I was lucky enough to come across a fantastic blog the other day in which a girl who is really into flea markets has given herself a budget of 365 American pounds to dress herself for a year by scouring flea markets and re-working dresses she finds there. I saw a brilliant post where she took a faded lavender nightgown, dyed it and reworked it into a stunning dress worthy of London Fashion Week. This is a worthy example of how re-working a dress to make something far cooler and most importantly more suited to yourself; the dress I am wearing today is an example of why one should be careful of assuming DIY dress design is not for everyone.
When I was head bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding her incredibly talented mother made my bridesmaid dress from a vintage Vogue pattern from the 1950s. Being involved in the process of creating a dress is a brilliant experience. You might get the occasional pin in an unexpected place but I got to watch as what started as a pair of old cotton curtains got turned into a fantastic fitted silk dress with a tiered petticoat which was carefully stitched and crafted by my friend’s mother. It was an absolute honour being maid of honor and having a dress which wasn’t being worn by every other bridesmaid around the country added to this privilege. Dress making is tragically a dying art in the majority of households. Back in the day mothers used to make the majority of their children’s clothing; my grandmother would knit us cardigans for school and indeed one of my friends received matching booties, hats and cardigans for her baby from a wonderful elderly friend of hers.
The difficulty with dress making and indeed clothes making is that with clothes available now so cheaply there is no incentive to spend considerable amounts of money or what is more important for most of us these days, our time, in creating something from nothing but material, needle and a love of design. In our time then it makes far more sense to take the clothes we have, particularly those which have gotten a little frayed, loose, tight or faded and create something new. Stitch and Bitch classes are at large all around the country and for my Manchester followers I know of one taking place at Fuel Cafe on a Sunday. What you have to be aware of though is that re-working a dress is not as easy as taking a pair of scissors to a demure hemlines and turning it into something suitable only for showing one’s smalls.
This danger is I am sorry to say illustrated by the dress I am wearing today which was purchased from a girl on eBay. Though I thought it looked quite cute when I brought it I failed to look carefully enough at the hem of the dress. Bare in mind, a bad hemlines and stitching will ruin an outfit and can make one look crumpled and cheap. Whether you buy your clothing from Primark or Prada make sure you check the quality of the stitching on the hemlines, cost is not necessarily a guarantee of quality.
When this little frock arrived I was a tad worried for two reasons; first it was not as I had originally thought a hand-made frock, it was brought by its previous owner from Bay Trading and re-mastered into a foxy little bustier dress/ boob tube. It is undeniably sweet looking and reminds me of Manga but has unfortunately been cut so short it would only be suitable for someone who is around the 5ft mark. At 5ft 5″ I am hardly tall but on me, as the boy takes great pain in pointing out it looks as though it is designed for a 13-year-old girl.
As I packed in a hurry last night and had not previously tried it on I only realised the unsuitability of the outfit this morning. As with the T-Shirt dress of last Sunday I felt as though once chosen I have no choice but to wear a dress till the day’s end and ignoring the boy and struggling into a pair of form-fitting 60 denier black tights and my life saving M & S T-Shirt I bit the bullet and went in search of a full length mirror. To be fair it has been a reasonably nice choice and once I got used to having to keep my back to the wall when in company I started to warm to it.
It is so brilliantly cheerful even though I was woken four hours after i got to sleep by the enthusiastic alarm clock that is the best friend’s son, I felt rather chirpy. After I had gotten up and persuaded him to wake the boy as well we spent the day pleasantly telling stories, taking it in turns to snooze and fighting off the hoards at M & S to get the dine in deal. In spite of my disheveled experience me and the boy had a lovely dinner date together and got to relish in a rare opportunity for it to be jut the two of us to dine. When you are in a long distance relationship and both have a dream you want to pursue the time you do get to see each other can I find at times be rather stressful as you are so concerned about fitting a weeks worth of dates into one weekend; we try to see our friends; go out to gigs and restaurants and movies all the while trying to make sure we look our best and don’t end up having a tiff and ending the weekend on a bad note. Perhaps because of this then it is when we get to just chill out on our own together, catching up on the week behind us lazy eyed and unkempt with my panda eyes and his weekend stubble that we often have the most fun together. When you get a night to relax in it can sometimes be the nicest thing in the world, even if you are disheveled and sleepy it can be really great slowing down with someone especially with someone with whom the clock is always ticking on your time together.
