Halloween: Love it or hate it?

So. It’s nearly that time of year again.


You either love it or you hate it. (I’d bagsied my kiddie’s skeletons costumes the week they hit the shops -about two months too early in August- so you might say I’m keen. Although I prefer ‘organised’).


It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of witches brew though.  A quick scroll through a parenting thread on the internet led me to a right old bunch of Moaning Mummies.

‘I never let my young children go out begging at Halloween’, wrote Miserable Moira on the thread. Errrr Moira, you’re not just miserable, you’re also a total Killjoy.

‘I don’t want my child to consume all of those sugary sweets’, another poster wrote. Fairdo’s Sandra. Jeeeeez. Just scoff some yourself then. Everyone loves a haribo.

‘We don’t do tricks’ added another. ‘It scares people.’ Blimey Maureen, chill out, it’s not a real brain that the kids are asking you to stick their hand into. It’s a bit of coloured dye spaghetti.

‘I don’t open the door to people after dark’, posted Helen, and judging by her profile picture, I could see why.

I’m jesting here by the way, and banter aside, of course, I do totally respect the many valid reasons people dislike Halloween: It’s against some religious beliefs; it’s intimidating to the elderly, and others fall foul to a string of nuisance cold callers, a bit like those ringing you for PPI, harassing you at all times of the night without even bothering to dress up! A couple of years ago, at my previous address, I answered the door to four costume-less blank-faced teenagers wearing tracksuits and I kid you not, one of them was wearing a fecking balaclava! (Never mind Witches Brew; they were more likely looking for some spare change to buy themselves a can of Special Brew!)

‘It’s me mask, innit’, said balaclava boy, following it up with an unenthusiastic ‘Trick or Treat’ – at which point I politely told them to piss right off declined and subsequently became one of many fellow ‘prisoners in our own home’ for the evening to prevent subsequent calls.  There were also reports in local towns of ‘yobs’ going on a rampage during ‘Mischief Night’, were bricks were thrown at buses and windows, and not forgetting that this year, of course, this year we’ve got these Halloween ‘clowns’….What in the hell (pardon the pun) is that all about?

Have you got any clowns in your town?, all the local newspapers were asking, (cue the replies about all of the current clowns sitting in the town hall …). I don’t condone violence by the way, but I swear to God, if one of these so called ‘clowns’ jumps out on me, they’ll be getting a swift kick in the ****!

Anyway. I’ll be taking my children out this year for Halloween but of course, I’ll be mindful and respectful to other people’s views. What do you think of Halloween?





Halloween: Old School, baby!



Back in 1990, when my friends and I were about 11,  our Halloween ‘fancy dress’ was simply a bin bag with a hole in the top and a turnip hanging on a piece of string (a turnip or a swede? A turnip I think.)

Our annual ‘patch’ to go sweet gathering was our street, the adjacent street and around the block. We knocked on every door that wasn’t having a black-out (except for Mad Martin’s as we once saw him mowing his garden wearing just his underpants. Oh, and Psycho Sheila because she used to throw bleach up the path whenever she saw us coming).

Anyway, this one year our little gang spotted some rival bin-bags doing the rounds on our turf! (Some new witches on the block had outdone us, sporting their new shiny witch hats with green hair poking out and their green crayon face paints)

Back in the day, trust me, this was impressive: supermarket aisles back then weren’t packed to the rafters like today with prop eyeballs, rubber arms and costumes that wouldn’t be out of place in a theatrical stage production, so this new development could lead us to one thing only: Witch Wars.

We could do little about our current outfit situation, so we decided that the best way to win sweets was to try to outdo them with our moves.

Oh yes, baby.

It involved us making up our own lyrics (Halloween style) to that years Number 1– Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby”.  Complete with cringe worthy gestures.

