March 14, 2010 at 9:50 pm (Back Packing, bipolar, Canterbury Court, Charity, Clubbing, Coffee, Counselling, Depression, Designers, Dress making, dresses, Fashion, Fashion Icons, Female solidarity, Feminism, Fine dining, Fitness, Football, Friendship, Gifts, Gossip, Holidays, Homelife, Inspirational women, Leicester, Long distance relationships, Manchester, Market Harborough, mental health, Motherhood, Movement to stop Uggs making the world ugly, Music, photography, Pregnancy, Relationships, Shoes, Smoking, Social Media, Student, Style, The ageing process, The boy, Transport, Uncategorized, Unemployment, University life, Vintage, Walking, Wedding, Wine)
Today I was out and about in Leicester with three of the friends in this two-part post. After having a girls sleepover last night where we all got teary eyed watching The Time Travellers Wife I was woken this morning by my friend’s son who decided that the best way to get his Auntie Ellie out of bed was to jump on top of her. Thankfully my other friend who I had fallen asleep beside came to my rescue and took him into the kitchen to play until I managed to come round enough to mumble a morning. I will never understand how people function without coffee or tea and do not take kindly to being woken up by anyone who is not carrying a pot of this liquid morning gold. This then is my excuse for looking decidedly dishevelled and as pale as a ghost in today’s images. I spent my day with my three lovely ladies feeling like quite the lady of lunches as we settled in to the sumptuous sofas at the slug and lettuce.
Monica Kenny: Monica has made an appearance in the posts in the past. She has been a great friend ever since our sixth form days. We can chat for hours on the phone and still have loads to say when we meet up for coffee ten minutes later. She is fiercely loyal and has stood by me through all of my episodes. She once came up to Manchester for the weekend on a surprise visit just because I’d told her I was struggling to make friends and along with the two pals she dragged along with her they cheered me up no end. During the weekend we somehow managed to knock a bottle of wine and a plant pot of soil into one of my drawers and it made me smile every time I went to wear something to find it smelled of Lambrini. No matter how many times I end up breaking down she is always there to help me feel better and cracks me up with her sarcastic sense of humour. Whenever I’m feeling too blue to go out in public she’ll come round to my house with flowers and even put on a pot of tea for us. She is a fabulous companion on a night out and is ever happy to join me in tearing it up on the dance floor and even puts up with my terrible parking and love of listening to hardcore gangs-ta rap in the car whilst I drive. She has supported me no end with this project and I love that she lives just a hill away from me. We have shared endless taxis home from Leicester after nights out when we were at college and somehow she always manages to bargain us the cheapest ride even when we spend the whole time singing and demanding the poor driver turns up the radio pretty please. She always makes an effort to get along with my boyfriends, even the eejots.
Suzanne Faulkner: Sue or Lady Susanna as I tend to call her is always able to crack me up. It is thanks to Sue that we used to get served in pubs when we were 16, she had the self-assured presence that most sixteen year old girls lack and had no qualms about going to the bar and asking for eight bottles of orange reef. Me, Monica and Sue used to hang out during free periods in the sixth form tuck shop and once when Monica had some rubbish news we shared a bottle of vodka and some chocolates before heading off to lessons where we eagerly got involved in debates about I’m still not quite sure what. When I went away to Cos with the girls, me and Sue decided we wanted to spend a day in Turkey haggling and hunting for fake designer finds; we even brought a bigger bag to help us smuggle them back from the mainland. Unfortunately when we got to the shore at dawn it was to find our ship would not set to sail due to severe weather warnings. After trying to convince random fishermen to stow us away on their ships we dug our bare feet into the sand and whilst we watched as the sun came up we decided to make the best of a bad situation. After finding the only place in Cos which did an English breakfast with drinkable tea, Heinz baked beans and tomato sauce we got on a bus to the other side of the island where we found an array of fake Louis Vuitton bags and wallets and some great actual designer deals. I brought a YSL skirt that was so tiny that whenever I wear it I have to put shorts on to protect my modesty and a rolex for my boyfriend as a treat. Sue now has a baby and a husband but she is still an absolute riot and makes the meanest cup of tea in the Midlands.
