Friday, 26 March 2010

Memories...


...as the week comes to a close, and tomorrow is an early start with work in North Wales all weekend, thoughts turn to "what did I do this time last weekend?" - it is extrodinary, that not only do trips away entertain you at the time, or "in the moment" but can provide sustinence for days when work, and not play, is the only thing on the horizon...


Tell me, do you stifle a giggle whilst at work when you think of some of the funny things? or groan when you think, "did I REALLY do that!" or snort with laughter at a stupid memory?


Of course, work is on my mind - I really wanted to stay up and watch burn before reading, but have come to bed so that I can manage to get up and leave at 7am (not too bad) for a drive, 8 hours lecturing, and 1.5hours drive home..


so in between being sensible, I will be inwardly snorting at the following things that happend on the last 2 weekends....



  1. EJ trying to pretend to be "parchus" to a tv presenter when off her face...

  2. AP wearing, the bum pants...

  3. Waz's face when we walked out at arrivals...

  4. Wig night...............

  5. RT Paris Hilton moment...

  6. The security guard...

  7. Don't stop believing...

  8. B57's....

  9. Fanny Dafs

  10. Girls on Tour.......

Thus endeth the story...but maybe not the blog, which seems to be a fun thing to do...???

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Primarni and team identity


Team identity has long been researched as a means of motivation to exercise, increased self-efficacy and enhancing bonding within a group. Although much of this research is based on sporting teams - all wearing the same kit, identification with colour, supporters having access to the "same kit" as the team - there is little research into why us women do the same :))


But, since this was indeed a sporting weekend, much of the sport had was in creating our own "team" identity. Not only was this aimed at bonding our team together, but failure to join in would result in a penalty forfeit....and thus, our "KIT" was born - and it has to be said, it was great! We we laughed and laughed getting ready, seeing us all become one, the fun of looking the same and feeling good. Even funnier, was the fact that 8 such women caused such a stir walking down the street, with requests for photographs from both teams, and random firemen. Dares that were completed (riding a bike, having CPR, swapping clothing) were done with a smile and no grumpiness as we looked both fab and that we were having a good time, it became infectious...


Although much of the clothing was discussed and bought before the day, a chance trip early on Saturday morning to Primarni got us £1 red sunglasses and £1.50 flowers, which became the fondly called "Fanny Daffs" as they looked like you could wear them in the Garden of Eden instead of your fig leaf....


KIT:


  • Red Underwear - Bra and knickers

  • Leggings - plain black or sequins...

  • Welsh Flag mini skirts (these were brill!)

  • Black or red top

  • Leather jacket

  • Red Sunnies

  • Fanny Daff

See the pic for the awesomeness combination.....




The B57 has now entered legendary status in terms of this TOUR. Heard of a B52 of course, but not this wicked little concoction. As a mother of four children, I have been known at times to embarass them with the clothes I wear (you look a twat mam (!!)) to the way I behave - I have no credibility when telling them to behave, but hope to show them that if you work hard, you can sometimes....play hard too.

So, in honour of this, we had to, of course, call in on the classy cocktail bar that child 2 was working at. This was fab for us, but I am not sure he will ever live it down. We wanted a shot, because there is only so much larger you can drink..."have one of these mam" - a kaluha, followed by Baileys, followed by absinthe....a traffic light of creamy coffee with a touch of liquorice...divinely seductively morish....a legend was born.......

The effect was bomb like, and we embarked on wild dancing and girly kalidescopic photographs, but one of the funnies things was the "Market Research" of clubbers as to what you would chose in the event of a nuclear war (ie, you are going to die...) - condom or viagra? I have to say, I was not impressed with the condom chosers, and gave 10 out 0f 10 to all of you who chose the viagra - if you are going to go out, go out with your hair on fire.............

What would you chose?
Oh, and yes, this is exactly how the market research was conducted - please blame the B57's.....

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

the B57's


Part of going away relies on a wildness to abandon all rules of decorum that you would normally apply at "our age" - so drinking Cava at 10.30am seems reasonable, and still drinking at midnight is ok you know...The freedom to be headonistic every now and again is both liberating and mind blowingly funny. A perfect antidote to the control freakiness that we constrain and contain our normal everyday professional lives with. It almost seems like homeopathy, where a little bit of poison does you good.....