Ironically, I’ve been forever haunted by the lyrics of our first verse, which went like this:

“All right stop, hold the door and listen

We have come with our spooky invention (at this point we thrust our turnip lanterns into our poor unsuspecting neighbours startled faces)

Something grabbed a hold of us tightly (we all grabbed hold of each other in a circle really tightly)

So we sing Halloween songs, daily and nightly.

Will we ever stop?

Yo, we don’t know

Turn out your lights,

And we’ll go

To the extreme, we rock our brooms like witches

We’re telling you, yo, we’ll have you in stitches…”


Cringey, eh? We thought we were ‘so cool’.

We first tried our ‘performance’ on a house on the adjacent street – a lady answered, mid 30’s, big blonde perm – she seemed delighted to see us so we broke out into full routine.

Verse 1, verse 2, verse 3, all punctuated with our chorus –“Trick or treat, baby, dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum….Trick or treat baby…”

We finished and said lady was still standing there wide eyed with a fixed grin on her face.  And then, after a long pause, she said: I won’t be a minute.

She retreated back into her house leaving her front door ajar and leaving us all waiting in mortified anticipation…

Where had she disappeared to? Was she currently on the phone to the Old Bill and we were about to see the light from the blue sirens?

 1 long minute later and she returned.

‘I’m actually having a house party’, she said, inviting not 1, 2, 3 or even 5 people out of her living room into her porch, but about 25 merry adults who all came out in unison clutching their cider and cramming the porch.

‘Do it again’, she squealed.’ Your song. Sing it again for my friends….YOU GIRLS ARE JUST HILARIOUS!!’

Ummmmmm. Ok.

So, swishing our bin bags in unison, off we went for round 2.

Her friends were pissing themselves. In hindsight, they were probably just pissed themselves. But we didn’t care much about that, only the handful of coins and cola cubes they adorned our greedy hands with!

Battle won, we returned home, with memories lasting a life-time of our Halloween youth.

It still makes me smile to this day, and it’s one of the reasons I still love Halloween over 25 years on.

Happy Halloween, yo!

It’s trick or treat, baby x



Facebook or face bore?

Everyone has a ‘moment’ when they feel like quitting Facey ‘cos they’re bored shitless of reading everyone’s pointless crap all day, right? Here’s a list of this weeks posts on my timeline that made me scroll quicker than normal…

  1. Samantha ‘yummy-mummy’ Smith shared another timehop post from 3 years ago. Of little Jonny in his school uniform.  I didn’t care much for it the first time round Sambo. timehop
  2. Louise Green posted 163 pictures (!?!) of her kids entitled ‘Our day in the park’.  
  3. “Happy 85th birthday to my Auntie Mary in heaven. Hope you’re having a ball up there”. It’s unlikely Sandra. Really unlikely. Soz.
  4.  “Happy 2nd birthday to my Riley. I hope you have a great day”. Is Riley in kiddy Mensa now? 
  5.  Jane posted another 4 daily quotes about how much she loves her kids. So do most people Jane, if they didn’t, they’d be seeing a counsellor or a therapist or something love. 
  6. Karen Stewart checked in to Whiston Hospital A&E without revealing the reason why. Attention seeking witch. Unless you got something stuck up an inappropriate place to give us a laugh then we don’t care Kazza.
  7. Emotional blackmail posts. They just make me cringe. no-heart
  8. Jenny Skinner posted a cryptic rant that was barely legible.  “Am prowd of son and its discusting you chating shit so be quite coz am not hapy and i say what a like cus am me”. Or something like that. bad-grammar


I actually can’t cope. So I’m having a few days ‘facebook’ leave. I’ll be back in a few days though ‘cos I’m far too nosey to stay off! Ta-ra x




Good deeds. Do you believe in karma?

A few weeks ago, I went to a ‘Meditation’ class in a nearby town. I parked up, pressing my nose against a few windows that were a hive of adult learning activities before finally flinging open the door to my designated base. 10 or so people were already seated around a circle on chairs (I’d naively assumed we’d all be sitting on the floor cross legged like I’d seen on the telly), head down, looking pensive. I crept in, found an empty seat and a woman in a Buddha style orange dress with a shaved head smiled at me in acknowledgement.  The session leader, *Lynn, was telling newbies (me) that we were working our way through a book that you could buy yourself for about 50 quid or something, and that the cost of the session was a fiver.

