When your weekend starts with a wristband that just has, "Butlins Big Weekends" and a 24 hour assistance phone number on it, you know you are in for a whole heap of trouble!
Or a damn good time!
Depends on your point of view.
Last Friday afternoon, as I travelled down to Bognor with my friend Maltesers, my point of view was still undecided. I had two whole days and three whole nights of god knows what ahead of me and the only thing I was certain of was it would involve a lot of gin! I'd got a litre bottle packed along with crisps, crumpets and cleaning items.
Well you never know in these places!
The big weekend in question was Ken's hen do and as one of the four bridesmaids I'd been part of the organising team along with Barbie, Barbie's cousin Earthquake and Ken's sister Towie! I had boxes and bags stuffed with clothes, food and drink, party poppers, balloons, presents for the gift bags and enough sweets to start a shop!
Maltesers is also a mum and we were both filled with a mixture of guilt at leaving our boys behind (she has two plus hubby) and a feeling of "whoo hoo" we're off duty lets go mad!
Mind you we didn't go mad until we'd first had a cup of tea when we arrived.
But it wasn't long before we broke out the gin... vodka... Jager bombs... wine... spiced rum... pints of snake bite... Barcardi and every type of shot known to man.
Dear god those girls can drink!
Everyone was a good 10 to 15 years younger than me on this do, but even so, holy mother of god, if I had consumed the sheer amount and mixtures of alcohol Ken did, over the course of those three days, I would've been in A and E on a drip!
The girl is a legend.
So we were there and the drink was flowing.
Let the games begin!
It was an 80s theme weekend with tribute acts a plenty and a few real old blasts from the past on the bill too. Aswad, Dr and the Medics and Belinda Carlisle were all promised.
With this in mind and as our flat was party HQ we decorated it up Club Tropicana style with inflatable palm trees, guitars and beach balls. Plus there was the usual hen party paraphernalia of L plate confetti, streamers and balloons shaped like willies.
Maltesers and I put the party bags to together while Barbie, Towie, Earthquake and Sleeping Pill did all the blowing (!) and Ken was despatched to another flat with a few beers and the other chicks, wondering what on earth we were doing.
When finally we let her in she was delighted and overwhelmed at all our efforts. We hugged, cried and jumped about like a bunch of girls, which is what we are. So we poured another drink!
There was a knock on the door!
It was the guys in the flat opposite. Could we iron a pair of jeans for them?
Ken took offence at the sexist nature of this request but some of us saw a chance to make a few quid so we negotiated a tenner for our trouble. Only thing was our iron wasn't working so the garment had to be taken upstairs to another flat to be pressed. So grateful was Tone (and I'm breaking with tradition here and using his real name ) that he came in to thank us wearing just a pair of rainbow coloured speedos revealing a tattoo of "Fuck off" on his arse cheeks!
I don't know if it was the gin, the emotion of the occasion or the highly charged girly atmosphere but somehow it didn't seem out of the ordinary.
I knew then I was ready to party!
All the other girls came down to our flat and as the party bags were handed out Ken got her special pressies from the Boys other fairy godmothers. A cake from Lemon Cake Lady (very apt) and handmade butterfly jewellery from Clementine, who had infact made all the chicks a little present of a bracelet to commemorate the occasion, such is her amazing talent and kindness.
Ken was stunned, grateful and overcome with relief to be there. You could see she was full of love for all her friends present and still back in Suffolk and the tears welled up.
My little heart just glowed with love for her. Ken has over the years been everything to me. Some days she's like a daughter and I protect her, some days, when I'm a mess, she's like my mum.
Always she is my best friend.
The Friday night T-shirts came out. Black with red writing, they exclaimed, "Wham Bam" on the front (not asking for trouble having that emblazoned across your boobs!) with "Ken's 80's Mash Up 2012" on the back. All apart from Ken's T-shirt, which had "I'm Ken's Man" and a picture of Mr Ken wearing a George Michael mask on the back!
So wearing our t-shirts and fuelled by pizza, copious amounts of booze and much laughter we set off to party Friday night and a good chunk of the early hours of Saturday morning away.
Look out the night spots of Bognor Regis Butlins!
Here come the girls...
To be continued...