Well done Liverpool. You survived.
My ‘neighbour’, Debs is getting married. I say neighbour, lightly. She lives about 3 miles from me. The only people between me and Debs are Andy & Ellen, as the crow flies! So, ‘neighbours’ it is.
I am going to be completely honest here, I am not known for being a mega fan of going out with a bunch of girls. I don’t know why that is, I just seem to avoid it, normally a great big dod of blokes is more up my street. Debs, don’t get me wrong here, but I was worried about my ability to ‘fit in’ with your pals. I needn’t have been worried. What a great bunch of girls.
The journey started in Tyndrum, accompanied by a cardboard cut out of Johnny Depp. What excellent company, we could swoon over him and not get a single comment back. That’s the best way a man should be. Silent. (If only that was in the real world, at least we could ‘abuse’ him and not get chatter back!). If Johnny had been in his pirate gear…. well….
When the ‘hen’, Debs got on the train, she was just delighted with our travel companion. She had however, laid the ground rules. NO booze on the train to Glasgow. Awwwww…. nae fun… So, our priority, it seemed, was to get to the bar. Any bar. A bottle of fizzy was well appreciated by all of us in the closest bar to our departure platform
. The loo was well used in the pub, as you can imagine, the last thing that Jo, Ellen, Debs, Jen and myself wanted to do was have a pee on the train to Glasgow…. good call, Debs in not ‘allowing’ alcohol on THAT train!
It seems we made up for it on the next train, we tucked into a superb picnic, provide by Ellen and myself, which included smoked salmon, oatcakes, cheese, crisps, olives and a whole lot more. Accompanied by 4 bottles of fizz and chocolate, how happy can 5 girls be? The best / funniest part of the train journey, was Jo’s first attempt at eating Brie. She wasn’t sure about the skin, so proceeded to cut it off. Brie circumcision followed. It was an odd thing, sitting in a Virgin train with fishy fingers. Pack wipes the next time.
The train journey went past in a flash, helped by the fizzy, I am sure. We only had one ‘moment’ pulling out a cork, however, it was Ellen to the rescue for that with a pile of napkins. Had there been straws, we could have saved the napkins!
A connecting train to Liverpool and a much cheapness taxi to the Feathers Best Western Hotel. We had all been pre-allocated rooms, so Ellen and I were sharing with Donna and Sonia. It was a ‘bit of a squeeze’ with Donna sleeping on a sofa bed. It was all part of the fun, really!
It was happy hour. Nice. We all headed to the bar and set on into the cocktail menu. The BOGOF was two of the same cocktails, so I introduced Ellen to the delights of a French Martini. Very soon, the other girls realised how yummy it was and soon, the ‘inexperienced’ bar girl was shaking cocktails like a pro. She even said that she had so much practice that she would be adding it to her CV! Johnny, of course joined us for cocktail time.
It was time to get into our togs for our first night out, everyone brushed up beautifully. Another taxi to our dinner at Bella Italia we were shown upstairs and directed towards a large table with people already there, with ’18’ balloons waving above the table. Very quickly, we informed them that we were not part of that group. It became evident, that they had no clue about our booking. Back down the stairs to wait whilst they set up a table. There was a manager there, Claire, (red blouse) who, thankfully took control of the situation. Eventually we got a shed load of wine on the table, whilst Debs phoned her other half to get the confirmation email. Eventually, it was established that we did of course have a booking, and when Claire, from another store in Liverpool, realised the mistake, made sure there were lots of pizza snacks put on the table. They looked so delicious, I had a slice, crossing my fingers that my gluten intolerance wouldn’t rear its ugly head. Washing it down with wine helped. I had no ill-effects. Bonus, because it was a real treat.
I have to say, all credit to Claire (nice dimples), she made what could have been a disaster into what was a really good start to the evening. Is that the wine talking? She was so polite, “Madam, what would you like to order?”, I questioned her about the use of ‘madam’. Quick as a flash, she said, “Oy, you, bird, whatcha having?” Superb, I was really enjoying the Liverpool humour. To just make sure we were going to have a good time, she threw in a couple of on-the-house bottles.
So, who was there, just in case I don’t mention everyone: Debs (of course), Jo, Ellen, Jen, Jenny, Sarah, Sonia, Donna, Claire, Lynn, Hazel, Fran, Angie, Nicky and myself. All nutters, we all got on like a house on fire!
From Bella Italia, we were escorted through the shopping area, by Mrs Cookie, to Lennon’s Bar. On the way, we saw the welcome sight of police on horseback. Lovely. The horses were pretty nice too. For those of you who are reading this, I have a bit of a ‘thing’ about a man in uniform. Jo, who had recently been to a psychic, was looking for ‘Nick’, who, according to the psychic, said that her soul mate was called ‘Nick’. Needless to say, we had to ask the mounted policeman if his name was…. aye, Nick.
By the time we were all in the bar, we must have reduced the average age from 50 to 35. I have to say, the music was fabulous. Just get up and dance music. Dragging Ellen & Jen away from it was challenging! The place was buzzing, all helped by the DJ. I was a bit shocked, to say the least to ‘get hit on’ twice. They didn’t even have their guide dogs with them. One of the blokes, actually ended up calling me ‘the boss’. What can I say? Johnny was totally abused, including being surfed upon, cuddled, kissed and photographed.
