Last weekend I set off for a long-awaited weekend in Leeds with my uni girls. The feeling I had boarding that train out of Newcastle was I imagine very close to how Nelson Mandela felt the day he left Robben Island. I mean I don’t wish to diminish the importance of the freedom of arguably the most important political prisoner of all time or anything but I’m #jus’sayin; I was FUCKING EXCITED.
I had been daydreaming for weeks about all the seriously fabulous glamorous things I’d be able to do on this girlie trip… like going for a piss on my own, drinking a cup of tea while it was hot and finishing an actual conversation with an actual grown-up.
Obviously it had taken more negotiations than Teresa is having with the EU at the moment to actually get a date that we could all do. But hey; for once nobody was pregnant and nobody was breastfeeding (it’s usually me to be fair) so we could all let our hair down, drink drink drink, and do our best ‘I’ve still got it’ Mum-dancing in a desperate attempt to impress the Harry Styles lookalikes of Leeds (who we are technically old enough to have given birth to).
Obviously as is the fashion nowadays we took 937 group selfies before leaving the apartment on the Friday night with the aim of posting them all over social media announcing we were going ‘out out’ like the pioneering freedom fighters that we are. Unfortunately, no matter which angle we tried, out of the four of us, someone always looked like they had Bells Palsy or were awaiting a gastric band operation, so we made a group decision in sisterhood solidarity not to post any. We decided the best thing to do would be to drink a combination of gin, prosecco, white wine, red wine and cocktails paired with an evening meal of mainly bread and cheese; then re-take the photos the following night. Because that is clearly the diet which will help you look fresh and youthful. I’m sure I’ve read that it’s what the Victoria’s Secrets models do before show week.
How I love these girls. 15 years on from when we first met, they have all changed in so many ways, having been shocked by the earth-tilting craziness of new motherhood, broken relationships and shitty redundancies. Yet somehow they are also gloriously exactly the same as the first day I met them (especially you Becca). I wish I could bottle their essence and have a sniff every time I’m having a crappy day and I would instantly feel 18 years old and free as a bird.
How restorative and bloody brilliant is the power of female friendship!? I kind of feel sorry for blokes on that front… they are missing out! I’m so grateful for all my girls, old friends and new ones. You make me laugh harder than is advisable when my pelvic floor is shot-to-hell after three kids; you always have my back and I swear I will always have yours too. My sisters from other misters, my partners in crime, my sanity savers. You keep me afloat.
In days gone by we danced til the wee small hours in actual nightclubs then all piled into a bed together to dissect the evenings events over a chicken burger and cheesy chips… These days we quite like to talk about lamps and house prices. On Saturday evening we even strayed into ‘school catchment areas’ before we quickly realised what we were doing and pulled it back from the brink of bore-off-ness just in time by talking about ‘who we wished we’d shagged at uni but never did’ (wouldn’t you like to know…).
On nights out now we make it the highest priority to find a booth when we enter a bar and oh how we congratulate ourselves when we achieve this.
‘I’ve got us a sofa’ is like the late 30’s equivalent of ‘I’ve just snogged the barman and got us a free round of tequilas.’
The only type of dancing we did this weekend was in our chairs and everybody, including me, wore coats both nights, abandoning and disgracing my Geordie heritage in the process. So yes, it was civilised you could say. But I stayed up til 2.19am on the Saturday night! Believe it! Don’t ever tell me I’m not hardcore.
Coming back on the train on Sunday I knew my ‘reset’ button had been pressed. I felt so happy, so chilled and dare I say it; very excited to see my horrible children and return to my life of domestic slavery.
When I arrived home I was secretly fuming to find that everything seemed absolutely great. Daddy and the grandparents had coped fine. The wheels had not come off my well oiled machine. Apart from an ‘almost-went-to-hospital’ visit at 11pm on the Saturday night when my eldest had trapped his willy in the zip of his onesie and needed to be cut out with Grandad’s garden shears; everything was just as I’d left it.
The only sensible conclusion to draw from this was that I should obviously go away more often! Let’s get next year booked girls… anyone fancy New York?