The smell was lovely and so was the man – 24th-26th July 1999

Saturday 24th We went to Bruges. It is absolutely gorgeous there. All the buildings are really old and there are canals and horses and cobbled streets. We visited a chocolate factory. The smell was lovely and so was the man giving us the talk! [Here he is…]

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We went on a boat trip round the canal on which most people fell asleep! We then got to walk round where we wanted so we did.

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That evening, Charlie Wilson seemed determined to get with Emma but she was determined not to let him! She really didn’t trust herself so she kept telling me to keep him away. I managed to keep sitting between them and stuff which she appreciated but he didn’t!

I ended up feeling really sorry for him and I apologised and ended up in a deep and meaningful, heart to heart conversation about why she wasn’t interested and things like that. I didn’t mind telling him but other people began to get suspicious as to why he wanted to be alone with me outside in the dark or in another corner of the room!

BYE!

Sunday 25th Travelled back to England. The journey to Calais seemed fast and I bought a big bottle of Bacardi at the cash and carry. It was cheap, okay?!!

The ferry crossing was really calm and hot which was good. On a stop at a service station, Emma and I were sat by the emergency exit and as Charlie was getting out, she complained he tickled her foot. Well, on his way back on he did the same to my ankle. I didn’t mention it!

When we finally arrived back, I said my goodbyes to everyone and they all said they’d keep in touch but I don’t expect it to be honest.

BYE!

Monday 26th Hayley’s phoned me 3 times today. I filled her in on stuff and she told me what I’d missed which wasn’t much. She told me she’d collected glasses in the Sports Club and had spoken to Ste Rollinson and she now knows where he lives coz she saw him in the garden or summit. She also told me that Milla Green (lottery jackpot winner’s granddaughter) is moving back from Australia to Warrington.

I have a bit of a dilemma now. I told Hayley I’d go with her so she can show me where Ste lives tomorrow maybe but then Emma rang before (which I really didn’t expect) saying that Gethin had just phoned and was going round at 1:30pm tomorrow and she wants me to go. I was the 1st person she phoned which I was pleased about and she was phoning the rest later. I dunno what I’ll tell Hayley though coz she’s bound to ring here.

I’d rather go to Emma’s, you see, and Hayley’ll be deeply suspicious that I’m going to leave her out and be best mates with Emma again. I don’t want to do that to her so she has no reason to think it but she will. I’d lie but if she found out it’d make matters worse.

This could just be a one off and Emma’ll get sick of me again once Suzanna comes back off her hols and Emma’s parents get home from theirs but I don’t want to miss anything. I just feel so guilty about Hayley coz whatever I say, she’ll think the worst. She just won’t trust me.

BYE!

The 4 of us gained some stalkers – 23rd July 1999

Friday 23rd We went to Mechelen and got a tour which was pretty boring and then we did a concert on some crappy little bandstand.

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After feeding our lunch to the pigeons (which didn’t eat it either) we all piled on the coach and discovered Cat had fallen asleep on a chair. We were going to pretend we were driving off but unfortunately she woke up.

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The afternoon consisted of swimming at Oceade. I didn’t swim coz I was worried that I would come on my period as I had a slight stomach ache but instead I told everyone I had an ear infection. That was believable coz it’s true that it could have come back if my ears came into contact with water and the day before on the water rides, it did.

My sister, Evie Evans and Hafsa B also didn’t swim. As long as we took our shoes and socks off we were allowed to walk round the edge of the pools so it was still quite good. I yelled at Mr P-R coz he splashed me with water badly and I was quite pleased with myself coz he shut up and said sorry!

The 4 of us gained some stalkers. They were dodgy looking so Mrs P got Patrick Campbell, Joe Anson and Dougie to come and pretend to be our boyfriends. It worked! It was so sweet of them to come and protect us like that coz they stayed with us until the creeps went.

We went to Brussels in the evening and most of us took the opportunity to stock up on alcohol. When we got back to the hostel, we drank it all so most people got upset about something. I have to say I was quite pleased when Gethin told me I was fine-looking!

Everyone got more upset than normal, I think because of the combination between tiredness, alcohol and hunger. This is what people were upset about:

Heidi – Found out Anthony Wiley fancies her but she’s with Davis but she liked both of them and didn’t want to hurt either of them. Anthony got hurt so that upset Heidi.

Keira – Really fancies Dougie but he’s giving her mixed signals so she’s confused. She also found out that he went with [snogged] an Essex slag.

Anthony – Fancies Heidi but Heidi chose Davis.