Aside from the mad drinking (mostly in duration rather than quantity) is the bursting bubble of happiness and laughter that also gets let out when we give ourselves space to be free (and here, the alcohol helps to loosen our inhibitions..). To laugh, to scream, to dance, to laugh some more, to spend time faffing with hair and make up and to be so utterly self-indulgent that there is a great big feel good factor.


Some of my fond memories of this last week belong with M Marsala, who didnt stop chatting (to anyone and everyone), who put the captial F into fun (all clean) and made us all laugh - who pinched her bra, shall we get some fanny dafs, mohito mixture made the night before, and the biggest suitcase that could have held the clothes for 3 people.....and finally the great singing and wild dancing - never again can I listed to "Dont stop believing" without smiling. Thanks M, you have made a lot of women v v happy....

xx

Sunday, 21 March 2010

the 5 B's.....


Back from tour, but not yet recovered, with the feeling of sheer exhaustion of late nights, long drinks and so much laughter, that you know you have had a good time, even if you are not in a fit state to appreciate it quite yet....


It is an odd thing to chose to go away for a weekend with a bunch of women, some of whom you hardly know. I had the advantage of knowing everyone, and did think that it would be a good cocktail mix. Luckily, I was right, and we all got on so well. Sitting about, chatting about rubbish, getting ready, wandering around half dressed and generally feeling relaxed in the company of other women. Friday night was a great success, and we were sensible enough not the suffer from PE>.....which made Saturday all the better.


Where do I start? I am giving out a quiz to get you going so that I can write something a little more sensible once I have had 10 hours sleep. The 5 B's. The Ciao Bella Tour girls will get this (I think). 1. Bonding....the other four you have to guess.....xx

Friday, 19 March 2010

To the Diff...


Here we are again! Wow, this is what film stars must feel like with endless parties to go to! I am all packed and ready to go - ignoring the tiredness of course.


Some of the RULES for this tour are different. One being allowed to gossip (not allowed on GOT), two, not being allowed to go to the loo all the time (!!) - think this is because one girl does this a lot..., three, not talking about medical problems (we have a doctor with us) or fitness issues (with a Personal Trainer), no whinging about missing the children, and finally, no in-depth converstations that alienate the rest of the group - I kind of like this one. As women, we do like to discuss things at length for sure, but TOUR is not the place to do it, as the weekend is about fun, banter and bonding, and really, crying and navel gazing is a tad boring...


What are you up to this weekend? come on, share it!


See you all in Cardiff (or the Diff according to the teenage son...)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Ciao Bella...


Whilst there are many antics of Dublin to discuss, my thoughts now turn to the second TOUR of the season. Not one to be greedy, but borne out of a desire by others to join in the fun of the girls tour, a group of friends decided to attend the last match of the season - Super Saturday - and a couple of nights in Cardiff. Now, initially, the sisters tour was going to be on the first weekend of the Six Nations, and so a bookend of weekends would have been ideal. But, after arragements had been made for the Cardiff weekend, the sisters decided that Dublin it was, and so I now end up with 2 tours a mere 5 days apart (can I survive.....???).


One of the group is 40, and the Friday night is a FAB FROCK night with a meal and dancing at Tiger Tiger in the Diff. Luckily, I shall be wearing the "Dolly Night" outfit again (minus the wig, I may add..please see photo - I am gobsmacked at the amount of intrest blondes get. Men had a crick in their necks, and I was feeling stalked! Mind you, they might have thought I was a tranny.....) - and all of the same clothes for the Saturday - bar the black leggings, which will be replaced by sequined leggins...no, you didn't read that incorrectly, I did say sequins (!). A fun moment that has spread, be prepared to be dazzled by 8 women spangling down the street in Welsh Flag skirts and sequins. Not sure Cardiff is ready for this....

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Cracking...




...how do I begin to do justice to the epic trip to Dublin? If I tell you that my recent hernia scar (6 weeks ago) is somewhat pink (!!) and sore due to the amount of laughing that I did, you may get an idea about the amount of fun we had. As always, I seem to have been topped up with joy and love, and nothing at the moment, can burst my bubble.

