I’ve got my wings and I can fly, I will fly to you

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Chapter 17

June 22nd 1996

Richmond Road Party Night!!!!!!!!!!!

These nights are legendary, people talk about them for weeks. In whispered code before the event and in annoyingly loud ‘where were you?’ brags once they are over. I have managed to miss every single one so far, just being on the wrong side of the cool people in the know. Friends who have been still painfully discuss the finer details of the magic months later, I am usually left with an angry knot of 100% proof envy eating away at me.

But not tonight. The word was on the street and we found ourselves privy to the date and the time of said fuck off party. Obviously, I can’t disclose the source for fear of never, ever being as cool as I am right now again.

So, having now decamped back to Harry and Ruth’s for the remainder of the month I am waiting patiently for a shower window whilst drinking vodka and dancing to Stone Roses.

June 23rd 1996

The day after the Richmond Road Party.

It is 2pm.

The pain I feel in my head, my feet, my arms. The indescribable horror of my reflection in the bathroom mirror. The ruin of a dress that I still have on. None of these things can ever take away the immense brilliance of last night.

I will try and recount the hazy memories and vague recollections but I cannot guarantee sense.

We kicked off the evening at the Woody, soaking up the last of the evenings’ sun in a cloud of smoke and excitement. The whole of studentville is on a big end of exams vibe and everywhere has that festival feeling of the fun never stopping.

Richmond Road was unlike anything I had experienced before (bearing in mind that I am, at heart, a naive country bumpkin.)

I remember lots of drapes, UV lights, mirror balls and funky people. Upstairs was a DJ playing breakbeat. The atmosphere was out of this world and we danced, smiled, snogged, smiled, drank, smiled. The perfect combination of music, lights, decor and a few old skool ravers complete with LED gloves. The room was full of fascinating people enjoying a beautiful experience. I have no idea how long we stayed in that wonderful place with these strangers who were our new best friends.

Myself, Ruth and Harry held hands and wandered around this giant house like Alice in Wonderlands. Taking it all in, seeing, hearing, tasting and feeling our way around this heavenly experience. Every now and then a beautiful, familiar face would float past. Hugs and kisses were generously bandied about without shame. Ben, Liam, various uni course people, familiar bar staff. Anyone and everyone now best mates. I am still convinced this morning that I saw Rick Witter sloping into the cupboard under the stairs. Convinced.

Downstairs was ‘the bar’ complete with bouncers from the Union, a more chilled out vibe with couples getting it on, smokers smoking and bongos – always bongos.

We then spent probably hours sitting in the garden under the Cardiff sky listening to a ramshackle band, who were probably as high as us, playing Rolling Stones covers. We all bared our souls to each other and declared our undying love lying on damp grass with warm beers. Such a happy, hazy memory.  The feeling of contentment is still with me, even though I am a hungover mess, alone (Where did Harry go?), and in desperate need of a wash.

Ruth and I somehow dragged ourselves away to the soundtrack of birdsong and found enough energy at her house to jump about on her bed to Shed Seven complete with maracas.

Mitsubishi

A superb night but now I can’t face the day. I need more sleep. Where is Harry?

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