Emma – Davis going out with Heidi. Mrs P was also outside our room talking about us all but mostly Emma, saying things like, “Emma and Tess are the worst.”

Me – What Mrs P and Mr P-R were saying outside our room. Also everyone else being upset upset me too!

Charlie Wilson – Really fancies Emma but she’s madly in love with Davis so he had no chance.

Gethin Turner – Everyone hinting at him being gay.

Davis – Anthony fancying Heidi.

I think that’s it. Basically, it was a particularly miserable night!

BYE!

I get all the gimps! – 22nd July 1999

Thursday 22nd We went to Bobbejaanland theme park or “Bobberjobberland” as we renamed it! We did a concert there which, again, went well and I discovered a couple of nice looking waiters equipt with baseball caps called Jo and Jan so I stared at them for a while.

We were allowed on all the rides for the rest of the day. I went round with Emma, Keira, Dougie, Cat, Charlie Wilson, Ed and loads of others. On this water ride thing, there were these 2 ugly lads who were smiling at me in the queue. They then tried to talk to me but I didn’t understand. As usual, I get all the gimps!

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After going on the water rides I was soaking and the rain didn’t help either. It was Mr P-R who was splashing everyone with the manky greeny-brown water that had the worst effect. Prick!

We wanted to warm up and dry off a bit so we went on the Revolution which was indoors. There was a good looking lad that Emma, Keira and I had spotted during the concert who was stood behind us in the queue. He was with his mates by then though and turned out to be a right creep! Typical!

We had tea back at the hostel. As the bloke behind the counter handed us the plates of food, he turned round and grinned at his mate as he said, “Bon appetit”. We realised later on that it was coz we’d all thought the meat was beef but it was in fact horse tongue!

That night went pretty much the same as the last one had with us all visiting each other until very late. Charlie decided he fancied Emma and was constantly asking where she was. She was in the room of Essex slags, I think keeping an eye on our lads but I didn’t tell him that coz she told me she doesn’t like him and I hadn’t got to let her go with [snog] him or anything.

Later on, when we’d all had a bit to drink, I went in Charlie’s room, sat down and talked to Joe Anson and Anthony Wiley. I turned to talk to Charlie who was on his bunk, only to discover Cat had wrapped her arms round him and was lying down behind him rubbing his chest! Charlie was giving the rest of us an oh-my-God-what’s-she-doing kind of look but we all went and left him.

I ran up the corridor to Davis and Dougie etc. and told everyone they had to come and have a look at Cat. Emma was the only one who did actually come and by the time we got back, Charlie had turned over so the 2 of them were sort of intertwined. It was so funny coz it’s not the kind of thing you expect from Cat!

We found out later that Cat had actually launched herself at Charlie and he hadn’t resisted so they ended up going with [snogging] each other. That was even more amusing. I also realised that I quite like Charlie myself but I managed to convince myself that it was only because there was nobody better.

I went in my room later with Davis and Heidi Warner coz they weren’t allowed on their own in a room. I just got talking with Davis and he said that I should go into town with him and Gavin Bilson etc. when we got home. I hope he means it and gets in touch coz I can’t stand the thought of being bored again.

Keira got a bit upset before we slept coz Dougie was giving her mixed signals or summit. She said at Bobberjobberland she’d been getting on really well and stuff with him but that evening he’d been really off with her. She was confused so she got really upset.

Cat also began to piss the rest of us off today coz she was being really miserable and constantly had a long face on her.

BYE!

Loud, tarty Essex girls – 21st July 1999

Wednesday 21st Breakfast was almost as bad as the meal the night before and there was evidence of previous meals all over the cutlery!

We went into the centre of Brussels in the morning and visited the Manneken Pis (I didn’t realise until I saw it that it actually was what it sounded like!), St Michael’s Cathedral and the Grand Place. The centre was far nicer than the outskirts.

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We went to Antwerp in the afternoon for bowling. I was playing it was playing it with Emma, Cat, Isaac McFarlane, Henry Rockwell and Gethin Turner. I didn’t win.

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Emma decided that afternoon that she rather fancied James Douglas (Dougie) but went off the idea of chasing him once she realised that Keira still really likes him.

We had a concert that evening in an amphitheatre thing in Deurne. It went really well, although one particular bloke in the audience had either been experimenting with illegal substances or was extremely bladdered coz he was jumping round, dancing and clapping, singing and shouting and staring at Miss M all through the concert. It was very hard to keep a straight face.

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In the evening we ate the packed lunches we’d been supplied with by the hostel and got back on the coach. It was only after we’d eaten that we were told parma ham was raw. Gethin then kept us in hysterics on the way back to the hostel with his theory on why the food was so crap.

