I made a memory this week. A really good one. Stomach hurting laughter with a friend of FORTY YEARS!!
Can't really beat that in my book.
On Wednesday, with reluctance in my very bones, owing to 'end of term'itis' I traipsed up to London to join a group of 'Old Girl's' (makes us sound like Enid Blyton caricatures) to sing in a Carol Service in Chelsea.
Practised our songs (a rather jolly Benjamin Britton piece that had us quaking with fear at first, but boy, we nailed the bugger and sang it like angels)
That church was so cold that we turned shades of deepest blue right through to dark, attractive purple.
Trying valiantly to stop shivering in the Extreme Old Church Temperatures.
Minus 3 outside.
Minus 3 inside.
And so it was, that during our Free Time between 5 o'clock and 6.30 that my friend and I tipped off to Peter Jones to find Hot Chocolate and Warm Underwear. In that order.
Gratefully shoved Hot Chocolate down our throats, chatting nineteen to the dozen, joined by my sister, who had come to watch us rehearse, wearing a very sensible and enormous Fur Hat. We were all rather envious.
Anyway, drinks done, my Sis departed off out to celebrate her Eldest Boy's birthday, and Henrietta and I made a beeline for the Lingerie Department.
May I just say that I bumped into no less than 7 friends, all having tea in Peter Jones. Couldn't blinking believe it. Lots of numbers exchanged and hugs galore amongst the genteel Tea Drinkers of Chelsea.
Found, to our delight, a garment named Hide All The Disgusting Flab (or something) which was dangling delectably, all ready for us to Purchase. We grabbed a couple, plus some thermals, and legged it to the changing room.
'Sod it, let's share,' said Henrietta.
So we did, stripping off down to bra and pants, and whipping on our new Flabless Tops.
Well and truly.
Henrietta had to stop putting hers on, to help me squidge myself, red in the face from exertion, into the Impossibly Tight Top.
'Good Grief, there is absolutely No Room for my bosoms,' I gasped.
Henrietta, by now into hers, was howling with mirth at my figure which now looked as if I had about eight breasts. Bosom was so squashed it had flattened my considerable Boobs into every Nook and Cranny of this Extraordinary Top.
With her help, we managed, between the howls, to rearrange my bosoms into their rightful places.
I turned sideways.
I appeared to be totally flat chested.
Crikey, I said.
But shoved on my White Linen Top, to go with Black Linen Trousers, de rigeur for any choir member.
Ripped off the price label of new purchase, and happened to look at it.
Chuffing Hell. £54.00!!
For a scrap of Python Strength White Lycra.
We looked at each other in disbelief.
Firstly, for the price, and secondly for the fact that we would have to Remove The Sodding Buggers. No way were we spending £54 on THAT.
'Right. You first,' ordered Henrietta.
I obediently took off my White Linen Top and tried to remove the Python Top.
Couldn't get it past my navel.
Henrietta had to have a moment to recover, as she was by this time totally beside herself in mirth. (May I just say that she does laugh Quite Loudly. As do I. A little concerned at this point about being overheard by other Matrons of Chelsea.)
But I was so deep in midst of giggle-fits that wouldn't have given a damn if the Queen herself was trying on a Spandex Lycra Bustier in the next cubicle.
I put my arms up in the air, and Henrietta pulled and pulled, with helpful comments like,
'Lean against the wall, and let me yank it off,'
'Christ, one of your boobs has got stuck in the hem-line,' sort of thing.
(There were rather a lot of people Lurking as we emerged. I think that perhaps they were an Audience of sorts.)
She got it off. It took several minutes, as we kept having to stop to get our breath back, owing to being completely out of control Laughter Wise.
And then I had to get hers off.
Easier, owing to less in the Bosom Department.
But still quite Tricky when weak with laughter.
We shoved on our Thermals (bliss) and got dressed all over again.
I think we carried on laughing for about an hour.
No sooner than one of us had stopped, the other started.
And we told everyone back at the Ice Church what we had been up to.
Funnily enough, no one found it particularly funny.
They were all too busy lifting up our shirts and the hem of our trousers to check out the Thermals.
Boy, they were green with envy.
Which went awfully well with Purple with Cold.
We were Just Fine, thanks!