Emerging out of the recession with more false starts than Great Britain is the grand opening of Sound Control Manchester. You may have heard it had launched a couple of times back last year, but as these openings either didn’t go to plan or were not quite as spectacular as hoped, much like a bride on her wedding night telling her husband he is her first, Sound Control have decided these other nights didn’t really count. I imagine they are hoping anyone who attended the other launches was too tanked to remember it or have now convinced themselves that even though the music was better than normal, they had been at 42s after all.
Entering the club the first thing I feel aware of is the nerves of the staff and owners. They have embarked on an impressive publicity campaign and delaying the grand opening does seem a wise step. The venue looks superb; with a bar lined with pretty red lights and bathroom facilities far lovelier than anything you’ll find at Manchester’s longer running indie nights. There is paper and soap provided for a start.
Though they have expressed a desire to keep the building in its “raw industrial state” the end look is in places more rushed than raw and as I sit down on the wonderfully springy wooden chairs to take in the place I realise the smell I first noticed when I came in is sawdust which litters the lush tables.
There is some disappointment from people who have come here on a promise of stomping ska and garage in the basement club when it is closed only an hour after it opens as there are not enough people to fill the floor. Most people however, myself included, are quite content with the other floors; a bar area where one can listen to music whilst chatting with friends and a fantastic upstairs room which has a fantastic pa and music pit which when combined with its wonderful mini podiums for chilling out and acting up on could well rival The Academy as a live music venue.
The night is everything a music lover and a dance floor mover would want. The playlist is fantastic; whilst unafraid of old Indie classics for the sentimental, these songs do not define the night. There are plenty of new tunes and an impressive line up is advertised of live music to come, including a visit from The Drums a popular post-punk group from New York early in February.
Sound Control is besides Oxford Road station and as a result the launch attracts some interesting traffic. As well as indie boys and girls, some of whom tell me they were heading to 5th Avenue but thought they would give it a go and were pleased they had, there are middle aged men and even a couple of cowgirls. They all seem united by their appreciation of having found a good music night with decent beer on tap as well as drinks offers. At £3 entry with a flyer and £1.50 for Carlsberg, Alco pops and spirit and mixers you can leave feeling quite tipsy with change from a ten-pound-note.
Formerly a music shop where legendary artists brought the tools of their trade; Sound Control will soon be known as a venue where musicians inspired by such acts will come to play. This is, The Launch Night of Sound Control Manchester, and for the sake of indie-music lovers everywhere I hope it will be the launch of many a great night to come.
For more info and line-ups go to Sound Control
After returning from a hard night’s work reviewing the launch of Manchester’s new indie club night (yes another one, but this one is actually quite good) I was struck down by the blues. It was frustrating because it was entirely unexpected. I had been out partying for goodness sake and me and the boy, or C-Dawg as he would apparently now like to be known, had a really great time. In spite of his usual dread of the dance floor he had conceded to stand around the edge with me as I acted like a female dance yo-yo. I kept spinning and jiggly bopping away off his, occasionally shimmering further afield but regularly returning to his side for a smooch. We had chatted away to near strangers, drank cheap beer and “own-brand vodka” which sounds cool and quite prohibition but is actually just a fancy way of seeing cheaper than the good stuff and bearable if you’re already a tad tipsy. In spite of all these nightly pleasures however there is no denying the sorry mess I crumpled into on returning from our night out.
I would like to blame the tragic legging lovelies I spotted in mass; most were wearing them with flats which is a guaranteed way of increasing canklage potential. Thankfully the amount of smoke did help to hide from view any front rumps but it could not prevent me spotting a new take on the trend involving cheap dimante sown sporadically over the offending article. It would not be fair though however tempting to blame the poor souls, they are only young and perhaps it is a way of attracting indie men of which I am sadly unfamiliar with.
We got through the door and all of a sudden I couldn’t stop crying. The only serious upset I can attribute these unexpected tears to was the thought of leaving Manchester the following morning. It is difficult when your heart is in one place but your home is in another. Though I am lucky enough to have good friends in both cities I often feel isolated and alone when I am in Market Harborough. Though I try to keep myself busy with no regular employment it is easy to spend the day alone and even with blogs to write and dresses to wear the hours leave you craving company and buzz of the office.