The money basket made its way around the circle and I dug deep into my bag and pulled out a twenty.

‘Haven’t you any less?’, asked Lynn, nodding to a changeless basket.

Nope. Soz.

So I passed the basket on figuring I’d pay at the end when change became available.

Lynn asked us to turn off our phones, which every-one did. Mine was out of charge anyhow.

Lynn then asked us to close our eyes and focus our full attention solely on our breath as it flowed in and out of our bodies. (It sounds like a simple enough task but trying to focus on just your breath is no easy feat, let me tell ya). For a start, I’ve got nasal problems and it’s hard to get air through my nose with my gob shut so I just sat there (numbed brain, mouth hanging open, eyes alternating between closed and glazed over) looking and feeling like a wierdo for a few long, slow minutes.

After that ordeal was over, Lynn explained that today, we were going to be learning about self-cherishment.   Self-cherishment sounded right up my street and I couldn’t wait to get started; would we be cherishing ourselves by sinking into relaxation on the beach of an unspoiled island paradise, I wondered?

Errmm, nope, we wouldn’t.

Instead, Lynn asked us all to breathe in white light and breathe out black smoke.  I started to exhale the black smoke, but I felt a bit peeved again. (I’ve recently packed in the cancer sticks and the imaginary exhaling of black smoke was making me want to nip outside for a sneaky one).  I blew imaginary smoke rings and imagined that next, we’d all lie down and pretend to be feeling the hot sun beat down on our faces and listen to the lapping waves of the ocean.

‘Next, we’re going to try and imagine our minds as a piece of concrete’.


The reasons for this, Lynne explained, was to block out bad energies. Lynn began to talk at length about clean and tidy environments, and something about us not being able to take our friends and family with us when we died. She told us about how we cherish ourselves when really we should be cherishing others because if we didn’t we would continue in our suffering.  Basically, we think we’re more important than everyone else and we don’t really care about strangers because they don’t directly affect our happiness. This was selfish.  Lynn said we should treat strangers as special and unique; appreciate others more and focus less on ourselves.

Hmmm. Ok then. This sounded like a worthy and achievable thing to do, I thought.

You could have heard a pin drop in that room. Everyone was sitting in a deadly, eerily long silence, with their eyes closed in deep concentration, imagining how they might achieve the worthy and achievable, when out of nowhere, of course, a large, rumbling, thundery sound emerged from pit of my stomach.

I swear, it was if someone had just farted loudly at a funeral.

The trick, I figured, was just to pretend that it wasn’t me. If it happened again, I’d shoot sidelong glances at the female stranger next to me and hope that she cherished me enough to take the rap.

Thirty seconds later, along came some more gas. Gurgling through my intestines and making bubbling and gurgling noises as it went along…


On the third wave of gas, everyone got a bit fidgety.

‘Sorry’, I decided to fess up. But no-one replied. They were all too busy thinking about how not to give a shit about themselves.

It wasn’t my fault I was so bloody hungry; mum had invited me round for tea and made liver and onions again so I’d left starving and with an empty stomach, and now I couldn’t stop thinking about eating some mezze in that Greek place in town…

‘Don’t be such a selfish cow, Mel’, I scorned myself. Cherish Lynn. Lynn was a stranger giving her time to teach me to be a better person. Stop thinking inappropriate thoughts in Lynn’s class —concrete head, concrete head, concrete head…! But the harder I tried to empty my mind, the worse it got. Have you ever been in a really silent place and you suddenly feel it would be funny to just randomly shout out something really loud?

No? Just me then.

