Carl Cox in a Leeds Warehouse

Going out used to be such a big part of my life. At least twice a week I’d be at dinner, drinks, or in a nightclub – with my job and a husband who was a promoter I’ve never known any different. This stopped when I was pregnant and too tired to lift a glass to my mouth, never mind staying awake til 6am . I always half-assumed this break would be a temporary thing and I’d want to jump back into our usual nocturnal ways as soon as Elfie had arrived.

Of course it didn’t happen that way. We moved out of London and I soon realized that parenting on a hangover was about as much fun as drilling through my own head with a powertool (and it felt quite similar too). Living in the sticks means that if we dare to deviate from our daily programme of trains, work or dinner then every detail must be planned out meticulously, so there are no spontaneous cross-city bar crawls anymore. Going out in London means a sobering (literally) slow train journey home at 2am or an expensive hotel room.

These days I would much rather a baby-friendly family day out over a sweaty all-nighter, and I never thought I’d say those words.

But a girl’s gotta let her hair down, and it was with this thought I found myself driving 130 miles to on of my husband’s events in Leeds on Friday.

Looking after Elfie meant I hadn’t had time for a fake tan the night before (essential, I’d had a cold and we were going up north after all) so I slapped it on that morning, hoping I wouldn’t see anyone in between then and whenever I’d be able to wash it off.

I looked ridiculous and I’m sure the receptionists checking me into the hotel room thought so too, but my friends were kind enough not to mention the tango colour of my skin when we bumped into them outside the hotel:

That scarf is hiding my streaky neck and I basically ponged of whatever it is that fake tan smells of.

It was amazing to order room service and climb into a bath to catch up on The Only Way Is Essex (seriously). The bathwater turned a funny colour but I didn’t care; it was hot, wet and uninterrupted.

Some friends joined us from London and Nottingham so we commandeered the restaurant’s private dining room for dinner.

Non-London restaurants are cheap!

My tan had washed off to make me look vaguely healthy and I’d managed the time to apply a face-full of makeup. This is not a regular occurrence so I felt pretty special.

We moved on to the club at what felt like 5am (real time: midnight) to see the wonderful Yousef DJing.

Unfortunately this music grates on me after a while (it reminds me of multiple car alarms going off in tandem. I’m not cool) and I much rather being in an environment with my friends where we can sit and chat without the distractions of thousands of decibles and sweaty ravers. So I retreated out the back with a bottle of vodka and there I stayed.

I emerged from the backstage cave to see the big man Carl Cox start his set… another lovely DJ. By this point my camera had started to malfunction because the sweat in the room was causing the focus to go all skewy. Another reason why raving isn’t really for me.

I made it until 5am when I returned to the hotel and tried to stream Pregnant In Heels for an hour before giving up (again: not cool). Because I am a mother and sleeping in is foreign to me, I woke up at 9. In a normal situation this could still be counted as a lie-in, but not if you go to bed after your usual getting up time.

The best thing about going away when you’re a parent is coming home, because this is what we you’re greeted with:


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  1. Kelly wrote:

    I’m impressed. Even if I get a night off I can’t stay awake past midnight. My days dancing in warehouses ended at least 10 years ago.

    I feel old *wails*

    Glad you had a nice time.

    Posted 4.26.11 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      Thanks Kelly! To be honest, I went on the trip as much for the free hotel room and the prospect of ordering room service in my dressing gown…

      Posted 4.26.11 Reply