Hold my eyes open with matchsticks, what a weekend.
So with minimal to no luggage, we drove down to Natal – and using the sheer will of pending bendage and Red Bull – managed to not catch flies all the way down to Maritzburg.
(Ever noticed that? Some people drool when they sleep, others catch flies, while a small minority can look imply splendid and not retarded, sleeping with their mouths closed, all poised-like.)
Anyway, about 9 of us stayed in a little B & B called ‘Duvet & Crumpets’, if that’s not a name reeking with Midlands charm. I was, not 24 hours out of Ireland, still intent on getting some Guinness into me, and we all went to Crossways for some good old fashioned pub grub and Guinness. You’re right. It just doesn’t taste the same here. No sexual connotation, but seriously: The head’s not nearly foamy and creamy enough, and the beer itself is bitter. But I pushed through. I tried two. Just to check.
Sitting around a table with 15 of my school friends was quite surreal. I see lots of these people all the time, and seeing those I haven’t seen since school was awesome. Just kind of strange – lots of us sat staring about with a dazed look on our faces.
We had chapel as first call of the day. That’s pretty heavy. At our school, we had to attend chapel every single morning. One forgets what a slog it was – and this chapel service was a good reminder. Kneel, stand up, sing, listen, kneel again, etc. We sang the school song (that was good for memories, jeepers), and then had a couple of gin and tonics in the courtyard. Catching up, strolling around, chinwagging and giggling mostly. And ‘Remember whenning.’
Like, remember when:
1)We used to tie the strings of each other’s girdles to the chair so that the person got up and dragged the chair with them? (And how hilarious we thought that was?)
2)How once I put a stink bomb in the dorm and also thought it would be a simply grand and hilarious idea. 'Cept the dorm smelt like rotten eggs for days.
3)How one of us hurled a pie they’d just made in Home Economics onto another girl's back (purely by accident of course)
4)How when sipping on our g ‘n t’s one friend said, 'Hmm, I had my first ever graunch on these stairs.'
5)How the girls now have it so good with cell phones and rooms, and we 'back in the day had it so hard’ with curtained cubicles and a money phone the whole house had to share.
6)How we improvised with food – sugar on toast, Bovril and mayonnaise (yuckkkk), jam in our yoghurt.
7)How some of us got suspended for bunking out (my folks then grounded me for months…)
8)The smell. God, it’s amazing how you walk into your old dorm or the dining room or even the classroom block or library, and it all comes wafting back. Quite literally.
9)Friday Tie Day. Where you walked around with a flicked tie out of your dress. How fucking rebellious. And how we’d sew our hems up for the weekend or when we went to the boys school.
10)Duck diving when it rained. And being the Midlands, it was very misty and wet, and gorgeous. But also scary when we walked around in long capes and people looked like the Angel of Death in the mist. But when there was a summer shower, we’d go down to the hockey fields and dive around on the rain pools in the grass and mud.
Ag yes. The good old days. Luckily much hasn't changed too much since we were 17 years old. Our evening activities were exactly how we did it back at school.
After tons of photos, official photographs and catching up, we headed to dinner together in Maritzburg. All was going just grand, getting more and more punished, and then completely pear. Because someone bought out the red lipstick. Le Moulin Rouge. We put it all over our faces, stuck the hair up in high ponytails and basically looked like we were attending a hen party, or say, ten year school reunion, and headed to…Crowded House.
Good God Almighty.
They played all the old classics (Commercial Road in Maritzburg has a euphemistically phraseful 'night life.' They play the same CD over and over again at these places.)
By the end of the night, every 15 year old in the joint (and trust me, they were all about that age, even the dude's whose knee I was lapdancing on...) ..had red lipstick on their faces. Kisses all over their cheeks, the lipstick made its mark.
99 Red Balloons, Video killed the Radio Star, all the old greats as we threw more and more name. What a blast.
Got home and saw myself in the mirror and got instantaneous losers complex. Red lipstick all over the lower half of my face, and cheeks. Like everyone else. I guess.
I need a chilled week. Really badly.