I am so red, white and blued, monarchied, and jubileed out. It. Was. Amazing.
I could very possibly spend the next 24 hours writing about the amazing Jubilee weekend, describing every tiny detail from brushing my teeth in the morning to the moment I feel asleep, but that would be ridiculous. Although, I am on such a post-bank-holiday high I could totally do just that and write about everything.
So, in order to avoid boring my bloggy woggy readers, I’ll just hit the highlights.
HarryPotter and I left Glasgow later than expected and in turn got into London later than expected.
I totally forgot to tell mum that I was coming home, which also meant that she didn’t know HarryPotter was coming with me. We got in the back of 1am, and I didn’t want to wake her, so we came into the house quietly and slipped into bed.
The next morning, when I wandered through the kitchen I thought she was going to shit herself. She jumped a mile high, gave me a huge hug, then wanted to know what was ‘wrong’, then she started fretting about. She went to the leave the kitchen muttering ‘Got to get your bedroom ready,’ but then turned back into the kitchen saying, ‘I need to give the shop a call and see if they’ll take you back,’ but she stopped and said, ‘Have you have breakfast, need to get you some breakfast.’
Katie then shuffled into the kitchen to see what all the commotion was about, saw me, said, ‘God. She’s back,’ and went back to her room.
Mum was still rushing about when I told her to just stop for a moment, and that I was only home for the long weekend. Just about this time, HP came wandering in to the kitchen wanting to know where the bath towels were.
Mum totally flipped. She desperately wanted to know who he was and why I had brought him home (like on the nosey, so is this the boyfriend I’ve been hearing about front, but she didn’t want to ask me the question straight out), but was also flitting about trying to be the perfect hostess – to a stranger in her house. My mum is so weird.
Yeah, so I introduced her to HP, and reminded her that he and I lived together for a bit in Glasgow. And mum got totally confused and whispered, ‘I thought he was much older dear?’
God, she’s so exasperating. I told her that this was no Goatee up my old flatmate, and she then said, ‘I didn’t see you sleeping on the sofa when I came through. I hope you were comfortable.’
I broke the news to mum that HarryPotter crashed in my bed, because we were old mates and it’s just not like that. Like I said. So embarrassing.
Oh wait, I totally forgot to mention something that happened on the drive down. At about 9:30 I got a call. I didn’t look at the number when I answered the phone, as I half expected it to be D, or B or R or M. So I was quite surprised that it was LittleOne wanting a phone-tuck.
He then in the cutest angelic voice asked ‘What’d I do wrong?’ I said nothing, and asked him what he was on about? LittleOne then said, ‘I thought I did something wrong and that’s why you were going to London for the weekend instead of staying with us.’
I felt like absolute shit. I explained that I had to go to London for work, and that I’d see him plenty when I came back. To this he said, ‘Oh. Just like Mummy.’
Fuck me, I felt even more like shit.
So, I gave him a phone-tuck by asking him all his questions: Have you brushed your teeth? Washed your face? Got your story?
No, he hadn’t had his story, so I told him a modern version of Little Red Riding Hood where she kicked the wolves arse, and didn’t need a big woodsman to save her. He seemed to like the story.
He said good night, and just as LittleOne hung up the phone I heard Fife say in the background, ‘How did she sound?’
So not cool using your kid to spy on me. Fuck wit.
Right, back to Jubilee plans. The only reason HP and I even went to mum’s was because we were going to leave the car there and take the train into the city, and we’d all be crashing with D in the city over the weekend. So, D’s got a one bedroom flat (which she shares with someone else) and six of us were descending onto the flat for a weekend of mayhem. So, that’s eight people in a tiny London flat for four days – does kind of sound like things are reverting back to Uni days.
But before the madness could begin I had a meeting with Paris.
I was a bit worried about what I’d do with HarryPotter while I was chatting with HP, but M decided to come into London with us (he’s still living at home), and he and HP were supposed to go on an old vinyl record hung – although I later discovered that they just sat in the pub.
Well, Paris was awesome as usual. For those of you who weren’t following NFTI back in the day,Paris is the gal who got me my job with the Agency. I’d met her at a party, sent in my CV when my internship was up, and she new the Agency needed support staff so she interviewed me and offered me the job (with the rest of the office’s approval). So even though I feel quite loyal to Loraine as like a boss and a mentor, I’m grateful toParisfor getting me the job in the first place.