More silence ensued followed by another really lengthy read from Lynn, and I began to wonder when this thing would friggin end. I was fluffing starving. I opened one eye and sneaked around the room half imagining that there’d be another class-clown like me and that we could share mortified expressions across the room at each other.

But nope. I was the only idiot in the room.

Lynn then declared that we were all now going to be having a toilet break, and after that, it would be discussion time.

Obediently, we all went to the loo and I’m ashamed to admit that I took my chance to sneak off early. I wasn’t learning anything new here, I figured, so I made my way out down the corridor; into the car; down to the take-away for a mixed meat kebab before making my way home along the dual carriageway.

I was about half way down the carriageway when I realised that I’d forgotten to pay.


I had two choices. I could return and pay for the session that I had attended. Or I could go home and stuff my fat greedy face with donner meat and chilli.

I’d learnt nothing from the session, it seemed, as the Donner meat won. I turned off the dual carriage-way, turned right, drove a mile up the road through Fingerpost, turned left, and then stopped at the traffic lights on red, but not before my car gave way to big, loud shudder and stopped dead. I tried to turn the engine, but no. Nothing. Nada.

I car, 2 cars, 3 cars, 4 cars began stopping behind me in a queue, the queue growing longer.

The lights turned green but I was going nowhere.   I was just sitting there, stationary, next to my lonely and longed for big greasy kebab, being punished. I knew I should have gone back  and paid for that bloody class!

(Hi Karma. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you’re enjoying the view.)

The car behind me began to beep. The car behind him started the beep. And then the car behind that one…

FFS! Stop beeping at me! What on earth did they think that I was doing- just stopping there to admire the sun setting over Parr Stocks?!

Sheepishly, I stepped out of my car and surrendered myself to their mercy, holding up my hands and making frantic gestures about my petrol tank being empty.  The guy behind me in a Range Rover (in Parr- I know) beeped his horn angrily at me again, the p***, loudly and in my face. I was about a millisecond from tears when suddenly, this old-ish dude (about 70) emerged from his house in his slippers – carrying a petrol can.

He’d heard the commotion outside, he explained, as he’d been trying to get some sleep. Without hesitation, he beckoned two teens on bikes over the road to assist him in pushing my car onto the kerbside to let the held up traffic pass. Which they did. (Cheers boys. And special kudos to the near 70 year old!).

And then the old guy drove me to the petrol station, paid for £10 pounds worth of petrol, a newspaper (which he rolled into a cone and used as a funnel to pour the petrol into my empty tank), and bid me on my way.

What a gent!!

I think I nearly cried again.

Of course, I returned the money. Alongside a card full of my gratitude and a large box of chocolates, as obviously, one good deed deserves another.

It pays to be nice.

And I felt that actually, I really had learnt something from my night at the meditation class after all.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of karma? or a good deed?



The Olympics v Sports day

Sport: you either love it or you hate it. At school, I was never really a ‘winner’ at sports myself (I once thought I’d won the backstroke but everyone else had got out of the pool). Still, I had a few coping strategies to deal with my athletic defeats.

‘Where did you come?’, a spectator (clearly not spectating well enough) would ask.

‘4th’ I’d quip, failing to mention that there was only four of us in the race.

I was never really a sore loser though: sore in body probably, but never in mind. And I was certain that when I was a mum I’d always be the type of person that patted little Johnny’s head and reassured him that it was the taking part that counted, not the winning.

However. In the last few weeks, as it’s Olympics season, I’ve become mildly addicted sport. On more than one occasion I’ve stayed up bleary-eyed until the early hours to support and cheer on Team GB. (If Google tells me someone won gold and I missed it, I have to watch it on catch-up.)  The gymnastics has always been my favourite, inspiring me so much in fact that last week, I thought I would go out into my back garden and attempt to do a cartwheel (I wouldn’t advise it) after a 20 year hiatus.

‘It’s no good. I’m too old’, I said remorsefully, after my arms gave way and my cartwheel turned into a commando roll. And so I quickly turned my attention onto my kids.