We had the rest of the night free to do what we wanted so we visited each other’s rooms. Everyone was drinking but no-one got really pissed. Some of the lads from my year (Davis, Ed, Dougie, Brian Short and Gethin) discovered a room full of loud, tarty Essex girls so my room were not amused. We ended up with Patrick Campbell, Anthony Wiley and Charlie Wilson lying on our floor so we didn’t get to sleep until about 4:30 am.

Patrick was saying that the lads in his room (those 3 plus Joe Anson) had been talking about us last night and apparently it was said that I had nice eyes.

The manager of the park we did the concert at today said we were brilliant and wants us to go back and do all our concerts there next year.

BYE!

The consequences could prove to be extremely embarrassing – 19th & 20th July 1999

Monday 19th I’m going to Belgium with Swing Band for 5 days tomorrow. I’ve got to get up at 5:00 in the morning!! That’s not good!

I’ve decided not to take this diary with me coz if anybody found it and read it the consequences could prove to be extremely embarrassing for me and possibly others. My mum’ll probably find it instead now! I don’t know which’d be worse, my mum finding it or my friends. I’ll try not to think about that too much, it’s not a nice thought!

I went to the next village today and said goodbye to Hayley. She’s not annoyed me as much as usual over the last few days. I’m not complaining!

Oh well, I’ll fill in the gaps when I get back… or should I say if I get back! I won’t think too much about that either!

BYE!

Tuesday 20th I had to get up at about 5:00 am and I’d only got to sleep about 2 hours before that so I was annoyed to find that, even after we’d picked Emma up, there was hardly anybody at school.

We all said goodbye to our parents and boarded the coach. Emma and I were sat in front of the toilet which was actually quite good coz we had a bit more legroom and a bar which we could lean on and sleep. We were sat there for ages before we set off and then we were told that we’d have to change coaches at Sandbach coz we couldn’t fit all the bags in the one we had.

The ferry crossing was quite rough but I quite enjoyed it and it didn’t seem to take as long as usual to get to Calais.

When we finally arrived at the youth hostel, it seemed to look quite nice and modern. We had a meal before we got our room keys which was potatoes, gravy, deformed sausages and apple sauce all on the same plate. None of us were too impressed!

The bedrooms were really nice though. There were 5 of us and only 2 bunk beds so Cat just used a spare mattress and slept on the floor.  I was in a room with Cat, Emma, Keira and Heidi Warner which was quite good coz I get on with them pretty well.

We were pleased by the fact that we had a bathroom and toilet in the room and a massive window which looked out onto a park and was directly above the canteen, lounge and bar which had glass rooves so we could see who was down there. Our room was also on the same floor as everyone else which was quite handy. That night everyone went to bed pretty early so we didn’t do much.

BYE!

I wasn’t complaining!! – 17th July 1999

Saturday 17th I had to play in Swing Band again today coz it was the Carnival in the Quad thing at school. It was okay but very windy so out music stands and sheets kept blowing about.

Finn out of Hollyoaks, or James Redman, opened it for us. He’s very nice and Emma and I got him to sign the front of our music folder, the yellow ‘Belgium 99’ sheet. He just put summit like, “To Emma and Tess, Best Wishes, Love” and then he signed it and put “Finn” in brackets at the end. Apparently he came coz he’s mates with a Food Tech teacher’s (Miss D) brother.

I hung about for a bit after we’d finished playing with Emma, Freda, Rochelle and Zoe. We just sat about and talked mostly coz there wasn’t actually a lot going on. Emma was being normal with me again, quite nice in fact, and her mum gave me a lift home afterwards which hasn’t happened for a while. She as saying stuff like it’ll probably just be me, her and Keira Osborne in Belgium coz Cat’ll go off with the older ones. At least she seems to want to hang round with me there but probably only coz there’s not really anyone else.

Mind you, Ed, Davies, Suzanna etc. all went to Chester today but she didn’t go. She also seems to still be able to tell me certain things and trusts that I won’t say anything to anyone coz she was saying how Rachael Hollins was staying at her house tonight (coz Rachael’s parents are going away) and she told me how she didn’t really want her to and said how pathetic and immature she is. At least she knows Rachael’s like that!!

I went back to the carnival later this evening to see what was happening. Nothing much was so Hayley and I ended up back at the Sports Club. There was a wedding on and Ste Rollinson was there. He came over and said, “I think I’ll come over here and talk to you two lovely ladies.” [Smooth.] I wasn’t complaining!! He was a bit drunk I think coz we couldn’t always tell what he was saying.

