Let me tell you about “my girls”. My girls are 3 friends who I used to work with, we were inseparable until redundancies and the recession tore us apart but we still stay in touch regularly. We’re like the Sex and the City girls meets Stoke-on-Trent (only we wear Primark instead of Prada, drink wine instead of cosmos, have filthier laughs and tongues sharp enough to cut metal) and we have one weakness.
Bingo. (I kid you not)
I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve arranged a night out “up town” to then confer amongst ourselves and one of us suggests…. “should we just go to the bingo instead?” With our ages ranging from 24 to 30, we’re certainly the hippest and most “down” group of friends in Stoke (Bingo is the new rave, you heard it here first).
Did I ever tell you about my first time in a “real” bingo hall? I arrived late with “the girls” (). We had no dabbers or pens and I was slung a bingo book and told to SHHHHH by Miserable Marge who had 27 books lined up and a rainbow of dabbers (apparently this is very important). Nobody told me that the number on the bingo card went from 1-10, 11-20 etc, so as the over enthusiastic bingo caller called the numbers, I was scanning the page like a woman gone mad. I was running about 4 numbers behind until my so called friends collapsed into fits of giggles and explained the number running order. Suffice to say I’m conviced that during that game I won BIG (I’m talking a fiver at the most). But I loved it. (You’re going to judge me now, but I’m also the owner an online bingo app. What can I say? I love the thrill of the balls. This way I can attempt to win big from the comfort of my sofa, my bed or my bath – usually in a get up that’s not too dissimilar to this – and I still get to drink gin without queuing at the bar!).
I love a good trip to the bingo with my girls, it’s the perfect excuse to wear stretchy skirts and drink gin & tonic like the old girls. Unfortunately, I don’t get to see “the girls” as much as I’d like. With work, marriage and children getting in the way (that’s all them, my evenings are free, safe for cuddles and kisses with Ted, eating cheese and crackers and tweeting far too much). According to a Ladbrokes Bingo survey, nearly 80% of the ladies surveyed said that a night in with the girls is best for having a laugh, and I completely concur. What I love about “the girls” is that it doesn’t matter how much time passes, throw us all in a room together and we’re giggling like naughty school children and reminiscing on “the good old times” – we honestly do sound like old ladies. Take last weekend for example, I was spending some quality time on the sofa alone, enjoying a film in my PJ’s when the phone goes. Best friend emergency – a midnight phone call from one of the girls “Liz has fallen out with her boyfriend, get here, STAT!” I throw on a hoodie and I’m out of the door in record time with a bottle of wine. After an hour of moaning about men and declaring that “they’re all idiots”, we spent the night sat around the kitchen table, consuming far too many bottles of wine, listening to everything from Michael Jackson to Britney to Ray LeMontagne and laughing until my cheeks physically hurt. I eventually stumbled home at 7am with abs that felt more toned that Jessica Ennis’ (in reality they’re nowhere near) and a smidge of a hangover. By smidge I mean I lay on the sofa for the whole of Sunday.
Who says you need to go out to have a good night?
*in association with Ladbrokes Bingo