You would imagine that by my age, I might know a thing or two.
And so I do, I suppose.
But it seems that what I do not know is that it is not sensible to go to a friend's birthday gathering (with good intentions of not drinking much, nor staying late, since I wasn't feeling that great, and had to be up early in the morning) and merrily proceed to get very drunk, and roll into bed at 2 o'clock in the morning.
It also appears that five delightful ladies,
pillocks pillars of the community all, think it is wise to wear leotards with flowers for boobs, and to try on kids' clothes rifled from a bag of hand-me-downs.
Rolling Stones t-shirt (age 12-14) for me, boy's pants (age 10) for Trace.
I know. Shameful.
What else do I know?
I know that I leapt out of bed on Saturday morning, horribly late, because it appears I can't set my alarm properly when I am pissed.
I know that after a mini-meltdown, I was encouraged by Eldest at least to attempt to get to the train station in time, which I duly did, in half an hour. I had a blogger meet-up to get to in Birmingham, I couldn't miss it.
I know that I was the strange woman on the bus muttering shit shit shit come on come on hurry up under my breath. No one came to sit next to me...
I know that I am too old and too unfit to run through the train station to catch a train, by the skin of my barely-brushed teeth. And that is it not dignified to doze for half the journey, slumped against the window, before rousing myself to put my make-up on and dry shampoo my ratty hair.
And that when I meet my glamorous, beautifully turned-out blog friends at my destination, it probably isn't polite or ladylike to announce myself with I'm hungover as fuck!
Birmingham's Rag Market was bursting at the seams with all manner of stuff - big pants and cheap tights, fancy dress masks (don't they make a lovely couple?) and an Obligatory Blogger Deer.
Vix was the perfect tour guide. And looked a treat posing in the porn star chair.
Yes, she walked all day in those heels, arthritic hip and all. She's bloody amazing.
Everyone but me managed to find glorious bargains at the wonderful 91 Allison Street shop, presided over by lovely Sue.
I did try, but the delicious green 1970s maxi dress I tried on was a boob squisher.
Thanks goodness for lunch!
I know that chips have a therapeutic magic; Vix swore they would stop me from feeling so faint and wobbly, and she was quite right.
And gifts too, they always help; beautiful handmade cards from Fiona and a fabulous metal cuff from Vix.
We rummaged the rails in Cow, where 80s clothes go to be reborn for the cool young things of today...
...and strolled along the fascinating streets of Digbeth, checking out the vintage shops.
That beautiful Spanish maxi coat fitted Liz perfectly, and Fiona has a petite enough head for vintage hats, unlike myself.
Pippi, Fiona, Gisela and Liz.
When Frankie, the proud owner of this beast, heard me say to Vix she was posing like a pro, he said he didn't want one of them sitting on his bike...
Fiona wanted a go too.
We stopped off for a drink in a proper old-fashioned boozer, where Figaro by the Brotherhood of Man was playing in the background, and we talked 1970s pop music and TV stars, who's had work done, vintage buying and selling, cameras, pubs, blogging and blog friends, and consulted Vix as to who was most "on-trend" with their day's purchases (that would be Fiona - a chunky Scandi jumper, and a dress and skirt, both wool, both tartan. She's such a hipster!)
This man asked Vix if his wife could take her photo. She was recognised by another lady who follows her blog too. I'm friends with a real celeb!
And that was the end of our fabulous day.
I also know that when I got home, I was exhausted, slept for over 12 hours, and spent most of Sunday snuggled up under a crochet blanket on the sofa drinking tea, accompanied by a variety of cats and children, catching up on X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, while aching from the very roots of my hair to the tips of my fingers and toes.
So I think I am actually ill, as opposed to merely hungover (though obviously that won't have helped...)
I know I am a bit better today, although I still feel as though I have a lead weight on my chest.
I know I adore my only purchase from Saturday, a beautiful 1950-60s tapestry bag from Urban Village.
I know I will be linking my headscarf to Judith's Hat Attack tomorrow.
1980s cotton dress and tapestry flats - Ebay
Belt, bangles, necklace and sunglasses - charity shopped
Scarf - birthday present from lovely Fiona
This much I know:
Blogging is A Good Thing.
I have met some wonderful women whose company is a real joy, and of whom I am genuinely fond.
They are kind, funny, charming, friendly, generous and beautiful.
I would never have stumbled across them if not for doing this.
If you ever have doubts about the worth of blogging as a pastime, arrange a blogger meet-up; it will restore your faith.
And cure your hangover.