I fell in love with Manchester the moment I arrived for an open day at The University; when I moved there months later I would walk around the city with my eyes to the sky in awe of the architecture and the tall buildings, stopping off in a café for a coffee just looking out and lapping up the novelty of it all. Even after deferring my first year, mainly due to my first episode of depression, I still craved a return to the city. It has a buzz and a warmth which just seems accepting of all who arrive and I was hooked upon it even before I met the boy who loves it as much as me.
One of the difficulties with depression, particularly I find with my own is that a lot of the time it tends to creep up on you so fast you are left wondering when it began and more importantly why. I remember one friend asking me again and again what it was that was making me miserable, she was convinced there was something we could do about it if only I could find the cause but sadly it doesn’t always work that way. Some depressions I have experienced have been the result of specific incidents or situations. I had a particularly bad bout of depression after working as an Events Manager for a boss whose behaviour bordered on passive cruelty. I also suffered badly after a messy break up but the majority of episodes I have had have just come upon me for apparently no reason at all. I used to spend hours trying to connect the dots of how I had fallen into it only to give up frustrated that no matter how much I tried to trace it back I could find no cause. Nowadays I try not to obsess too much. It is wasted energy and unfortunately when it comes upon me I don’t tend to have too much too spare.
The dress I am wearing is another eBay purchase which is originally from Miss Selfridge. It is lovely looking but was a pain to get into, the boy had to aid me and I’m sure his poor house mate had to close his ears when he came home for his lunch thinking we were at afternoon delight and not clothing related recreation. It says it is a size 10 but I can only hope it was classed as a size ten a couple of decades ago when a size ten was the modern-day equivalent of a size eight or even six; either that or I better get myself on the treadmill.
Day 24 – manners in motion; indiscretion in the film industry and potential problems of using one’s phone
After conducting the penultimate train journey in aid of researching by article soon to be published on the terror of trains I was feeling particularly positive about my journey. I had managed to avoid buses or delays rand right up until the very last stage of my journey I was able to say I had a fairly pleasant travelling experience.
All that changed however when I boarded the bus to Mauldeth Road last night which would take me to see the boy upon its route to Manchester Airport. As I tried to relax and read the week’s review in The Sunday Times, I suddenly became frightfully aware of a verbal assault on my ear drums. A particularly toffish type character was spouting away about his latest film project in spite of being surrounded by people who were too poor to get a taxi. At first I stuck my fingers into my ear hoping he would get the hint but his dulcet tones still evaded my delicate drums. As he had not get the hint I decided that if he wanted people to hear every details of his film project and his meeting with the elusive Catherine as well as his opinion on Rio Ferdinand and the girls of Coronation Street, the least I could do was give him an extra platform for his drivel and practice my teeline at the same time.
The dress I am wearing today is strangely enough from supermarket giant, George at Asda. I brought it when I was working at McClelland and the boy was doing some recording at blueprint. I was rather poorly and had gone to work looking like a scruff so changed into this dress before going to Blueprint if I bumped into the Elbow boys or Justin Timberlake who had recorded there the previous year. Obviously I wanted to look nice for the boy as well. Today’s photos are once again taken by him and this is perhaps obvious by the fact he chooses to focus more on my legs than the dress but hopefully you can see enough to appreciate it is a cute little number. We took the photos in Fuel again as we had been to a comedy night before chilling out afterwards with some strawberry beer.
What follows is a script of the boy on the bus speaking on his phone to an actor involved in his project which sounded as though it was going to be another zombie inspired apocalyptic reel. The poor actor barely had a chance to speak but I have also left out some details to prevent too much of the project being given away and to protect the privacy of some of the people he mentioned but otherwise it is an exact account of his ramblings. Chris Moyles could have been inspired by this gentleman.
“We are going to blow them up. It’s going to be a full on explosion. Going to be a big blow…
She is living with one of the girls in Corrie’ at the minute and she wants her to have a part. She also knows other people that she knows in that area…
apparently she is doing some singing at the moment at a club that is owned by a United player, what’s his name, I don’t know because I don’t care about any of those United players, Rio Ferdinand that’s it, that was his name. Anyway she has sung at his club and Catherine is going to try to get us that as a location.
She was really positive, she was saying I will get you this, I will get you that. She has done TV, she has done feature films so she has picked up some contacts along the way. As they say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know
I will tell you what, the Romoans now have a mansion to live in.. it has a massive basement and a moat. They found the remains of a priest who lived there and there is a cella which we need
I know, you are a legend for introducing us…
I am going to teach her to fight how to use a gun and get her in the look of being a very interesting character who is also a gun touting maniac.