Although, it’s kind of weird because it almost feels like roles are reversing. She’s trying to decided if she should stay at the Agency or go it alone as a publisher. And right now she’s decided to maintain the status quo and stay at the Agency for a while, and just wait and see how things go.
Anyway, since Loraine has been away, Paris and I chat on Skype every day, and it was so good to talk to her in person. We started off talking about work, then naturally began talking about industry gossip, and some rumours she’d heard about Manchester, and some other rumours about a few authors she knew. Before we knew it, we’d spent three hours in the coffee shop nursing one cup. I wish I could work in an office with her.
As we parted ways she made me promise to come see her in Paris, and I plan on keeping that promise.
I found HP and M, and we made our way over to D’s where B and her Frenchy boyfriend were waiting. It was soooooo amazing seeing everyone again, but it suddenly dawned on me that this weekend was to be mental. D’s got a massively tiny flat, and six of us were to crash in the lounge.
Oh, and stupid D has been claiming that the girl she’s living with is her flatmate. Yeah, a flatmate who she shares a bed with. Whatever.
We all hung out at the flat until R turned up, then went out to the pub. Right, once again, I could here get into every little tiny detail, but all I really need to say is…it was like old times. Except, add a Frenchy and a Scot and the girlfriend of a lesbian friend. Oh and no one missed stupid Sarah not being there.
We drank and talked and laughed and reminisced and bought stupid Union Jack trinkets from vendors on the street. And we talked about the Queen and the Monarchy and Wills and Kate. We talked about Unionists and Nationalists and we drank to both and stumbled back to D’s tiny flat, where we lined the floor with a few blankets, and piled the rest on top of us like we were all sharing a bed.
Instinctively I curled up next to HarryPotter, and the next morning when I woke-up with my throbbing head, he and M went out and got us all bacon rolls.
The plan was to go down to the Themes that day and watch the Regatta, but with Sunday’s rain we put off going, hoping the sun would come out, and when it never did, we drank red, white (clear), or blue drinks, and sang Rule Britannia until we were blue in the face.
B’s boyfriend, Frenchy, can go a bit hot and cold — one minute he totally wants to be part of the group, and the next minute he’s being argumentative and Mr Anti-Anglo — but it really helped having HP along and his Mr Nationalist self, because Frenchy and the Scot formed the new auld alliance (as they called it) and spent most of Sunday lambasting the English government, the Royals and anything generally Anglo.
Now, you may think that I’d be right peeved at HP for being ultra-nationalist and anti-English, especially as he was being welcomed by a group of zee-Eengleesh (as Frenchy calls us), but I think deep down, beneath that SNP exterior and West Coast accent, he’s actually a Unionist.
We never made it out of the flat on Sunday and drank and ate and smoked (it was like being in PoshPhD’s flat) and talked like a bunch of hippie squatters. Eventually everyone fell asleep but R and I, so we decided to go for a walk. Now, I miss all my friends, I really do. But there’s something about missing R that’s different to missing everyone else. Maybe it’s because he’s so far away inLouisiana, or maybe its because he and I always had our inside jokes. (D can be too serious for jokes, and B can be too sensitive. M has a habit of being drunk and going too far, and S is a bitch.) So as we walked, we started off giving each other hell, but it was no longer raining, and we could only make fun of each other for so long, before one of us said something serious.
R said that he doesn’t plan on coming back to the UK– if he can help it. He’s got a job lined up in Denver starting in the autumn, as soon as he’s completely finished with his Masters. It’s with the same company he worked for last summer. The girl he’s been kind of seeing – the one that lives in Baton Rouge– is going with him, which I guess means its serious. According to R, Colorado is the place to be, it’s where all the young people go that are liberal but not arse-wipe hipsters like in Seattle (according to him). That sums R up perfectly, liberal but not a hipster. We talked about the job, and this girl. We talked about how he’ll miss New Orleans, but he won’t missBritain. Suddenly, it all became very real.
