My sordid memoir hits the shelves next week, which can only mean one thing… TIME TO GET SHIT-FACED! YIPPEE!
Please come and join me at my launch party on Friday 17th August, at The Bigmoose Cafe, Cardiff.
I’ll be reading, nay PERFORMING, a couple of chapters from the book and sharing my rather eventful experience of writing it. This includes renting a cottage in Cornwall for two weeks on my own, with the romantic notion of writing the whole book whilst gazing out at sea (unfortunately coming down with a raging tooth infection, getting completely mashed off my antibiotics and not once putting pen to paper), hunting down my hero Jilly Cooper and getting in contact with all of my ex-lovers to try and persuade them to sign waivers. HAHA SUCH FUN!
Following this, there shall be a Q+A (poo questions allowed), a book signing and the chance to meet my boyfriend, Nigel.
Actually, I think the correct term right now is ‘resting’ actor.
Fuck it, I’m unemployed.
ANYWAY, having endured three long years at drama school (once you have spent a half-hour class ’embodying a piece of bamboo’ you can cope with anything) I graduated in a whirlwind of excitement, ready to seize my career on stage and screen.
Yet, something wasn’t quite right.
Instead of attending castings for films and West End plays, the only audition I landed in 3 months was for the role of a magicians assistant. In an advert for a NORWEGIAN SEWAGE COMPANY.
This involved pretending to be ‘conjured into a chicken’ (quite what this had to do with sewage I will never know) and crawling around on my hands and knees, loudly clucking, in front of a casting panel of four people.
I was also sent a script to audition for a new short film. This, rather insultingly, was for the role of ‘an older, more overweight version of Vicky Pollard’. I mean, I was SELECTED to audition for this role. As in, the casting director will have scanned a database of hundreds of faces, stopped at mine and gone ‘FUCK ME, SHE’S A RIGHT MUNTER, ISN’T SHE?!’ and put me forward for the casting.
So things were looking rather bleak.
Meanwhile, I was working full time in a local bar, pouring pints for drunken louts who would shout ‘CAN I GET SOME MORE HEAD WITH THAT PINT, LOVE? WHEEEY!’.
Then, around Christmas time, something miraculous happened. I landed my first proper job, in a popular soap. This was to play the small role of a nurse working in an STI clinic (yes I know, very appropriate, ha de ha ha).
For the sake of my career, im not sure whether I should name the programme in question, but lets just say that it half-rhymes with JOLLY GROPES. WALLY BLOKES. Or TROLLY JOKES (you get the picture).
My character was called ‘Nurse With No Name’ (it looks stunning on my CV) and had the task of imparting one crucial line: ‘THE TEST WAS NEGATIVE, JON PAUL. YOU DON’T HAVE AIDS’.
The day of filming dawned.
Having not slept for the entire night, one eye permanently trained on the alarm clock like a keen lizard, I arrived for my 7am make-up call looking a little ‘groggy’. In fact, groggy is an understatement. We are talking shiny skin, wild hair and mad little piggy eyes. Like I had spent the night in a wheelie bin.
This was, of course, when I ran slap bang into my scene partner; the gorgeous actor playing Jon Paul.
Now, I have had fan-like crush on this actor since the age of about 13.
So much so, that I used to have a topless poster of him hugging a baby rabbit, ripped out of a Girl Talk magazine.
And the problem was, although I was well aware of who HE was, I completely forgot that he had never seen me before in his life.
‘HELLO YOU, OLD SAUCE-POT!!’ I cried, embracing him in a bear like hug and slapping him heartily on the back. ‘How’s your rabbit doing?’.
If slightly shocked as to who this delirious, Hagrid-like girl was cradling him to her breast, he didn’t show it and was perfectly lovely.
‘Looking forward to working with you today’ he smiled.
‘Ahh what a delightful young man’ I thought to myself. ‘Today’s going to be brilliant. A memory that I will fondly cherish forever and ever’.
Little did I know what utter horrors lay before me.
Having left makeup, I was whisked up to costume to put on my ‘nurse attire’.
I had been phoned up by the costume department a few days previously and asked for my dress size.
‘Ohhh I’m quite petite. A slip of a thing, really!’ I flagrantly fibbed , fearful that upon learning my real dress size they would cry ‘CHRIST, WE CAN’T HIRE THIS HEFFER!’ and offer the role to someone else.
‘Yes, I think I’m somewhere between a 6 and an 8!’ I trilled.
THIS WAS A BIG FAT LIE.
I stared at my costume in horror.
