Nicola Jaques: Long and winding road to the hen do departure lounge

Hen Do's a cocktail of drama, fun and friendship
Hen Do's a cocktail of drama, fun and friendship
0
Have your say

I’m retiring.

There’s been no sudden major windfall, most likely my working days are set to reach well into my 70s.

The time has come to hang up the stilettos as far as hen dos are concerned.

One of the best things about turning 30 is you begin to care a lot less about toeing the line.

The realisation for this life-change came on a painful two-hour bus ride from Lloret De Mar to Barcelona, during which I was nearly sat on by a German hammer thrower, took a tour of nearly every establishment in the resort and endured “I Have A Dream”, the pan pipe version. It was a full compilation album...

Hen dos are great fun, in between treading the chaotic terrain of tantrums, jaw-clenching rage often among even the friendliest group of girls. This all before you’ve even come together.

On this occasion it was mostly my sister and I. It usually is.

A cocktail of hormones, drink, little sleep, heightened emotions and organisational queens equals a total minefield spent in close proximity over three days.

Then there’s the finer details, the organised ‘fun’, daily dress code , fancy dress, what time for breakfast and the decision of who gets in the shower first.

It was, of course, also the best weekend ever.

Social media, we know does not lie, so come 6pm Monday evening the pre-nuptial fun and frolics of this adventure were online for all to see.

An album of glamorous smiling faces, shameless selfies, full tans (of the bottle variety), eyebrows on point and lots of love throwing for BFFs – minus the shot with the bride hanging over the pedalo.

We dined al fresco on McDonald’s and Domino’s, wowing at how much more fast food you get for seven euros; glossed over the interruption from the hotel staff giving a quiet word for the ‘noise pollution’ after a lively game of flip cup and Mr and Mrs and a few games I best not mention.

This trip, thanks to my sister and her fellow bridesmaid gang was more than six months in the planning.

Like all best plans – it is imperative to leave room for contingencies.

Landing during a thunderstorm in Barcelona cast doubt pretty much over the entire weekend, given most of us were wearing the only rain safe clothes we had.

Furious thumbs over WhatsApp led to a swap around of activities to help weather the storm. However, a drink responsibly warning should probably have been fired out as we descended on ‘the strip’ clad in our animal-themed attire on Friday.

By the next morning, the squad, comprising a flamingo and a jelly fish, was in a less than wild mood, certainly not ‘boat party’ fit, which is probably just as well as our star the bride declared she didn’t like boats anyway.

Sat in a tapas bar mid-afternoon trying to convince a flailing ‘flamingo’ that a calamari and half a lager would change her fortunes, I announced I was done and with that I waved the rest of them off for the last, last night of ‘freedom’.

That all said it was exactly the kind of weekend I needed, good company, great friends and the best trips are always the ones you get to write home about.