Back to The Smoke

We sheltered in a number of motorway services...
We sheltered in a number of motorway services…

So, we survived the downpour of Storm Desmond by basically being on high ground on the Cumbrian borders. It’s only really been today that I’ve looked at news sites and seen the havoc wreaked on places that I’d been planning to take the Ladies during the day.Our duvet day was therefore confirmed as the best possible solution to horrendous weather – nice to have that decision upheld even in hindsight. Still, it wasn’t all sitting and reading quietly. In the middle of the afternoon, we heard noises outside and had to investigate, if only by peering out the window.

It turned out that there had been a car rally planned in the truck park next to the hotel, but that was almost a complete washout too – with tricked out small cars trying to speed up and down an access road. We had heard one of them – a little Ford Fiesta with an out-sized exhaust that was definitely trying too hard. The driving instructor in his sticker-emblazoned car was more alarming for his inability to steer or to pick up any speed despite being in a Mondeo, and to be honest I can’t remember much of the other vehicles. As you can tell, it wasn’t quite a classic car rally.

Lady M as a Posh Poison Ivy

As for the party, well we might have been a bit more dressed up than some of the other guests, but I like to think we made up for it by being generally more glamourous than many people.

The general theme had been put forward as being generally around the 80s, and so there were a large number of UK editions of Thundercats comics spread on the tables, classic penny sweets on vinyl records, our Hostess (the Lady Pixie) dressed as She-Ra, and the Inimitable Hugh as Ripley from Aliens.

I have to say that his jumpsuit was fantastic, with all the right patches and loving attention to detail throughout the whole costume. We really must get him to a convention at some point. It’s just a shame that with his goatee and the massive curly wig he looked rather like a Fast Show incarnation from a Scouser remake of the film, and we kept expecting him to start telling everyone to “Calm down, Calm down!”

Lady P went to the Ball after all as Cinderella
Lady P went to the Ball after all as Cinderella

We had people dressed up as Pac-man and a couple of Ghosts (by the application of painted cardboard), a number of Beetlejuices, a Robert Smith (he, of The Cure), a Suggs, and a Ghostbuster complete with inflatable Proton Pack. My particular favourite was Lady Pixie’s younger sister, who wore a red hoodie, and a pair of handlebars and a basket with a miniature ET sitting in it hanging from a strap in front of her.

There was a degree of good-natured ribbing of us Southerners*, which was a good excuse for every anti-Yorkshire joke to then be pulled out by the Lancastrians. I apparently got a pass for having a Welsh background, even if it was still perilously close to France.

Knowing the weather was getting worse and we had a long drive in the morning, we didn’t stay until the bitter end – plus our assorted anxieties around not knowing many people there nagged at our heels a bit – and so we disappeared again into the night with the sounds of Men Without Hats’ Safety Dance ringing in our ears. It was that kind of night…

Good evening, I shall be your Death tonight...
Good evening, I shall be your Death tonight…

And the journey home was… well, motorways and more service stations and sudden cries of “I need the loo!” before we got home safe and sound, ready to do battle with the new week. Lady M continues to do battle with companies and bring them to their knees. Lady P has started a new job at Game, and I am a beacon of calm and serenity in the face of the public and new staff movements.**

At least the weather has calmed down back in the South, and is now merely freezing cold. Extra layers are becoming more than an option as I walk to work each day… Must be why I’ve applied for a couple of new jobs this week.

* well, of Lady P and I, Lady M is rather more Northern than they were.

**this statement may in fact be partially or wholly untrue and should be taken as at least an intention, no matter what wailing or gnashing of teeth may be detected.


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