The TOUR started at 11am on Friday morning, with coffee and chatting in the car, lunch at Welshpool and a few hours shopping at Chester. It was obvious that EJ had plans afoot to be a bit "out of the box" as she purchased some wild gold caged, high heeled Kurt Giger gladiator sandals.....(oh, at £29 they were only £9 more than the tame high heels from Peacocks, as they had a £100 reduction!). We met at 4.30pm at the Grosvenor Hotel for a G&T, and the fun began. We couldn't stay long due to the giggles....

AP had found a joke shop with various "Irish" paraphernalia...including mad glasses and a moustace.....fast forward a few hours, and AP and I thought it would be hysterical to put these on in the toilets as we came off the plane. So, once we landed, off we went to the ladies, leaving EJ waiting outside and got togged up. Giggling at the thought of her face as we came out. However, our thunder was stolen, as EJ had a similar thought, and had put on the wig and was doing an Irish jog on the concourse. Who laughed more? Who thought that they had pulled one over on the sisters? Who cares, by the time we met with CP (bear in mind that there is nearly a mile walk to the main terminal from the Ryan Air site) we were crying with laughter.

I am sure that you "should have been there" to get the value of the nuttiness of this, but what I say to you is this, why not try something completely mad to make another person laugh - they will and so will you, and the world is a much better place to be......



Thursday, 11 March 2010

We are on our way...


Here we are. The day has finally arrived, and it no longer matters how much work you have to do, how many emails in your inbox, washing in the basket, nor things to be done, it is now too late to do anything other than to enjoy the trip.


I am packed and ready to go. I am looking forward to the long journey today, and to catch up on things with the sisters. Often, life is so busy, meeting up is patchy, and usually accompanied by children, so talking is limited. On TOUR, this changes, and there is space and time to talk about many issues - it is a verbal colonic irrigation!


Feelings after TOUR is one of peace with the world, where things are put to rest, new insights are given, and a feeling of being loved by others who have shared the same upbringing is very special. I am looking forward to it all. I only wish I had had more sleep this week as I look like a dog!


Full (ish) reports of the three days will be posted next week, along with details of Tour Two - Ciao Bella, with 8 women celebrating a 40th Birthday and trip to see Wales v. Italy.


Enjoy the match, and COME ON CYMRU!!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

One more sleep..


...as ever, the final day seems to come around very quickly after feeling like it is months away. One more sleep and then we are off! Of course, this brings its own problems, as you blithy remember thinking that you have "loads of time" to get things together (I had forgotten euros...duh). But in reality, if you do not have all that you need today, then packing tonight will be too late as I am sure that there will be some kind of handbag trial first thing tomorrow morning. Passports to be found (and too late if you cant) and for us, final childcare arrangements, and that slight guilty feeling (is it one that only mother's get?) - will they be ok? Made worse this time as we shall all be away on Mother's Day - although, in fairness, you are supposed to treat you mam on that day, so maybe it is ok to be slightly hungover, eating full cooked breakfast in the hotel before going shopping for the day :)))


So, if you see 4 nutty females, all wearing red flag skirts, chatting across each other, wearing a rubber duck on their head and laughing like they are going to wet their pants...then it is probably us -come and say hello...........xxx

Monday, 8 March 2010

TO tan or not to tan?









As the date approaches, I am sure that the sisterz are in the act of "preparation"...this involves double checking you have all items for the handbag trial, the right clothes, euros, phone charged etc, and then the final bit - pretending that you really are a well organised, efficient, uber cool business woman who does not struggle to hold it all together. Part of this image involves being "well groomed". So AP will be plucking eyebrows, and all will be doing nails, getting hair (coloured, cut, blow dried...) and of course, pretending we spend our spare time at our villa in France...of course, none of this is true (apart from our sister who is the most amazing person to pluck eyebrows..) the hair dye will be from Morrisons and hastily applied this week to cover the genetic/hereditory white (not grey) hair, the MedPed will be done in the bedroom, and the fake tan is usually courtesy of Dove Dark (bloody marvellous stuff, but first coat needs to go on TONIGHT). IF, by any chance the tanning does not get done TONIGHT, then you can either follow EJ option of professional salon tan (bit too dark if you ask me...) or follow the hysterical photo one and apply the instant tan, without washing your hands of course, expertly applied in patchy bits be EJ....LOL - I so hope that there are some streaky moments..........................!! Bring on Friday xx

Friday, 5 March 2010

Before Banter...


