NYE in Barcelona = men in wigs and makeup

We were in Barcelona. The bloke was on my left, in spandex pants, a blond Kurt Cobain wig and a t-shirt with fluorescent naked women on it. Somewhere on the right was the Director of Barcelona, resplendent in another blonde wig – long and curly, tres Dolly Parton, heaps of blue eye shadow and a garish Hawaiian shirt.

The room was a sea of wigs, fur coats, face paint, silly sunglasses, and sequins. And everyone had a cup of twelve grapes, eyes glued to the TV screen, waiting for the chimes which would see in 2010.

That was how I spent the last few moments of 2009. The Director's glam rock fancy dress party (clearly just an excuse for him to plaster his face with makeup) was in full swing.

And happily we managed to avoid watching the countdown on Telecinco, which meant I kept my vow not to watch Belen Estevan. Instead it was some over excited woman on Channel 3 whose chest was desperately trying to escape from her dress.

No matter, the chimes finally began and everyone was locked into their own grape zone. Just you and the grapes, trying to wolf down the little beggars - one for each dong - to bring good luck for the coming year.

I managed it (the secret is to pick ones the size of peas) but I wouldn't have felt too put out if not. Why? This 'ancient' tradition was apparently a marketing ploy started by some canny farmers 100 years ago when there was a surplus of uvas.

The last time I had New Year's Eve in Barcelona, my relationship with the bloke was just getting off the ground for the second time around. I still lived in Barcelona and he was visiting from Madrid.

It was an Eighties fancy dress party (what is it about the Director and the urge to dress up ridiculously?) and the first time the bloke had met my friends. Poor thing. One Spanish guy in a room full of incredibly pissed up and lairy Brits. Dressed like Superman, George Michael, various characters from Fame and even a Scouser, a la Harry Enfield.

It could have gone really wrong but no - he was totally on their wavelength. Got on amazingly with them all and the feeling was mutual. We ended up the day after sealing the deal by carrying on the celebrations in a pub in Gracia owned by a man who was the reincarnation of Salvador Dali.

Four years later and much has changed, but a lot is still the same. We've dispersed slightly (the Scouser married a lovely American gal and is now having adventures in Japan and a few others are back in England) But the friendships are as strong as ever.

And everyone remains resignedly unashamed about going out in fancy dress. To a club. Strangely, the bouncers almost didn't let us in, but repented at the last minute. The Director even got chatted up by a couple of strange men "I hope I get to kiss a lovely lady like you tonight," one said.

Meanwhile Craig, visiting from the Midlands - who looked like a cross between Pat Sharp, the count from Sesame Street and the Hitcher from the Mighty Boosh - faired a bit better. He got asked "is that your real hair" by a couple who'd bet against each other on it and had South American tourists queuing up to have their pictures taken with him on the metro ride home.

It was something of a bizarre night, but that's to be expected in Barcelona, which seems to be a catalyst for ridiculousness and excessiveness. It kicked off before we had even left, with the bloke declaring that he felt bad juju about flying, and booking us a couple of tickets for the high speed train instead. (an action which was repeated on the return journey)

Perhaps the best thing about the trip, though, was the chance to get to know the Director's new-ish girlfriend better. I went away happy that he's in good hands. Science Chick is a good match. Not only is she muy guapa, but she's super intelligent and an all-round Spanish fireball. Just what he needs.

And let's face it. Anyone who doesn't get put off when their boyfriend goes out looking like Pat Butcher's long-haired sister, getting chatted up by men in the process, must really love him.


  1. Haha love it! Sounds like your night was a bit more entertaining than mine ;-). PS although I heard stories of the Director while in Spain (and his having a gf) I swear I thought he was gay until the end of this tale hahahaha.

  2. he he he - you wouldn't be the first to think so Miss Mariss. People sometimes get the wrong impression of his metrosexual demeanor!

  3. Yes Marissa, his problem is that he's:
    a) charming
    b) devastatingly attractive
    c) kind to women
    d) is no.3 on bloke's list of men he'd shag, (after cristiano ronaldo and david beckham)
    e) has a very good bottom
    No wonder people think he's gay.