Laid out in front of me was the teeniest tiniest pair of trousers and shirt I had ever seen before in my life. Something that might just about fit a Cabbage Patch Kid doll.
Trying not to hyperventilate, I plastered on a joyous smile.
‘Oh thank you SO MUCH! These look PERFECT. I’ll just slip into them and be out in a sec’.
What ensued thereafter, I can only liken to trying to stuff a large blancmange into a thimble.
I somehow managed to get the clothes on… But any sudden movements and I would have literally EXPLODED out of them. The only way I could physically move in the trousers was to maintain a sort of ‘squatted’ position, like I was about to lay a large dump.
‘How do the clothes fit?’ called the costume boy through the door.
‘LIKE A BLOODY GLOVE!’ I called back through gritted teeth, panting and sweating with the exertion of trying to do up my fly.
I was already starting to lose the sensation in both my arms. The short cotton sleeves were so tight that they had cut off all circulation. Like some butchers string wrapped around a piece of pork.
‘Ready!’ I cried, walking bow-legged out the door, numb arms swinging wildly.
The poor boy looked completely horrified at my appearance but was clearly too polite to say anything.
The only adjustment he made was to attach a large safety pin across the front of my shirt, which unable to cope with the strain of my heaving breasts, was gaping open like some lardy stripper.
I waddled my way to the set.
Now, I consider myself to be a fairly strong stomached girl. One has to be growing up in rural Wales. Such as the time, aged 12, when my Shetland pony was castrated and the vet HANDED ME THE BALLS TO KEEP.
But if there is one thing that I cannot abide, it’s blood and needles.
I was the girl at school who had to have a crash mat put down when having injections. And fainted whilst dissecting a pigs heart.
I rather disturbed therefore, to be met on set by a real nurse who would be instructing me on how to REALISTICALLY INSERT A NEEDLE AND PERFORM A BLOOD TEST.
Cheerfully, she laid out the instruments of torture on the table- wipes, needles, tubes, cotton wool- and talked me through it step by step.
The room started swaying as I broke into a cold sweat.
‘KEEP IT TOGETHER, GABRIELLE’ I told myself ‘This is your first ever day of filming. Now is NOT the time to faint, throw up or shit yourself’.
Unfortunately, having already lost all sensation in my limbs due to my child-size clothing, I was very near the point of face-planting into the floor.
The cameras started rolling.
Sweating, teeth chattering and body parts inflating in random places due to my restricted blood flow, I descended on Jon Paul with the needle. To be fair to him, he handled it well. It must have been a truly terrifying sight- less jolly nurse, more the angel of death.
Traumatused, I was driven back to the studio canteen for lunch.
Everybody sat in cliques. It was like Mean Girls. All the make-up women at one table, all the camera crew at another, all the extras… There was nowhere for exploding trouser girl.
I rang my mother from the toilet cubicle.
‘I’M ALL ALONE, MUMMY!’ I cried. ‘Everybody knows each other and it’s really intimidating and I can’t really move properly incase I ERUPT FROM THESE CASTRATING TROUSERS!!!’
This is when my mother imparted her usual Marge Simpson- like advice.
‘You stroll on over there’ she instructed ‘And say Hello! My name is Gabrielle and I would like to be your friend! Or perhaps you could hand something around, like a packet of Werther’s Originals’.
‘Or I could ring up whoever’s in charge and ask someone to come and sit with you, if you like. I used to do that for you when you were little. I remember when you were at Pony Club and you were too scared to use the portaloo by yourself, so instead chose to defecate in-‘
I think it was at that point that I hung up.
Lunch hour ended and it was time to film the last part of the scene. This involved simply sitting behind a desk and delivering my one line of dialogue-‘The test was negative, Jon Paul. YOU DON’T HAVE AIDS’.
‘Let’s try and get this in one take guys!’ the director called.
I nervously got into position.
A dramatic silence fell. Composing my features into what I hoped was an expression of wisdom and authority, I cleared my throat ready to deliver my one, crucial line.
‘The test was negative, Jon Paul. You don’t have- AAAGH!’.
A sudden, sharp pain stabbed into my right boob, followed by a cool gust of air.
I looked down.
Unable to take the strain anymore, my safety pin had snapped, sticking itself into my chest. Therefore allowing the shirt to burst wide open.
There was a horrified silence in the room. We are talking an entire film crew, director and actors all staring in utter disbelief, whilst I casually sat in front of the camera with both tits hanging out.
I kept the transmission date of my episode a dirty secret.
