Aaaaah yesterday was a veritable orgy of surprises!

I arrived at the extremely cool city-centre hotel, feeling extremely cool in my new birthday scarf with my new birthday handbag and my new birthday lipstick with my new birthday glittery eyeshadow in autumnal hues.

As I approached the cool glass doors, I spied my sister sitting in there and waved at her slightly hysterically which attracted the attention of all the other cool clientele so that they could watch as I confidently yanked at the cool glass door and smashed it into my face.

After rearranging my nose and my pride, I click-clacked across the cool, lethally polished floor in my rarely-worn heeled boots, towards a sister whose face was contorted with tears of amusement at my entrance, when I then spied a very dapper fella hiding by the bar – me Dad! All the way from Essex* to watch his daughter being assaulted by a door!

*I was not born in Essex. It’s just where my Pa now resides. I need to clarify this in case you imagine that I am ‘of low intelligence, brash, promiscuous and materialistic’. I was born in Royal Leamington Spa which is in Warwickshire and is a posh town coz it has the word ‘royal’ in it. There is no entry in the dictionary for ‘Warwickshire Girls’ because whilst we have many girls who can be described as stupid, brash, promiscuous and materialistic we also have many who are clever, subtle, chaste and thrifty and also a few who are clever, brash, promiscuous and thrifty and maybe even one or two who are stupid, brash, chaste and materialistic or god forbid stupid, subtle, promiscuous and thrifty! Aaaarghh is so annoying when an entire county of girls cannot be labelled with one pithy, sexist put-down!

Once seated in the cool bar, we got going with the ice-cool Prosecco at which point my sister delivered my next surprise: we would not be ascending skywards for lunch. Despite the sky bar being this hotel’s rather conspicuous USP, and despite my sis specifically reserving a table in it for my birthday, the woman on the desk informed her on arrival that she was terribly sorry but it was closed for a private meeting all day.

Because this is Manchester, and because the woman on the desk was a Manchester Girl, what she actually said was: It’s shut love. You’ll have to eat in the foyer.

Ah, but all was not lost! Seeing my sister’s crest-fallen face and perhaps detecting that having booked a table in their famous sky bar and travelling all the way from Warwickshire so she could take her sister to their famous sky bar, she might expect to be able to actually sit in their famous sky bar, this fine example of a Manchester Girl who works in hospitality knew exactly how to soothe my sister’s disappointment: she promised a complimentary show-stopping Birthday Platter at the end of the meal.

Now, you might imagine a ‘Birthday Platter’ to imply a smorgasboard of sweet-treats with candles atop, the whole restaurant (foyer) singing joyfully as it is ceremonially marched towards the birthday girl, maybe even with a sparkler…

It was, in fact, a small plate. It had a finger-sized slither of sponge on it. Someone had written Happy Birthday in chocolate icing. And it was delivered by our fine Manchester Girl with the words: Erm…Happy Birthday, yeah?

As is tradition in my family, these surprise set-backs were no cause for disappointment but rather an opportunity to be delightfully entertained because they make for much better stories than: Went To Sky Bar, Saw Sky, Had Birthday Platter.

Anyway, my brill family of three doesn’t need to be in the sky to reach cloud cuckoo land. Whenever we’re together, wherever we are, there will be an absurd level of shared optimism, a concrete belief that anything is possible and an almost naive certainty that all shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well, (especially if you’re drowning in lunchtime Prosecco)…

Later in the evening, I staggered round to a mate’s house for wine, wotsits, warmth and wondrous women. One of us has just lost a boob and is about to start chemotherapy. Another of us has already lost one boob and is about to lose the other. But there they all were, showering me with pressies and cake and candles and a brillant three-hour bitching session.

In that cosy front room we had a Cheshire Girl, a Lancashire Girl, a Berkshire Girl, a Dublin Girl, two Merseyside Girls and two Warwickshire Girls. I can confirm that we are all of us clever and stupid and brash and subtle and promiscuous and chaste and materialistic and thrifty.     

I can also confirm that I spent the whole day on cloud nine…


Ps. It has been brought to my attention that you lovely email subscribers may not be receiving the hilarious selfies I spend several seconds creating for you every day. This means you have been experiencing a significantly diminished service. My solution is to now also include it at the end of each blog. This means you lovely facebook followers will experience a significantly more annoying service as you will receive the image twice. Please report all complaints to the management (my Dad) who will furnish you with many hilarious anecdotes referring to my low intelligence technology-wise…