When I was crying snot and tears during my fight with Fife, I realised that I had to come to London because it may be the gang’s last chance to be together. R moving to Denver proves it. He’s applying for the work permit while he’s in the UK (finishing up his dissertation from home), and he said that with only two weeks holiday a year in his new job, he may not be back to the UK for a few years. This weekend really may be it.
I got a little sniffly and he put his arm around me and told me to ‘buck it up’. I could come to Colorado, ‘You’d love it there’, he said. Then he tried to change the subject, but being he’s a male he succeeded at adjusting the topic, but actually made me feel worse. He’s been reading this blog, and while he hasn’t had time to comment, he’s ‘worried’ about my situation with Fife.
Asked him what he meant, and he said he couldn’t define it. ‘Just be careful,’ is all he could think of saying. I trust R’s judgement – despite the stupid antics he used to pull in Uni, I really do trust him. But I am a bit one sided in the blog. I used it as a place to rant and complain. A place to air my feelings, and it’s all a bit askew. I told R to not get too bogged down in what I write in the blog, because it’s usually just me having a rant.
I told him about Fife, all the good things that hadn’t gone into the blog. His smile and his voice – how it’s Scottish with this hint of English. His kindness and his vocabulary. His passion for his kids and his passion for me. His honesty…
And that’s where I stopped. Fife wasn’t honest, or I found out recently that he hasn’t been. Fife told me the divorce was his idea, when actually it was his wife’s. I asked R what he thought about that, and I was quite surprised by R’s comment: ‘I don’t know why he did it. But there’s a really cool guy lying on the floor in [D]’s apartment, who would never do anything like that to you. You don’t deserve to settle.’
The next day/Monday was the Gary Barlow party-concert-thingy, so we headed out to Hyde Parkwith our cheapt tat, painted faces, and donning a bit of red and blue (which HarryPotter said was an even bigger deal than I realised because of how much he hates the Rangers – living in Ibrox and all). We decided that the tube would be mayhem, so we decided to walk toHyde Park, but once we got there it was so packed we never thought we’d find a spot. People had been camping out for yonks and we trod down – a group of 8 – and expect to find a nice grassy spot for us to spend the concert. Yeah, we’re morons. We were worried we were going to lose each other at any moment, so we held hangs like a string of primary one kids.
Then, just as we found a little patch big enough for all of us (because some really lovely Australian tourists from Perth shared their space with us), good ‘ol Robbie Williams came on over the loud speaker. We couldn’t see the big screen very well, okay I couldn’t see the big screen very well, but it was no matter as the music was grand, and so was the company. By the end of the night the Aussies were dancing about with us like we’d known them forever.
We sang, we danced, we jumped about and screamed ‘God Save the Queen’ out of key but with enthusiasm (while R sang ‘My Country Tis’ of Thee’ over the words to ‘God Save the Queen’). By the end of the weekend, HP and Frenchy both admitted to enjoying a weekend full of pomp, circumstance and general weird Eengleeshness.
Then at the end of the night, when Charles asked us to shout for his Dad, and I thought about our dear old Queen standing on that stage without the man who’d been with her from the beginning of her Queendom, I began to tear-up. I thought about LadyBohemia, and Loraine and my Gran. Then I looked over at HP, and he must have been thinking about his Dad. He wasn’t teary-eyed like me, but his face had changed, so I reached over, grabbed his hand and squeezed it. He pulled me towards him, hugged me and said lowly in my ear, ‘Thanks for bringing me.’
I looked over at R, who gave me one of his stupid knowing nods. Stupid all knowing R.
My Tuesday morning, we were so pumped with Jubilee jubilation that we decided to see go see the procession. Or should I say, attempt to see the procession. Once again, we decided to not risk the mayhem of the tube, so we started walking, but someone had a brilliant idea that the pubs would have the procession on the telly, and we could have a pint while waving a flag to the Queen, as opposed to squishing ourselves into the throng that is London Royalty-madness. Plus, it was already past 1pm, and it was likely we’d miss the whole thing by the time we got ourselves sorted, so into a pub we popped. And just in time as it were, because on the telly there went Queeny in her carriage with Chuck and Cam heading for the Palace. We would have never made it in time.
HarryPotter and I had originally considered heading back to Scotland that night, but after one pint, then two, then three, then four, we decided that Glasgow and Dundee would have to wait another day.
