I love traditions! My favourite one is Lucia, closely followed by Midsummer and Christmas. B and I are creating our own as we go along, and this weekend it is time for our Annual Random January Adventure! Whoohoo!!!!!
Last year, we also did the whole sober January thing (this year we’ve quit smoking too and OMG am I gasping for both wine and ciggies….) and half way through the month we randomly (as indeed the name of the newly established tradition suggests) came up with this really silly idea for a roadtrip: we packed an overnight bag along with gladrags as well as sturdy walking boots (given we had no idea where we’d end up – at a posh restaurant or in the hills) and set off in the car. The rule we had was that at each junction we’d take turns to choose left or right and simply head that way accordingly.
Now, the end result was that we ended going through the same tunnel on the M3 no fewer than three times and saw a total of five army barracks as all we managed to achieve was to circle around the shittest part of the UK south of London (Aldershot and surroundings – too grim for words). In the end, when we were both doubled over with laughter after having ended up on yet another site for army barracks, we gave up and decided that the most fun place to go would be Brighton. Gladrags on and had a lovely meal.
The moral of the story is that there has to be a little direction in the randomness of our Annual Random January Adventure, so although random we agreed to pick the destination (rule being that it has to be random and a little nuts) before setting off, which we did last night.
Yes, the home of duck faces that don’t move, tatty hair extensions and orange spray tans. That’s where we’re off to. B’s at his usual gym class and I’m getting a bit of stuff done whilst I have a bit of peace and quiet, and once he’s back, we’re heading off to the land that class and style forgot! To make the whole affair a little crazier (as if going to Southend, of all places that God forgot, wasn’t enough) I suggested we also get tattoos (I’m a year short of 40 – I need something to still my looming midlife crisis and I thought a bit of ink might put me right in terms of desperately holding on to the youth I no longer have), but I think he needs a bit more convincing on that score.
Oh, I know. An almost-39-yearold getting a tattoo? And I’ve just slated Essex people for their lack of facial expressions and rat tail fake hair? I know, I know. But I’m not going to get a tramp stamp or a tribal or anything, what I’ve thought about on and off over several years now is Monkey’s initials and date of birth in a text string diagonally down my side level with my waist. I’d probably regret it when things eventually start to sag and wrinkle, it’d look a bit shit to just appear to have “R4” and the middle string hiding between saggy folds of skin in my 80s.
I’ll come back to that one. And it’s not something – if I were to get one – you do on impulse over a weekend trip. If I go ahead, it’ll be with a well known and sought after tattooist and beforehand carefully designed so it’s exactly the way I want it. I’d never go in and just pick a style out of a catalogue, so you don’t have to worry THAT MUCH about me. Not beyond the fact that I’m clearly losing my marbles and think getting inked at my age is anything other than downright cringeworthy.
So! Time to hit the shower and get ready for spending the night in the place that spawned the likes of Joey Essex, James Argent and Chloe Sims (all TV “personalities” off ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ – or “personality by-passes”, shall we say). If we’d taken more time to plan this, I’d have got a fake tan and a tacky dress from somewhere, as I suspect my pale limbs and Reiss dress won’t quite fit in as well. Never mind. Perhaps I can stick on false eyelashes instead – when in Rome and all that.