Made in Newcastle

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This weekend I ventured down to Newcastle for a very dear friend’s hen do. I know what you’re thinking, Newcastle for a hen do, we must be wild. Well we are, but it just so happens that the lovely hen in question happens to be from Newcastle and reassuringly she’s not a member of the cast of Geordie Shore! Though I was slightly concerned when I got an email entitled ‘Wore canny buzzin boot wore lasses gannin doon to the toon‘. For those of you who need a translation (join the club) this apparently means, I am very excited about you young ladies coming to the great town of Newcastle. Who knew?

It was rather an early start on Saturday morning but we passed the time with plenty of snacks, chat and a series of GREAT tracks blaring from the speakers. I’m talking Backstreet Boys and a selection of powers ballads. Upon arrival we were greet with hugs, cake and a cuppa. Not a bad way to start the day. We were then given top secret driving instructions to an undisclosed location (I was fearing the worst) which actually turned out to be a country park where a camper van and picnic area had been set up. Now anyone who knows me knows it’s my dream to own a 1968 VW camper van so I was pretty much delighted at this turn of events.

I was even more delighted when I saw the positively banquet-esque spread that had been laid on by the hen’s sister. Now baring in mind that the bride-to-be has about a million a one things she can’t eat (I’m talking flourless cakes, soya milk) it was an absolute triumph that her sister had whipped up so many delicious meals – I can only assume she’s been cooking up a storm and planning the menu for weeks, what a sister! The only slightly hairy moment during the meal was when we were set upon by a fairly large group of swans. Now on first arrival we thought that given that swans mate for life this was a good sign for the upcoming nuptuals. However, then one within the group informed us that her aunt’s arm had been broken by a swan. A less positive sign it has it be said. At this point our brave volunteer ‘swan whisperer’ did what could only be described as a swan dance. Think swan lake. Then think the opposite. In fairness it work though and it was hysterical for the rest of us.

To calm our nerves following the swan ‘attack’ we cracked open the Pimms and spent the rest of day engaging in some horrendously wonderful games including underwear decoration, a game which sole purpose is to dress the bride up in as many awful clothes as possible whilst simultaneously taking as many photos as possible to bring out at every future get-together and the old favourite ‘how well do you know your future husband’ which can always take a little bit of an awkward turn when it turns out they don’t know him that well after all!

We drank Pimms and had a bonfire (marshmallows were toasted) long into the night which made the early start the next morning a little brutal but well worth it to catch up with old friends, make some new ones and celebrate our dear friend. The morning drive wasn’t helped by the fact we got extremely lost on the way home (why we every thought it was a good idea to ignore the SatNav I’ll never know! Still we made it home in plenty of time for the other main event of the weekend – the Olympics closing ceremony.

What about that ceremony? Wasn’t it great? The highlight was definitely the staging and all the live music – with Ray Davis and Waterloo Sunset stealing the show for me. However, my other highlight occurred during the marathon medal presentation. Did you notice it? The chap with presenting the flowers clearly had never been told that the correct way to hold flowers isn’t by their heads. It was hysterical, especially because he did it all three time. Get it on iplayer, it’s fantastic! Other than that though I thought the whole thing was really well done and everything about the last two weeks , most notably the athletes and volunteers made me extremely proud to be British. Bring on Rio 2016!

COMING UP THIS WEEK: Just because the Olympics is winding down, doesn’t mean we are. This week we’ll be talking tea dresses, bad hair days, DIY, picnic lunches and we’ll be catching up with Expecting Mabel, who is no longer expecting! Get. Involved.

Not a bad way to fill an Olympic shaped void!

Have a MINT week.