A hen do to remember

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Hey little hens!

What a wonderful few days away I had last week in honour of my best gal pal, Mandy’s, hen do! A bit of sunshine is always good for the soul.

I’ve written about Mandy before on my blogs. She has been my bestie for over a quarter of a century. We met when our eldest children were about 18 months old at a local playgroup. We clicked straight away and have pretty much been in each other’s pockets ever since. Our children have grown up knowing each other. We’ve been through pregnancies together, losing our fathers and our grandmothers, new jobs, the milestones of our offspring, ups, downs, holidays, lean times and flush times. The lot. In all that time we have never fallen out or even so much as had a bad mood with each other. Just laughs, support and all round true friendship. Mandy is a constant in my life and always will be.

This is a woman who is loved wherever she goes. She is kind, funny and many other things besides. All of them good! A few years back she met Gary, now her fiancé, at an over-30’s disco. It’s quite a cute little story. Mandy was dancing to a song called ‘Low’ by Flo Rida. In the chorus the word ‘low’ is repeated several times and descends in pitch each time. My lovely Mand thought it would be good to get her little self as low as possible with each ‘low’ in a squatting position. Well, as she got to the last ‘low’ she toppled over backwards onto her bum. Ever seen an upturned insect that cannot right itself? You’re probably getting a pretty accurate picture of the scene. Romance isn’t dead. Gary to the rescue! He, quite literally, swept her off her feet (well, more like onto her feet and off her backside but still charming) and the rest is history. The wedding is in about five weeks from now!

Gary has a huge family full of lovely folks. He’s very generous with them. Not only has he shared them with Mandy but I’m an honorary sister and so is Gerry, Mandy’s actual sister. The holiday hen do consisted of Mandy, Gerry, myself and four of Gary’s sisters. Mandy’s daughter, Jessica, was also able to join us for the first two days which was great! I’m not sure if I’ve ever done so much laughing in my entire life!

We arrived at the airport for our early flight to Arrecife. The bridal sashes identifying the hens and bride-to-be were duly distributed, as were the party bags, contents of which I don’t think I can mention here. Perhaps if I just say there were some tassels made of sweeties… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

I was the only one to check a bag into the hold so Mandy came with me to the desk. On our way back over to the group they were all facing away from us. As they turned back around Mandy got the surprise of her life! Everyone was wearing specially made Gary masks! So funny. What was even funnier is that Mand told us the history behind the photo selected for the mask. When it was taken Gary was horrified and said, “Don’t ever show that to anyone, it’s awful”. Now it’s all over social media. Good job he’s a good sport, ha ha!

Our hotel was pretty decent. The staff were nice and all the other hotel residents were super friendly. They joined in with the spirit of the hens, asking questions about the wedding and laughing along with our laughter. I’ve often sung Barry Manilow’s song, ‘Oh Mandy’, to our dear girl through the years but never more so than on this break! Whenever someone uttered her name we would all burst into the full chorus. It was probably not all that funny but it was to us.

Onto the catering. It was a cheap and cheerful all inclusive affair but I checked with the hotel ahead of our trip to confirm they catered for vegans. Absolutely, they said. Well, it was amusing to see what was on offer. Brussels sprouts and onion rings, baked beans on toast with spring rolls… for breakfast! Hee hee, I didn’t starve but it was funny trying to explain to the staff what vegan meant as I was offered fish and eggs. I didn’t mind but I’m sure my arteries are having to work harder this week as a result of so much crispy fried food.

We met some very well-fed cats on a walk to the harbour. A kind lady was feeding masses of them. In amongst them were a few ducks! Quite a sweet little moment which warmed my heart.

We were treated well wherever we went and people were so warm in wishing Mandy the very best for her big day. We all laughed til we cried, boogied our bums off and raised our pina coladas to the autumn sunshine with great glee. I don’t think we could’ve had a better time than we did!



I’ll make sure I update you on how the ‘Gandi’ (doesn’t quite have the same ring as ‘Brangelina’ used to but it makes us chuckle) wedding goes. There will be tears but they’ll be happy ones for our dear, sweet girl. Here’s to you, Mandy!

Speaking of happy marriages, we have one half of one of the nation’s most loved TV couples returning to QVC this weekend. Of course I am referring to gorgeous Ruth Langsford who is happily married to Eamonn Holmes. We will be sharing an hour of her fabulous fashion at 6pm today and noon this Saturday. I adore her Fashion Edit shows where she selects her favourites from our brands but I also have a huge soft spot in my heart (and space in my wardrobe) for her own designs. I find they work so well for women who are no longer in their teens or early twenties. Ruth recognises the changing needs that a changing shape demands. Her clothes fit and flatter whilst remaining chic and feminine without trying too hard.

I look forward to seeing you soon! I’ve missed spending time at the Q even though I had a great time away. I hope you’re all keeping as well as can be.

Love Catherine xxx

1 Comment

  1. Jayne November 27, 2018 at 5:34 pm -  Reply

    It really sounds like you had a fab time,friends are so important at all stages in your life. Keep up the good work on qvc you make me laugh, also glad your daughter is in Bristol it’s a great city ,I live there xx

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