London went like this;
McSmile stuck in traffic, late-ish for flight. Took advantage of Spirits Promotion and had 2 vodkas [me] and 2 brandies [McSmile] on the plane. A stressful trip into M&S [now referred to as 'SandwichGate'] meant a sambo while on the train into Victoria and a can of beer for McSmile [insert raise of eyebrow and the word 'Feckit' here]. Straight across from Victoria and into the Duke of York. Vodka all round, our little troupe now including McSmile’s Bro. Tube to Islington. Pop into The Famous Cock ‘for one’ while waiting for Bro’s friend to arrive [btw, I barely got a 'Very Funny' from McSmile when I exclaimed that I didn't know they'd named a pub after him.] Did I drink vodka there? McSmile was on beer. A short hop to McSmile’s Sis’ house. Wine, deffo wine there. Chat chat chat. Left there around 10.30 to allow for child in the house and big evint the next day. Myself and McSmile checked out the Duchess of Kent around the corner and then some other pub where the barman wasn’t particularly accommodating, probably annoyed waiting for his next modelling assignment to come through and then on to the Tube again. At this point jumping through on one ticket as I’d lost mine. ‘Change at Vauxhall, then get the train to Twickenham’, advised the Bro. ‘Bollix! Wake up! Vauxhall! That’s us!’. Walk to McSmile’s Dad’s place really dying to pee. Beer on the sofa. Good idea to just sleep there as I only had to stand for 2 minutes until the sofa bed was all made up.
Leisurely start over rasher sambos. Train from Strawberry Hill into Picadilly. The obligatory ‘Regent St is this way’ conversation. Walk past the turn for Great Marlborough St, walk back, McSmile decides very quickly that Liberty isn’t his kind of shop. We arrange to meet at particular time. McSmile not overly impressed with the Rodrigo Otazu bracelet I’m willing to buy and fore go the rent for. Schlep towards SoHo to find a bookies. Confirm how much a taxi back to Islington is, jump in taxi and then hunt down our first alcohol of the day! We opted for a Slug & Lettuce [pub chain] as the Grand National was starting. I gazed longingly at the houses for sale in the window of an estate agents nearby for 10mins as the race was on [can't watch horses fall!] and had a lovely fag outside as well. Arrival of Sis, Sis’ Husband and Son. Cue all attention on the 4 year old. I keep my sunnies on so I can pretend I’m not in the vicinity of a kid. Back to the house after several drinks. Time to get ready, after the vino was opened. I did my make up in full view of ‘The Boys’ in the mirror in the sitting room as it meant I was near another drink and the table is massive for optimum product spreading out. Me, McSmile & Bro decide to have ‘one’ for the road and then have a few in The Duchess of Kent before getting to the club where the party is being held. I get poured a glass of Prosecco before I can get to the bar, so all is well. Several glasses of Prosecco later, several chats ahem, at people I hadn’t met before, several ‘Try the prawn thingys, they’re really good’ later, one lost bag found behind the bar [I got as far as describing my wallet, my camera and then when I said 'a really grubby Hello Kitty purse' the barman rolled his eyes, disappeared and came back with my bag - No idea! No idea where I left it], pix galore, more ‘OOOHHHH YOU’RE Glitter!’ conversations than you could shake a stick at and so, so much general merriment and laughter… It was back to the house for a few more drinks, of what I don’t know as I can’t remember this part at all.
Waking up on a strip of couch approx 2 inches wide the length of my shoulders and back, prised between McSmile and the back of the couch, no duvet/pillows or any of those unnecessary things, I realised that my legs were twisted in a funny way and that how best to describe me was ‘mostly underneath’ a McSmile that was half hanging off the couch. It was only a bit funny when he wouldn’t let me prise myself out of this position when I really, really needed to pee. It was even less funny when Sis asked us why we didn’t pull out the bed – ‘You do know it’s a sofa bed?’. Breakfast was a couple of fags and a sigh of ‘Jesus, I’d better get out of this dress’.
‘OMG! It’s not closed, is it? It can’t be closed!’ No, it wasn’t closed and we found ourselves inside the Duchess of Kent again and then outside of it while we basked in the early afternoon sunshine, smiling at how wonderful alcohol is on a sunny day after a great party. One cab ride to the other side of Islington and we were at ‘The Island Queen’ for Brunch. We took advantage of the sun and so sat outside. Mmm more Bourbon. The food was disappointing and there were kids at the table. I kept my shades on as much as possible but I think everyone had got the message that I’m not a kid person by then anyway. Back to the house, a few more drinks, an exchange of pressies for the Birthday Girl – ‘OMG! This is fantastic! Really fantastic! OMG!’ and it was time to go.. well, go to the pub to watch the footie. We went to The Bailey [which is where we could've been on Friday at some point, I'm not sure], which is also Arsenal HQ so we were a bit wary. Then a pit stop outside Victoria after the strenuous Tube ride, ahem, and into a pub who’s name I’ve no idea, a few drinks and then the realisation that we’re pretty f*cked in terms of making our flight and well, not exactly sober. Flight was 8.45, we were in the middle of London and it was 7.30. We jumped onto a Gatwick Express that we didn’t have the right tickets for, thanked the conductor profusely after he let us off paying the extra charge for the Express tickets, that we, ahem, didn’t know we had to pay, we raced to the check in desk. I was really hoping my trolley bag wouldn’t be plastered in approx 10 ‘LAST BAG’ stickers as it had been on the way out and then we raced to the board, went to run to the gate, ran back to the board to check that we had the right gate number and then started to practically shout to people ahead to get out of the way as we were in a hurry. Although, in fairness, what they probably heard first was McSmile shouting at me to hurry up and me telling him I ‘couldn’t in these heels’. We got home in one piece and ordered pizza with the collection of coins splayed across the table in McSmile’s. I was glad I didn’t have work the next day but I didn’t say that too loud to McSmile who did have work the next morning.