The tears stung my cheeks as they trickled down my face, the winter sun made my eyes squint and a wave of loneliness washed over me as I drove home from the airport. I’ve always been fiercely independent and I still am, I get annoyed easily and shivers run down my spine even at the thought of someone invading my personal space. During his first visit it took a lot for me to welcome Darren into my surroundings, although the nature of my houseguest did surprise me. I often shape scenarios in my head as if I already know how things will turn out but I was quietly relieved when he turned out to be non-intrusive, clean, helpful and completely laid back. Eager for his return, I still felt skeptical as to whether I’d be able to uphold my sanity during this second stay, after all three weeks is a long time when you have spent the last two years living alone. My flat feels smaller when he’s around, warmer and the atmosphere less tense, I feel relaxed in his company and my worries seem to almost melt away. I could be considered a clean freak, borderline OCD. I detest when a cushion is out of place, I don’t allow bright lights and I even strategically place the cutlery inside my kitchen drawers. I like the shower curtain to hang a certain way and the pillows on my bed to be just right, I enjoy clearing out cupboards, folding things into piles and making the place look essentially nice. I’m intense, challenging to be around for any length of time and my attitude can be fiery and snappy. I’m opinionated beyond reason, think I know everything and I’m always determined to prove people wrong. Darren somehow manages to bypass all of the above and refuses to be sucked in by my argumentative streak, he has the power to make me forget about my daily hang ups and busy schedule and the ability to make me mimic his playful, childlike persona.
Titi is another friend who shares Darren’s positive and upbeat outlook and she also has the dexterity to encourage me to push myself in a direction I’d otherwise not consider or struggle to present. My emotional drive home conjured up a mix of both sad and uncompromisingly hilarious memories, my favourite one being…
When Pipi Ginlay met Dandy Pike.
I’d been called to the Wella World Studios in London to take part in a presentation named ‘In the Spotlight’ which had been described as an evening of future talent. It was to be my final event as part of the Wella Generation Now Team and I proudly presented my model on stage to an audience of industry figures and enthusiastically told the journey of my productive year on the team. After my lucrative evening I met with Darren and we enjoyed partying at an exclusive bar where his friend Patrick Allan of legendary soul group The Drifters performed. Introducing me to celebrity friends and serenading me in a private booth, it was a distinctly champion night. Titi was also in town and, keen to celebrate her 24th birthday in style, had planned a trip to the theatre to see Jersey Boys with her sister Beth. Not to be outdone, Darren pulled some strings and blagged me a guest ticket for the show which meant I could partake in the night’s celebrations. The previous evening’s escapades caught up with me mid-show and I drifted in and out of interrupted sleep whilst Frankie and The Four Seasons smoothly crooned the mesmerised audience. My most vivid memory from the musical was glancing across the theatre to the front row where Titi stood, wildly waving her hands in the air hoping to catch the attention of the cast whilst belting out each lyric of the song word for word, a huge grin on my face and a warm feeling of admiration for my excited pal. After the gig, Darren met us in a nearby bar where he had arranged the cast to congregate to meet Titi as a birthday treat. Overwhelmed and awestruck by this kind gesture, Titi boldly belted out musical theatre to Darren and the shocked actors who were obviously admirably blown away by her exuberant personality. We all continued, cast included, to Home House, an exclusive private members club and haven for aristocrats, celebrities and those willing to splurge a few thousand pounds a year for membership. Set across three Georgian townhouses in Marylebone, the opulent venue was the most fantastic way to draw in an evening of incomparable events. Espresso martinis flowing, jubilant dancing underway and a wondrous rendition of Happy Birthday by Patrick made this all unreal and unforgettable. I sneaked off, an early flight the next morning standing in my way of continuing the frivolities. I’m positive Titi, hysterical with the events, didn’t even notice my departure. Ultimately the best way to bring two of my closest friends together, there is little I could do to repay Darren for the effort he put into meeting one of the people I love.
By the time I got back to Dundee my tears had dried and the feeling of loneliness had subsided. Even though this week has seen me say goodbye to both Titi and Darren, two huge characters I and others around me will miss considerably, I know they will both continue to be major contributors in helping me have a healthier angle on life and even though we are all now in different cities, I can hang on to the fact I have two more excellent excuses to spend more time and adventures in London. I can see big things happening for these guys and I hope they always remember their wee pal up in Dundee, who is never happy, always pessimistic, grumpy and sad.
Long live the VEF and I’m such a bloody drama QUEEN,