It's not very often is it that just about everything comes together, at just the right time and you really do have the time of your life. Last night Woody and I went to the much anticipated 1940s Spring Dance and I spent much of the afternoon in complete turmoil. One minute I was wondering if the evening would be any good, the next I was struggling with my rollers, then worrying about looking ridiculous and fretting that Woody was really only coming along to be nice and wasn't looking forward to it all.
As we left home a gale was blowing and we had to dash from the car park across to the Guildhall (when we'd eventually found it!) in the pouring rain. I was really beginning to feel that things weren't boding well. What an earth had I roped us into? Getting dressed up and pretending to do something from very dark-days past when we could easily be at home, tucking into a nice treat and cosying up by the fire!
But then, somebody flicked the switch and into the time-machine we went. The low building with the deep-red, wooden doors beckoned and we followed a gent in a very smart suit inside, through a red velvet curtain and all of a sudden - stepped into 1941.
My flash is hopeless, the photos just don't do justice to the colour and liveliness of it all. Two beautiful young ladies, with perfectly curled hair and diamante earrings, took our tickets with red smiles and laughing eyes. The room, (a bit like a big village hall, but with a stage draped in velvet, a raised platform to the side and a balcony) was already very busy.
During the war regular dances were held at the Guildhall and it still has the fantastic original sprung floor and last night the walls and ceiling were decked with Allied flags, propaganda posters and plenty of union jack bunting. We grabbed a drink from the bar and found a corner seat, next to the stage, with a fabulous view of the dance floor and settled in for the best evening's entertainment I think I've ever had.
There were so many people there, all ages and from all walks of life. Lots of American airmen, several Land Girls, a sparkling US Navy man and a couple of rather dashing RAF officers. Woody was rather wowed by the wife of a German SS officer, (a wonderful dancer in a brilliant scarlet trouser suit) but I warned him about fraternising with the enemy! We met some lovely people, it was such a fun and friendly atmosphere and we felt really right at home.
Brilliant lindy-hoppers, jivers and waltzers filled the bouncing floor all night, sometimes dancing to the gramophone hits I adore, others to the amazing vocals of the wonderfully glamorous Miss Lola L'Amour.
I must admit that despite the Guinness, Woody didn't fancy taking to the floor himself but he enjoyed the night so much I am chuffed to bits, I can't explain how much. My lovely bloke is a man who isn't exactly overflowing with expressions of delight and believe me, impressing a cynical journalist is not an easy thing. Last night though Woody couldn't stop saying how much he was enjoying himself, what a great atmosphere there was and wasn't it lovely for us to be doing something together.
Not the original dress I bought. I saw this new, Laura Ashley number for £4 on Ebay and it just looked the part. I couldn't resist.
What's so wonderful is that after eight years together we've suddenly discovered a shared passion, a new interest for dancing and music that neither of us really knew the other had.
So dancing lessons together beckon (Woody's idea - there's been a miracle!), a visit to a hotel in the city-centre where a big band practice with Lola L'Amour and a trip to another dance in Cheshire next month.A little dream of mine has come true and has turned into something even better. Off to scan EBay now for a frock for next time!