I was planning to do this as an actual live blog – but I am poor, and can’t afford to upgrade my WordPress, which I’d need to do to add live-blogging facilities. I think. I’m not half as techy as I’d like to pretend, and I don’t really have a clue. Oh well. You’ll just have to see my updates as they happened. This is probably for the best anyway… I’m going to try not to edit too much, for the amusement value, but at least this way I can cut out the worst of the drunken rambles!
Saturday 12th May
I am on a train to London! Sitting in First Class on the marvellous Virgin Trains East Coast, of course. And I’m not just saying they’re marvellous because I work for them and so am travelling for free. It’s a HST, which I’m not a fan of (I’m turning into such a train nerd) but I’ve just had a pain au chocolat, I’ve got unlimited coffee, a raspberry yoghurt, and Harry Potter on their Beam entertainment service. I should be catching up with my Goodreads Challenge, really, but the opportunity for some caffeinated Potter time was too good to miss.
So where am I going, and why?
Well, I’m off to London, to meet my dear friends Naomi and Sara for a little Eurovision Grand Final party.
I’ve been friends with Naomi for nearly twenty years (good lord, we’re positively elderly) and Sara for nearly nine. Sara lives in Finland, and has come over to London to stay with Naomi for the week – and that’s where I’m going. For the glory of Eurovision!
Naomi and I used to have Eurovision sleepovers at her house when we were teenagers – my favourite was probably the year we decided to get organised, and made ourselves little score sheets. We were going to give our opinions, and note down which countries scored the UK well so we could love them, and which countries didn’t give us any points at all, so we could hate them.
This was 2003. Spoiler alert: we hated a lot of countries that year. Though, to be fair, we hated the UK just as much, for sending Jemini.
We’re recreating the experience this year, so to speak, only with the added bonus of Sara. And alcohol. There are two bottles of wine in my little suitcase on the overhead rack of this train, and I imagine that’s only going to be the tip of a very large iceberg. I don’t drink very often nowadays, probably twice or three times a year, so it’s a particularly special occasion when I do.
I tell you what, thank goodness for my free travel with Virgin. The state I’ll probably be in tomorrow, it’s an absolute godsend that I can just hop on whichever train home I’m able for. Because it’s probably not going to be the earliest, or the cheapest.
I’m not going straight down to East Sheen (where Naomi lives) when this train rocks up in London. I’m making the most of my child-free alone time, and I’m going to have a little wander in the city. I’m ever so slightly a woman on a mission: a fabulous RuPaul t-shirt has just been released in Primark, and I’ve got to have it. Problem is, it’s only out in a few shops, and my local one in Darlington is definitely not one of them. If I can’t find it in the Tottenham Court Road flagship, I don’t know where I will.
Plus, my Mecca is in London. The flagship Waterstones at Piccadilly. If I don’t get there for a quick worship over the course of the weekend, it’ll be a travesty.
ANYWAY. I’m going to return to my Potter-watching, my third cup of coffee, and my raspberry yoghurt. To be resumed later!
PRIMARK HAD NO RUPAUL SHIRTS.
Slightly heartbroken. But I finally found a nice watch and some jingly jangly bracelets, so I’m happy. Having a quick break to recaffeinate before I head to worship at the altar of St Waterstone.
On which note, I’d forgotten how lazy London makes me. I just looked up how to get the Tube from here to Waterstones – about twenty minutes, with a change. Orrrrr… I could walk. It’s less than a mile away.
I wouldn’t even think twice about walking that, back home. So off I trot!
Waterstones is so beautiful. So, so beautiful. I nearly got sucked into Foyles on the way here but no, I’m loyal.
Plus, if I’d gone in there too, I’d never get down to East Sheen.
Honestly, I really do relax the moment I get into a good bookshop. I felt my shoulders go down the second I walked through the door, and I took a deep calming breath. The smell of books. Mmm.
I’ve managed to refrain from buying anything yet but if I’m too hungover to do anything else tomorrow, I may just return and curl up on one of the sofas all day, surrounded by books. Heaven.
“Reunited and it feels so good!”
I’m back with my girls again!
Naomi and Sara have done their first shots of the day, some kind of Formula 1 celebration. I respectfully declined.
To the bar!!
There are so many cocktails. Be At One is an amazing chain of cocktail bars: their menu is like a phone book. And, of course, we’ve come for Happy Hour. So it’s two-for-one cocktails. Wahoo!
These cocktails are going down a treat. I forgot how much I like… alcohol.
Starting to regret the decision to take my glasses off. Things are getting progressively more blurry with each cocktail I drink, I’ll be officially blind within the hour.
Eurovision has begun!
We’ve been to Be At One and had several cocktails so, as a mostly hermit mother unused to drinking much, I am already pretty hammered. We raced back on the bus, via Waitrose for some improvised plastic shot glasses. I’m not one hundred percent convinced they’re not weaning pots.
Portugal needs to shh with their merry pre-show bollocks and get on with the actual Eurovision show. If they’re not bringing back Petra and Mans (Swedish hosts) for a reprise of Love Love, Peace Peace, I’m not interested.
But we’re all wearing glitter. That’s a definite positive.
As I said, we are back at Naomi’s flat and Eurovision is kicking well into gear.
You say that.
But Portugal’s entry is on and we’ve all fallen asleep.
Norway, however… We’ll always love you, Alexander! (Except Sara.)
My husband has just messaged to inform me that Jersey beat Guernsey in the Muratti today. Big inter-island football match, source of much local pride.
