The planned six-day revision week with weekends on Tuesdays has already been blown away by an evening out on Friday night, when a badminton friend suggested we go to The Assembly for their regular 60s/70s/80s dance night.
This wonderful local music venue has been restored to resemble its original 1920's art deco look, and reopened in 2008 after being a bingo hall for some years. It's a brilliant place and we've been to gigs there a couple of times, but now the quality of the place has been recognised with a national award for best live music venue in the country. It beat off such competition as the O2 arena and the Shepherd's Bush Empire. which are very well-known establishments in much more affluent and well-populated communities, i.e. London.
The doors didn't open until 9 p.m. so we knew it was going to be a late night, but hadn't counted on the quality of the show. Unlike your usual Christmas or wedding disco, these guys knew what they were doing, and we danced our feet off (literally - Mr A could hardly walk home). We really enjoyed ourselves, and I found myself wondering if we couldn't do it on a more regular basis. At only £5 to get in it's very reasonable, and better exercise than my badminton. Drink prices are extortionate of course, but we can do without the alcohol.
The main disadvantage is the after-effects - we didn't get to bed until 2 a.m and I pretty much missed Saturday. I got up late, then had to make a trip into town to investigate the possibilities for mending the dishwasher, which has stopped filling with water. [Every so often I think about investigating the possibilities for fixing the oven, which still works in conventional oven mode, but doesn't heat up in fan oven mode. One day...] Once I had been to the dishwasher shop, and got a bit of food in, and cooked up some soup for the freezer, I had to go to bed again.
Our opportunity to re-live the experience came just two days later: on Sunday our favourite ex-landlord, Smurf, held his 40th birthday party at the Assembly. We weren't sure whether to go - after all, we're just people that lived next door to his old place of work, not real friends. But we did go, along with plenty of other neighbours. After Friday's night's excesses we definitely planned just to stay for an hour, and definitely get home before 10 p.m. Definitely.
To start with, Mr A and I sat awkwardly in a corner, pointing out people to one another with comments like "That tall man who drinks at the Cricketers, is that his wife?" and "He was here on Friday - do you know his name?" We weren't sure if this was more like a birthday party in a big venue so we should talk to strangers and introduce ourselves, or if it was more like a gig put on by an acquaintance, in which case we should just smile and talk to people we know.
Then there were bands - the first was 'Easy Money', a double act who used to play at the Cricketers on Sunday afternoons, plus guest drummer. The second was barman Gaz's band, previously 'Akeal', now renamed 'International Jetset' for better mass appeal. Then there was a 'one night only' get-together of disbanded group 'Broken Dolls', whose tour manager used to be Smurf. After that there was general music for dancing, although the majority of guests disappeared to the bar and the smoking area. I'd say that my second glass of wine was the main reason that we found ourselves out on the otherwise deserted dance floor.
We definitely got home before midnight. I'm pretty sure we did.