Sparkles & Devine- the Reunion

The Sparkles Family vacation over, it was time for Sparkles and Devine Ride Europe to begin. After 12 months of planning and two years since we’d last been in the same country, it was time to make my way north to the chilly Scottish Highlands (well, Glasgow) to collect my good friend Aimee to start our travels in Europe.

Now, for y’all who don’t know, Aimee was the ‘Devine’ part of ‘Darling Devine Sparkles & Joy from my USA Summer Camp adventure in 2008. Together we ran the horse riding programme at Wyonegonic (they let her in even though it was an all girls camp) and we may have got up to the odd shenanigan or two.

Aimee was (almost) waiting for me holding a large decorated sign that said “Sparkles!” (that is, my plane arrived early and we passed in the foyer), and even more of a spunk than she was at camp.

Devine meets Sparkles at Glasgow airport

After some fussing around at the airport lounge, which included an impressive but modest public change by me from jeans to a dress, I met Aimee’s dad for the first time, (excluding our previous Skype chats “Can yee see me Aimee??”) who drove us directly from the airport to Aimee’s favourite (and the only) local night club in her home town of Gourock- Word Up.

We went straight to the ladies to freshen up, and while in the confines of a small bathroom, I discovered just how loud three buxom Scottish lasses could be.  It was quite an experience.  They were fully shoutin’ their conversation, as if from across the room, despite being separated only by freestanding toilet stalls.

But these same loud ladies also offered me a great taste of Scottish hospitality, when one girl, on noticing that my eyeliner was broken, offered me hers.  On finding out that I was from Australia, she hugged me close to her (ample) bosom, and offered to do my hair for me, explaining that she was a hair dresser and could (and I quote) “back-comb like a b!tch”.

I declined her kind offer, after noticing that her own well-back combed hair was host to a family of starlings.

I then met a few of Aimee’s friends.  They seemed lovely, but I’m not really sure, as I couldn’t understand more than one word in 20- you see, the accents were broad and the music was loud.

Aimee told them I was a dolphin trainer at Sea World on the Gold Coast- an Australian traveler classic (and I thought mentioning that I worked in tax would just be too darn saxy).  Of course, I was then asked give my considered opinion about the psychology of the killer whale who drowned its trainer in Florida (who incidentally I met when I was doing some work there a few years ago).  Fortunately, they appeared to understand about as much of what I was saying, as I did them, and they politely nodded and sipped their drinks.

Sparkles demonstrating how dolphins move to Aimee's work mates at Word Up

Now, nothing says “Scottish nightclub” more than finding your shoe has stuck to the carpet in front of the bar.  The floor was so sticky in fact, that as I moved off, my shoe got left behind.

Sometime later, I headed to the bathroom, and again ran into my hairdresser friend, who was extremely excited to know that I had been to the Summer Bay beach (though why you’d want to go there I don’t know, what with all the tragic accidental deaths and murders and such).

Of course, one thing led to another, as things do in Scottish loos, and before I knew it, she was giving me River Dancing lessons (having once been a Scottish national champion).  During my prolonged disappearance, Aimee was getting hit on by a co-worker, (the not-attractive-one on the right -awkwarrrrd) and wondering where the heck I was.  Citing concern for my safety, she escaped to the toilets to find me kicking up my heels, Kath & Kim style…

Later, after pulling some of my best disco moves on the dance floor (complete with smoke

Sparkles cutting her best dance moves at Word Up. Aimee later (weeks later) told me off for my ridiculous 'dance face'. Ummm... no-one else could have mentioned it in my last 20 years of dancing?!?!

machine, oh yeah) and some half understood conversation with random Gourock youths (read: tonsil hockey) we headed home, around 3am.  Not a bad start to our adventure, although having 4 years on Aimee I wondered how I would keep pace for the next 8 weeks.

The next morning I awoke to the extremely kind hospitality of the Devine family, which started with a delicious breakfast in bed (now that’s luxury!) then they did all my washing and her dad very generously offered to do my ironing.  I’m filing to adopt her parents.

I also managed to be in the UK on the very same day the Grand National Steeplechase was run, so Aimee and I decided to win some spending money for our trip, because everyone knows there is nothing easier than picking the winner of the Grand National.

I backed a pony called ‘Big Fella Thanks’ who had the decency to make it over all the jumps without breaking any legs, and scoot home for a tidy 4th place.  Luckily for me, that paid 15p short of covering that bet, and another bet I’d foolishly placed on a horse who decided just to take things easy.

Tomorrow we leave for Hungary- woo hooo!!  And don’t worry my friends, I know how to say I am a dolphin trainer in Hungarian.

Hope you are well…bye for now.



My first Tesco- earning a bit of extra cash... or stealing trollies, can't remember which.

My first Tesco- earning a bit of extra cash... or stealing trollies, can't remember which.







About The Tina Sparkles Experience

Apparently, there are people who go traveling and just see things and nothing weird happens. I'm not one of those people....come on holiday with me and find out why!

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