Which is just as well really, as when it aired they chose to cut out my head out from the scene (By this I mean that my head wasn’t in shot. I don’t mean like a severed head).
Instead, there is just a beautifully filmed shot of my clammy, inflated clown hands, shakily administering a needle.
My friends rang me afterwards with words of encouragement, as a sat necking back gin in horror- ‘We could tell they were your hands, Gab- we recognised your mole!’
No human being can physically consume 2 bottles of wine, 5 jagerbombs, 2 mojito’s, 3 tequila shots, an entire pitcher of Long Island Iced Tea and still live to tell the tale.
I feel strangely calm about it all.
‘At least she died doing what she loved’ they will say. ‘Getting off her tits’.
I am ready. Take my hand, oh Lord and lead me through those pearly gates!
Let me feed you grapes and plait your beard. Sit on your lap and confess to you my sins.
(I don’t mean that in a prozzy, lap-dancey sort of way. That would be totally wrong. I mean like innocently sitting on Santa Claus’ lap. A family friendly Santa. Not the perverted kind, where people pay to be put on the ‘naughty list’ and be beaten over the bottom with a candy cane).
Blearily, I peel open one burning eye.
Well I must say, heaven isn’t quite how I expected.
There are no angels, for starters. No fat cherub plucking a harp. No Elvis Presley donning a loin cloth and singing ‘A Big Hunk O’Love’.
Instead, I am staring into the eye of a battered sausage. A half-eaten battered sausage.
Whilst lying spread eagled on my kitchen floor.
Oh god. This is not death. This is something far, far worse.
This is the hangover from hell.
I’m not talking the bearable kind, where you pop a couple of painkillers, untag the photo of you shitting in a bus shelter and head off for brunch.
We are talking the type of hangover sent by Lucifer himself.
The sort where every limb feels like it’s been through a Christmas tree shredder. Like a small family of possums have curled up and died in your mouth. A group of primary school children have just learnt to make scrambled eggs. WITH YOUR BRAIN.
I also appear to be stark bollock naked, bar my ancient pair of Winnie the Pooh pants, which depict a map of the 100 Acre Wood. They are by far the most shameful item of lingerie I own and are only worn in times of desperation.
Oh please, God. Please say I didn’t bring a man home in these. Right now, I have about the sex appeal of a courgette.
I peel my head from the floor and look towards the door.
Mens shoes. Oh god. Big brown suede ones. That will be him. They are bloody huge actually, aren’t they? Like flippers. Maybe I brought back a clown. Or a walrus.
Oh Christ. Did I choose to be rogered in my own kitchen? Perform some hideous striptease for him, wearing nothing but stiletto’s a pair of oven gloves? Bend myself over the hob and demand a good porking?
I don’t know who this man is, or where he has come from but fear it has something to do with the battered sausage.
I sometimes find it hard to believe that life has turned out this way.
I led a very sheltered childhood.
A proper country bumpkin, who’s favourite hobbies included bailing hay and accompanying my father to the rubbish dump.
‘Why would I choose to drink alcohol when I can get FRESH MILK from our very own cow?’
‘You’re all going down the park to do balloons and poppers? Oh goody, I LOVE poppers! I’ll bring the paper hats. And know how to make a balloon stegosaurus!’
‘Sorry Ben, it’s really sweet of you to invite me to the party tonight but Mum’s making me my favourite casserole. With EXTRA DUMPLINGS!’
I drove a tractor . I sang in the church choir. I owned a pig.
I didn’t care much for clubs and would rather make my own fun on a Friday night. Such as farting in the bath and pretending it’s a jacuzzi.
But then I moved to London. And all hell broke lose.
It started with the fags.
I had previously written off smoking as a filthy habit.
‘Why would anybody choose to deliberately knock years off their life?!’ I cried to my mother, whilst she vacuumed the dog.
‘I cannot WAIT to grow old. I can watch Miss Marple. Eat biscuits. And sit on a COMMODE! That’s a chair that you can actually poo in!’.
(As a toddler I used to have daily ‘potty and video’ time. This involved being sat in front of my favourite show, usually Playdays, whilst cheerfully laying a gigantic dump. It remains one of my fondest childhood memories. So the thought that I could go full circle in about 80 years time was all too much).
But at uni, my opinion on smoking started to change. Due to one, small fact:
ALL THE FIT MEN WERE IN THE SMOKING AREA.
Like, seriously. All of them.
I soon realised that this dirty, glorious little death stick was my one way ticket to a giant cock fest.
And I was diving in head first.
Being a smoking novice, there were some slight mishaps along the way.