‘Why don’t you kids have a go at some gymnastics?’, I said, encouragingly. ‘Maybe you could go to the Olympics one day like on the telly’.

Instead of following my instruction, my youngest child threw a ball into my oldest child’s face; oldest child retaliated by getting him in a head-lock and all hell broke loose.

Hmmm. Perhaps gymnastics wasn’t their forte, I reasoned, as I watched them grapple around on the floor, one now trying to pull the other across the grass by the legs.

Did they do wrestling in the Olympics? They’d ace a gold at that.

Not that it was the winning that counted of course: it was the taking part that mattered.

OK, I’m lying a bit.

Of course I wanted them to do well. Only last month, at my son’s sports day, I was standing on the sidelines, anxiously waiting, when out of nowhere, I spotted him walk on by and I suddenly turned into coach and began giving him a little pep talk.

‘As soon as you hear the whistle, run as fast as you can, ok? Do you hear me? RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!’ Seconds later, I found myself complaining inwardly. Was it really fair that 4ft Edward who was 8 calender months older than my summer born boy were competing in the same race?

“He stands no chance against that giant”, I told my husband. “Could they not have grouped them in size order?’.

By the time I tried to call foul because a blonde haired girl had set off with a beanbag on her head before the whistle had gone, husband suggested I should go off and get us both a brew from the PTA trolley. Or, whilst I was feeling so competitive, he’d go and collect the brews and I could make boy proud by doing the mum’s race.

Ha! Make him proud. Humiliate him, more like. I’m sure my son wouldn’t want me to do that to him.  I glanced anxiously across the school field to spot him shouting ‘C’mon mum’ at me.

Oh dear Lord.

6 mums took part.

5 mums finished in good time.

‘Where did you come?’  Husband laughed, when he returned.

‘6th’ I quipped, in unison with my son who said ‘last! Mum fell over’.  He looked proper peed off at me to be honest.

‘Ok, I came last’, I grimaced. But it’s the taking part that counts, not the winning, remember…

Not in the Olympics it isn’t! It’s all about the gold! Actually, as I’ve been watching the Olympics, I’ve read several reports online describing how  some athletes have ‘had to settle’ for silver (fancy having to settle for a silver medal!)  I think they’re all bloody amazing myself!

Anyway. It got me thinking. How competitive are you as a mum on Sports day? Is it really the taking part that counts???







The Grand National: Tips for the girls

Here are my 10 top tips for any Aintree virgins heading to the races this weekend.

  1. Go by train (you can’t drink champagne for breakfast if you’re driving, dahlings!)
  2. If you’re heading to Ladies Day, look classy/not trashy. Otherwise, some bitches on the train be looking at you like “Girl, did you mix that fake tan with a packet of cheesy wotsits or what?”
  3. If you’re taking your other half along with you on the big day, ensure that he’s on trend too. (Last years trend: 10, 000 men wearing identical blue suits and beards.)
  4. Unless you’re heading to the enclosure, of course (The Steeplechase). It’s casual attire in there and totally acceptable not to dress up. #scruffsallowed #scruffswelcome
  5. Charge your mobile: you’ll need to text your besties to locate them in the throngs after each and every visit to the bar.
  6. Take plenty of cash – I think it’s about £30 for a bottle of wine #don’tquotemeonthat #toodrunktoremember
  7. Wear your heels, but take roll-up pumps in your bag. You might look like Bilbo Baggins in flats, but you won’t care less when you’re limping home crying. (The train station might have some flip-flops, but a size 3 when you’re a size 7 is an even worse look).
  8. Take a brolley and dare I say it – a warm jacket? There’s often  a mighty piss down April showers and you freeze your tits off and a breeze.
  9. Be prepared to be able to see bugger all of main race and instead spend some time slipping and sliding down embankments before settling on just watching it on the big screen instead.
  10. Be prepared to soak up the atmosphere and have an amazing day at the races!