When I woke up this morning, it was running through my head all the jobs to do this weekend, the ferrying back and forth and general business which means no me time....but I have a skip in my step and a smile on my face as nothing can dampen my spirit with the thought of "just get through this weekend, because this time next week I will be in DUBLIN!!!"


Already the banter has started and I can tell that the magic of the tour has already began - the freedom to think of nothing other than yourself, dress yourself, what You want to eat and no housework, kids runs or food shopping.........


So, do you have you dress? Yes? No?

Items for your handbag - tick??


The emails are flying and poor EJ is getting the butt of the joke as last year she went out with her top on inside out (see photo! the black is the elastic band...but dancing without a care in the world...)...so EJ _ REMEMBER TO CHECK THE LABEL>......


Roll on friday...............x

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The Handbag Trial...




The Handbag trial is yet another source of great merriment...fiendishly designed to ensure that you stay focussed, no matter how messy the day gets, this trial is set by tasks and time.




Throughout the TOUR, GOT have to carry with them 4 items that have to be displayed and played within 2 minutes of the whistle blowing. The whistle can be blown by any member of the team at any time (always best to do this at moments when you think you can catch the others napping). The first year involved carrying in your bag random items (so that you cannot replace it should you lose it on the night out) - such as pencil sharpener, raw plug, etc. There then is some kind of animal - dragon, sheep...any shape, style, size....A completely mad item (one of the funniest was you had to bring a photo of your dream date!!) - on Cazwaz 40th it was a candle, which you had to light (so you needed a lighter too) and shout Happy Birthday - you would think that everyone would choose a birthday candle (see previous image), but no, we had some HUGE church candles, and some downright rude ones...


One of the main stays is the red lipstick...which has to be applied without a mirror....(or maybe applied by one person when they were hanging, which was very, very messy...)




This trial is especially taxing for one member of the team, who is unable to carry nearly-everything-she-might-need-or-cant-get-rid of. Both photos show this handbag....and mine (which is a perfect example of how to do it)




The purse by the way, is the "kitty"....!x

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

10 years younger...


One of the tour challenges/fun things to do, is a game of "10 Years Younger". This gives all the tour members to re-invent themselves, because in all fairness you very rarely bump into the people you meet on tour more than once. Part of the challenge is to be "someone" the other, to get away with it....


For example, last year, I was Gwen, 38, and a psycholgist (what deep unconscious feelings/thoughts am I revealing here....!). Ideally, pick an age you think you can get away with, a name you like, and a job you have always wanted to have or something outrageous.....


the BEST though was done by one of the Baby Tour girls when we (all 23 of us...) went to Dublin in 2008. When you are young and beautiful, this game does not have the same appeal, but the delightful FJ managed to persuade more than one gobsmacked person that she was 40, had 4 kids, but was addicted to botox....(she is but 22...) Brilliant x

Monday, 1 March 2010

Why do girls stress about these things?


The TOUR away is always a great source of fun and merriment. In fact, there is a ripple feel-good effect throughout the year...starting with now, the planning stage, the converstations, the RULES, counting down the days, and planning what to pack. Now, it may be sexist to think about this, but I am sure that the men do not go into the details of what to pack, and more importantly, what to wear each day.....


So, what is it about this team mentality that encourages females to phone each other up and ask "What are you wearing?". Is it that we are behaving in a tribal manner and want to wear the team colours, or is that we are terrified of "wearing the WRONG thing"? Personally, I love the planning of what to wear, I love knowing what is expected at each point, so that I am prepared, and saved from the last minute panic of not knowing what to bring, so that I pack too much and have to lug it all the way there and all the way back....


This year, the Friday night is titled "DOLLY NIGHT" and I have been secretly giggling to myself for weeks about this. As someone who does loads of sport, I rarely get out of trainers, flip flops or flat shoes, so the chance to HAVE to doll up for the night (without feeling really self-conscious) is a treat! The outfit rules are that we have to have the highest heels (must remember to practice, as I walk like a man in drag...), big dangly earings, and ....a WIG (I kid you not). I have included a photo of the outfit I am wearing (told you I was organised..) but not the wig, which is to be a special surprise for the sizters...both my husband and son 3 think I look "weird" in it....Roll on the 12th of March - and if you are in Dublin and see me, come and say hello......xx