Cardiff: Clucking Great!

This bank holiday weekend, I have been a hen. It was my first hen do and I was very pleased to say that it was fantastic and I loved the fact that it was to celebrate the upcoming marriage of a close friend. (see previous post Two hearts, Two rings to see how the engagement started 😉 https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/two-hearts-two-rings/) We went to Cardiff for 3 days and it was fantastic, varied and mainly just filled with girly fun!

I’ve always thought the term ‘hen’ is odd. And men get ‘stag’ – I won’t go on my feminist rant and say that we get the timid, feathered, two-legged bird that people eat on regular basis and men get a four-legged, strong beast of animal. I do wonder about the origin though. And if women are called ‘hens’ then why aren’t men called cockerels?! That is way more fitting for me 😉 ………just googled it quick and the term ‘hen’ has been used since the 1800s to talk about a female gathering of ‘chit-chat’. It doesn’t say why a hen; I am getting an idea from the cluck clucking of chatter perhaps? ‘Stag’ comes from the 1930s apparently when short pornographic films called ‘stag movies’ were shown to men when one of them was about to be married. Odd. There is also a term ‘hag’ parties,’ where both ‘hens’ and ‘stags’ attend. Messy. We got into enough mischief just us hens.

We spent the weekend in personalised black and pink T-shirts with the details on the hen do and our own nickname. Mine was ‘Samubuca!’ Pink sashes completed the look and I must say now I’m home, my clothes feel boring 😉 We had Grease dances lessons where we learnt a dance routine to Grease mega mix. That was fun and I was the hen getting picked on for my lack of coordination and rhythm 😉  We then had cocktails making lessons (cocktails is another work I’ve always pondered about but I’ll leave that for another day!) and to our delight the ‘Dream boys’ were practising for a routine at the same time. Dancing, alcohol and er ‘hunky’ men – what more could we have asked for?

A spa day perhaps, which was secretly my favourite bit. I had never been to one before and I thought it was great! You walk round in a robe and slippers and dip in and out of the pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and then lie in a relaxation room! I also got my nails done, whilst the other hens mainly had massages. The place was so relaxing and it was the calm before the storm of our night out – but it did remind me a little of an insane asylum (not that I am familiar with them or anything)  but think about it. The place is full of this calm air, people walk round in white robes and everyone in smiling insanely and whispering! And I don’t think I have ever eaten a posh two course meal with pink champagne in a dressing-gown before and still managed to feel glamorous and like royalty! Crazy place and I can’t wait to go to another one!

The evening consisted of a limo ride – this time we had all clothes on – more champagne, games and dares! The limo then dropped us at a lovely Italian restaurant and our dares were to be completed within the first hour of being in the first bar. I didn’t ‘chicken’ out of mine 😉 and I proudly and drunkenly stood on a chair in the crowded bar and did the ‘robot’ dance’ haha! The two ‘pain killer’ cocktails I had helped with this! My friend also did a dare and successfully got a man’s underwear and put them on herself! But that’s all you’re getting….. anything else is wrapped up in the term ‘What happened in Cardiff, stays in Cardiff!’ 😉

I fully recommend Cardiff for a stag or hen do – or hag do! We stayed at a travel lodge on Mary Street. It was on the busiest street and it was like we had a club in our room – which didn’t really work when we wanted some sleep the first eve before our big night out the 2nd night! But the double-glazed windows did us proud and I was out like a light and had a clucking good sleep 😉 Don’t stay at this hotel if you want a nice, quiet weekend of sight-seeing though 😉 Because the only sights you will see and hear are gangs of hens and stags out in full force with pink sashes or dressed as Tony the Tiger – you decide which is which!

Here is a poem I wrote for the occasion too:

Cardiff Chaos

Lou’s hen do is upon us,

We’re meeting at half 8,

A weekend of surprises,

But where the hell is Kate?

Sarah’s got her T-shirt,

Sian’s got her willy straw,

Tore and Karen all aboard,

For laughs and drinks galore!

We’re ready for the first bit,

Lou’s got her dancing shoes,

Grease lightening time ahead,

But all Sam wants is booze!

Loz is in there getting pics,

as Sadie and Chris dance away,

The shots then keep on coming,

‘Down it’ …we all obey!

Feeling rough the next morning,

Camilla slurps her tea,

But we’re all out early again,

For Princess Lou’s next activity.

Then Monday is now here,

Fantastic hen weekend done,

Nic’s done a brilliant job,

Hope the wedding is as fun!

Writing this ahead of time was a bit of a jinx. But it did all happen and go to plan. Brilliant weekend!

XSXS

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It’s a Party and I’ll Analyse if I want to….

