Well I’m amazed by how much correspondence my impending Pete Tong night triggered last week (I have yet to answer the emails but I will, I promise). It seems that you were either horrified or intrigued by the thought of it and lots of you wanted to know why I was still up for a night that started at 10pm and went on into the small hours. There are two reasons. Firstly, as I’ve mentioned before, Mr MC, being slightly younger than me, was a student in the clubbing era and misses the days when he could dance without a care until the sun rose. And sometimes you need to do the things that your dear ones love, just to keep the wheels turning… it’s a bit like taking your children to a theme park, you go and grit your teeth on the rides just to see the joy on their faces and share that moment with them, even though you know you’ll feel grotty when you get off.
My second reason is that I’ve done a lot of thinking since my friend died last month and I don’t want to sleepwalk through life. I think you have to when your children are little but once they hit their teens you have a chance to raise your head above the parapet and see what’s out there to shake you out of the humdrum. Let’s call it the next stage of getting your groove back – I’m hoping to do a bit more of it over the next few months and just see how it goes.
So, when Pete Tong was flying in from Ibiza to perform in a small venue almost on our doorstep there was no way I was going to turn it down. Especially as that venue was a former prison wing that has been hidden behind a mediaeval portcullis in an ancient castle closed to the public for centuries. In fact the Queen only just visited the city this week to decommission it. This gives you an idea:
(image courtesy of Flickr)
So of course the question was – what to wear? Actually I hadn’t given it much thought until I went to get ready on the night itself, I was just looking forward to the evening. In the end, instinct told me that because I would be older than a lot of the crowd, I should dress down. It was the right decision.
Dorothy Perkins faux leather jacket; Superdry t-shirt with sequin trim collar; Boden super skinny jeans, Boden slingbacks (if you’re looking for a biker jacket I still really recommend this one – the quality is fantastic and it’s on offer at the moment).
There were about 15 women of our age out of a total of around 300 people. The ones who looked comfortable and relaxed were the ones who hadn’t tried too hard. All were wearing skinny jeans either denim, coated or leather and had added a touch of glamour with a leather trimmed t-shirt, a silky top or a sequinned cami. High heels are banned at the A-Wing so most were wearing ballet pumps although one woman had a fab pair of sparkly converse. The two ladies who looked less comfortable had dressed up a lot more and were wearing dresses that would have looked great in a wine bar in town but somehow aged them in these surroundings.
Despite being in a minority age group, I didn’t feel too old. At one point a younger guy came up to me when I was waiting for Mr MC to come back from the bar and asked me how old I was. I told him to guess and he said mid-40s which I was happy with given that I suppose I’m now technically late 40s. He then asked me why I was there – not in an unpleasant way, he was just being curious. I reminded him that Pete Tong is 54 which makes him more relevant to my world than his!
Here’s a glimpse of what it was like – I was delighted with the bar which had a beautifully edited selection of drinks at Northern prices including Prosecco! Plus I gave them top marks for calling it fizz rather than bubbly which was a word that was on the banned list at Selfridges for being déclassé and consequently makes me wince when I see it!
Lots of strobe lighting effects as you would expect, can you see the early Victorian architecture, there are 3 floors which each have a balcony with 30 cells leading off them.
This was just as Pete was about to make his appearance.
As you can see it was an incredibly friendly crowd. Lots of people had travelled from Manchester and Liverpool just because the whole event was so unique.
Did I have a good time? I had a brilliant time. I’ve said before that no-one makes me laugh like Mr MC and we giggled like children at the improbability of it all from start to finish. It’s been a really testing year so far so it was really good to relax and let our hair down a bit. There were quite a few people we knew, including some of the boys’ teachers who seemed surprised/alarmed to see us but we spent most of our time on the dance floor – and yes – I made it to the bitter end!
Needless to say, the next day was a sofa day ending with a very early night because our long promised adventure trip to the Lakes with our youngest was looming. I don’t often look at Instagram but I was very touched when I was flicking through it in the car to see that he had posted a picture of himself ready to go saying ‘cool – 2 days in the Lakes with my mum and dad!’ I bet he won’t be writing that this time next year! So, from the sublime to the ridiculous in the space of two days, we enjoyed a long walk in the sunshine…
The youngest bounded around like a mountain goat…
…much to my consternation when you see some of the drops…
In the evening we scrubbed up for a lovely meal in the hotel (we’d booked in overnight because he wanted the novelty of staying in a hotel on his doorstep).
Jigsaw cotton reverse loopback sweatshirt; Next dark cigarette jeans; Boden sixties heels; Zara necklace
The following day Mr MC and the youngest scaled the treetops of Grizedale Forest by doing Go Ape whilst I looked on patiently (for 3 hours) in the rain! This isn’t a great photo but it gives you an idea of the fabulous zip wires that cross the ravines.
And finally here I am today – I’ve been busy doing everything that the return to school involves including buying more uniform as they’ve grown again which drives me mad when we have a 7 week break coming up!!!
Given that I’ve had so many queries about what to wear for date nights / work nights out / rock concerts and other evening escapades I have, out of pure goodness, booked another night away with Mr MC in Manchester in a fortnight which will require a slightly more dressed up outfit. The things I do for you….! Keep in touch.