Harriet Walker: 'Nothing brings out my alter ego quite like a 'new house party'

Share
Related Topics

The house party. It's the new not-quite-going-out, so you don't have to feel guilty about anything that happens at one. "Look," you can crow to similarly smug attendees, "I'm not flinging money over a bar in a trendy nightspot! I pre-mixed my gin and ginger ale outside in the street."

The "old house party" was the sort you would tend to have when your parents had gone out. I tried a couple of times, but was never convinced that me and two same-gender friends of whom my parents heartily approved really made the grade. The OHP ended with a suburban mother shouting, "Get out of my flower bed, young lady!" At the "new house party" there are no flower beds, because it is usually held in a block of flats or the garden has lain fallow for so long that it's now indistinguishable from the pavement.

But the problem with a NHP is that you're not bound by the same social codes enforced at clubs by men in Puffa jackets. Last weekend I met a guy who couldn't stand up straight because he'd tried to slide down a tiled roof the night before. "We'd just had a cucumber-eating contest and I felt so full of beans," he admitted over a cup of warm gin and flat tonic.

And whenever I go to a house party I unwittingly unleash my inner Northern girl. I've beaten her into submission enough to always wear a coat when I go out these days, but she's attracted by the prospect of cider sipped from a plastic cup. "Look at yew, lass," she says as I'm getting ready, "wi' yer 'air all neat. We'll take that down later, won't we? And this skirt looks purfect fer tuckin' into yer pants on't danceflewer."

Sure enough, I found myself propelled by my inner Northerner on to the "dancefloor" (the patch where the coffee table normally lives). "Go on, love," she insisted, "tek these bluddy tights off, they're too 'ot." So I did, and I flung them under the sofa. House parties are prime territory for sartorial change – my friend had one last month with a Rubik's Cube theme. "You were supposed to arrive multicoloured and then swap clothes until you were all one shade," she explained. "But loads of people just ended up naked."

I changed my own clothes last weekend as it turned out; all the buttons popped off the back of my dress, as if my inner demons were being exorcised by all the cheap booze. The next day I woke up cringing at those antics I could remember. "It's so funny how your voice goes all posh when you're drunk," my boyfriend said. "Brilliant," I thought, "no one knows the truth." "Do they 'eck as like," retorted my hungover inner Northern girl, as she tried to peel her false eyelashes off the pillow.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Ashdown Group: PHP Web Developer / Website Coordinator (PHP, JavaScript)

£25000 - £28000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: PHP Web...

Recruitment Genius: Estates Projects & Resources Manager

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in London, Manchester, Br...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: moderate, iconic royals are a shoe-in for a pedantic kicking

Guy Keleny
 

Letter from the Whitehall Editor: Cameron is running scared from the “empty chair”

Oliver Wright
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us