KI: I am not sure when me and Kat became friends but all I know is that by the time university ended I had found the one girl capable of keeping up with me on a shopping trip. Kat shares my love of beautiful indecently high heels, vintage finds and chocolate rich deserts. We have spent many a day pouring over vintage bags and scarves and she has an eye for a find which means that every time I see her she surprises me with Primark finds which could very well be from Prada. She is a great friend who is never afraid to voice her concern when I get on the wrong side of slim and never bothers to flattter me with nonsense. She christened me crazy Ellie but has never once made me feel embarrassed about my “issues”, indeed she somehow manages to make my troubles seem more manageable by making me find the funny side of them. No matter how long it has been since we have seen each other there is never need for apology or awkward silences and though I am sure we would be happy to sit in each others company without saying a word we rarely have time to try it out as we always have so much to gossip and gas about over our large glasses of white and red wine and the decadent deserts that we always share – 50 per-cent less fat don’t you know! Although she is a year younger than me she inspires me with her ability to save up her money for travelling, study and even home ownership. She is the anchor who will tell me when I am being an eejot and will help to pull me back to earth when I am flying too high. Shopping is never quite as good without her at my side.
EK: Whilst I was at Uni I was lucky enough to have some great course friends. The ones who have remained a part of my life the most have been Kat, Elly and Marie. Myself and Marie met in my first year and our ability to talk faster than anyone else on the planet meant we quickly became firm friends. All three of them helped me to somehow get through my degree by reminding me of essay deadlines, helping me to study and even lending me lecture notes from the nine am lectures I so rarely managed to make it along to; mornings have never been my forte.
The four of us together went on one of the most amazing holidays I have ever had to Venice after finishing our dissertations. We had a fantastic time; drinking dry white wine on St Marks Square, trying on diamonds in the glass houses and imagining the futures that lay before us.
I met Elly in my final year through a mutual friend and it was love at first site for both of us. Though we both often struggle to get on with girls on account of us usually getting on well with the guys the two of us clicked immediately. We spent our first day with one another lounging on the lawn outside the union drinking beer and bearing our souls. By the end of the day and indeed the end of a fairly booze fuelled registration week we were best buddies and she saw me through a year of heartache and hilarious affairs. The tragedy of our friendship and probably the blessing of the male population is we have never been single at the same time. She is the only girl I ever kissed and is the only reason I would ever consider moving to London town. We once went on a huge night out there where we didn’t pay for one drink but somehow managed to get completely hammered. At the end of the night whilst stumbling up the garden path we both managed to fall either side into the bushes. After lying there in hysterics for what felt like hours I somehow managed to pull both of us from the hedges. The next day we had to spend hours trying to locate wallets and phones in the undergrowth whilst nursing one of the worst hangovers of my life with a cold beer. When she went travelling around the globe I missed her like crazy and whenever we see one another we always end up having a great giggle.
Niki Steele: Niki has appeared in the blog before, most recently in the series about the boy and I. It is thanks to Niki that me and the boy got it together back in my final year at university. We met whilst I was working at a bar in Manchester and even after I quit we stayed in touch. We used to get together for coffee and roll up liquorice cigarettes to have a break from uni work and would end up spending the evening boozing into the early hours. Along with Ms Clayton she is my dance partner of the north and when she relocated down to London to start an apprenticeship in glass blowing I was heart-broken even though I was happy for her. I am the fairy god mother of her gorgeous baby girl and some of the best nights out I’ve ever had have been in fifth Ave with her dancing at my side. She is the girl who introduced me to Mac, the one who would always make sure I got home okay when I’d drank too much and would never bother to trouble me with the gory details if I’d acted the fool. She is more skilled at table football and pool than any girl or guy I know and is an accomplished glass blower whose pieces are the ultimate ornament for every affluent home across the globe.
There are so many more girlfriends I want to include but even if I had a hundred posts I could not thank them enough for all they have done and all they continue to do to make my life a brighter place. There is one quote I found whilst I was researching this piece which applies I imagine to almost every friendship I have ever had and to those who have stuck around in spite of my crazy I thank you a thousand times over.
“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they’re okay, then it’s you.” Rita Mae Brown 1944
And finally to every friend I was lucky enough to have had in my life: “You were the one who made things different, you were the one who took me in. You were the one thing I could count on, above all, you were my friend.” ~ Author unknown
- Today’s dress is an absolute privilege to wear. It is on loan from Belinda Smears and is designer. I wore it with tan tights and Kurt Geiger statement heels because it is just too pretty to drown in opaques. The photos were taken by the boy back in Withington after I got home from a long train journey and a lovely lunch with my Leicester ladies.