Hayley went very quiet (I think she was in shock coz she fancies him!) so I ended up doing most of the talking. We were talking about jobs and he said he’d had about 5 since he left school (he’s only 17) including joining a printing business. He asked where we lived and what we were doing for the Millennium. He said he’d probably go into Manchester coz there’s a massive street party or summit.

Then we talked about GCSEs and he said he was still only 15 when he left school coz his birthday’s quite late on in the school year. He said he passed all his exams with one B, four Cs, two Ds and an E, I think. He also advised us to stay on at college and not go out and get a job straight away like he did.

Then he asked us what we wanted to do so I told him physiotherapy. He seemed to like that idea, as did Ewan when I told him on the park at Zoe’s party. Funnily enough they both mentioned nice, young footballers’ leg injuries. I don’t know why?! Hee hee hee!!! He was also asking if we enjoyed the prom.

It was quite a long conversation actually. I think Hayley’s probably still recovering now!

BYE!

I got my hopes up about a possible better social life – 14th July 1999

[On the off chance you’ve been wondering, I’ve not keeled over from my Mozambican spider bite, I’ve just been mega-ridic busy with work and visitors and weekends away and cats and things. Diary posts will be a wee bit sparse for another couple of weeks as the mega-ridic busy-ness continues but I’ll hopefully get back to normal at some point in November. Soz.]

Wednesday 14th The Au Revoir 2 concert at the Legion tonight seemed to go pretty well. Not as many people turned up as usual but it didn’t really matter.

I got disappointed again this evening after I got my hopes up about a possible better social life. I’d heard Emma and Davis and people talking about going to town on Friday night but I’ve got used to just ignoring the arrangements coz they don’t tend to involve me however much I’d like to go – a bit more exciting than going to the Sports Club!

Anyway, tonight, Ed came up to me at the interval and said, “Are you coming to town on Friday night?” It was a sort of ‘if-you’re-not-going-do-you-want-to?’ type of question so I just sort of shrugged and someone else talked to us instead. To add to that, Emma was waving me over to go and sit down next to her at a table with Davis and Charlie Wilson and some others so that made me feel like I was wanted and in with the crowd.

Since this business with Lindsey Bullman and Lena leaving me and Hayley out, and Emma (my ex-best friend, however much I’d rather it was how it was before) going along with it all so she wouldn’t be the next one rejected, I’ve not really felt like part of a group (even though I’ve got loads of friends) and groups tend to be more fun.

Well, I was sat there with them in the interval and I was quite enjoying myself and then they started talking about Friday, saying that Emma, Suzanna, Ed, Davis, Gavin Bilson and maybe Robert Osbourne were going to town. So when we got back to our seats on stage, I asked Emma what was going on on Friday night and I explained that Ed had just asked if I was going. I was really expecting her to give a full explanation and ask me if I was going to go. I wished I hadn’t bothered mentioning it coz all I got was, “Oh, er, we’re just going to town.” Then she shut up.

I thought nothing of it really until the concert was over. Then Emma went straight over to Ed and started talking to him. I was stood behind her and I don’t think she realised but I’m sure part of what she said was, “Why did you ask her?” I could’ve been wrong and I probably wouldn’t have taken much notice and just passed it off as a conversation which had nothing to do with me if Ed hadn’t have been glancing, wide-eyed between me and Emma once he saw me behind her. Also, Emma said to Ed, “Ooh, I’d better shut up now!” once she saw me.

If that didn’t make them look guilty enough then the fact that Emma rushed off home and straight past me certainly did. Normally she’d at least have said goodbye. Oh well, I won’t be expecting any invitations out again and even if I get any I won’t get my hopes up too much.

At least Ed asked me I suppose. He came and talked to me before leaving as well but with no mention of Friday, just who we thought might be gay in our year!! I like Ed (but just in a friend kind of way). Not many people do like him really. That’s something we seem to have in common.

It’s usually for no reason that people don’t seem to want to associate with me. Well, not one that I can come up with anyway. Actually, with most people I’m not bothered what they think of me but I think it hurts my feelings more when Emma doesn’t seem to want to go anywhere with me anymore because we used to be such good friends until quite recently.

Mind you, some of the reasons I’d like to still be best mates with her for maybe aren’t exactly because of Emma herself. I think it’s more because of the good times out she seems to have and the people she has them with e.g. Ewan Swann sometimes.

It’s just tough really coz there’s not a lot I can do about any of this.

BYE!