I have been on my fair share of hen do’s, but none as special and crazy as my sister in law-to-be’s hen do this weekend. 18 females, in a big country house in North Devon for 4 days. What could go wrong?!
Well firstly, that amount of females in one location together is surely a potential recipe for disaster. Hormones and emotions flying around, heightened by a concoction of booze and hysteria is enough to make anyone run a mile. In addition to this, usually get on better with males than females. At university I had more male friends than female. Over the years I have built up a small group of female friends whom I love and trust. They are devoid of the drama and bitchy traits I have unfortunately experienced in the past from other girls in my life, so I feel very lucky to have the girlfriends that I do. But the girls that I was about to spend a long weekend with were all strangers from different walks of life, thrown into the mix together with only one person in common. This made me nervous.
My sister in law to be is one of six siblings, 5 of them are girls. I always wanted a sister growing up but instead I was lucky enough to have an older brother (separated by 12 years) who I am very close to. I was therefore apprehensive about not only meeting all of his fiancé’s closest friends, but also being accepted into her large but close-knit family. I wanted to make a good first impression.
J and her family and friends are all very creative. They can sing, dance, draw, make….it’s amazing how much talent there is between them. I was therefore slightly anxious about arriving into an environment which I felt was outside of my comfort zone. I don’t have many talents. I can touch my nose with my tongue and I know all the words to the Sugar Hill Gang’s Rappers Delight. Party tricks are not my strong point. I needn’t have worried though. When I pulled up outside in the taxi in the middle of nowhere, the house and its surroundings immediately put me at ease. North Devon is so beautiful and this place is situated in the heart of the countryside. I wondered around the grounds and eventually found a small gathering of girls by the hot tub. It was already switched on and bubbling away invitingly. After the initial introductions and pressure of remembering everyone’s names, I was handed a glass of prosecco and began to relax. As more of them arrived and began settling in, I was surprised by how comfortable I felt amongst this group of strangers. I don’t even remember there being any awkward small talk. Within the first hour I’d donned my swimsuit, I was in the hot tub giggling away so much my face hurt. The fancy dress came out and the craziness began.
We didn’t have any activities planned for the whole weekend. This again was a worry for me. How were we going to keep 18 women entertained for that long? Again, this was not a problem. The talent between them was more than enough and their energy was incredibly infectious. Between singing, dancing, laughing, telling stories, chilling out in the spa, lying in the sun, eating and drinking, there literally wasn’t a dull moment. You could wander around from room to room, jacuzzi to hot tub and join in a conversation or just listen and laugh at whatever was going on. Everyone brought their own uniqueness and personality. Despite the fact that the majority of them were entertainers for a living, no one tried to outshine anyone else or tried to hog the attention by being centre stage. We just all got on and enjoyed each other’s company in such an easy and natural way.
I was genuinely surprised that I not only liked and got on with every single person, I felt that I came away with a whole load of new friendships and interesting people to add to my life. As a person I am not in any way gushy. I don’t easily let people in and I am not touchy feely or lovey dovey. But I actually feel that this weekend has had a softening effect on my personality. They broke me….but in a good way!
The rule is, what happens on a hen do, stays on a hen do. So that is about as much as I am going to reveal. There was obviously a lot of crazy drunken shenanigans. We not only shared a house this weekend, we shared some truly unique and special moments. In particular J’s sisters giving their blessing to my brother, their marriage and future life together. It was certainly a weekend that I will never forget! Thank you to each and every one, I can’t wait for the wedding and our families to be officially joined together and a reunion with all the hens. It is probably the remnants of booze talking, but I am certainly going home today feeling the love! Oh and meeting bat-dog. That was pretty cool to.