“Rose has had to take her mum to visit an old family friend who’s very ill, so Alisha is staying here with Auntie Ape tonight, aren’t you sweetheart?” I explained.
Kate announced that she had to nip upstairs and change out of her work clothes, so the rest of us tripped through to the kitchen to pour the wine.
“Something smells good, April, What is it?” asked Natasha. “I’m starving. All I’ve eaten all day is a bowl of Frosties and a handful of chicken nuggets left on the kids’ plates.”
My girl -friends started lifting the cling film from the plates. Lots of oohs and aahs signified that they approved of the selection of savoury and sweet pancakes I had picked up from Della’s Delights after work. I was wondering if I could pass them off as my own works of art when the doorbell rang again. This time it was Cerys and Libby. Cerys carried two bottles of Prosecco while Libby waved a giant tub of Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra ice cream in my face.
“To go with the pancakes.” She said triumphantly.
The girls continued to make a fuss of Rose’s 12 year old daughter as they tucked into the edible treats and their second glass of bubbly.
“Did you watch the Brits, honey?” Libby wanted to know.
“No, I had swimming class. Mum recorded it for me but I haven’t watched it yet.”
It turned out that none of us had watched the 2017 Brits, except Cerys, who had managed to get herself a ticket to the show.
“You never said you were going, Cerys. Who did you go with?” Amber seemed a bit put out. She and Cerys usually went to concerts together.
“Why don’t we all watch it now? I’ve recorded it.” I suggested, hoping to lighten the mood before Amber started to sulk. “Who’s in the Brits’ show this year, Cerys?”
“Ah, let me think….Robbie of course and Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran. Oh and Alisha’s favourite, Katy Perry.
We all made ourselves comfortable, draping our legs over each other as we sprawled on my big comfy leather sofas. Alisha lay on her tummy across a Garfield bean bag with her elbows on the floor and her chin in her hands.
“What year did the Brit Awards start then, April?”
“This, I happen to know, Libby.” I said smugly. “The year was 1977 although it was known as The British Record Industry Britannia Awards in the beginning. What do you think was the first winner of the Best British Single award in 1977?”
“Something by Rod Stewart?” Kate guessed
“ Something by David Bowie?” Said Libby
“No. I’ll tell you, “I laughed. “It was Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.”
We turned our attention back to the TV screen. When it got to the part where Andrew Ridgeley and Pepsi and Shirley paid tribute to George Michael, none of us could hold it together. We sobbed like babies. Something of our childhoods had died along with George and watching his three friends on stage getting visibly upset too just made us feel worse. Amber howled, snot pouring from her nose.
Alisha went from being mildly upset herself to embarrassed, then a little scared as she watched her “aunties” getting more and more distraught. She jumped up from the floor and rushed to the loo for a roll of tissue then tore off lengths of paper for each of us to dry our eyes and blow our noses.
We began to pull ourselves together as Chris Martin took to the stage to perform A Different Corner in tribute to George Michael. We all declared our undying love for the song as we sploshed more Prosecco into our glasses while Alisha opened another can of Fanta.
Suddenly we were stopped in our tracks. We looked at each other.
“He’s killing my favourite song.” Wailed Natasha.
“Don’t be dramatic, Tash. Your favourite song is Dancing Queen. He is bad though, isn’t he? God this show is depressing.” Kate groaned.
“Right, I’ve had enough of this, let’s go to the kitchen and make some pancakes. We’ll have a tossing competition.” I announced cheerfully. “ I know it’s not Pancake Day until Tuesday but we should get some practise in.”
A cheer went up as we drunkenly made our way to the kitchen to mix pancake batter. Now strictly speaking, we shouldn’t have been cooking whilst under the influence of so much wine but we did have a sober 12 year old to look after us.
The pancakes were an outstanding success. Or so I thought until I got up the next morning to find one stuck to the ceiling.
See you at the end of March.
Love April x