As these pages denote..often! I love a girls night out. There is nothing better than time spent with your favourite females bonding over cocktails or champagne putting the world to rights. You can never underestimate the power of sisterhood. When the life around you becomes too much to cope with you can rely on your BF’S to see you through whatever the crises. I count myself very lucky that I have a wide circle of friends that I know I can call on day or night. Husbands may come and go but friends stick like glue. I have never understood the female that meets a man and drops her friends like a hot potato.
I have always prided myself on being a fierce friend and if one of my BF’S needs me I will drop everything and run . This did not always please my husbands. The men in your life crave your undivided attention and see the BF as competition. But my devotion to my mates just had to be tolerated whatever the cost. But I have been rewarded by a return of that devotion that has helped me through some very dark times.
I was also blessed with two daughters to whom I am very close and who I count amongst my BF’S. My relationship with them is not the conventional one I realise that. They are often my partners in crime when I’m out and about. Drinking dancing and getting up to no good is often something we share. Since my divorce they have become invaluable playmates. But have no fear I am still able to pull Mother Rank as and when required. I slip seamlessly from one role to the other. When all said and done my daughters and I make a formidably team .You should see us in the kitchen on Christmas Day!. I am close to my sons too but am wise enough to understand that they do not want to be privy to their mother philanderings. So I protect them from the details wrongly or rightly.
With the arrival of spring the need to get out more pulls at me like the tide. I say yes to everything I am invited to and emerge from winter like a butterfly from a chrysalis and begin my flitting. We book tickets for Ascot and Newmarket. Try and fail to get tickets for Wimbledon and start looking at holiday destinations.
My hair goes two shades lighter my body gets a few pounds thinner and my toes make an appearance painted and preened. I exfoliate..shedding my old skin like a snake and polishing and tanning the new layers to perfection And then the shopping begins.Dark colours give way to blues greens and pinks and my hat collection comes down from the loft in readiness for the races.
occasionally things don’t quite pan out…
When I was invited to lunch by a group of friends to celebrate a BF’S birthday at Canary Wharf on the day of the London Marathon I said yes immediately . I had never been to Canary Wharf or ever been into London for the marathon, content usually to watch it on the TV. I have always loved it though. It is always such and uplifting event and lends itself perfectly to the London backdrop.
The sun was shining as I walked to the station nursing a hangover from the previous night out. I navigated my way across London into unknown territory . I loved my little adventures. My friends had lunched early and I was meeting them just for drinks. I was totally unprepared for the throng of people who were swarming all over the station as I reached my destination. The whole area was heaving as the runners whooshed passed to cheers and encouragement. It was quite magical.
After one or two false starts I located the restaurant and my friends. They were in high spirits having made very good use of the unlimited wine on offer with their meal. I quickly downed two delicately flavoured cocktails that I had never tasted before trying to catch up. My stomach winced reminding me that the Champagne I had drunk the night before was still in residence.
Eventually we left the restaurant and went out to join the crowds out on the grass where more wine was consumed. I soon realised that my companions were well and truly oiled but it was fun enjoying the atmosphere of ‘post marathon fever’. Essex was out in force including some members of the TOWIE cast sporting the usual Perma tans and perfectly groomed eyebrows. They looked strangely smaller than their TV selves rather like poor copies.
It wasn’t long before my friend who shall remain nameless realised she had drunk too much and wanted to go home. Three of us left with the intention of getting a taxi but the streets were deserted as the roads were cordoned off. There was no hope of a ride and the only option was the tube. I could have made my way home from there but realising my friend was too drunk to leave I volunteered to travel in the other direction with them. My friend was swaying and had lost the use of her legs but we managed to negotiate our way into,the station. I held her by the arm worried that she was going to fall.
She broke free at some point and giggling loudly she headed for the down escalator..Wait! I shouted Wait for me but too late she was on it and heading down. Halfway she lost her footing and plonked down in a sitting position!. We jumped on behind her calling for her to get up. But despite a couple of try’s she couldn’t manage to get upright on to her unsteady legs . She ended up in a heap at the bottom still seated..with the two of us hurtling towards her unable to do a thing about it and knowing that the pile-up was inevitable. We fell on top of her giggling loudly and all ended up on the floor. What a sight we must have looked.
Pulling her to her feet I managed to keep her upright and onto a train were she promptly fell asleep. There was an uphill walk at the other end and the sleep had made her more incapable. I only lost her once when she swung In front of me and fell face down in a hedge. Laughing loudly I extricated her and managed to manhandle her into her house. She collapsed in a heap on the sofa and passed out. well it was her birthday! Relieved to have got her home I called a cab and left her in hands of her family.
A couple of weeks later I am back out in London again with another group of friends for an early afternoon cocktail. My BF who I met in the nursery school line up,when we were four and whose been with me ever since had had a stressful week and we all discussed the various intricacies of life’s rich pattern over cocktails at http://www.thepenthouselondon.com/Leicester Square . The bar somewhat hidden had been introduced to me by another friend when we had been out celebrating her 50th birthday. It has panoramic views of London which is wonderful at night. The Cocktails as luck would have it !(or not depending on how you view what happened next) are buy one get one free until 8 pm. They were bloody good too.
A couple of hours and four cocktails later we decided to head to Convent garden and the fabulous Henry’s Bar for food and Champers. It wasn’t far away but for the fun of it we decided to get a rickshaw. Those bike driven pull carts that run all over London. I had ridden in them many times and it was always fun and saved your feet from the cobbles.
Off we went two in each..whooping and giggling all the way. As they pulled into a spot to park, our rickshaw swerved in to pull alongside our friends. I was looking ahead to see where we were and when I turned to talk to Trudy I was astonished to find the seat next to me was empty. I looked across at the others In bewilderment and then something caught my eye a few yards to the right of me on the road surface. It was Trudy.!! Somehow she had been unseated from the rickshaw and catapulted out into the road. Leaping out I ran to pick her up.
Sobering up immediately I lifted her from the floor to find her head was bleeding and she the most enourmous egg growing before my very eyes on her forehead . I asked her how she felt and she said sick. The others helped as we took her to a chair outside a restaurant called the Le Beaujolais on the corner of Lichfield street.
She was drowsy and confused and still feeling sick. Making a snap descion I called 999. You couldn’t take any chances with a head injury . The French Resturant owners were both very helpful and allowed us to use their facilities while we created quite a commotion outside. The Rickshaw driver sat motionless on his bike looking on, white-faced and in a panic. We had no idea what had happened . I had not been unseated at all but then I am heavier. Trudy was much lighter and still to this day has no recollection of the incident. Sometime later we realised that the rickshaw driver had disappeared now there’s a surprise !!
The paramedic arrived and did some checks and our kindly French hosts brought Trudy a strong sweet black coffee. She began to feel better but the paramedic said she needed some checks and an ambulance was on its way. Sending our other friends home Trudy and I clambered into the back of the ambulance and off we went to the joys of University College Hospital’s accident and emergency department on a Friday evening.!
The staff were amused by what they said they said was a new experience A Rickshaw related injury . They decided it wasn’t too serious and once discharged I accompanied Trudy back to East London and stayed the night. We did go via Macdonald’s though and never had burger and chips tasted so good.
Two weeks later Trude is still sporting a right shiner. Next time we are going to rely on shanksies pony at least that way we might just land in someone’s hedge and not on a busy London Street. Maybe I should slow things down a bit in light of theses events take up knitting or crochet perhaps ? Not on your Nelly!!
BEWARE THE RICKSHAW !!!