Such as the time I borrowed a guys lighter, locking eyes over the flame in what I considered to be a sultry manner and inadvertently set my fringe on fire.
Or the time I nervously rolled a fag in front of the guy I really fancied, realising too late that I had licked the wrong side of the paper. Therefore making the cigarette baggy and completely un-smokable. Determined not to lose face, I casually took a drag and managed to actually INHALE THE FILTER. As in, it shot straight out the back of the cigarette and down my throat.
It is quite hard to look sexy whilst being given the heimlich manoeuvre.
And then I met him.
They say that love can strike from anywhere. I didn’t believe them till it happened.
Gordon was more than just a lover- he was a soulmate. The ying to my yang. The bean to my burrito.
Someone who warmed me through cold winter nights, lay down with me on hot summer days, and came as my date to every party.
And he went with so much. Tonic water. Elderflower. Orange juice. Cucumber. I’ve even tried him with dried mango, which I would thoroughly recommend.
Ahh that beautiful, strong bottle in that murky green shade.
God, I want my wedding dress to be that shade of green. And my husband’s suit. In fact fuck it, I don’t even want a husband. I will happily walk down the aisle pulling along a bottle of Gordon’s on wheels. Exchange rings. Read vows. Sing from hymn books. Or should I say gin books. HA HA HA.
I’m going mad. I need to get up off this kitchen floor and stick my head in the fridge.
I’m unsure at this point exactly who lies behind my bedroom door, but judging from my recent conquests it will be one of three types of men:
An arrogant suit wanker, who secretly gets spray tans and lives with his mother.
A balding man wearing a yellow anorak and waterproof trousers, which I thought last night to be funny and ironic. But now just realise that he loves wet weather gear. And is planning on taking me fishing.
A genuinely lovely, normal man, who took one look at my 100 Acre Wood pants and ran straight out the door, not bothering to take his shoes.
I have just come back from a long awaited trip to Ibiza with my favourite group of Welsh girls. Three blissful days of sun, sea and spewing in a bin to the sound of David Guetta.
Is what I would like to be writing.
Unfortunately, the night before my flight, I casually showed my parents the horrific black and blue bruises covering the length of my limbs (‘I can’t be QUITE sure Mother, but I think I may have drunkenly fallen down a wishing well!’) and was promptly dispatched to the doctors.
Here is how my conversation at the doctors went:
Doctor (quite young and very fit): These are severe bruises.
Me: Mmm, yes Doctor. Very severe indeed. That’s a lovely strong pair of biceps you have, do you-
Doctor: Have you been experiencing any chest pain at all?
Doctor: Fainting or dizzy spells?
Me: No, no dizziness. Only when I look at you! Tee hee! I don’t suppose you would like to accompany me to-
Doctor: Any painful flatulence?
Me: P…p… PAINFUL FLATULENCE?
(Cue me going bright red and deliriously fanning myself with the nearest pamphlet, entitled ‘Understanding Your Haemorrhoids’)
‘Doctor, please!! Flatulence indeed! Ha ha ha! A LADY NEVER TELLS!’
It eventually transpired that my balanced diet of gin and jam roly-poly had let me to develop a severe vitamin deficiency, similar to that of SCURVY.
A condition normally sported by SIXTEENTH CENTURY PIRATES.
‘Now then’ the doctor continued ‘I’m afraid that this is going to mean absolutely no alcohol for a week’.
There was a stunned pause.
‘Oh right!’ I replied ‘So just softer drinks, such as white wine, sangria-‘
‘I said no alcohol’.
‘Oh! You mean more like beers, cider, the occasional sherry-‘
And so on Friday night, instead of dancing in the Ibiza sun and getting so off my tits that I become convinced that I’m a piece of battered fish (true story), I spent it in Wales. With my parents. Drinking a glass of MILK.
MILK! On a Friday!! I haven’t drunk milk since I was about 4 years old! My RDA of calcium comes from Pina Coladas and the occasional Dairylea triangle!
I was quite worried that my body would actually REJECT the milk and I’d start foaming at the mouth, whilst my head did a 360. Like a human cappuccino machine.
Having hidden the gin from me (I have searched the house high and low and have come to the conclusion that they must have BURIED it) my parents then took it upon themselves to throw me an equally fun filled weekend… VILLAGE STYLE!
Such rip-roaring activities included:
1. TAKING OUR DOG TO THE VETS TO GET HIS TICK REMOVED.
(By tick, I mean one of those insects that attach themselves to animals fur. He doesn’t have Tourette’s Syndrome).
