My sister and I decided we should go out for cocktails more often.
When we lived together in Maida Vale and in Sydney, we were always off out somewhere. I would say we were always off out somewhere nice, but our lemonade budget did not often accommodate the champagne lifestyle we desired.
We gave it a good go though.
I remember one time in our twenties when we were both living in Sydney and had just $50 between us – with no food in the fridge, no credit on our phones and no jobs to speak of, and we blew the whole lot on a bottle of champagne and a packet of super noodles TO SHARE.
If anyone has seen photos of my sister and I from that year in Australia, you will now know why we look so thin.
We also socialised by the principle that we would rather enjoy one nice cocktail, than 2 bottles of plonk for a tenner. Although, there were many (many) brilliant nights in on the cheap plonk too.
These days when we get together, it is usually with the kids and it is usually during the day. The wine is usually much nicer too.
If anything, we actually enjoy these family days more than we ever did the nights out on the town, but every now and again we feel a little bit nostalgic and say “we should go out for cocktails one night!”
So this weekend, my sister and her family came to stay with us. We lit the barbecue in the afternoon while the kids ran around inventing new superheroes with special powers. Then after putting the boys in their pyjamas, we handed them over to their dads’, changed into our glad rags and took ourselves out for cocktails.
We each ordered a Metro – strawberries infused with vodka and topped up with Prosecco; and handed over enough money to cover a decent bottle of Barolo from the wine shop.
We stood at the bar and scanned the room for somewhere to sit. The heels I were wearing were really only intended for climbing in and out of taxis, so I was going to need a fair few more Metros until my feet would be numb enough to withstand the discomfort.
A group occupying a large sofa looked like they were getting ready to leave, so we hovered over them with our pink champagne saucers until they drank up, then slid swiftly into their place.
Once we had comfortably spread out our belongings and settled in for the night, we caught up on what was happening at work, with the kids, and at home.
Then around 9pm, something unexpected happened – they turned up the music in the bar! Like really loudly. Now, when we were in our twenties this would have been our cue to order shots and dance on the table. But, my 40-year old self just found it extremely annoying.
I could not hear a word my sister was saying. Then, a man came over and asked us politely to move our coats and bags from one side of the sofa so that he could sit down. NEXT TO US.
Another young group appeared, who were obviously also coveting our sofa, as indicated when they started resting their martini glasses on OUR COFFEE TABLE.
There was no way we could continue our riveting debate over school catchment areas and soaring house prices within them, with all this commotion around us.
So we took off and headed over to a local pub instead, where we were able to enjoy a bottle of wine and a packet of crisps with minimal background noise and surrounded by people of our own age.
Finding happiness right where we belong.