Dancing ’til Dawn

I kid you not!

For all of you who know me as an old lady who never leaves the house, retreats rapidly from contact with other humans and drinks alcohol about three times a month, I would suggest sitting down and strapping yourselves in. Because I am about to shatter that vision. Ready to have your mind blown? Good…As you may remember me mentioning in a previous post, this weekend was my brothers 21st birthday and, because of this, my other brother and I decided to go and visit him at Uni in Chester. The journey up was easy until we had to find our way to the Welsh Mountain Zoo where Angus is doing a work experience placement. Welsh road systems are stupid. End of.

Finally arriving, we wandered around the zoo and said hi to the sleeping snow leopards, watched our brother walk with a little gang of penguins around his feet as he fed them fish, got splashed by over enthusiastic sea lions and had a minor cardiac arrest when one of the Sumatran tigers climbed up at the window we were looking through so she was nose to nose with us. I also got to see some Przewalski’s horses which was pretty cool. Even on my days off I find a pony or four.

When Angus had finished his shift, we three headed back to his Uni house where I would soon discover what a house of eight boys looks like. I’ll give you a hint; it does not look like clean. Fortunately, the lads he lives with all seem to be lovely and although they were clearly fans of stacking pans instead of washing them, they did apologise repeatedly for the mess. And continued to do so the following morning when Mum and Dad arrived to give Angus his presents and cake.

Everything seems pretty normal so far right? Well, that’s because I haven’t got to the reality shaking part yet. Mum and Dad took us all out for lunch, which was lovely as we haven’t been together as a whole family since my visit home from Ireland before Christmas. They had to head off pretty soon after though because of getting back to walk the dogs etc. So once we’d waved them off and promised to do our best to keep Angus conscious for the evening, the three of us plus one of Angus’ housemates, Alex, headed down the road to a Pimms party. Which was the thing that started the whole plan of us going up in the first place. I like Pimms see.

It was not quite the classy affair you might expect on hearing the phrase “Pimms party”. But as it was technically a hockey club social, I think that is understandable. There was certainly a decent amount of Pimms available though so I didn’t complain. I watched the crazy students play peculiar drinking games I’d never heard of, and felt distinctly ancient when someone said something to a guy along the lines of “oh my god you’re nearly 23? That’s so old.” Ouch. Talk about a sting.

There was a lull to the evening for a while, as we went back to the boys’ house for food and because they wanted to watch a football match. During which I think I went into an exhaustion induced coma where I was conscious and aware but totally unable to move or interact with anyone, and Angus fell soundly asleep in the corner much to the amusement of his housemates. Apparently he does it a lot and one of their favourite games is to video him while they wake him up in various ways… I almost felt sorry for him. Almost. He actually managed to wake up before they could jump on him with anything mean, and somehow I was persuaded to leave the house with them and go to the Student Union bar. After a few drinks, entertaining conversations and inappropriate questions, the topic of going on to the next bar came up. Angus and Ben, being aware of their elderly sister, suggested that if I wanted to go back to the house they didn’t mind walking me there before going on. I considered it carefully, as the temptation of a cup of tea and a duvet was quite hard to resist. I did, however, decide that given I was out already it was in for a penny in for a pound and I might as well get on with it and go out properly. Yes. You did read that correctly. I CHOSE to go OUT…

And, (now here’s the part you’re going to need to sit down for, maybe with a paper bag ready and someone nearby just in case of emergency) I had a really good night! I, dare I say it, enjoyed myself.

The music was as expected, a mixture of awful rubbish, songs I’d never heard of, and classic tunes! It took me right back… There were also the standard contingent of creepy dudes loitering around, staring at any and every girl that walked past them and attempting to grope bums on the dance floor. Fortunately, I am no longer the slightly self-conscious lacking in self-confidence nineteen year old, so I was not bothered by them. Instead I found it rather sad that there were men older than my father attempting to dance with groups of students. Just head shaking, tut-worthy levels of sad and desperate really. I got the fright of my life when I went to the bathroom and found a random woman sitting on the counter offering perfumes and lotions to everyone while they were washing their hands. I did my first Jaegerbomb in years, remembered how much I hate tequila shots (why I thought it might be better after time I just do not know), ended up with sore cheeks from laughing at my brothers and their dance moves, and also remembered how much I used to love just finding a spot on the dance floor and doing whatever the hell I wanted to do.

Kat and I used to walk into a club and just dance. A lot of the time we’d be pretty much sober too. The music is so loud it vibrates through your entire body in those places and while sometimes it can make you feel sick, it always just infected me with this desire to dance, almost like an adrenalin rush. It’s been so long since I did anything like that, I had completely forgotten what it felt like. And while I barely knew anyone there, I just didn’t care, I danced anyway. I did find myself wishing Kat or Simon were there though. My boogie buddies. I think I even caught myself looking for them at one point. Searching the crowd for a familiar face and then remembering I was in Chester, not Lancaster.

I also now know for sure that I need to update the picture on my driving licence as one of the bouncers was unconvinced and asked me questions before letting me in. I wasn’t too surprised really as it looks nothing like me these days. It’s almost ten years old. Woah!

We were out late. Or do I mean early? Walking back to Angus’ with the lightening sky overhead and the birds starting up their dawn chorus, I had to dare myself to look at the time because a part of me did not want to know. Half past four. Am. WHAT?! I could not believe that I was awake at such an insane time simply because I hadn’t gone to bed yet. And out of choice too! Mad.

I am very glad we went up and did that though. The whole point was to help celebrate with Angus and give him a really good 21st birthday, which I think we managed. It was lovely to see the obvious affection his friends have for him, and to be told by several people that my brother is “fucking awesome” and “the best”.

Even though I am totally shattered (we had a bit of a poopy journey home today) and have a busy week ahead of me, I am pleased I made the decision to go out and not be a grouchy old fart for once. I felt good being out, dancing and having fun. We all need to defy our own expectations from time to time by doing something seemingly out of character. I think it’s healthy.

Tequila is not though. Not at all.

Make good life choices; don’t drink tequila.

Ever.

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