Saturday, 4 October 2014

Laundrettes and hens

The rain today has made me incredibly unhappy. I had to drive Nathan to a service station somewhere on the M40 this morning, and the entire journey was marred by rain which seemed to be coming at us horizontally. To make matters worse our wing mirror got smashed a few days ago. It was like looking into a kaleidoscope...

Nathan deposited, I returned to London, did a bit of writing in the kitchen, and then decided it was time to brave the rain again. Our washing machine is still broken so I needed to go to the laundrette...

Our local laundrette is actually only two doors down, but upon entering, I was informed that their boiler had broken and that I would either have to wash my clothes in cold water or find somewhere else. "Are there any other laundrettes on the Archway Road?" I asked. "Maybe," said the Polish attendant, who was considerably more grumpy than the lovely lady who'd served us when we were last in there. "I think perhaps there's one towards Suicide Bridge..." She didn't call it Suicide Bridge, of course. She probably hasn't lived in North London for long enough to know this particular bridge's grizzly reputation.

So, anyway, off I trotted to Suicide Bridge, heavy bag of washing cutting into the inside of my knuckles, to find two dry cleaners masquerading as laundrettes, which offered to do my laundry at a wildly inflated cost, with a two-day turn around. Useless.

...So I decided to turn around and head instead to Muswell Hill. Muswell Hill is the answer to every prayer...

I jumped on the 134 bus. It stopped outside my house and the driver made an unintelligible announcement which sounded like the teacher in Charlie Brown. I had to go to the front to ask him to repeat himself. Due to roadworks on the Colney Hatch Lane, 134 buses would not be going to Muswell Hill. If I wanted to go to Muswell Hill, I'd need the 43 bus.

So off I got. I think the term on London buses is alighted. So off I alighted, and hauled myself through a series of puddles onto the 43 bus, suddenly rather desperate for the loo. I have run out of data allowance on my phone for the month, which means I can't access anything via 4G when I'm out and about. The alternative is paying £16.99 for a top up, which I'd really rather not do. This meant I was unable to use google to find a list of local laundrettes...

I wandered aimlessly around Muswell Hill, talking to Fiona on the phone. In the end she googled one her end and after much to-ing and fro-ing, I found it nestling under a shed load of scaffolding. My feet by this time were soaked through and I was utterly fed up. Total time taken to pop to the laundrette: 3 1/2 hours. Cost of two buses, plus laundry: £10.70. Level of dissatisfaction: dangerously high.

By the time I'd got home, it was time to go out again. This time to Abbie's hen do, where male friends were only invited for the evening. This is a vast improvement on not being invited at all, particularly, as has happened on more than one occasion, the bride is a very close friend. I'm not sure what it is that women do on hen dos that they think their close male friends (particularly the gay ones) won't also want to do, but this is only the second hen-do I've been invited to and the first I've been able to attend!

Heterosexual weddings seem to me to be filled to the brim with out-dated, misogynistic cliches. Why have bridesmaids? Why is it only the best man and bride's father who get to make a speech? And why do women drape themselves in fluffy white meringues? I wanna see a bride in bright crimson to reflect her inner daemon! Or better still, a bride wearing trousers with a groom holding the flowers. Or a wedding without a cake which no one eats! The best weddings I've been to are the ones which buck the trend a little, and they're usually the ones without a wedding planner!

When we got married the florist couldn't believe we only wanted green carnations. "Okay, we'll base everything on carnations, but perhaps some lovely purple irises as well?" She was very surprised when we said the only other thing we'd accept was green foliage. Ivy. That sort of thing. "We're blokes" we said,  "it's only because it's on telly that we're having flowers at all..."

I'm hoping that gay people getting married will breathe some new life into the institution and break down the boring stereotypes!

Anyway, the hen do was a lot of fun. I met Sam beforehand for a lovely cup of tea in a cafe and then we took a deep breath to embrace the hens who were all wearing basques and decorating cakes with pictures of willies. So THIS is what girls do on their hen nights! As the evening wore on, and people became a little drunker, there was a big round of "I Have Never" which I don't reckon I've played for twenty years. You know the game... You take it in turns to make a statement, usually rude, like "I have never had sex in a car" and then everyone who HAS had sex in a car has to drink. The aim of the game is to wheedle out the renegades from the holier-than-thous. Trouble is, there are those of us who have been around the block so many times we were permanently drinking, whilst some of Abbie's more religious friends looked at us aghast!

Home on the last (ish) tube home from Parson's Green (where?) to wait up for Nathan, who has been doing a gig in Manchester all day today. Hopefully he'll be back before I start to feel like Madam Butterfly!

1 comment:

  1. Some of us brides do make our own speeches and wear red wedding dresses, Ben! Tara. X

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