I hope this isn’t an omen for the countries I’m supporting for Eurovision.
Portuguese winner from last year is singing his song. So… snore. Most boring song in years. Look, love, I know you had a heart transplant but it doesn’t make your song any more interesting. Snore.
Baffled by SuRie (UK singer) and her decision not to perform again after her stage invasion. Might have actually won us a point or two. Can’t see it happening otherwise.
Also: I am quite drunk. The voting drinking game has me landed with all the best countries, I’m going to be utterly trashed.
I slightly already am. Hence the lack of live blogging, because my phone screen is showing a troubling inclination to be doubled. In other words, I’m too drunk to focus. Oh dear.
So… more wine!
Eurovision results so far seems very… wtf?! Austria is winning on the juries but the song was very middle of the road. Why is Israel not in the lead? Or Hungary. Bit of metal won’t hurt anyone. Or Denmark. Bloody love Denmark. They had a boat.
Also: I’m very drunk.
Sunday 13th May
I am awake.
I’m not sure if being awake is the best option for me right now.
I am horizontal on a z-bed in Naomi’s living room, holding my phone above my head. Scrolling back from last night’s ‘live blog’… I didn’t do much, did I? And by the time the televote results rolled in, shoving Austria back down the leaderboard and putting Israel, rightly, at the top, I’m pretty sure I was on the edge of passing out.
I was definitely at the point of ‘keeping one eye closed at all times to stop the room from spinning’.
I blame the drinking game.
But… I don’t feel sick. My head isn’t hurting. The room isn’t lurching around me, like in normal hangovers.
…yet. Maybe it’s time for another little snooze.
Where the hell is my hangover?
I drank a LOT last night… and I’m fine. Couldn’t lie around in bed any more, so I’m up. Packed up all my stuff, which was spread around a several metre radius, folded up the z-bed, got dressed, ate some cold chips from the takeaway Naomi and Sara got last night (revolting, but welcome), read a bit on my Kindle.
I’ve even done a bloody hot cloth cleanse.
I’ve checked, and I’ve not lost my ID, my purse, or my rail pass. Good work for being so drunk. Though I have lost one of my favourite earrings, which is a bit of a bummer.
The others are still asleep, in the room with all the mirrors, or else I’d go and do my make-up and shock them with my apparent fresh-faced-ness when they wake up.
Looking back over last night’s poor excuse for a live blog… Oh dear. I really was rather drunk.
Say it quietly… I don’t really remember much of Eurovision. Even the incident with the UK and the stage invader – by that point, I was already struggling not to see double. That bit I put up last night about last year’s winner singing his (boring) song… I have literally no recollection of it. None whatsoever.
I definitely wasn’t in any stage for coherent live blogging, or even tweeting.
Oh heck, I haven’t even checked Twitter. I could have been saying anything.
Well, scrolling back over Twitter didn’t take long. Phew. A capitalised insistence that the German entry was the result of Mick Hucknall breeding with Ed Sheeran, a Toasting-Sir-Terry selfie with Naomi, a comedy ‘wooo’ for Finland, and a shriek about missing Tash. Not bad at all.
Here’s to Sir Terry!
Incidentally I have the Finnish entry in my head, still. It’s been there most of the week. Definitely should have done better.
Found the missing earring. It was in my hair.
I’ve said goodbye to my girls and left them to Formula One and Deliveroo. I can’t stand Formula One or afford Deliveroo, but I’ll bloody miss Naomi and Sara. Hopefully we won’t leave it so long, this time. I always get a bit melancholy when I leave them – I love my boys, I wouldn’t change them for the world, but since getting married and having Ted, I’ve just not had the time or money to go off on the adventures I used to. We have different interests now, and different priorities, though these two will always be more like family to me than friends.
It does make me sad to be, by dint of circumstances, so far out of the loop; especially in recent months when I’ve been so lonely anyway. Then, it’s the nature of growing up, I suppose.
It’s been such a good weekend, if far too short for my liking. If all our messy weekends together can be this hangover-free, I’ll be very pleased!
Speaking of which, I’m at Eat for the first time in months. Not a great deal has changed since I worked at one: few more poncy juices and ‘superfood’ business, perhaps. But I’ve got a big fat steak pie with mash and gravy: if any vestige of a hangover dared to show its face, this would scare it off with its metaphorical tail between its metaphorical legs.
And so I am on the train, northbound once again. I have my glorious Finnish chocolate and plenty to read, though I can feel a snooze coming on…
Just for the record, the First Class lounge at King’s Cross is lovely: so comfy, so chilled, and so much free food and drinks. If I was actually paying for the ticket (yay for employee perks) I’d be happy to pay the weekend excess fee just to get to sprawl in that lounge before my train – far nicer than the one at Euston, and far more space.
Now to relax in my comfy leather seat and let this train take me back to my boys. It’s only been a day, but I can’t wait to scoop up that daft little toddler and give him a massive kiss and a cuddle.
I’m reading this back a few days later, and I hope you’ve enjoyed my pathetic attempt at live blogging! Turns out when you’ve knocked back so many cocktails they wouldn’t all fit on one table – then wine – your live blogging capacity goes out of the window a little bit. Who knew.
For the record, I’m still finding glitter everywhere. When I got home and took my bra off, it practically erupted in a cloud.
For more from my eventful weekend, go and check out my Instagram – I used Instagram Stories all weekend, and saved them in a highlight on my profile for drunken posterity!