THORNTON’S CHOCOLATE CARRIE CLUTCH BAG, SEX AND THE CITY 2 DVD AND THE CARRIE DIARIES – IT’S MY LADIES, SARAH J, SARAH B AND CAT, SALE MOOR 2002 - 2011
I am very lucky to live somewhere where I am surrounded by friends. Some like Cat and Sarah B moved into the ‘Willage’ around the same time as me, others like Sarah J have moved in later, seduced by the lure of The Midland Balti, the Legh Arms (with its collection of chickens, bowling green and two types of wine – white and red) and Stan’s Pick ‘n’ Pay which stocks everything you could possibly ever need by the power of telepathy!
The thing that oddly binds us together is Braille and Dragons.
In a nut shell – try and keep up:
- I started working at The National Library for the Blind in 2002.
- Sarah B was NLB’s research officer.
- Cat, a Royal National Institute of the Blind Fundraiser had been seconded to work at NLB. She had left just before I arrived, but her legacy remained.
- I bought a house in the ‘Willage’.
- Cat (& Martyn) bought a house in the ‘Willage’.
- Sarah B (after breaking up with her boyfriend during Brian May’s guitar solo on the top of Buckingham Palace, while attending the Queen’s Golden Jubilee concert) bought a house in the ‘Willage’.
- Cat, Sarah B and myself would meet every Wednesday evening to watch Sex and the City – trying to work out whether we were more like Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte or Samantha and hoping that our friendship was every bit as special.
- Cat and Sarah B joined Dragon’s running club. I became an honorary member which meant I got to go to the parties!
- In 2006 I booked my round the world ticket, met Tris (new husband) and Cat and Sarah B entered the Prague half marathon with the rest of the running club. Cat promptly got pregnant and had to pull out. She gave her place to Tris, which was part of my master plan to lure him away from Chorlton with its vegan supermarkets and deli’s to sunny Sale Moor ‘Willage’.
- I was in South East Asia, spring 2007 when I logged on to look at Tris’ Prague half marathon pictures and was horrified and frankly quite jealous to see that on several of the pictures, Tris was sitting next to a really rather gorgeous dark haired girl who I didn’t recognise. Clearly he must be having an affair with her in my absence. He obviously wasn’t, but being half a world away from your man can make you a bit paranoid.
- This beautiful dark haired girl turned out to be Sarah J, who now lives in the house three doors down from me.
- In 2008 we tried to resurrect our Wednesday evening soirees with episodes of Desperate Housewives, but for some reason it never quite worked. I think deep down we all wanted to carry on being the girls from NYC rather than admitting defeat and becoming house wives frm Wisteria Lane. More Samantha than Bree!
- When Tris proposed to me Sept 2009 – on an island, off an island, off an island, off an island. Once I’d clarified that it wasn’t actually a wind up, I replied as only a true SATC fan would, with ‘Absofukinlutely’. Tris didn’t have a clue but it made me smile. I think he was just pleased I'd said yes. When we left our wedding reception four weeks ago, we danced to ‘Moon River’, the record that Carrie and Mr Big danced to on his last night in New York in his empty apartment. And when we finish our honeymoon in September in New York, we will drink Cosmo’s on the Lower East Side. Again, Tris won’t have a clue, but it will make me smile!
We’ve been through an awful lot together, me, Cat and ‘the Sarah’s’ in the last 10 years. Losing parents, diabetes, boyfriends, ex-boyfriends, husbands, cancer, redundancy, pregnancy and post natal depression to name but a few. And through all this we’ve tried our best to look after each other.
I’m now God Mum to Cat’s oldest son, Sam who was ‘Best Boy’ at our wedding and ‘the Sarah’s’ are currently both pregnant and due within a week of each other. Our Wednesday evenings are no longer about cocktails, dates and great shoes. Instead we meet for pregnant lady pilates (I am an honorary pregnant lady) and spend an hour rotating our pelvises on a fit ball. We then full-on power gossip until eventually we have to return to our grown up lives.
THE CARRIE DIARIES – that gift was from Cat. A book about Carrie’s early years which pre-date the TV series. A nod to our Wednesday evenings of old, when life seemed so complicated but was actually so much simpler.
THE SEX AND THE CITY 2 FILM DVD – was from Sarah B. When the first SATC film was released, we made an evening of it. Dressed up to the nines we went for cocktails and spent the evening taking photos on our phones of each other’s cleavages. We then sent them to our friend Barrie with the line ‘guess the breasts’! He did alarmingly well!
When the second film was premiered, a group of ladies again descended on Harvey Nicks for cocktails and dinner, but this time Cat and I were missing. Cat had just given birth to her second son Ben, and I was in hospital having my stem cell transplant. Circumstances had conspired against us to split the old gang up. The reason for the DVD, in Sarah B’s own words was ‘you two weren’t there that evening and it didn’t feel right. So I want us to book in a Wednesday evening and sit down and watch it together’. Which we did – and I made cocktails!
THORNTON’S CHOCOLATE CARRIE CLUTCH BAG – was from Sarah J. Although a later addition to our circle, Sarah J has earned her wings with nobs on when it comes to frocks, shoes and handbags. I mentioned before, the Dragon’s Running Club connection. Well not being a naturally gifted runner – I failed to win any stars in our 5 star award athletics competition at school, I needed to find my niche in another way, or have no friends. As they said in the film Grease, ‘if you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.’ I think that was supposed to mean jock strap? But anyway .... So I have done my very best to be the best supporter that I can possibly be.
I put my good lungs down to learning the oboe (grade 4) at school. Not only am I excellent at blowing up balloons I can shout really loudly which helps when you are a running groupie. I like to tailor my encouragement. For example:
Tris – ‘Hup hup, no sex tonight unless you get under 19 mins’ (5K time). Or ‘Faster – you’re gaining on beardy farty man’.
Barrie – ‘Don’t you dare give up.’ Or ‘your pint’s over here’ (generally half marathon’s upwards).
Nicole – ‘Come on the Dutch.’ Or ‘Pass de Dutchie on de left hand side’. Nicole is Dutch if you hadn’t managed to work it out.
The Sarah’s – well, I’ve never seen the pair of them run faster than on the first day of the Selfridges Sale, so for them I shout ‘Come on Miss Jones / Miss Bundock – shoes and handbags, shoes and handbags’. It seems to work. The thought of a pair of nude LK Bennett sling backs clearly focuses the mind!
And so to my ladies, I ask ‘do we still rock?’ To which I think we all know the answer ‘Absofuckinlutely!
ALL THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR YOU, AND THE POWERS YOU POSSESS, IN YOUR SATIN TIGHTS, FIGHTING FOR YOUR RIGHTS, AND THE OLD RED, WHITE AND BLUE! WONDER WOMAN! WONDER WOMAN!
The parcel is starting to slim down now. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried. What next, what next? A Wonder Woman Tiara? .............