Christmas 1989: The first Christmas I was back home in Poole and working for the bank.
One of the girls in the office was really excited because of the forthcoming Christmas party.
It had been a long time since I’d attended an office party, but the bank only catered for staff not partners then, so I was a little anxious at attending it.
The hotel venue was one of the poshest in the area (it has since been demolished and the site home to over 300 new houses) so naturally I felt I ought to wear a posh frock.
I had several dresses in those days, one of which I called ‘Old Faithful’ because I’d had it years, it was comfortable and still smart, and it was what every girl should have in her wardrobe, a LBD. It had what was termed a scarf hem (dropped sides) and a caped bodice, trimmed in pink, so versatile for any occasion without being OTT.
Everything was paid for by the bank, including 50 raffle prizes ranging from £500 in value to a box of toffees, two bottles each of red and white wine were on the tables, all drinks for the evening were covered, and taxis home were provided afterwards.
The table plan had been arranged by the organisers, so different department staff, managers, directors and messengers were all mixed together during the meal, and you would socialise with your friends afterwards.
It was an interesting experience, and a bit of an eye opener for me, who, in my naivety, thought the head honchos were all stuffed shirts and snobs.
They were hooligans!
Food fights, whistling balloons, poppers and beepers going off at all angles, and the amount of alcohol consumed was amazing!
It was actually a terrific night and a lot of fun.
I won a large jar of chocolates in the raffle and went round offering them to everybody.
I danced until I could dance no more, I drank plenty…………… of water on the rocks with a dash of lime, and when I got home at 2am, I was totally and utterly shattered.
In later years, drinks were by voucher and we were each given ten.
I had a bit of fun wearing a fireman’s helmet one year, and another time, dressed up to the nines in my new posh frock and a fake fur coat, I offered my lift home fifty quid for a good time.
No-one knew it was Hubby, so there were a few very wide eyes as we pulled away!
On another occasion, one of the messenger approached me sheepishly on the following Monday and asked if he needed to apologise to me.
When I asked him why he thought he should, he said he could vaguely remember the party but not exactly if he behaved himself.
I had him worried for ten minutes when I said was that before or after he climbed up on the table for a lap dance? He went white, so I had to tell him I was only joking.
Image: Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock ‘Forces of Nature’