This is just when everything starts happening and the only way this film is not going to get made is if you or me die or me being completely ridiculous and stupid and not working on it.
Catherine know some people from the BBC so we will be able to get some good interest from the press and get some journalists really listening to us and interested in this film.
I really want to get a helicopter in the scene, I think we need it.
Although I have previously waxed lyrical on my lack of any burning desire to pro-create; thank the stars I hear you think; there are three children who I fear will eventually change my mind leaving me a child wanting wreck of a woman. The children in question are all those of three of my closest girl friends and are also the offspring of some of my oldest friends. The first with whom I chose to accessories with today is Isabelle Faulkner the child of my married friends Sue and Chris. Isabelle ran the risk of being called Smedley by her father but thankfully when she arrived into this world, her dark hair and dastardly cute behaviour ensured Isabelle was a more proper choice. In the photos Isabelle can be seen in the early stages of a fashion addiction which will bring her parents as much joy as it will pain. She became fascinated by my shoe especially when teamed with the shoe song, you really don’t want to know. Unfortunately whilst trying to kiss or possibly chew the shoe; she is teething; she somehow managed to head-butt it and turned from giggly angel to crotch patch in a split second.
The other two children are Ben Slessor, a four-year old who rises about the same time but who has a very pleasant way and who when he is told it is bed-time will go with minimal fuss leaving myself and my friend to gossip well into the early hours of the night; and Olivia Nicholson Steel, the curly blonde toddler who stole my heart back at Christmas when I taught her The Pogue’s Fairytale of New York and carried her with a blanket over her head through the naughty section of an art exhibition I had gone to with her mother at the Tate. She is ridiculously advanced for her age and gives both her parents Niki and Marcus endless pleasure with her sing-songs, sticker art and bed time run about. She is a fashion forward young woman with a wardrobe which puts even my collection to shame and already owns a matching fur coat and hat; gifted to her by yours truly; and a leather jacket with sheepskin lining; all animal friendly of course.
One of the greatest things about these children is that becoming a part of the smug parent clan has not resulted in them becoming smug or horribly mature at all. Though they are all wonderful parents who go out of their way to meet the needs of their child without spoiling them they are still all bloody good fun. Kat in particular is my oldest friend, I was her maid of honour at her wedding and we opened our GCSE results together after a holiday in Lanzarote where I had a rather foolish affair with a Greek waiter called Eric who was utterly gorgeous but had extremely limited English other than “honey vodka?” or “Ellieali”. We still go out on the town on the odd occasion but are equally happy to stay in for a bbq or cook a meal for one another. Kat is utterly hilarious and in spite of being scarily intelligent she never makes anyone feel foolish for being ignorant on any point. On arrival at Sue’s house on Saturday on being asked by my friend Monica whether she had read my blog, she promptly lifted up her long checked shirt dress to show carefully covered leggings beneath. Although I was traumatised I was very pleased to see she had made time to read.
Isabelle’s mother Susanna or Sue is one of the sweetest people one could ever meet. She is a wonderful hostess, relaxed but generous with her home and delicious cups of tea and when wanted pink rosé wine to satisfy both the drinkers of red and the drinkers of white. Katherine and Susanna are as I said are some of my oldest friends, and the fantastic thing about old friends is how well they know you. There is never a need to put on a fake smile or hide how one is feeling. When around old friends I find as I imagine many people do that I can relax and become part of the furniture or join in with the banter and tales of past naughtiness as much as I wish. Older friends are also thankfully never afraid to give you a good telling off if they think you have gone astray; I was carefully questioned by my friend Monica over what my problem was with the legging lovelies as well as my dig at Moyles. They also had no qualms about asking me whether I had abandoned the 365 dress project for the day and was instead going for 365 slightly longer than average tops. I covered myself with a sky blue scarf when sitting down and did all in my power to stretch it out once more.
The dress I am wearing, yes it is a dress, today is by Topshop from their autumn / winter collection 2005-2006. I bought it during a rather large spending spree at the beginning of my last year at Manchester University. It was an extravagant buy at £40 but we were having a cops and robbers themed house party and it seemed worth the green. It was longer to begin with but has I believe shrunk now a little. As you all know by now I am not one to shy away from high hems but I would recommend that if one was to wear a hemlines this short that you do so with longer slouchy boots or perhaps thicker denier tights or dare I say it leggings; so long as you have no plans for front rump flashing.