Postpartum partying: Surviving the first night out!


‘We need a night out. It’s been way too long’, declared my friend Hayley.
’14 months, 2 weeks, 3 days and counting, to be precise’, I said, being scarily precise.
‘Shit. Someone’s been bored’ acknowledged Hayley, looking very afraid for my well-being. She promptly arranged a girls night out.
Around town.
Now I was afraid for my wellbeing.

I hadn’t been out round town since the days when people went out at 8.00 and got kicked out of the nightclubs at 2 am followed by pizza, taxi rank, home. Most of my old haunts didn’t even exist anymore. It was official -I was a dinosaur. I also felt a bit unnerved at the prospect of leaving my little baby girl home alone. Well, obviously not home alone; she was in the very, veable hands of her very hands-on dad. But still. I felt a tad anxious.
‘If she wakes up, give her her dummy’, I instructed him.
‘I know’, he said, in a tone implying that he wasn’t stupid.
‘If you need me,  just ring my mobile and I’ll come straight home’, I assured him.
‘Just go’, he said, shoving me out of the door. ‘You’ll enjoy it once you’re out. And I’ll see to the baby bright and early in the morning’. I think he wanted to settle down with a box set.
‘I’ll be home before 12.00; I won’t drink too much… ‘ I called after him, as he shut the front door in my face.
I got into the taxi yanking both sides of my skirt down and feeling incredibly self concious. My first attempt in months at ‘dressing up’ for a night out had nearly sent me over the edge. Like, why did I still look 3 months pregnant in my LBD? And how did I ever manage to walk in heels before? And why did my make up bag still contain some metallic blue mascara called ‘Girl Curl’ from about 1999? And why had my curling tongs left one side of my hair with spring coils and the other with a demi wave?


Anyway. I arrived at Hayley’s house to be greeted also by Liz, Helen, Georgia and Ruth. With the exception of Ruth, the others were all child-free. (This meant they had loads of hilarious stories to tell and Liz was mid-way through one about her date with Franco the Italian fish-man from Skelmersdale who tried to sell her some kippers).

‘Here, let me take your photo’. Helen wanted to upload some pics to facebook.
‘No chance’, I ducked for cover. ‘Look at me! No, on second thoughts, no, don’t bother…’.
Helen advised me to pout by pretending to blow a kiss, so I did as she recommended.
She took a pic of my and shoved it in-front of my face.
‘Ha ha ha – you look constipated’, she congratulated me, before sharing it with the world.

Um, thanks.

The girls proceeded to snap away, before uploading pictures of their wine glasses and bottles, whilst I text Chris to make sure the baby was okay.
Later on, we landed in town. It was dead.
‘It’s still early yet. Wait until midnight, it will be busy then’, forewarned Hayley.
‘Midnight? I was planning on being home by then’, I half joked. (Okay, more ‘3 quarters’ than ‘half’).
The girls shot me side-long glances as if I was a total bore.
Oh God, it had happened.

We sat in a pub and I ordered a diet coke in case I needed to go home soon, but just then Chris replied to say that the baby was fine. ‘Fast asleep’ to be precise.
Feeling reassured, I wondered if I should have a few drinks after all. I mean, Ruth (who had Jacob, aged 1) had been on the Prosecco in Hayley’s before we left and it had certainly got her into the groove. No sign of stiff cardboard around here where Ruth was. She was on the dance-floor looking as if she was warming up to do a work-out. She forward lunged her way around the dance-floor, and then it was crunch time. She then appeared to be cooling down with an all over body shake. Way to go Ruth!

Previous to having my child. I’d always considered not drinking alcohol when you’re out as something regarded as a good thing for pregnant women only. No bun in the oven, and you’re generally a dullard. That, or a recovering alcoholic. You could use the fact that you’re driving as an excuse, but then you’re persuaded to abandon the car and take a cab instead. But my excuse was a valid one here too. Could I really cope with a hangover and a baby?


