You may remember that, a few weeks ago, I was asking for forfeit ideas for a bride-to-be on her forthcoming hen night. I'd had the idea of getting badges made with (slightly) embarrassing personalised messages, but wondered whether anyone could come up with anything better. Clever Womagwriter did just that, suggesting that I could "get some embarrassing early photos of her (perhaps from her husband or parents if possible) and/or embarrassing anecdotes (from other friends and family). For each wrong answer, an anecdote is read out or a photo handed round or pinned to her outfit." The only trouble was, her fiance had already helped me work out the questions, I've never met her parents, and I only know two of her friends well enough to ring and ask for anecdotes. So, while that was a great idea (which I have filed away in my brain for future reference), it wasn't going to work in this case. I decided to go with the badges, spent a happy hour coming up with slogans that I thought might hit the mark, and - after some research on the web to find a good price - ordered them from Big Dog Badges who provided excellent quality, service and price.
On the day, I met the others in central Birmingham. Most of them had travelled in by train, already wearing their haloes. As a result, the train manager decided to begin his announcements 'Ladies, Gentlemen and Celestials,' which apparently caused much hilarity throughout the train. We met at the Hippodrome for Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake which was an astonishing, beautiful, funny, sad, thought-provoking production that I would highly recommend. The plan was then to go for dinner, but the woman organising the meal had booked the table for 6.30, and the ballet was finished by 5.30, and it was only a ten-minute walk from the theatre to the restaurant. Which, when we got there, wasn't even open yet. Luckily there was a bar next door so we ordered a bottle of wine and settled in to wait.
The hiatus provided me with a perfect opportunity to whip out my quiz. I'd been a little nervous about when (or even if) to do this, as I hadn't told anyone else my plans. Luckily everyone fell in with the idea with great enthusiasm and the questions went down well. I was very strict with the bride-to-be about getting the answers exactly right, or else she had to wear a 'badge of shame'. She managed to get two out of the ten questions right, so only had to wear eight badges in the end, but she liked the badges so much that she demanded the full set! They said silly things like 'Bridezilla', 'Lights On, Nobody Home,' and 'I Like Blokes Dressed As Birds' (given the ballet we'd just seen, that one seemed particularly appropriate), but she loved them, and texted me the next day to say 'I shall wear my badges of shame with pride.'
By the time the quiz was done, the bottle was empty and the restaurant open, so we moved next door and enjoyed a sumptuous meal. I won't bore you with the entire menu, I'll just say 'bitter chocolate torte with Drambuie-soaked strawberries' (and dribble on my keyboard). The bride-to-be was very happy, I had a great time, and I think everyone else did too.