It is the party season, as we call it. We celebrate with work parties, christmas parties, family parties and it got me thinking of all the meanings of the word ‘party’. Of course there is the political party – which really is no fun, but like a social party could probably be improved with some alcohol! In this case, it is just a gathering of people then. Is this loosely what a party is?

This weekend, I am going to two parties. Both christmas parties, but one is at a rowing club and one is at an old people’s home. I thought to myself, ‘When did my life get this odd?!’ The rowing one is an annual one and we celebrate with all the rowers and partners at my boyfriend’s rowing club. To look a little more closely at the party it is actually 40 odd local sports men and women sitting eating buffet food in a small wooden building! It is fun though and luckily so many people come and generously, in addition to food, give body heat so it isn’t too cold! As for the party at the old people’s home, I am not sure yet! It will be my first but since my Grandad is now at one, we are going to it. I’ve heard there is food and raffle so should be similar to the rowing one but just with a different party of people!

I have also, this week, had two work parties. They were meals in town though and even though we referred to them as department ‘meals’ they are still classed as the generic ‘work christmas party’. Very nice meals and company. But miles apart from a ‘house’ party full of spilt drinks and fumbled snogging til the early hours. Over the holiday period we will be having an ‘after’ party at ours after our annual pub eve – where everyone we know meets at the same pub and we all get very merry in the name of Christmas. Our ‘after’ party is pretty much a place to go to when the pub is closed and we have boozingly eaten take-away food and are ready to begin drinking again!

We will also have a New Year’s Eve party and in the sense of the word this is what I think of as a typical ‘party’. People will turn up with booze and food (I hope) we will chat, dance, play silly drunken games and eat various food and drink some really weird drinks. Guests will then ‘crash’ and stay over after the party has finally fizzled at 3am (ish). The then next day because it will then be morning it is no longer called a party but we will all have a lovely hungover fry-up breakfast together! To me that is part of the party really and has become part of the tradition just as much as the alcohol and silly antics.

As a final mention there are Tupperware parties (or there were in the 80s) that have now been replaced with Ann Summer’s parties or Body Shop or Avon parties, which let’s face it exist because they combine women’s favourite things of wine, chatting, laughter and shopping (and sex in the Ann Summer’s case!). Maybe any kinds of social gathering that we enjoy, we call a party. It makes it sounds more fun doesn’t it? Would you like to come round for an Ann Summer’s eve? Nah, not the same. It has to be party.

So yes different kinds of parties all make up our party holiday season. They all differ for other reasons too. Like which music we are into, how many friends we have, what food we have in, how much money we have, what mood we are in…. but if friends and family are there and we having a good time, then who cares what kind of party it is?!

So enjoy partying this Christmas and remember ‘Nobody looks back on their life and remembers the nights that they got lots of sleep!’ 😉

XSXS

A Day of Birth

….no I am not talking about Obama since it isn’t a birth of a new president, he has done the job for 4 years and I hope he continues to do it well! On from that, I want to talk about birthdays in general. Mine is on Friday (the big 27 but hush hush 😉 ) I thought I would write this now since I have plans on Friday… off out for a meal and drinks with lots of friends yippee!

Isn’t it strange how we celebrate birthdays? I mean it was the day we were born. A day of birth. We didn’t really do anything; our mothers did! We can’t even remember it unless we have a super power heightened memory like I talked about in my post: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/remember-that/. Our mum’s should get a celebration like ‘I gave birth day’ – yes I know there is mother’s day but we could re-jig and have a day for others elsewhere like a ‘child’s’ day. But I guess the appeal of birthdays is that it is your own, your day. Unless you happen to have a mate with the same birthday or, like my partner, you are a twin and have to share your birthday (they also had a friend with the same birthday when they were growing up – how unfair is that? A three way shared birthday!) It is your day, though, to feel special and to celebrate another year alive…. which I also find a little odd because it is almost like people are saying ‘well done for surviving another year!’ or ‘well done for coming one year closer to death!’ Haha. It also gets me for special birthdays especially, people congratulate you – like a card saying ‘congratulations on your 40th’. I mean congrats for what? They haven’t done anything, just managed to avoid getting run over by a bus, have a terminal disease or get a fatal case of food poisoning for 40 years. Well well done you! It’s not like they have got a new job or graduated from university – just simply survived and stubbornly stayed on the earth for 4 decades!

Anyway, you’re going to get the feeling that I don’t like birthdays and that is so not true. I just find the whole concept a bit odd that’s all. I do, though, get quite excited about birthdays. I love when friends and family have birthdays and I’ve bought them that special surprise present that they will love or even better if we are going out to celebrate. I get very excited when my birthday is looming. I am not that materialistic and it is not the presents (well it is a bit, I am human after all and we all like to receive things!) but normally I have such great plans (that tend to extend for two weekends) and it is a time when I get to see all of my closest friends and family. This week is a very busy birthday week for my family actually – me, my uncle and granddad are all in the space of five days! Quite nice really.