We headed to another bar and it had started to fill up with a younger crowd.
I craned my neck around the side of a pillar where tiny waisted girls with even tinier skirts were grouped together. ‘You do know this place is filling up with 12 year olds?’ I asked the girls.
‘Yeah. But you’ll feel like a teenager again. It’s like therapy’ replied Ruth. I felt ancient.
I think I knew what therapy I needed; it was clear and liquid form and had about 40 percent volume. The place looked as if it hadn’t been refurbished since the 90’s tune currently being played had been released. The mini-skirts on the dance floor were probably a pea-nut in their mothers womb when that song charted. Still, we were here now, so we all hacked our way through Jungle Jims and got ourselves a drink. I got myself a vodka and coke.

The next bar was a little better.
This time, I glanced around the room, clutching my bag next to my tummy, eyeing other girls in the bar as if they were applicants all after the same job, holding their CV’s, all selling themselves to be funny and attractive too.

I text Chris.

‘Is the baby ok?’

‘Sound asleep’

‘Can you go and check on her please?’

‘I did. 5 minutes ago. Enjoy your night’.

I ordered myself another vodka and diet coke and I began to feel free. Relaxed. After my third, I began to feel a bit light-headed. It had gone staight to my head after not drinking for so long.

Two men on the other side of the bar, with balding heads, were now grinning at me. Winking. They were trying to reel me in with imaginary fishing equipment. When they began trying to capture me with an imaginary net, I clambered up out of my seat, and headed towards the dance-floor. The music was pumping, and me, the former piece of stiff cardboard, well, I was finding it difficult to escape the rhythm.
I wiggled my way to  thedance-floor, swaying and sidestepping and trying my luck with a bit of bump and grind. I scanned the dance floor for the girls, suddenly wanting to impress them all by throwing some shapes of my own.
A man gave me the once over. Impressed by my shapes? To clarify, I was a happily married woman– but it was nice just to be noticed  by someone of the opposite sex, at least, for the first time in what felt like forever. A mate of his leaned over and whispered something in his ear, at which point, he looked back at me and appeared to started laughing. They seemed to make up their mind about something and then suddenly, both men were gone.
Hmmmmpphh! I had been under the assumption that the smiles from the men were flirting. The realisation that I was the object of their amusement made me wonder what on earth had possessed me to come out round town!


Over the next thirty minutes or so, I had several more vodka and diet cokes.  I had my bum slapped so hard by an older man that it almost stung and I was proposed to by man who appeared to have just stopped off at Earth for on overnight visit. I ordered one more vodka, but this one appeared to tip me over the edge. I went from chilled to sloppy in minutes and began to empty my head onto the nearest available people.
It was soon the turn of a poor Irish man I located called Fergus?
‘So tell me, Fergus…’
‘It’s Feargal.’

‘Of course. Feargal. Like Feargal Sharkey!’ I broke out into a wonky and loud version of ‘A Good Heart’, but Feargul didn’t look impressed. ‘Anyway, Feargal, I’m sorry’. I’d began to prod poor Feargal in the chest with every new word I uttered. ‘You’re -Irish! I nearly went out with Irish man once. I -bet -you’re -Catholic. You’re supposed to be forgiving. Do yooooou. Think I’mmmmm . A good perrrrson?’
‘Erm..I have no idea’.
‘Well, I ammmmm!’
‘I see’.
‘I-try-harrrrd -I-do. And-God-loves- a-trier. Does he?’
‘Apparently so.’
‘And people. They sometimes do baaaaaad things. And I don’t because I’mmmmm a goooooood person. So why do bad things happen to good people?’ I was beginning to get upset about it. ‘And what about Great Auntie Lynne? She was a good person. And now she will be upset seeing me like this.’
‘Why, where is she?’, Feargal looked around himself.
‘Up there’, I pointed towards the roof. ‘In heaven’.
Hayley made a few appearances every now and then and suggested we all go home, but I was no-where near ready to leave. I had began to enjoy my first night out in over a year and it might another year before I got to go out again…
‘I believe in God. I go to church’, I told Feargal, which was sort of true. Ish. I didn’t dare not believe in God in-case he really was out there and he threw me into the burning fire when my time finally came. And I went to Church for like, weddings. Or at Christmas.
I’d been once as a student with my friend Fiona. It was Christmas, before the term break, and we’d been inspired to attend Midnight Mass after 6 large ones in the student Union. Unfortunately, we were feeling a bit too festive, and no sooner had the mass started when everything just seemed ridiculously funny. Fiona snorted because the priest said ‘Ass’ and I couldn’t look at her for fear of an outbreak. And then he talked about the resurrection and it sounded like erection and the pair of us chanced a glance at each other and exchanged warning looks. People began shooting silent stares around the pews, and hushed whispers grew around the stone walls of the church and the next day, I was wracked with guilt and spent the whole day making a deal with God for forgiveness.