I shall end the posting with a joke from one of my oldest and bestest friends and mother of the beautiful Isabelle; “Look Ellie, it’s a horse shoe”.
When I was growing up and my baby brother was still, well a baby, my Dad had no choice other than to take me along to Premiership football games at Coventry City. This was back in the days of Dion Dublin, where every single season we managed to hang on from relegation by the skin of our teeth. Although my father spent much of his time trying to shield me from curse words and hooligans; politely informing them if they bumped into me one more time he would have to punch them into next week, fellow supporter though they may well be, we used to have a great time together and until my brother started to come to the games it was our little father and daughter day out. One of our collective favourite memories of going together, I would say my own was when I met Kevin Keegan when we played Newcastle but I think my father was too busy trying to prevent me defecting teams to enjoy the experience; was when we scored a goal in the last minutes of play thus escaping relegation for another year. It had snowed and everyone was so overjoyed that there was a massive pitch invasion which my father joined in with. I felt extremely proud as I watched him return his face aglow having thrown a snowball at one of the opposition players.
As I got older and my brother got taller my Dad started taking both of us along to the matches. It was a pity really but the costs just got too high and naturally he felt obliged to bring his son along to an experience which is more often associated with father and son pairings. I had reached the wonderful age of answering back and instead of attending matches in a pom-pom hat and baby blue corduroy coat I wanted to go in tight leather trousers, thick green statement knits and berets. It was not that I wanted to be a wag I had just started to become as interested in fashion as I was in football and I guess it was difficult for my father to take a Faux French daughter to a football ground. I still went to see Coventry play from time to time and watched football on TV when I had the time, particularly match of the day if my Dad had it on and I had been allowed to stay up, but slowly but surely I started to spend my Saturdays hanging out with friends in town shopping with the little money we had, drinking hot chocolate, chit chatting and checking out boys.
These days my Saturdays are spent in much less clear-cut pursuits, but I would do myself an injustice if I did not admit that football and fashion are still the main focus of this day. If I am not checking the web to see how the games are going, I am bopping about town looking for bargains whilst glaring at anyone foolish enough to mention the results, hoping I can catch them on match of the day before anyone gives the scores away. I have been lucky enough to report on matches for the non-league paper, and got to take my father along to a spectacular end of season final between Durham City and Woodley Sports where visitors Durham came behind from three down to win the match and rise up to the next division.
As I wondered round Manchester yesterday however I was struck by how many things have spilled off of the field to become everyday behaviours which have a negative effect on my fashion finding. As I waited outside the Arndale I was shocked by how many people emerged from the double doors to spit out the contents of their mouth, be it spit or chewing gum. Assuming these people had not been engaged in rigorous sport inside the shopping centre, (though shopping can at times be a fast paced activity it can certainly not be compared to the cardio kick which is the great game) I could not understand why they thought it was acceptable to spit in a public place. I wish I had had the courage to face them but foolishly I had read an article about a woman who was knifed after asking someone to be quiet in the cinema and my usual interfering nature escaped me. The other fashion I noticed whilst waiting for the boy to emerge from the shops was bear bellied girls. It was not that I found the sight of these girls stomachs particularly hideous, they were extremely tone tummies, it was just that they looked so completely wrong in context. Although most of the snow has left Manchester it is still utterly freezing, even I have lately had to abandon outside shoots till the weather improves, and yet these women were walking round like they are in the Bahamas. Although this dress leaves little to the imagination in terms of length (I did have to exclude some photos from the blog) when on the street I was cloaked in many layers and more importantly other than my face and hands no bare flesh is being exposed to the Northern elements. In a club or on a hot day you expect to see flesh, on the football pitch you hope to see it either in appreciation of the beauty of the male form or because your team have just scored a goal and the scorer is celebrating by whipping off his top regardless of the card he will receive, but outside in Manchester in January bare flesh is about as unexpected as the spittle which lines the pavements.