This year, me and my boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend are having a joint birthday do – makes sense because our birthdays are four days apart and we have all the same friends. So it should be good! Then the weekend after, I am going out with my other group of close girly mates for a meal and it is also my Aunty’s 50th birthday party (she has survived half a century, get out the champagne!) so there is a reason that I call November ‘birthday season’.

My favourite birthday was my 25th. I know I should probably say by 7th when I had a huge party or my 18th because it was a ‘special’ one but my 25th was just so great for so many reasons. I had to go to work but I was asked to go on a school trip with some special needs kids. It was hard work but a great day (except from when I left the camera in a mosque and didn’t realise until I was the other side of town and had to race back for it – putting on my head scarf as I went! That is part of it now – a funny memory.) So yes, the working day was different, a break from routine (good for me but not the SEN kids!). I was a bit gutted though because the kids back at school had been doing solids, liquids and gasses in science and I had suggested to the teacher the best way they would understand was by using chocolate (well of course!) as it is a solid and melts to a liquid. I convinced the teacher to do this and he said he would for my birthday – then I ended up going on the trip! When I returned though, he had saved me some melted chocolate! I had badges, cards and presents off colleagues and got home to flowers waiting in the doorway. I also called to see my family and then my boyfriend took me for a meal later that evening. I had also been for a meal with friends the weekend before and my boyfriend’s family came to visit the evening after. So I saw everyone I wanted to and just felt very loved and special. Other birthdays have been great too and I am lucky that none of them have been bad (fingers crossed Fri will be good too!) but that one just sticks in my mind as everything going right (apart from the camera incident!)

So here is to birthdays, raise a glass. When you are apparently celebrating becoming a year older, but it is in fact a day older than the day before! But why miss a chance to celebrate being ‘you’ and made to feel special?

Oh and remember, birthdays are nature’s way of telling us to eat more cake!

XSXS

 

A Little Magic at the Weekend…..

I don’t know if there are any Harry Potter fans out there? But yesterday I was Harry Potter. My boyfriend’s sister had a Harry Potter themed party (well it was actually Harry Potter, Merlin, Disney, Percy Jackson and randomness but let’s stick with Harry Potter to keep it simple!) I painted some house banners, you know of Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Slytherin to decorate the house and I wore a Daniel Radcliffe mask….. that I had to add a red lightning scar to make it authentic….. a wand, a cloak, a scarf and tie. Very funny.

Me in my Harry Potter gear………….Expelliarmus!

There was lot of activities supplied by my boyfriend’s Mum. We had to go and do a treasure hunt yesterday. This involved looking round our local town for random things such as flowers, bus tickets, leaflets, newspapers etc and ticking them off as we went! Bear in mind that I was dressed as above (though I must confess that I left the wand and mask at the house and in my long, black winter coat I looked quite normal… well for me!), my boyfriend’s sister and her mates were dressed as random Harry Potter students and Bellatrix Lestrange and my boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend was dressed brightly as Luna Lovegood! So yes, we looked a right sight and it made me think that it could be real. Like in the books where the wizards visit the muggle world. That is what it could have been! A group of people at one point were getting into a car dressed as witches (for a Halloween party I assume!) and they said,’Oh look, we aren’t the only weirdos about!’ I said to my boyfriend’s sister that it would have been really funny if they had exclaimed, ‘Err we aren’t in fancy dress… we are actually witches and just visiting your muggle world for the afternoon!’ That would have been really funny and an attempt to bring Harry Potter and the world of Hogwarts to life for the afternoon!

Anyway, the treasure hunt went well. The other team consisted of my boyfriend, his twin, their brother and his mate. So girls vs boys. They boys won, sadly, but I was really pleased with how we did because we didn’t spend a penny (on getting items like Macdonald’s wrappers… we hunted the floor…. or a bus ticket…. one of us charmed the bus driver to give us a stub.) We also went on foot, whereas the boys went in the car. This meant we were slower but not by much! So I think we did very well in that case. Shame we didn’t have actual broomsticks to use like in the film!

I want to end this post byexpressing my ultimate envy for J.K Rowling. Not for the money and the fame. If i was going to be famous, I would want it to be for writing a book and she just has it so good having written a great series of books that have appealed for years to all ages. And then eight great films get made too! It is just such an original idea (even though there was some controversy over her getting the idea from another book about wizards or something?) She not only created great characters but a whole new world, language and culture. I am in awe. I would love to come up with such an idea that I could write seven books about. Maybe it is in me somewhere!

Have a magical evening!

XSXS