2. ATTENDING THE VILLAGE W.I CRAFT AND PRODUCE SHOW.
Oh, this was a hell-bender!!
Please find below the programme for the fiercely battled vegetable competition. The thrilling categories include: A SINGLE ONION and THREE COURGETTES.
Hotly followed by category 6, for the hard-core, all-rounder, ‘fuck the system’ kind of woman: A SELECTION OF 5 VEGETABLES.
This was followed by the annual ‘Swede Rolling Competition’- the terrifying sight of 20 farmers hurling 4 stone swede’s down a hill then furiously chasing after them.
(I originally misread this in the programme as SUEDE rolling and completely lost my shit- ‘Oh we’re all going to ROLL SOME MATERIAL ARE WE?!!! OH JOY UNBOUNDED!!!! Let me just get my trusty rolling pin out my bag and JOIN IN THE RUDDY FUN!!!’).
3. A 7AM CAR BOOT SALE
This was a rather terrifying experience.
I had cleaned out my room and agreed to part with several items of clothing and a few members of my beloved cuddly toy collection.
(Even as an adult, I still have a weird fetish for cuddly toys. I will often walk past a selection of stuffed animals and develop this sort of nervous hysteria, like sweating palms and heart palpitations, until before I know it I’m stood at the counter buying 3 teddy bears and a life-size toy sheep).
I had originally laughed when my mother warned me to ‘have your wits about you’ but, dear God, nothing could have prepared me for what ensued.
People started circling the car and staring in through the windows BEFORE WE HAD EVEN PARKED.
At one point a man RAN OFF WITH OUR SCREWDRIVER, claiming casually ‘Oh sorry love, I thought it was going free!’.
However, the most traumatic moment came when I eventually parted with my beloved cuddly toy flamingo, Larry.
I finally agreed to sell it to a friendly looking woman, whom I imagined treasuring him and lovingly cradling him to her breast each night.
I tearfully handed Larry over.
‘Take good care of him’ I smiled at the woman, wiping my eyes. ‘He bought me many years of joy and happiness’.
‘Thanks, love’ she replied, grabbing him ‘IT’S FOR THE DOG TO CHEW’.
I recently spent two nights in Amsterdam with my ultimate good-time girl, Flora.
Flora and I formed an unbreakable bond when we were both fired from our jobs as wine advisors, ironically, for sharing a bottle of red wine on shift.
I’m not sure I can even begin to convey what happened to us in Amsterdam, but I will attempt to explain it in this post.
Having arrived at Gatwick airport at 8am, had a leisurely Full English breakfast and 4 Bloody Mary’s (‘It’s 12pm somewhere, Flora! HA HA HA’) we realised that we were actually cutting it slightly fine for our 10am flight and charged through to security.
Instead of being met by an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING we were made to present our passports to one of those scary robot machines that scans your face.
Neither of us could get through.
‘Excuse me, sir!’ I called to the security man
‘KIND SIR!!!!! Yes, hello. UNFORTUNATELY your machine doesn’t appear to be working, which is a bit of a sticky wicket as we are both VERY LATE FOR OUR FLIGHT. Could you be a darling and let us through?’
The security man took my boarding pass, then gave me a look somewhere between withering and murderous.
‘You’re in the wrong building, love. Your flight goes from the North Terminal’.
‘GABBY, DO YOU HAVE ANY LIQUIDS?!!’ Flora shouted as we eventually arrived at the North, desperately stuffing an array of items into a clear bag.
‘Only my antibacterial hand gel!’ I cried ‘YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO PREPARED!!!’ and sent my bag through on the conveyer.
I was pulled over by 3 members of security almost immediately.
‘Excuse me madam, I need to check your bag for any liquids of dangerous items’ said the rather straight laced, humourless woman.
‘I don’t have anything, I promise!’ I protested, stifling a burp of Bloody Mary.
‘I learned to pack light! I WAS IN THE BROWNIES!’
What then ensued was a tad embarrassing.
One by one she pulled out every item in my bag, including a bottle of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, hair oil, suntan cream, a gigantic razor, nail scissors, my extremely large ‘travel knickers’ (‘They’re not mine, I promise!!’ I cried) and a row of AA batteries which looked rather like bullets.
Traumatised and shaking, we boarded the plane.
We then sat on it, delayed in the boiling heat, for an hour and a half.
Flora (a nervous flyer) completely lost her shit, pouring my bottle of Evian over her head and shouting ‘FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHERE IS THE WINE TROLLY???!!’
