Sensible / Silly Season

Loathe as I am to admit this, it seems that (perhaps unsurprisingly) my productivity levels sky rocket when I a) go to bed before 11pm and b) go to the gym before work. Today was quite simply exceptional; I ploughed through my work and personal to do lists, completing tasks I had been putting off because I hadn’t previously managed to find the energy to deal with them. I then came home and spent two and a half hours cleaning and tidying the flat from top to bottom before putting up the Christmas tree (fiddly decorations and all) and cooking a stir fry for dinner. Even now as I sit in my newly cleaned and decorated flat my energy levels haven’t dipped to where they would usually be at this time of night. In short, today has been a valuable lesson and one I must remember and make an effort to repeat more regularly.

But whilst another early night tonight and gym session tomorrow are most certainly scheduled into the diary, tomorrow night will be another matter entirely. Why? Because some months back four friends and I decided it would make perfect sense to purchase tickets to the famous Warehouse Project music event in Manchester and, to save ourselves money on accommodation, return to London on the first train on Saturday morning. What we may have failed to factor into that particular equation is that all of us, bar one, are now in our thirties, and not quite the spring chickens we were when we went all night clubbing in the halcyon days of our twenties. Not that we can’t still party with the best of them, but these days I struggle to stay up until the sunrise, let alone to stay up until the sunrise and then get a two hour train home. But hey, it’s Silly Season. Nights like tomorrow are the whole point, no?

The Club

She stands in the shadows, eyes narrowed like a cat, watching, waiting. Blood pumps deafeningly in her ears, drowning out the music that is blasting from the speaker beside her. She scans the room, searching the faces of the crowd, looking for him. There. She sees him, standing tall and proud on the dance floor – with her. She quells the surge of emotion that rises up inside her, inhales deeply and steps out of the shadows. She picks her way through the throng of inebriated clubbers towards them. They dance on, oblivious to her presence and drunk on one another’s. Somewhere someone blows a whistle, shrill and loud. As she approaches they start to kiss. His hands reach down and grope her behind. This time the rage explodes like a firework inside her head. She reaches out and pulls them roughly apart. The shock on their faces is satisfying and spurs her on. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she demands, furious now. She grabs him by the arm and starts to pull. He doesn’t resist, he knows his time is up. When they emerge into the cool night air she gestures to the car and he gets in. “Well? Do you have anything you want to say to me?” she asks, keeping her eyes on the road. “Sorry Mum.”

Summer loving

For the first time this year it feels like summer has finally arrived, and it may even hang around a bit to brighten the collective mood of the nation. Temperatures are high and spirits even higher. We may not get much good weather here in Britain but when we do, by heck do we know how to eek every last drop of satisfaction out of it.

Yesterday I went to Brighton for a mini break with three girlfriends. It had been planned for some time so the good weather was a fortunate, though most welcome, addition. We arrived just in time to secure a good spot on the beach and whiled away a very pleasant few hours in the sunshine before retiring to our capacious hotel suite for a rest and some pre-drinks. Later on we braved the inordinately large number of hen and stag dos congregating on the sea front and made our way to a club called Audio, which played decent music but which was packed to the rafters with what I can only describe as utter pikeys. Nonetheless we had a great night and laughed our heads off, so we absolutely fulfilled our fun quota.

When we returned today the weather was so fantastic that the only logical thing to do was sit in the sunshine on Clapham Common with ice lollies and some summer tunes on the speakers. As I sat and looked around at my friends and reflected on the great weekend I was having I felt a deep sense of contentment, in part because I love the summer but in the main because I realised how fortunate I am to have so many wonderful people to share it with. After a bit of sunbathing I met some other friends in the pub beer garden for a quick drink before heading home and had the same feelings of good fortune and happiness.

It’s all too easy to take the people and places in your life for granted, which is why it’s important sometimes to just stop and look around at what you have – and to realise that despite the odd down day here and there, all is just the way you like it – lovely.

Rave face

Stumbling wildly through the crowd, he searches without seeing for a familiar face. His heart is pounding in his chest due to a combination of the drugs he has ingested and the heavy bass line of the music booming out of the vastly oversized but nonetheless inadequate speakers.

Acutely aware of the sweat pouring down his face he pushes past girls with pink hair and dark eyeliner, boys in high tops and damp motif tee shirts. All of them are smiling, beaming even, almost unnaturally so. Fleetingly he catches himself thinking the world’s problems could be solved if everyone just popped an ecstasy pill once in a while.

His mouth is dry. This needs addressing instantly. He stops in his tracks and fishes deep inside his pocket, from which he retrieves a soggy packet of chewing gum. As soon as the gum hits his tongue his taste buds come alive, like a thousand nerve endings hooked up to ten thousand volts. Satisfied with this sensation he continues on his path across the dance floor, heading for the exit that will take him to fresh air.

Once outside he bums a cigarette from a sweaty wide-eyed boy in a wife beater vest with a whistle around his neck and neon paint daubed on his cheeks. He takes two drags, inhaling deeply each time, then coughs and throws the cigarette to the ground. It wasn’t what he wanted. And now the sweat is cooling on his skin and he is cold. Maybe he doesn’t want to be outside after all. But inside was so hectic, what should he do?

Then suddenly, she is there; real and solid and perfect in every way. His mouth hurts for smiling; such is his relief at finally having been found. This is what he wants, he’s never been more sure of anything as he is in this very moment.

She takes his hand.

And he is free.

Writing this made me think conversely of the best experience I’ve ever had at a club, and it hands down has to go to this night in Pacha, Ibiza, in 2009 – I’ve no idea what was happening with the beams of light and the dancer’s dress, but it created the most incredible effect for the pic! A great memento of a fabulous night 🙂