Having booked myself and Jackie in for the meal on the Saturday evening and travelling on the Friday, we decided that we would go out together as husband and wife on our arrival at the New Union pub where we were staying.
The advantage of this was we could be out in less than 30 minutes from arrival and knowing we were going to be quite late getting there this would relieve me of some of the pressure of getting ready.
After a quick starter at the Union, our first port of call was Eden’s where we enjoyed a couple of quiet drinks musing over my comment that I didn’t know where any of the Gent’s toilets were in the bars we were visiting, this being the very first time out in the village as “Bob!”
Moving on, we had a couple of drinks in Trebica where we were approached by a mildly drunk guy who asking us where we were from. I answered St Helens (originally born and bred) to be met by the usual retort “woolly back!” I responded to his acknowledgement of him coming from Kirby by calling him a “Scouse Tw…t!” which went down well. We then had a bit of a laugh before we continued on our way back up to Canal Street and Taurus only to be turned away from Taurus by a big female bouncer telling us that it was only for regulars!
Not sure if I had have been wearing a dress whether we would have got in but I have as Emma spent quite a bit of money in Taurus this year and was suitably miffed.
One for the road in Eden’s and we made our way back to our hotel all of 100 yards! and got some shut eye.
The next morning, instead of rushing to get ready, we took our time, sharing the bathroom and various mirrors. Unfortunately whilst getting dressed, the zip tag on one of my boots broke and so I resorted to a pair of flats with my jeans and a blouse on top. To keep warm I wore my blue patterned denim jacket.
Walking through the City to the car at Charles Street, I felt really alive – after all we were going shopping at Trafford Centre. What girl wouldn’t be excited!
Leaving the City, we realised that we didn’t really know the way and so we had to travel back towards the M6 until we picked up the signs. On arrival at the car park we struggled to find a space despite the signs telling us that there were xx spaces available. This happened in three separate car parks before we found a spot which wasn’t being contested by another woman driver hell bent on getting to the shops!
On entering the mall, we decided to build up the stamina with a stop outside the food hall at a café where we enjoyed a bacon butty and cuppa tea before joining the hoards of shoppers – good job we are in a recession, who knows how many people there would have been otherwise.
I enjoyed the chance to meander almost invisible amongst lots of people all intent in doing their own thing and with the radar turned right down didn’t notice any strange looks or comments.
Checking out the many dress shops, we flitted in and out amongst the racks not finding anything we liked in our “price bracket” until we ended up at Debenham’s.
We spent a couple of hours checking out the clothes, shoes and cosmetics before purchasing a pair of over the knee boots for Jackie together with a new pair of skinny jeans, a new pair of evening shoes for myself, a new evening bag which as both of us have shoes that match will be shared and after some fun in the changing rooms, a pair of denim stretch leggings – ideal for my boots. In order to try some of the clothes on I had to queue up on several occasions and pass by uninterested boyfriends, husbands and children waiting for their partner / mum trying clothes on in adjacent cubicles.
Before departing, we satisfied our thirst in the café with some cold drinks and then on leaving the Centre stopped to take a picture only to be approached by one of the car park attendants who asked if we ladies would like him to take the picture. Reference to “ladies” still gives me a warm feeling throughout and probably contributed to my smile in the picture.
Getting back to Manchester, we quickly changed and had drink in the bar contacting Dianna in the process. As we were meeting for the meal at 6-30 and it was now 5-30, we repaired to our room to get ready. For once, for me, this was quite easily and quickly accomplished as I slipped into a 3/4 length silver dress, fishnet tights and tweaked my make up allowing Jackie time to get ready unencumbered by me.
Telephoning Dianne at 6-15 that we were ready there was a gasp from the phone, this was probably the very first time I was ready on time, certainly early! And I could tell Dianne was impressed!
Making our way down the corridor I almost came a cropper missing a step and only just recovering. Down in the bar, we bought a round of drinks whilst looking for Dianne. In the short time I was at the bar, Jackie managed to get picked up by a lesbian! – fast worker! until she pointed me out at the bar!
With our eyes on the clock, we finished the wine and made our way over Villagios where we met up with the rest of the girls for the Christmas meal.
As usual, the food was very good and considering there were 39 of us, the service was excellent. Not too sure what the rest of the diners thought – don’t care, we had a good chat and my thanks to Mary for the thankless task of organising the meal and getting the money off everyone – an achievement in it’s own right!
After the meal, we retired to our room to get changed. I was feeling a little sore due to the corset I had been wearing and it was great feeling to unfasten it and throw it in the corner! Bra and knickers under a tight short black skirt and a black and white tunic on top were the order of the day. Sod the mid rift bulge!
Down at the bar we met up with Di again and after a quick drink made our way up to Paddy’s Goose – a place we had not been to before. The place was busy but I enjoyed the down to earth character of the pub and we were not the only girls in the place, meeting up with Elaine and Catherine once more amongst others. My wife was most concerned that considering it was supposed to be a “gay” pub, she managed to get her arse pinched by a guy on the way to the bar. As I told her, she was still jealous of me getting my arse slapped in Canal Street when she didn’t, earlier in the year.
Di was quite popular attracting the attention of a few guys whilst Jackie and I chatted with Catherine.
Moving on from there we went to New York, New York which was wall to wall with bodies in various stages of inebriation. The music was recognisable – so it must have been old; dancing was frantic.
With no chance of holding a conversation we eventually decided it was past midnight and time for Napoleon’s. At this juncture, I walked Jackie back to the hotel as she wasn’t feeling particularly well (she had had a bad cold all week) and then returned to Napoleon’s where I met up with Kate (no sign of Di!) on the dance floor – where else!
Dianne eventually appeared and we stopped for a drink during which Di got chatting to a guy, leaving me and Kate to chat.
Back on the dance floor with Di, she managed, after slipping on some liquid and standing on my toe (open toed shoes!) to perform an intricate series of manoeuvres some of which had never been seen outside a swimming pool! ending star shaped flat on the floor. Luckily only her dignity suffered and as I swore not to tell anyone (lie mode disengaged!) she returned to her drink.
By 3am, Di had disappeared, Kate and I ended the evening downstairs having a quiet chat before leaving together, me returning to my hotel and Kate her car.
Undressing and cleaning off my make up, I reflected that this would be the last time we would be in the village this year and wondered how often we could visit in 2010. It was almost a year to the day that I had first met Kate and Di at the Northern Angels Christmas meal and the first time I had stayed in the village. What a difference a year can make!
5 years ago