After several drinks in the pub, M came up to me and started the discussion I was dreading, ‘So, Sarah and Pete, huh?’
M loved Sarah. He really did, and I don’t think he’s ever gotten over her dumping him in Thailand. I didn’t know what to say to M, and for some weird reason I felt a bit responsible. Yeah, I know, that’s stupid. But I did introduce Sarah and Pete, and maybe if I’d never suggested to Pete that he should stay with Sarah in Thailand, none of that would happen. But there was nothing I could do about Sarah screwing that yoga instructor and dumping M. So, all I could say to R was, ‘You can do better. You deserve better than that.’
It’s funny how the same advice just circulates around.
HarryPotter and I had to get the car from Kingston, so we decided to take the train back to mum’s on Tuesday night so we could head back on Wednesday, but as we stood on the street outside D’s flat, I was overwhelmed with sadness. As I looked back on the gang, now with three new members (Frenchy, D’s girl, and HP) and missing one, I hoped – no I prayed – that this wouldn’t be the last time. As HP and I walked down the street, R started singing at the top of his lungs that Tom Jones song we couldn’t get out of our heads from the night before song ‘Delilah’, but some how it morphed into ‘My Country Tis of The’, and I was happy again.
We were supposed to leave Mum’s house first thing this morning, and be back up to Scotland fairly early, but HP and I needed a fry-up this morning, then there was some stuff on telly, and we needed an extra cuppa, then another cuppa, and we didn’t leave mum’s house until nearly 6pm. Whoops.
Over the weekend, HarryPotter and I hadn’t spent a lot of time alone, so I was quite looking forward to the drive chat. We talked a lot about his dad. Not about HP being sad or anything like that (although, I’m sure he is), but just about his dad. The kind of guy he was, the stuff he liked to do. For example, HarryPotter’s dad collected antique gadgets. Like he has a Victorian shock box (you hold on to these brass handles while someone cranks and handle and you get a shock). HarryPotter said that he’s going to start collecting this type of stuff to add to the collection, and one day he’ll pass it on to his kids. That was the first time I’d ever heard HarryPotter talk about having kids or anything, and I think he’d make an amazing dad. Unlike Fife.
Wait, that was a horrible thing to say. I think Fife is a great Dad, he just has a lot to deal with. Somewhere in the Lake District, my phone beeped and I looked at my messages to see that I had 12 texts fromFife. He’d been texting me all weekend, but because I was with everyone I love, I didn’t even look at my phone all weekend. Yeah, you know it’s a crazy good weekend when you don’t even think to look at your phone.
I told HarryPotter about the fight Fife and I had had before I left, about how the fight was exasperated by the fact that I’d spent the previous weekend inGlasgow. And the kids. God the kids don’t make it any easier. In fact, if it weren’t for the kids this whole relationship withFifewould be totally different. I told HP about being livid with Fife about lying about the divorce, and wondered aloud if I was just a replacement-Helen.
HarryPotter didn’t say much, he just listened, then when he did offer his opinion, I was really quite surprised. ‘Maybe he was going to ask his wife for a divorce, but she beat him to it. You shouldn’t get angry because he was slower on the uptake than his ex-wife.’
I was quiet. What was HP saying? He doesn’t mind I’m datingFife? Does his statement mean that he’s finally over me?
It’s well past midnight, and I haven’t gone back to the flat. HarryPotter’s taken me all the way back to Dundee, and because it’s late and I don’t want him to have to drive an hour and a half back to Glasgow (we passed it on the way), I told him he should just stay in Dundee and go back to Glasgow in the morning. The problem is though, I can’t really take HP back to the flat ifFifeis there, so we’re staying the night in Loraine’s house. Yes, it’s kind of cheeky but I think she’d understand.
I’ve texted Fife apologising for not replying earlier. Said my battery died, and I’m at the office. I told him that we’re (we = the old flatmate and I, I haven’t exactly told Fife that HP came with me) staying here for the night, so we don’t disturb him in case he has the children. Which is also true. I expected to hear back from him saying whether or not he had the children, but the phone’s gone quiet. Oh well, I’ll talk to him tomorrow.
Right, I’d better pop off to bed now. HP’s in the guest bedroom, and I should see if he needs anything.
Wow, what an amazing weekend.