Today’s dress is 1980s vintage Miss Selfridge. The material is thick and heavy and although I had to wear a vest tucked firmly into tights to protect myself from the elements it does feel like a winter dress with minimal need for remodification. I must admit I was thinking of saving it for an interview or a film inspired post but I was feeling a bit low yesterday and needed the kind of lift which wearing such a brilliant item can give you. Like much of 80s fashion it has the all important power dressing factor. The shoulders are so wide that even my cloak hanger upper form struggled with wearing it. It has really unusual braces which you pull in and clip to the material to give you as little or as much of a waist as you might want. I wore it with patterned tights and Kurt Geiger statement purple and dark blue heels from last years collection. They are all of about sis inches high with a platform at the front and mean I do not feel at all intimidated by lout returning through town with too much drink in their bellies as I am usually several inches taller than them by the time defeat or alcohol has bent their back. I went full force with the make up, tracing gold and beige shadow up to the brow and leaving my hair naturally large to fit in with the time although I had to wipe off my lipstick as I was looking a little too lady of the night. I got the dress from eBay for 0.99p plus postage and packaging. Sometimes you get really lucky on eBay if nobody else can see the potential of a dress off the model or the floor especially if you decide what you are paying and take into account postage and packaging. I think I had to pay £4 to have this delivered, but even for £5 I think it is a good bargain and am already a little sad that I didn’t have the energy to wear it out last night and settled for match of the day and Poland’s finest export to date krupnik instead.
Day nine – grandeur and grime, the morning after a night at Belfast Castle and the Kremlin with its resident royalty queen
Waking up to a hangover which left me considering whether it was time to give up the Rioja and hang up my cocktail dress forever, I knew the day would be difficult. A former girl guide and air cadet however always comes ready. Having known we would be spending the night with one of my wilder friends in Belfast fair city; a girl with the uncanny ability to drink me under the table twice over, whose command of the English language leaves her the only person in living history who communicates at the same speed as myself; I had packed a grey three-quarter length sleeved sparkley dress for the morning after. The dress, originally from Oasis but bought from the Stock X-change in Market Harborough for £9, is so comfortable that I have been known to wrap it round a hot water bottle when in need of a cuddle in the absence of the boy. It is also just about short enough to detract attention from dark glitter filled eyes, grey tinged skin and mohito tainted breath.
Our night in Belfast was chaotic to say the least. Having begun the night at Belfast castle with its stunning views over the starlit city and its beautiful ancient grounds we ended the night retreating as fast as we could from the vomit scented maze of Europe’s largest gay club.
My designer dress, (I found out it was made by V V though I am still at a loss to who this might be) combined with a Russian style fur hat which I got from a charity shop back in May, (please note I am pretty sure it is fake but have no idea of knowing for sure) went down a storm in the Kremlin where a prominent bosom receives barely a glance. We had high hopes for the club giving its reputation for being a popular palace for Belfast’s gay community, (or people who are confused as my mother calls them), and providing they are respectful, heterosexual visitors alike. Sadly we were left sorely disappointed by the place and had we not began the night at the castle with a fabulous three course meal I would have felt my dress had been sadly wasted at such a place.
I had an open mind as we climbed the stairs to the cocktail bar away from the main dance floors and forced myself to ignore the unusual scent that greeted us. It was reasonably cheap to enter and having got free wine with our meal deal I was in no hurry to get more alcohol. Having waited over twenty minutes for the waiter to make a mojhito however my mouth did start to get a little dry.
After lounging by the bar, employed in some fascinating people watching; namely a transvestite with a giant red wig, well over six-foot who wore skin-tight flame red hot-pants which matched the wig; we made our way over to the dance floor. On the way to the cheesy tunes room, (when in Rome), I again smelt the unusual scent which my friend explained to me was dried vomit.
Hoping a stint on the dance floor would help me consign this revelation to the back of my mind we found us a space to boogie. Unfortunately with the dance floor depressingly empty one could not help but feel self-conscious. Although we made an effort to make the best of a bad situation, bopping away on the balcony and giggling with glee at the sight of a scrawny man stripping off his t-shirt whilst simultaneously simulating sex with his dance partner, the evening fell flat and the overwhelming scent saw us flee from the club before half one to a carriage driven by a wonderful man named Barney.
Thankfully on arrival back at the flat we were joined by my friends brother and his friend. They were two intelligent and rather attractive lads who were game for a giggle and determined to convince the boy to join in with a sing-song to Boyzone. The boy is famously snobbish about his music taste and I alone refer to him as a musical Nazi, so this spectacle alone made the three-hour journey extremely worthwhile. Our friend was as hospitable as only the Irish can be, and with many cups of tea, a spectacular fry and her brothers brilliant jokes, (including the absolutely classic, “what does a condom and your girlfriend have in common? They both spend more time in your wallet than at the end of your dick”) we were soon cured of our hangover and convinced that had the bus system in Ireland been more reliable we would have stayed on for another night on the tiles in search of less vomit scented abodes.