We were there until about 2am. Ellen and Jen, however, were there slightly longer. As was Jenny. Every time they put on their jackets, another track came on. The jackets were back off, and more dancing happened, go girls! Jenny, being a bit, well, Jenny, was ready to go home. I won’t write why, but she needed to be back at the hotel in bed! I had lost contact with my feet. My wee ankle boots (with heels) were starting to object. The thought of walking for a taxi was not appealing, however, the doorman headed us towards the nearest taxi rank. Thank god it was only 100 metres away! We piled into the taxi and went to the bar at the hotel. Sorted. Feet louping, I couldn’t wait to take my wee boots off. Ahhhh. Toilet time. What is it about Liverpool? There are stairs to everything. 14 up to the loo, 14 back down. From the reception to our room, there were 69 steps. FFS. My knackered knees were objecting. I have to say, by the Sunday morning, they were getting used to it. See the things you have to deal with when you live in a bungalow? 97 steps, after dancing my feet off on an uneven floor in Lennon’s bar nearly finished me!
Soon after, Ellen got back to the hotel, we had a great blether until 4am. Sometimes, you just need that time to blether. As much as we are neighbours, the chances to have a good opportunity to have a heart to heart are few and far between. At 4am, Donna and Sonia piled in, having spent quality time with the bar (man). Donna (slightly worse for wear) announced from the bathroom, “I don’t know whose towel this is, however, I am wiping my face on it!” That’s fine, it was the bath towel. You can pretty much wipe anything on it, if you choose to!
I have to say, it was worth getting up for breakfast the next morning. Superb. There was Jenny, bright as a button and certainly didn’t deserve to look as good as she did. Jenny, I was well impressed.
Ellen managed to grab a bit of breakfast, Donna and Sonia gave in to bed. Don’t blame them really!
We headed off into town on a mission to get me lower boots, that wouldn’t kill my knees. First stop Schuh. Not really that practical. It was a great laugh though, just confirming what a great place Liverpool is. Off to Clarks. I know, it’s not the first choice, however, as we all found out, they have a great insole. Nice and soft. I got ankle boots, so did Jo and Ellen got a stunning pair (of boots). Then we spotted one of the local girls, shopping in her curlers, or rollers. El announces to Jen, “look at her, with her rollers…” Jen is looking for roller skates, I am sure. Not quite clicking, El continues, “Over there, by the shoes!”. That’s handy, given that it’s a shoe shop!
We then took a wander towards the harbour. There in a shop window was a lovely little ‘fur’ jacket. I took one look at it and said to Jo, “You would look fantastic in that.” Given that Jo was the only one of the 4 of us that would fit into it. There, to our delight, was a £15 price tag, it was a charity shop. Sorted. She looked just brilliant in it.
The walk in the sunshine was just what we needed, the harbour area was just lovely. I really liked the combination of old and new.
A lovely stroll, with coffee / soup to fill the needs.
A walk back to the hotel, a quick change around, and back in a taxi (cheap) to Revolution, for our cocktail masterclass. It was just superb, a great laugh and we were filled full of cocktails. I have to say, at this point, we all realised just what great value for money our weekend was!
Staggered towards taxis, back to the hotel for a change of clothes and cocktails (more).
Then we headed down to the other Revolution, for food and more cocktails. A lovely meal and lots of laughs, getting the horns out and having a great laugh.. After, we decided to wander back to the ‘over 30’s’ side of the town, should have tagged behind Mrs Cookie, we would have walked a half mile less. New boots though were a hit. I had happy feet.
The quote of the night, had to be involving Debs…. “You look great in that dress, Debs,” who has lost her voice. “You are every man’s dream, you look great, but can’t talk!”
It wasn’t a late night, we caved in pretty quickly. On the way back however, the city was really waking up. Some of the sights were eye opening. Unfeasibly high heels doesn’t cover it. It was baltic cold. There was one woman in a tight white dress. Her arse, according to El looked like a couple of cauliflowers. It showed every bump. The words out my gob were, “If I ever go out looking like that, please shoot me!”
“Oh, look at that!” announces Jenny, “she’s got a red brick on each foot!” Then we asked (tall) Jenny, “What do you look for in a man?” Quick as a flash, she said, “One wearing built up shoes.” ROFL.
In a taxi by this point, there was a girl wearing less clothes than I would wearing a swimming costume. It was covered in sequins, and as we all spotted her, she proceeded to pick the very short outfit out of her pert arse. Classy. The conversation with the taxi driver was class. Jenny told all of us about the problems with wearing a sequined dress, how it gives you dimples, and after a while you develop a horrendous itch. Even asked the taxi driver if he had had that experience.
Departing the Liverpool entertaining cattle market, we ended up back in the bar and chewed our way through some drinks. Bed was welcome. A mug of tea and another blether. Go Fi and El, rock on!
Everyone made it to breakfast the next morning.
The whole experience was eye-opening, such a blast. I will go back to Liverpool, what friendly folk, everyone we met was warmly welcoming. I even *cough* enjoyed a wee bit of retail therapy with some of the nicest girls you could ever hope to meet. I look forward to meeting the girls again in the near future. The biggest oddity for the weekend was the amount of stairs. EVERY toilet was up / down stairs. Bloody hell. It’s ok though, all I had to do after it was jump on a train and walk 17 miles of aisles at the Birmingham Spring Fair. It was a bloody good wake up call!
When the girls read this, I would love it for you to leave memories and comments below this post, then everyone can share in the moments that I didn’t write in my iPhone over the weekend. I have to say, for someone who doesn’t go out with a bunch of lassies very often, it was just great. I don’t ‘do’ retail, and still managed to enjoy it. Just as well we only did 2 shoe shops and a charity shop, otherwise there may have been a hissy from me. Girls, you are all stars, please add in your memories!
I have gone off stairs. I must learn to be a camel and not break the seal.