Isn’t it funny that when you see your old school friends, you just lift off when you left off all those years ago? Admittedly, I’ve kept in semi-regular contact with a bunch of girlfriends since leaving school twenty years ago, so the conversations aren’t too prehistoric, and today, eight of us got dressed up in dresses and heels went out to have a girlie afternoon tea at Madame Brussels in the city.
Madame Brussels is an English cottage style indoor/outdoor garden of Fifties style outdoor furniture and faux grass on the 3rd floor. It has Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday playing in the background and different flavoured punches to try. There’s a set menu of gastronomic delights including sandwiches (ham & pickle, chicken & mayo, cucumber and egg sandwiches), a frittata, sausage rolls, scones with jam & cream, cupcakes and to finish off a chocolate fondue with strawberries and marshmallows. And it’s not one of those places that has a stash of plates on top of each other to hurry you up so they can sit another group of people – we were there for over 3 hours when the chocolate fondue came out. As well as the Pimms based punch, we drank a sparkling rose (or pink champagne as they would say in the Fifties), which complemented the afternoon soiree perfectly.
The conversation revolved around legal custodies as a few of us are going through the pains of divorce, school playgrounds, work and memories of a time gone by. As we drank our pink champagne in the retro champagne glasses, one of my old friends, who works in the wine industry, decided to tell us a piece of trivia. ‘Did you know that these champagne glasses were sized to fit one of Marie Antoinette’s tits in it?’ We all laughed and looked mysteriously at the small circular shaped glasses. She must have been a child when they sized them up. We googled her to find out how old she was when she died (37 – the current age of most sitting around the glass patio table), but decided that she was obviously way too flat chested to be a real woman (maybe that’s why she was beheaded!). Of course, the conversation revolved around boob sizes after that, as girls do.
After a few too many pink champagnes, we couldn’t work out who’s glasses were who’s anymore, so it was decided any would do. One of the girls said ‘I’m sure we’ve all shared germs swapping boyfriends all those years ago.’ So we tried to work it out.. Two around the table had the same boyfriend a few years a part from each other. Me and another of the girls had brothers at the same time, but with those around the table, there wasn’t as much boyfriend swapping as we first thought. If there were a few more from our group there, it possibly would be true. But we did goes through different phases of being with boys from one school, then from another school, and then another. So the boy groups kept changing, and we did go out with mates of mates, but I don’t think there was much swapping.
Amidst the talking and drinking, we took photos and posted them on Facebook, while the school mates who couldn’t make it admired our little shindig from afar. For some of us, the afternoon got cut short when the evening arrived, while the others changed venues and kept the night going. It was good to catch up, something the single mums much appreciate as times to get out are rare (and there was one single mum who would have loved to have been there but couldn’t get a babysitter)… looking forward to the next one sans children, just to be a girl again… 🙂