I'm retired now but l'm still friends with the people l used to work with and l couldn't believe it when they said "Right Kay, we are going out for the works Xmas do on the 7th December so we will meet up in the German market and then onto Broad St and the bars and clubs". "No, l can't", l said, "it's the last two performances of my play as the Fairy Godmother on that Saturday". "That's okay", they said, "you can drive over when you have finished and we will stay over in a hotel".
So, as a true performer, l did the matinee and the evening performance, left my shiny pink wig, dress, tiara and magic wand in the village hall and drove like a maniac 25 miles into the city centre.
They had booked me into the Thistle Hotel and my lady sat nav took me straight there, where, wonders of wonders l parked straight outside the front doors, right where they said "No parking, permit holders only". I wasn't going to take any notice of that though was l, after all, l was the Fairy Godmother!! Having left my bright pink stage eye make up on because of a shortage of time l wasn't surprised when the receptionist kept casting strange looks at me.
"Oh", l said airily, "l've just been in a play and l didn't think l would look out of place on Broad Street". She was now looking at me in a rather pitying way so l thought perhaps l would have to tone it down after all. Then l caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, bloody hell, l had still got my hair rollers in after taking my wig off!! Anyway, she was great and got a taxi to take me to Carmichaels in Colmore Row, sans rollers by then, where l met up with everybody.
Obviously they were all pretty well gone, being about five hours ahead of me but the very obliging barman soon had me set up with a few large vodkas after which we were on the move. The atmosphere outside was great, twinkling lights, lots of music and everybody out for a good time, full of Christmas cheer, alcohol, and raring to go. We went to a small bijou bar called Cherry Ripe where nothing was too much trouble for the staff. More ice, no problem, straws, no problem, nibbles, no problem, blimey l thought, l could live here.
Finally back to the hotel and a warm comfortable bed with a huge bag of popcorn and a cup of tea while my lovely friends collapsed into oblivion.
Well that was it for another year, Birmingham and the Xmas do had done us proud.
Friendship, fun and a little bit of Fairy Godmother, how would we better that in 2014.
Author: Kay Jinks