We eventually set off and I took it upon myself to be the calming influence, murmuring relaxing endearments such as ‘Everything is going to be fine, Flora’ and ‘Oh look a blue tit just flew past!’
The plane rose steadily in the air… Before casually dropping about 40 foot.
‘HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!’ I screamed, forgetting that I was supposed to be the calming influence.
‘WE CAN’T DIE!! I HAVEN’T SHAVED!!!’
I don’t know what the pilot was on, but I can only liken the journey to the Dumbo ride at Disneyland. At one point we flew completely vertically in the air for what felt like 10 minutes.
The stag- do behind us we’re loving it.
‘LOOK, I CAN SEE THE STARS BOYS!’
‘YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO THE MOON, JIM! HA HA HA’
Amsterdam Night One
Finally, we arrived.
Flora had booked us a room with a nice young man called Enrico, on Air B&B.
‘Hello Enrico!’ we smiled as we walked in the house.
‘ARE YOU SCARED OF DOGS?’ he replied
‘My name’s Gabrielle and this is- Sorry what was that? Er no not particularly, we-‘
‘BECAUSE I HAVE A LARGE GERMAN SHEPHERD WHO DOES NOT LIKE STRANGERS. YOU DON’T WANT HIM JUMPING UP AT YOU IN THE NIGHT, HE WEIGHS 45 KILOS’
We looked at one another in mutual horror.
‘What I’m going to do’ Enrico continued ‘Is teach you some code words to use for when you come in’
We ran upstairs to our room.
‘I’M SO SORRY, IT DIDN’T MENTION THE HOUND ON THE WEBSITE’ cried Flora.
‘Lets just quickly change and get out of here’
Hastily, we changed into our slutty evening clothes.
‘Oh shit’ said Flora, who had forgotten a bra ‘My nipples show in this top. OH WELL, I’M DESPERATE’
We headed straight to the Red Light District (where else?!) stopping off on the way for a pack of tobacco and Magic Mushrooms.
Flora, who had taken the shrooms before, advised we had a whole pack of the strongest variety each (‘You have the tolerance of an Ox, Gabs’) and also warned me that they tasted absolutely disgusting.
Sat at the bar with a gin and tonic, we cracked them open.
WELL, OF COURSE I BLOODY LOVED THEM.
‘GOOD GOD, THEY’RE DELICIOUS, FLORA!’ I cried, casually eating them by the handful. ‘So light! SO WOODY! I could take these with me as a light snack at the gym!”
Waiting for our shrooms to digest, we started looking around for poor unsuspecting men to pull.
‘I don’t think I can pull anyone tonight, Flora. I haven’t shaved my legs. Unless they’re in to beastiality’
‘Well I can’t pull anyone, I feel MORBIDLY OBESE’ she replied. ‘Is it possible to have sex with your clothes on?’
Having waited an hour, we realised that the shrooms had no effect on us whatsoever- ‘I must just be immune to them, Flora! I did eat a lot of mushroom risotto as a child’
Despondently, we headed to another bar.
But then I suddenly found that I couldn’t stop laughing. To the point where the smallest thing was outrageously funny and I was crying and drooling in the effort to explain what I was laughing about. ‘That light… It’s… It’s…ITS SHAPED LIKE A COCK!!’
And then Flora found she was doing the same.
Then the hallucinations began. OHHHH THE HALLUCINATIONS.
There is lot of the night I don’t remember but I can tell you very clearly that every time I looked at Flora she had a unicorns horn coming out her head.
And whenever I glanced at the spotty bow in her hair, it would set me off on a speel of ‘jungle themed’ hallucinations. The spots on the bow would somehow morph into dancing leapords and then everywhere I looked everyone had either a giraffe or leopards head (this sounds quite scary but I remember absolutely loving it)
Frankly, I found that if I focused on a particular word or object too long then I would see it EVERYWHERE.
‘We need to find some gin, Flora. OHHHH actually don’t worry! That mans FACE is made of gin!’
Having planned on making loads of friends and meeting sexy men, Flora and I spent the entire night walking through the streets linked tightly arm in arm, me wearing my gigantic sunglasses, absolutely tripping our balls off.
We reached a point at around 3am where Flora became paranoid that everyone in the Red Light District was talking about us (it was probably a fair point) and also, rather creepily, became convinced that I was her mother.
I decided I needed to take control of the situation.
‘IVE GOT THIS SHIT, FLORA!!!’ I cried ‘Don’t look me in the eye for 5 minutes. MOTHER NEEDS TO CONCENTRATE!’
I flagged down a rickshaw.
