So, last week, I gave you the starting craziness of Hugfest2017 in Gatwick.
Week 1 finished pretty awesomely, with Canada’s 150th birthday being celebrated in Manchester!
My first official Hugfest Hug was from Lucy on June 29th, 2017. I need this day to sit in my heart forever, because it was a pretty epic hug. Yes. There was happy tears. And lol’s. AND stuffed crust pizza – and I realised that I had only had a granola bar in over 28 hours, so that pizza was pretty much the greatest food I’ve ever eaten in like… ever. Spectacular company, that incredible beautiful creature sharing a meal with me, and her laugh. OH MY. She’s fabulous. ((I could keep gushing, but I think you get the point, she is awesome!!!))
I was booked in at Trivelles, Mayfair, in Stockport – greater Manchester area. Kinda like Scarborough to Toronto, rather than Taber to Calgary. There was wifi on the bus, from Gatwick to Manchester bus terminal, so I got to have a running commentary (status updates) about what I was experiencing as it was happening. Seriously though, London, have a chat with yourself. Hitchcock and King should be a bookstore. Silly city! I have yet to see THE EYE, Big Ben, or anything like that, but I wasn’t meant to be seeing London this trip anyway, so I wasn’t at all upset I missed anything touristy (I’ve never been much of a tourist anyway).
Got a taxi from the bus station to the hostel/hotel (it’s not quite either, but it’s kind of both?), pulled my luggage out of the boot (trunk), and paid the cabbie. He helped shift my heavy luggage to the door, and the manager, Assad, had the front door open as it was ridiculously hot (23c/74f) for the day I arrived. I grabbed my luggage, and as I walked through, a baby bird decided for fly in over my shoulder.
They’ve never had that issue before. *waves* Hi, I’m SnowWhitePixie, I bring animals with me. ((I’m sitting next to Pip’s Jack Russell Terrier, Harvey right now, as he has claimed me as one of his forever-humans – I’m okay with that, cause other than his eye-watering-farts, he’s exceptionally awesome)).
Trivelles, Mayfair has 3 main desk receptionists/porters; Assad (who looks like a beautiful tanned version of Hagrid ((He laughed heartily when I said that to him)), and has a mixture of an East Asian/Upper Middle Classe British accent combined. So, like how Hagrid talks, and Gandalf/Stephen Fry-esque with a brilliant toss in of brilliantly pronounced words, to give him a world-travelled sound. Chloë who I got hugs from and who is just adorable and hilarious and wonderful to talk to! And Amy, who I need a pocket for, because she’s so freaking cute, I need to tuck her in a pocket and pull her out whenever I want her to see the other beautiful things in the world. Every staff member was incredibly well suited (or at least faked it to seem as such) for client/customer service, and their desire to maintain a delightful stay for customers was so high, it seemed actually effortless for them. Kudos to the entire staff!!!
I got to see the inside of a proper English house, when Lu picked me up the following night for dinner at her mum’s, and oh my stars, these people are so wonderful!! I have talked to her mum a few times on Skype (in passing when she was passing a room Lu was talking in), and I finally got to meet Lu’s betrothed, Sav (not Savvy, yeah, I realise it might seem confusing, but no, it’s not at all!) in the flesh, because we’ve only ever chatted on Skype before now. Got to meet a baby who was so cute, and his mum is a tiny smiling awesome force of coolness as well (and I was informed a couple days after first meeting her that she’s a Detective Inspector! AAAAH!!!! She’s like Lestrad, only less bumbling, trust me.
So not a lot happened the next week, as Lu wasn’t expecting me, so I got to try and flip my sleep schedule over to one that is five hours earlier than my regular North American one. I was spoiled the last 14 years, only having to shift into one hour difference at the most from Central to Eastern, and then from Eastern to Atlantic. And for several months of the year, Eastern and Atlantic coincide together in places, so I wasn’t even losing an hour then! I had some extremely late nights, and long mornings, and I realised only when I was packing to leave I hadn’t even so much as shifted the television remote around the room! I have yet to see what BBC looks like in BBCland. BOOOOOOO I don’t plan on watching it, I just like seeing the ads and stuff for like a minute or two. Okay, that’s how they do stuff here, gotcha. Bye.
I had one of the greatest girly days, when Lu and I went out July 7th. We both ended up getting our nails done, and we spent a lovely evening with Sav, laughing and chatting while we were at Trafford Centre and having burritos after a shoe shop/epic conversation time. I got dropped off at Trivelles (way out of Lu’s way, sorry sweetheart!!!! When I get back, I’ll be so much closer!!!), and went to bed so excited for the following night’s Hen Party. As an aside, I still think if the Bachelorette is going to be referred to as a Hen, it only makes sense the Bachelor party is called the Cock Party. SHUSH, IT NEEDS TO HAPPEN.
I will admit, I was petrified. Absolutely petrified the next day. I didn’t sleep well the night before the Hen, and my agoraphobia kicked in hard core and I panicked, badly. I don’t do well in crowds, and I really don’t do well around strangers drinking and yelling. It’s not my idea of fun, and started to worry about things that wouldn’t have happened, but it just made things so much more magnified, when I kept thinking SHIT, if I don’t go, Lu’s gonna chuck me outta the bridal party, and I’m never ever ever going to see her again and she’s gonna hate me and be like FUCK YOU, you had to do like one thing, and you didn’t do the thing and now you can’t do any more things because… but I messaged her anyway. And as I knew deep down inside, she not only accepted it, she validated the fear, explained in her beautiful way that there was no expectation that I have to participate on something to that degree, and that she only wanted me to be happy and healthy. Then I did a really stupid thing and read the damn reviews of the place, whilst trying to calm down enough to go to get ready. I even had a cute dress to wear!!!
One of the complaints was that it was a swelteringly hot cave where everyone was stuck in in the basement area of the restaurant. Another complained about the food being cold and dry and unappealing. Another complained about the lack of cleanliness in the bathrooms… yeah, I wasn’t helping myself. And another wave of panic hit, and I even though I was excited to go, I was petrified I was going to do something so embarrassing or say something and offend someone (that rarely rarely happens, but still!), or… well a ton of other stupid unnecessary things to bombard my brain simultaneously.
So, as much as I have always wanted to enjoy a bachelorette/hen party, it has yet to happen. I didn’t have one per say on either marriage, though with the first, a group of us (those who were in the wedding party) went together to a comedy club and had a lovely dinner together about a month or so before the wedding. I’m just not meant to be around strangers drinking, loud music, confined spaces, and the possibility of bad decisions. Sensory overload to a level of crazy.
Sadly, it probably seemed like I was bailing because I had an early morning flight, but in all actuality, my flight to Cork was not the issue at all. I ended up staying awake from Saturday morning, and didn’t sleep again until Sunday night.
I think I’m still going to be trying to catch up on sleep for the next year.