Authors: Lucy Diamond
Tags: #Fiction, #General
‘Here’s to us, girls,’ Katie said, feeling a rush of happiness as they stood there together, all smiling at one another.
‘Definitely,’ Georgia agreed. ‘Cheers to the blushing bride,’ she said, raising her glass, her eyes twinkling.
Katie grinned. ‘I’ll drink to that. And to you two, as well, my hens and best friends, all back together again. Cheers to the hens!’
Did you have a hen night yourself? And if so, what did it involve?
I did have a hen night, yes, but as a thirty-something with three children, I felt rather more ‘mother hen’ than ‘cool chick’, so it wasn’t a completely debauched affair! My partner took the kids away for the weekend, so I invited ‘the girls’ and my sisters to our house in Bath. We hit the shops, went out for dinner and then on to a club for cocktails and dancing. And yes, I
have a list of challenges (thanks a lot, girls) but fortunately for me they weren’t quite as outrageous as the ones that feature in Georgia’s hen night. (That’s what I’ve told my husband anyway – and I’m sticking to the story!)
Do you have a favourite character in
Ooh, that’s a hard question. I love all three of my main characters, and would hate to choose one over another. Perhaps to be diplomatic, I’ll choose Laura, Katie’s sister. She’s an ideal ally, I think – great fun and a bit of a party animal, but supportive too, when it comes to the crunch. Maybe Laura needs a novel of her own, now that I come to think about it.
Do you think female friendships are more prone to complications and fallings-out than male friendships?
I do, and I think you can see that right from girlhood. Without wanting to generalise too much, I think friendship on an emotional level matters more to girls and women, which is probably why it can all go a bit pear-shaped sometimes.
Who are some of your own favourite writers?
I’ll happily read anything by Rose Tremain, Jonathan Coe, Kate Atkinson, Maggie O’Farrell, Anne Tyler, Charles Dickens and Sarah Waters. I also love the books by my fellow ‘New Romantics’ authors: Kate Harrison, Milly Johnson, Veronica Henry, Jojo Moyes, Matt Dunn and Sarah Duncan.
As well as writing adult novels, you also write books for children and maintain your own blog (http://beinglucydiamond.blogspot.com). How do you find the time to do it all?
Working part-time whilst bringing up three children has actually made me very focused on my writing (as well as extremely tired, admittedly!). When I’m not at my desk working on a new book, I’m constantly thinking about my characters and mulling over what I’m going to write next, so by the time I switch on the PC, the words are ready to pour out. My youngest child starts school this year though, so ‘I’ll have the luxury of a bit more time soon . . . and the house will probably look a
Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on next?
I’m working on a fourth novel, provisionally titled
It’s about three women with very different lives who meet at a weight-watching club and go on to befriend and support one another. It’s about friendship, love and chocolate cake, and is, I hope, funny, moving and uplifting.
Lucy Diamond’s guide
to the perfect hen night
Hen Nights: A Survival Guide
So, what does a hen night mean to you? Is it your last wild night of freedom before settling down to sensible wifeyness? Or is it just a great excuse for a girls’ night out to remember? Whatever your thoughts, if you’ve got a wedding on the horizon, it’s never too soon to start planning the hen do. Whether you fancy blowing the budget with a girly holiday in the sun, or you’d prefer a spot of pampering in a swanky spa, or even if you’re just a bit of a disco diva who wants to dance the night away, it’s your call. However you choose to celebrate, the
girls can help you plan your biggest and best hen party. Katie, being the organised one, has tips on the practical stuff, Alice gets creative with themes and styles and as for Georgia, she’s tackling the forfeits and booze (no surprises there). Over to you, ladies . . .
Katie: Who to invite
Choosing your hen party guests can be something of a minefield. Of course your best friends can go straight on the list – as long as they are all speaking to each other, of course – followed by sisters and any soon-to-be sisters-in-law. Work mates can by risky – although you might have a great laugh with them in the office every day, you need to weigh up carefully whether or not you can let them see you doing any of the following:
wearing a flashing tiara/feather boa/L-plates
doing karaoke and high-kicks to ‘I Will Survive’
snogging policemen/any other bloke in the vicinity
If you fear that your professional reputation may suffer as a consequence, leave the work-mates off the list. You don’t want anyone cramping your style on the big night, after all!
Where to go
All right, I know I am efficient to the point of being a bit sad, but it is
important to book your accommodation early, if there’s a big group of you. Make sure you check everyone’s budget and find something you can all afford. There’s no point falling in love with an amazing-looking hotel if all your mates are too skint to join you there.
The most popular hen night destinations in the UK are:
Alice: Types of hen night
It’s your party, so anything goes! Here are just a few suggestions for activities which you and your fellow hens might enjoy:
a pamper package in a spa will revive any weary bride-to-be, but there are other ways to relax too. How about a wine-tasting session, afternoon tea in a country house, a cocktail mixing tutorial, or enjoying a makeover and photo shoot?
there are all sorts of ways a sporty hen can have fun. Have a go at quad biking, horse-riding, go-karting, paintballing, maybe even a surfing lesson if you’re by the sea. Try not to break any bones though . . . hobbling up the aisle on crutches is such a bad look!
a comedy club is a great place to start a hen night. Or maybe you could try something brand new – belly-dancing or burlesque, anyone? You can even let out all that Bridezilla stress by booking a sumo-wrestling session for you and your hens. (I’m not joking – they exist!) Go on, you know you’ve always fancied wearing an inflatable fat suit.
Hen night themes and what to wear
If there’s a whole bunch of you out on the town, it can be fun to have a theme so that everyone can dress similarly. It creates a fab group feeling – and also alerts nervous men to the fact that you’re on the rampage. Popular themes include:
wings, halo and wand. Say no more.
if you’re feeling a bit naughty.
for that inner High School Musical fan.
French maids –
ooh la la!
any excuse for furry handcuffs . . .
Or, of course, you can choose a particular colour and all try to wear something in that shade. Don’t forget the L-plates!
Also known as ways to
humiliate the poor bride-to-be . . . If she’s up for a laugh, you can make a list of challenges or forfeits that she has to complete before dawn. Remember the hens’ code, though: what happens on the hen night, stays on the hen night. In other words, don’t tell the groom!
Here are just some of the forfeits I had to endure (and yes, I did complete them all, thank you very much). Feel free to borrow them – if you have the stamina, of course . . .
Snog three random strangers
Persuade someone to buy you a drink (make it a double)
Kiss a policeman
Swap underwear with the man of your choice
Dance like MC Hammer on a crowded dancefloor. Then try some break-dancing. End with a bit of Riverdance – clears the floor every time!
Corrupt the youngest, sweetest-looking barman you can find by whispering something filthy into his ear
Ask the bouncer at the club door: ‘Don’t you know who I
Ah, what would a hen night be without cocktails? A lot less rowdy, probably. Here are some of my favourite recipes:
10ml white crème de cacao
25ml blackcurrant vodka
10ml lemon juice
50ml apple juice
2 tsp sugar
6 ice cubes
25ml peach schnapps
50ml cranberry juice
25ml triple sec
10ml lemon juice
10ml peppermint schnapps
1 tbsp grapefruit juice
1 tbsp powdered sugar
20ml Mandarine Napoléon
25ml pineapple juice
100ml bitter lemon
And for the morning after:
I fried egg sandwich (ketchup optional)
I pint of water
Go back to bed and sleep it off . . .
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