‘Hello young man’ I began, trying not to be put off by the fact that he had the head of a rabbit.
‘We need to get out of here. IMMEDIATELY. We also need CASH and we need CIGARETTES’
Having been cycled out of the Red Light District in a rickshaw to a cashpoint (a blur of shapes and colours) I then saw it fit to withdraw £300 euros (‘We don’t know how much we will need, Flora. We don’t know how much we will NEED!!!) and took us to a kebab shop.
‘Right. Here is the situation’ I remember saying.
‘There is a very vicious dog at home and we need CHIPS to throw him off the SCENT. You will run upstairs whilst I will distract him’
We could hear the sounds of rabid barking as soon as we arrived at the house, but luckily the beast seemed to be shut in.
‘RUBBER BALL!!!!!’ I shouted ‘Shit, what were the code words? FRIENDLY DOG! FRIEND NOT FOE! COCK!!!!!!!!’
Amsterdam Night 2
Deciding that today we should take a more sensible ‘relaxed approach’, we planned on a light lunch, a spot of clothes shopping and a couple of glasses of wine before bed.
Except we only got as far as a shop called ‘When Nature Calls’.
Completely overwhelmed with the selection, we purchased: 2 pipes, a hash lolly, a packet of erotic gum and sex pills (‘When in Amsterdam, Flora!!’), a pack of nos balloons, a box of space cookies and 20 more grams of `Magic Mushrooms.
By the end of the afternoon, having washed down a spliff with our entire pack of space cookies, we had reached the stage of ‘fat, stoned and in the way’.
We then decided it was time for round 2 of the shrooms.
I think this says a lot about my hideously middle-class, Daddy’s girl upbringing but that night I became OBSESSED with Shetland ponies.
To the point where, sat in the toilet, I WAS a Shetland pony.
A very sassy, chubby little Shetland pony.
‘Where’s my hoof oil?’ I called out to Flora in the next cubicle, only half joking.
‘THIS BITCH NEED HOOF OIL!’
The bell for last orders rang in the bar.
‘THAT WILL BE MY CALL FOR THE GYMKANA!’ I cried, galloping and whinnying out the toilet.
The horse hallucinations would calm down slightly, then the slightest thing would set me off again.
‘I can’t believe the shrooms have had this much of an effect two nights on the trot… DID BITCH SAY TROT?!! Ha ha ha ha’
Hiccuping and crying with laughter, we then decided that now would be an excellent time to try the erotic gum and sex pills.
Flora took hers first.
‘QUICKLY!’ She shouted ‘IM SOON TO BECOME VERY HORNY!!’
I don’t know whether it was the gum or the pills, but something had a rather alarming effect on me.
Neither of us could feel less horny if we tried… But I became convinced that EVERY MAN IN THE WHOLE OF AMSTERDAM WAS HITTING ON ME. And I was not happy about it.
‘Oh god, look at that man BRAZENLY WINKING AT ME’ I would mutter in disgust.
‘LOOK AWAY YOU PERV! STOP UNDRESSING ME WITH YOUR EYES!!’
The night ended with me starting a fight with some poor man in Burger King, who I swore was trying to pinch my arse and then returning to the flat where Flora projectile vomited into her Burger King bag, which then disintegrated onto the carpet.
(Unable to abide the smell of vomit, I decided to sleep in the hallway only to be tripped over by poor Enrico at 7 in the morning)
Delirious, exhausted and we arrived at the airport next day- Flora dragging along behind her a heavy sack of clothes, towels and sick, whilst I carried with me half a kilo of cheese that I had drunkenly decided to buy my dad for Father’s Day from the Cheese Museum (the only tourist attraction we managed).
The fact that we were both born in the same year, grew up in the same town, have had almost identical upbringings yet she is currently engaged to the love of her life WHILST I SIT ON THE SHELF LIKE A JAR OF STALE FUCKING BOVRIL could be seen as a sore point.
But luckily I am above all that.
She has spent the past few months planning her beautiful wedding- I have recently discovered that my breasts float in the bath.
She will be relaxing this summer on a tropical honeymoon beach- I will be on the streets of Shoreditch somewhere, having a conversation with a wheelie bin.
As I say, I’VE MADE MY PEACE WITH IT.
Now then, this weekend was the much awaited Cardiff hen do.
My sole job as bridesmaid had been to book the stripper for the evening (obviously).
I honestly thought that this would be a simple and enjoyable task.
