may take me a few goes, but stick with me!
So the game goes a bit like this:
1. Put CD of 80's school disco hits in a CD player.
2. Put thoughts of slow dances and JT rubbing his erection through his burgundy staypress trousers up against your thigh - out of your mind, you were only 15!
3. Sigh with the thought that JT sadly doesn't stand for John Taylor (Duran Duran ref.)
4. I'VE NEVER BEEN CLOSER, I'VE TRIED TO UNDERSTAND, THAT CERTAIN FEELING, CARVED BY ANOTHER'S HAND, BUT IT'S TOO LATE, TO HESITATE, WE CAN'T KEEP ON LIVING LIKE THIS (LAAA - LA LA ....)
5. Realise that the music has stopped - and that you're still singing!
6. Watch one of your friends left holding the parcel, ripping wildly into the wrapping paper like an origami version of Edward Scissorhands! Clearly she's been to many parties recently where pass the parcel occurs, but this is the first time she's been let out of the kitchen for long enough to participate! There was nearly a fight!
6. Watch said friend, triumphantly hold aloft a RED CANDLE IN A JAR which was hiding between the first two layers of wrapping paper.
My job now was to guess who the candle was from - and why ............