I genuinely can’t believe I used to be out at least four nights of the week. In fact pre-Covid, I could easily be out six nights in a row (sometimes seven). But after an 18 month stint on the couch, going OUT OUT has lost some of its shine.
Dan and I went Out Out last week for the first time since the original lockdown, we even got all dressed up. After a couple of drinks at a swanky new bar, we did the usual traipse around Coal Drops Yard at Kings Cross (the last place we dined before Covid struck) looking for somewhere to eat. With it being a particularly drizzly and cold Monday, few places were open, Dishoom had familiar queues down the street and everywhere else had no walk in capacity. 18 months may have passed, but somethings about being out in London never change.
Cutting our loses we headed back to North West London for a more local eatery, it was only eight o’clock but I was already exhausted. By the time we finished dinner at 9.30pm, we both agreed it felt like it could have been 11pm. Where has my stamina gone?
I’m starting to wonder if going Out Out is similar to working out. A few weeks or months off the treadmill and getting back into it requires some serious training (and of course new shoes). And while I really enjoyed being out, having a drink that I did not make, at a bar and a meal served by someone else, I’m not sure I really want to go back to being an Out Out kind of girl.
I will admit it does not help that winter is coming. Many of us naturally want to hibernate in the winter time. Cold, wet, dark and windy weather make this time of year particularly difficult to muster the energy, especially if you’ve swapped a fancy Central London office for something more kitchen table-esque. And although I’ve been there and done it, I’ve never quite understood the right of passage that is pottering out to a club on some of the iciest nights of the year.
But is it just the cold that’s making me slam on the breaks of planning nights out on the tiles? Or have I simply fallen out of love with dimly lit bars and extortionate bar bills?
To be honest, it’s probably a little bit of both. Over the last 18 months many of us have re-evaluated what’s important to us and where we want to be. While being forced to stay at home was frustrating at times, it really did make me appreciate a bit of a slower pace. Lying in instead of jumping on the tube, spending evenings cooking instead of party hoping and while all of those things still have their own treasured memories attached, lockdown has taught me that life in the slow lane really isn’t so bad.
I’m still going to dip my toe in the party punch every now and then, but I can’t promise to survive til midnight anymore and you know what, if you’re feeling the same, that’s a-ok!