Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Night I Got Out

So a week or so ago I got out. I mean out, into London, with an old friend, to a swanky wanky do at the posho Ivy club - yes, the club above The Ivy restaurant. For what it is worth, in my hey day I went to the Ivy a few times and the food was a bit meh. A lot of hype, celeb packed - everyone looking over their shoulder - and great mash for about a million quid. The best time I ever had there was a lunch with my mucker Dax - when Prince Edward sat next to us and we were politely asked to leave when it looked like we had bedded in for the dinner menu as well.

I digress - unlike me I know. Anyway, life has been a bit tough money wise in these here parts since about 1982. Well, since I sprogged the Diva anyway. But since Husband has been looking for work - 3 months now - it has been harder. So when my mate Max said 'do you fancy a free drink?' I was there faster than it took to pour one.

Now when you arrive at the The Ivy club (which we almost didn't - we took the wrong door and the woman who told us where to go did so with a slight sympathetic look on her face - like we were homeless) you are greeted by a suited man who holds open the glass door to a room filled with blooms in round glass vases and a mirrored lift - a life so bright and shiny and lit up and mirrored - it feels like you are actually ascending to heaven and at the top St Peter will be there - clipboard in hand. It was even a shame to push the buttons - dare we leave a finger print behind. I waited to hear angels singing - but we were whizzed up to the first floor in no time. Where more people told us where to go - fourth floor, just past the magazine rack on the left.

Through the maze of money and fine dining we arrived and in typical CM who drinks fashion - I started drinking. I raced to the bar and necked champagne - with Max reminding me sweetly that the party was due to run until one pm, maybe the rush to consume alcohol could be tempered.

Max is a smoker. He is rarely without something burning his fingertips, so we went outside to the smoking area - a small terrace, decorated with bushes up the walls and fancy stone sculptures that actually are cigarette butt bins/ six foot ash trays. we squeezed amongst the glitterati - as this was a party for The Huffington Post, celebrating its first birthday.

Once we had discussed our respective nightmare lives at the moment - it was time to star bother. First up I hassled Cherry Healey - lady who presents that show about the big questions us Mothers have in life - like can we do drugs again, is it better to be married or single, are we addicts, body issues and all stuff that we fret over in these self absorbed times. She was like a sprightly pixie - all fun and sincerity - and we bonded for most of the evening. That was of course, when I wasn't racing to the bar and indulging myself in yet another cocktail. Max, rooted to the fagging area - was hob nobbing between folk he knew, and when I couldn't find him, I decided the easiest thing was to drink both cocktails I was holding. Be a shame to waste them. Did I mention they were lethal? More alcohol than juice - in pretty old champagne style glasses - all sticky and sweet and three gulps and they were gone. So what was the harm in having another one? And maybe another, as I am thirsty, and then oh what the hell, I am out, so what's the big deal? i have only had 3, or was it four, and the champagne, and maybe it was five and..... oh dear.

I bumped into an old presenter chum who married Vanessa Feltz, although when she talked to me - as pleasant as she was, her face wore the expression as if someone in the group had farted and she was trying not to smell it. Her Husband (my old presenting mate) was lovely - all blingy diamond earrings and winning smile. Then I charged over to a woman I recognised from when I first moved to London and it turns out she is the blogging editor of the huff post - she used to write for the NME. Now, I know we talked at length - but I cannot remember I single word - but I vaguely recall setting empty cocktail glasses on top of the bushy things lining the wall - the poor plants drowning in smoke.

As you can tell, I never get out. My painting London red white and blue days are long gone - so perhaps I charged at this event with a bit too much enthusiasm. I suddenly realised it was 11pm and time to go home. So I waved goodbye to Max and staggered out the door - not before I had swept an entire table worth of wrapped iced biscuits into my bag for my work buddies the next day.

Then, well... I don't really remember. I know I got the tube and have a flashback memory of going in the wrong direction. I recall getting on the train to go home - a miracle I even got to the platform - and then thinking - that is it - I am going to be sick. I am pretty positive I made it to the train toilets, and after that it is a blur. A kind woman stroked my hair and promised she would get me home - I remember saying my address over and over again - like I was Dorothy and this would get me home. I had to keep moving seats as I felt so ill and also I was afraid I would fall asleep and wake up in Birmingham or the like.

I jumped into a waiting cab - all the street lamps go off at midnight so it was pitch dark - but somehow I got in my house, shed my clothes the way a snake sheds its skin and curled into bed, hoping not to vom again. Classy to a T.

Next morning.... urhrhrhrhhrhrhhhggghhhhhhh. Not lookin' good. I made Husband drive me to work as I feared I was still over the limit. All my biscuit gifts were smashed to smithereens in my bag - but I handed them out anyway - proof that I had indeed GOT OUT.  I looked horrific. Max texted to say he had had a ball and I left 'abruptly' looking a little worse for the wear.

All in all, a good evening. I think. It might be another year before I GET OUT again. but thankfully a friend found this on line and sent it to me - so I can actually see that I was there - before the cocktails took hold. Folk say there is no such thing as a free bar (or is it lunch?) but in this case, it was. Why on earth I thought I had to drink it dry, is beyond me.

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