To the point where I could casually flip through a glossy catalogue (entitled something like ‘Pork Sword- May Edition’), survey different photos of ripped men dressed as firefighters, policemen and maybe something unusual like a scantily clad orthodontist and simply point to the one that I liked- ‘I’LL HAVE THE SEXY TIN MAN POURING OIL OVER HIMSELF PLEASE’.
But it wasn’t.
The whole thing felt a bit backhanded and SHADY. I ended up actually texting a few men (called really ordinary names like Paul and Boris, not DONG Juan or Long SHLONG Silver like I had imagined) that I had found on a website (called something horrific, like honk if you’re horny.com).
It transpired that nobody could actually strip for us, as none of the bars in Cardiff would let them in. Nor (my suggestion) could they strip in the foyer of the 5* hotel we had booked for the evening, whilst I beat boxed in the background.
HOWEVER, unperturbed we ploughed on into Cardiff armed with L plates, garters and a giant inflatable penis that Sarah (the bride to be) admirably carried with her and bummed people with all evening.
The first half of the night passed in the usual happy blur of shots, cocktails, humping chairs, bitch slapping each others vaginas and sexually harassing poor, unsuspecting men.
The second half got a little… Sticky.
Split up from Sarah and the rest of the group, myself and three friends tried to follow them into another bar-10 Mill Lane, which we were definitely on the guest list for.
The problem was, we had walked through torrential rain to get there and I was at the point of drunkeness where I looked as though my face had melted.
My friend Han had a word with the bouncer whilst I casually leant up against a lamppost, in what I hoped was a ‘coquettish’ position (it wasn’t), desperately trying to control my arm spasms and stop my eyes from wandering off in opposite directions.
Apparently he looked at the guest list, surveyed the state of the four of us and simply shook his head.
‘ALLOW ME’ I demanded, setting off purposefully towards the bouncer, cannoning into several tables and chairs.
‘Good evening, old bean!’ I began.
(I don’t know why but whenever I’m extremely drunk and trying to act sober, I revert into what can only be described as ‘Old English’. I once, after a night out, asked my parents whether they would like me to ‘entertain them with my banjo playing’. We don’t own a banjo).
‘My pals and I were hoping to enter your fine establishment’ I continued ‘in search of a few light ales. Or perhaps shake a wicked hoof on the dance floor. But, BY GINGER! There seems to have been some sort of beastly mix up with the guest list. Could you just be a ruddy good egg and let the four of us in?’
The bouncer shot me a look somewhere between pity and revulsion- ‘No, love’.
It was at that point that I lost it.
‘What are you?’ I demanded ‘A MAN OR A MOUSE?!!!’
(I don’t know where I go this phrase from and hope to god that I will never feel the need to use it again)
The evening then deteriorated further as we headed to Chippy Lane (this is a street where the entire population of Cardiff go at the end of a night for a bag of chips and a fight).
I ordered a light bedtime snack of A KILO OF CHIPS, CHEESE AND GRAVY (just, don’t) with some sort of pasty, which I like to think was cheese and onion but in all honesty was probably corned beef.
Armed with our fortifying and nutritious snacks, Han and I somehow managed to find our way into a taxi.
Here is where I got slightly confuddled- in London, I will always get an Uber taxi. I LOVE Uber taxi’s. I have often toyed with the idea of becoming an Uber driver myself (before my friend reminded me of what a horrific driver I am and how I once followed my satnav blindly and trustingly through a closed wooden gate).
But the beauty of an Uber taxi is that the fare is simply charged to your card, removing the need to pay in cash at the end of the journey.
So as we pulled up at the hotel, I cheerfully leapt out the taxi, slamming the door shut gaily behind me with a cry of ‘THANK YOU KIND SIR AND GOOD NIGHT!’ before cavorting my way into the hotel, leaving the taxi driver shocked and outraged behind me.
The rest of the night was spent trying to order room service but being too pissed to realise that I needed to use a telephone (apparently I was shouting crossly at the menu ‘PIZZA! PIZZA! ‘A PEPPARONI PIZZA PLEASE!’) before finally passing out fully clothed with my shoes on.
Sarah made it back half an hour later, dragging along her deflated penis and proceeded to loudly order a dominos in the foyer of the hotel, whilst rolling deliriously around on the marble floor in her veil and garter.
Apparently the poor hotel porter was so disturbed by the whole event that he promised to personally carry the pizza up to her hotel room just as long as she ‘PLEASE LEAVE THE FOYER NOW MADAM, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD’.
St. David’s Hotel- sorry, next time we will book a Premier Inn.
Cardiff- If you find my red G string could you please post it back to me.