Wednesday, 24 April 2013

U is for Uppity Fabulous

Sharon in full on glamping
mode - Leeds Fest 2010.
When working at a former College, I was asked, by a senior member of staff, to do something that I knew was not only unethical but actually illegal. When I refused, he was not best pleased by my attitude as it caused a little more work for him and, as a result, he referred to me as being 'uppity'. As you can imagine, this caused great hilarity when I heard this. The colleague he had said this to, my best friend, Sharon, decided there and then to re-christen me Uppity, in memory of this colossal example of un-professionalism. A little later, I had one of many unexpected, unrequested, and rather surprising, proposals of marriage, via MySpace - this time from a gentlemen named Gregory Fabulous. On discussion with Sharon we decided that I should snap up this tempting offer immediately - if only as I could then legitimately be called Sarah Fabulous, or, indeed, Uppity Fabulous. The name just stuck.

Relics from our
When I started at the College of unreasonable requests, I had a little office, all of my own, that was at the back of the staff-office for the 3D Design team. I didn't know anyone and was very nervous, but one morning, quite early on, one of the 3D Lecturers introduced herself as Sharon, before turning round to continue what seemed to be a drumming workshop with one of the students. At the time, I thought nothing of it and, in retrospect, it was, perhaps, an odd thing to be doing in a staff office, but I liked her style. A few days later, I got talking to Sharon some more and her sense of humour and cynical approach to the more ridiculous elements of our jobs told me that I had found a kindred spirit.
A shop-bought cake I decorated with sausage rolls
for Sharon's birthday - the lucky girl!

We have had many adventures together and whenever we are, we have so much fun. With a shared love of champagne, frozen After Eights,  button badges, Amy Winehouse and laughing until our faces hurt, nothing beats a night with YouTube up and running and some fizz on ice at, The Lodge, Sharon's apartment. She is still mock-furious with me for abandoning her in Yorkshire and coming down South, but I always look forward so much to my visits back home and a chance to see my girls at The Lodge.

With Eric in Morecambe!
On a particularly memorable trip we went to Morecambe, to see the statue of one of my heroes, Eric Morecambe, have a gander at the newly restored Midland Hotel and get a bit of sea air. We went in November, in freezing fog and we had a ball. It was 'bastard freezing' but we did get all the way through the fog to the cafe at the end of the pier, only to find that we were low on cash and they didn't take card payments. We shared a chip butty and a cup of tea and it was all the more delicious for the adventure of getting there.
With some of the students whilst
probably lost in Gdansk.

In 2009, we took a group of students to Gdansk, in Poland, one
of the student's home town, and proceeded to be given some of the strangest tours of a city I've ever had. Whilst there we went to 'the seaside', Brzezno, and almost froze to death. We got off at the wrong train stop on our way there, to discover that our guide had absolutely no idea where we were and even that didn't dull our excitement. The cakes we discovered were, rather surprisingly, filled with soft cheese and we drank vodka, whilst making friends with local youths, keen to share with us their enthusiasm for all things English - particularly 60's music. We barely stopped laughing the whole time - from trying on the costumes, clearly meant for children, in the museum, to the endless meandering circular tours we took when trying to find anything - we had a fabulous time.

In 2010, we heard that The Libertines, a band Sharon had introduced me to, were going to be reforming to play the Leeds Festival. I booked the tickets as a surprise, as we had not been able to get them when they were first released, and we decided to glamp it up. Although living under canvas was quite a test of our friendship, we did have an amazing time. The sleep-less night-times, the toothpaste explosion in our tent awning and the unexpected squalor of camping were all worth it for the music and the memories.

Sharon's daughters are also very dear to me and it is fascinating to me to see aspects of their Mum's personality, that I love so much, reflected in them. Chelsea still lives at home and is one of my favourite people ever. She has joined us on lots of our adventures, was my dance partner for most of my 30th Birthday Party and enjoys lots of running jokes with me. She is a such a little smasher and her nickname 'Cheeky Chops' really does sum up her mischievous nature!

Dancing with Cheeky Chops at my 30th
birthday - she danced all night! 
We've both had some bad times and we've often relied on each other to get perspective and work through the tough stuff. During some sad times I developed several techniques to get my bestie smiling again, including a solo performance of Beyonce's Single Ladies dance (well, the bits I could remember and not the bits of the floor because I couldn't do them). We also went on lots of impromptu trips out to the seaside, Ikea, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, shopping centres and walks in the countryside. She is always good at backing me up when I'm unsure, pointing out when other people are being unfair to me and making me smile when I'm super grumpy. She is brilliant.

Sadly, Gregory Fabulous never did get back in touch, so I have effectively stolen his name without warrant, but I am proud to be Uppity Fabulous - all the more as I was given it by one of the most brilliant, witty, caring and intelligent people I have ever met.

Sharon 'Fuckity' Fortune - I love you!

Leeds Festival 2010. 

1 comment:

  1. Greatness! I need an amazing nickname like that.