Anyway, the night in question eventually came to an end when Hayley insisted that we were all definitely going home, and practically threw me into the nearest cab. I smiled dreamily. I rested my dizzy head on the window, my head full of memories of my amazing dancing, my new beautiful friends , our hugs and spilled drinks, and then suddenly, my mind was a blank.

The morning after.

‘Ok, it’s not the end of the world’, I reassured myself. How on earth had I navigated my way into my own bed?
I most definately had not missed the feeling on anxiety that occured the morning after the night before where drinking was concered. I was about to beg Chris to go and get me a McDonalds when Hayley rang.
The key, I figured, was to act as if everything was as it should be.
‘Hi how do you feel?’ was Hayley’s opening sentence when I answered the phone.
‘Great’, I lied, worrying at my fingernails.
‘Great?’, she sounded surprised.
I’d been certain that I’d been a merry but fun person the night before, but now her tone was planting a seed of doubt in my mind.

‘Um. Yes. Great. Why?’
‘You were wasted.’
‘I know’
‘You were hilarious. Do you remember that guy you were talking to? A guy called Feargus. You kept calling him fungus?’
‘Ha ha. Oh er.. yeah…sorry’, I shook my head in shame. I wanted to fly off to another country very, very far away.
‘And you kept telling everyone that you were a good person and that you went to church. Do you go to church Mel?’
‘Erm, no…’, I shook my head again.
‘…you fell off your stool, you wouldn’t leave at the end of the night even when the lights came on…
‘…you went missing on your own for about an hour and we all looked everywhere for you. Do you know where you went?’
Oh God, no. I didn’t know the answer. I was the weakest link. Time was up. I was the one whose brain was closed for repairs. I was a couple of brain-cells short of a brain.  In this round, I had banked nothing.
I laughed nervously. ‘Erm. No.Where was I?’
‘On the dance-floor. On your own. Jumping around like an ostrich that had been shot’. (Aahha hhha yes). ‘I’ve got a video of you on my phone (Oh, No). Why did people these days have to ruin your life by videoing everything?!

‘Don’t worry. Ruth’s dancing looked as if she was having an epileptic fit, ’she sympathised. ‘Helen nearly rang the emergency services’.
I felt relieved again!

‘And you were actually quite well behaved compared to Georgie. Georgie saw her boss in the taxi rank and she nearly fell asleep on her. She  pulled her forward and said if she did it again she was going to sack her!’
Oh dear.
‘And then she tried to negotiate her own taxi fee. £10 and not a penny more according the Georgia-o-meter. Ha ha ha’!
‘I think we’ll all need a good chill tonight’,
‘Not a chance’, I agreed. ‘Not with a child to look after!
‘Oh no. Poor you….’.
‘Thanks. I won’t feel a bit well.’
‘Take some aspirins’.
‘Thanks’, I sighed, adding, just before I hung up-

’I had a great time though. Same time next year?’

‘U betcha’ xx