Category: wigan

“What’s a Wigan?”

I met Lucy on 25th September 2006. Yes, 10 years ago, on my 20th birthday. I was going on a night out in Chelmsford with my friend Kayleigh and a couple of girls from Uni, and Lucy was on the cheerleading team with them. Like me, she was doing a law degree but was the year above.  In the spirit of the more being the merrier, I was more than happy for her to gate-crash. If you’d told me on that day that I’d met the one person that I would still be in touch with 10 years later I would have probably laughed at you.

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Me and Lucy in the Student Union bar on my 20th birthday, 10 years ago

Our friendship was cemented less than a month later when I found myself with a spare ticket to go and see Panic! At the Disco at Brixton Academy and she came along.

Lucy is originally from Romford, just outside of London and lived with her Mum and Dad and sister, Sophie. I got to know Sophie just as well as I did Lucy, as I whiled away hours talking to them both as they worked in the Student Union shop.

The town I’m from, Rayleigh was somewhere Lucy loved – not least because its home to the UK’s longest running Indie/Alternative club, The Pink Toothbrush. We’ve had plenty of wild nights there, which always ended with us stumbling back to my house and us both climbing into separate bunks in mine and my sister’s bedroom (no mean feat with more than just a couple of snakebites in you!)

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One of our countless trips to The Pink Toothbrush – I think this one is in 2007!

My Mum and Dad adored Lucy. One of the few friends of mine that they actually liked, and even now they’re pleased to see her!

As Lucy and I have grown together over the last 10 years (her birthday just a day short of two months before mine), the parallels we’ve identified between ourselves have been scary. They started off as mere coincidences, with our father’s both working as carpenter and joiners, to us both studying Law at Uni.  In 2008 though, Lucy met her now husband, Adam, in London. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but Adam is from Wigan. Until I moved to Atherton, I had no idea that Wigan was so close to Bolton (where I work. I never made the connection).

After I moved, mine and Lucy’s friendship grew closer. Although we never really drifted apart, after Uni it was harder for us to see each other, but as soon as I moved, and discovered our mutual connection to Wigan we made so much more of an effort with each other. We caught up with each other with regular phone calls and Lucy came to stay with me a couple of times. I returned the trip, and when she and Adam bought their first flat in London I went to stop with her. She took me to see Legally Blonde The Musical that weekend which totally appealed to both of our legal, but quite girlie side.

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Lucy’s first trip to visit me – June 2010

Eventually, Adam and Lucy were expecting the birth of their first daughter Poppy (also the name of my dog!) and needed to move into a bigger property. Knowing how much Lucy loved Rayleigh, I wasn’t surprised when she told me she was moving there. What did surprise me though was she moved onto a home on the estate built on the now knocked down office I had left behind. Sometimes I wonder whether I would have moved had Lucy moved to Rayleigh before I left there.

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One of Lucy’s trips to Wigan: A glass of wine and your best friend. The best accessory’s a girl can get! – November 2014

To this day, we’re constantly amused by how we have both ended up with Wiganers. If you’d told us this would happen when we were at Uni, we would probably have asked “what’s a Wigan?!” It’s perfect for us, because we now have regular phone catch ups, but we also have the luxury of being able to catch up, both when she’s up visiting her in laws and when I’m down visiting my family. Even if it’s just a couple of hours over coffee.

I literally would not change our friendship for the world – I’m a lucky girl to have such a loyal friend, that no matter how long I go without speaking to, will always be there for me and no matter how far away she is, it’s still only ever a phone call.

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Lucy’s Hen Do – October 2015!

B is for…

Right, well I guess we’ve established I’m pretty rubbish at this blogging malarkey! It’s almost 6 months since my last post and we’ve made it through B, C, D and have our E date planned imminently!

Now though, is my time to tell you about our B date. I’ve gotten a bit addicted to scouring Groupon for deals on the experiences that they have and I stumbled across Bingo and a bottle of wine for £10. Dave had never been to Bingo before and he does like a cheeky bet so I thought the prospect of winning some money would be perfect for him. It ticked all our boxes (plus I got wine!)

After a false start (I made the almost unforgiveable error of booking to go when it was Man United v Liverpool, which Dave, as a huge Liverpool fan, had plans to watch with his United supporting best friend) we booked in for a Sunday afternoon in early September. We got that wrong though too; our booking said midday and it didn’t even start until 1.30.

We eventually made it in and the first thing we needed to do was sign ourselves up. Then we had to pick up our bingo cards and find somewhere to sit. When we retrieved our bingo cards I was expecting the old fashioned things with the dobber…***NEWSFLASH*** You don’t get that anymore. They gave us those electronic things which is basically like online bingo. All you need to do is tap the screen and it crosses off all your numbers for you, even the ones you’ve missed. I’ve got to say, I was disappointed by that. For me, half the fun is that panic when you start missing numbers, and that hoping and praying when someone shouts BINGO, that they’ve got it wrong. That’s impossible with the tablet thingy and I feel like you lose a bit of the spirit of the game.

Once we sat down they brought us over our free wine. I was actually impressed to receive a bottle of Echo Falls (after I requested rose). I was seriously expecting something minging that tasted of vinegar! Whilst it’s not my first choice wine, it’s definitely drinkable!

After what felt like a lot of waiting, the game finally started, and it was at this point that I realised what a crap date activity Bingo was. I quickly realised, talking is not acceptable in a bingo hall after laughing like school children at ’69’ and getting some pretty evil glares. Add to that, Dave is a rubbish loser and the more times he wasn’t winning, the more grumpy he was getting. Especially as the woman sat next to us was winning loads – she was definitely on a roll!

It’s always a nice surprise to run into one of your twitter followers. @DebsBox tweeted me saying she could see me, and then proceeded to tell the Bingo caller what we were there for (she knew about the alphabet dating as I’d been tweeting about it). He then announced it to the whole of the bingo hall which was massively cringey as neither Dave or I are good with attention. It became especially awkward when he (the bingo caller) started joking about what we’d be doing for our ‘S’ date. Aaaahh…I’m cringing just thinking about it! Deb walked past our table on the way out and said she was actually attempting to get us a free bottle of bubbly or something which actually would have been nice! Anyway, despite making us cringe, it was really nice to meet her 🙂

When we left (without winnings), we both agreed that whilst Bingo is a good laugh, it’s definitely not date material. Having to remain quiet didn’t suit either of us and it makes it a pretty anti-social date, we enjoyed ourselves but it’s probably not something we’d do again in a hurry.