Joy’s Blog: Joy of Australia

By Joy Ridgewell

ON a visit to Australia to go to my grand-daughter Annika’s wedding, I was invited to go to her hen night. This was a first for me. Lots of her friends and relatives had come over from England with their children and several from other countries. So I had no idea of what to expect.

The theme was the eighties. I couldn’t remember what the fashion was but it was all in hand.

We went into Sydney to Retro’s a restaurant where these occasion was held.

My daughter and granddaughter and friends were dressed in costume: Chunky beads, large earrings and bracelets, bright make up with elaborate eye shadow and red lipstick. They wore short froufrou skirts over leggings with jazzy blouses. Others had jeans or leg warmers. The bride-groom’s mother, who had travelled from Leicestershire looked brilliant as Tina Turner, complete with her fuzzy hair. They all looked terrific.

First off there was a dance lesson. I watched as they threw themselves enthusiastically into the moves to the dance music. They were all enjoying themselves.

After this we went to our meal. We weren’t the only group there and there were two other long tables set up; one looked like a celebration of perhaps a birthday or anniversary as there were men among the group. There must have been around about seventy to eighty people altogether.

Everyone took their own drink from the bar into the table the menu was a choice of a starter, Prawn cocktail, Quinola with goats cheese and pumpkin, then we were served with chicken or steak with vegetables, some vegetarian pasta special orders followed by a sweet Eton mess, apple crumble or Bannoffee pie to follow. This was served as each person was given a plate with the food, alternating each dish per person, so if you had one you didn’t like you just swapped with someone else. It worked quite well.

After the meal came the entertainment. A Karaoke machine was set up and it was really good. Each table supplied their own performers. My grand -daughter Annika and her friend Hanna sang a couple of pop songs and they were really professional. Annika has been on the stage of the London Palladium for the production of Joseph when she was younger and both girls had all the moves.

One of her friends Natalie, who comes from Leeds, sings with a band she was very good indeed and she too had everyone clapping and calling for more.

There was a young man from the mixed group who I think was impersonating either Frank Sinatra, or maybe Dean Martin; well he had the hat. I’m sure he only pretended he was a bit tipsy and couldn’t sing to save his life and was a great laugh, he threw himself into the song with enthusiasm. He also received roars of applause. The other group also had a group of five girls singing and they were quite funny.

All in all great entertainment; the evening ended with a trip to the dance hall for the girls to practice their dance moves. I didn’t go to this but heard they had a great time. I was impressed with the fact no one overstepped the mark and everyone had enjoyed themselves. You see so many bad stories in the press of young people who have no control. These were all people that went out for a good time and really did have one. This Hen Night evening was one of the most memorable evenings I have ever had.
Joy Ridgewell

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