Thursday, 23 March 2017

Knee Deep In London

Knee Deep in London: Listen to the Knee Deep In Sound Podcasts Here

If moving to tranquil Sevenoaks was like double-dropping super-strength valium, then a trip back to The Big Smoke is like a shot of adrenalin to the heart.

London, like any drug, loses it's impact after several years of hits. You get used to the rush. To the uninitiated - a country-dweller, tourist or infrequent visitor - the city hits you in the face with all the subtlety of a shovel. Like a tornado it sucks you in, spins you around and then unceremoniously spits you out, like the cyclone in Kansas stealing Dorothy and Tonto from their home.

The human body is a resilient and adaptable marvel. You only have to study a commuter for the evidence: after decades of the daily schlepp from the 'burbs they have adapted accordingly. Darwin's theory of evolution suggests that animals evolve according to their environment: so it follows that commuters adopt a hard outer shell, fixed, forward-facing gaze, and immunity to their surroundings in order to survive the tough daily grind; the dog-eat-dog fight for survival. It's every man for himself. In short, you become hardened and immune to London - which includes its bright lights and dazzling charms, as well as the pitfalls of the polluted, overcrowded city.

But take the aforementioned human out of London for a period of time, and they soften once more. Then, when returning to the city as a visitor, rested and re-energised, the sense of awe is restored; stiff necks now fully mobilised as they crane to see skyscrapers; blinkers come off tired eyes as they open them wide in wonder.

This has been my experience. When working in the capital day in, day out, the slog of the journey and the sheer effort required to get through the day began to erode at the joy of the experience - in much the same way the sea wears away a cliff face. But now, a few years down the line and currently working closer to home, fully recovered from the exhaustion and soul-destroying monotony of it all, I'm able to return as a visitor - a tourist almost - on a purely social basis with renewed vigour. Like computers, most things work again after a control-alt-delete reboot, or by simply unplugging for a while - including humans.

I'm like a kid at Christmas when travelling into town, senses heightened in anticipation. Instantly absorbed by the madding crowd as I step off the train, the energy hits me: surging through my body like a jolt of electricity - as opposed to a baton over the head during my former incarnation as a worker ant. My head is like an owl's: almost rotating through 360 degrees as I attempt to take everything in - the architecture, shops, restaurants, bars - not to mention the deafening noise that such a hive of activity invariably generates.

Long nights out in London take on a hypnotic state as we drift from bar to club to afterparty, carried on a sea of cocktails and chaos, pinging from one venue to the next like silver balls in a pinball machine.

Magic Roundabout: located in the middle of Old St roundabout
A recent night out at The Magic Roundabout: one of my fave haunts...

Suddenly it's time to go home, and no sooner have the lights come on than we're in a taxi; whisked away from the choppy murkiness of the Thames and back to the still waters and serenity of Sevenoaks. When we awake bleary-eyed to hazy recollections we wonder if it was all a dream; one glance in our wallets tells us it was not. Oh well, it was worth it, we all agree; the memories sustain us throughout the corporate humdrum of the working week ahead.

Until next time, London...or should I say, next payday...

I love you 💋

photo credit

Buy tickets to Knee Deep In London via RA here

Tired of London, tired of life: my ever-increasing London '17 to-do list, ticking them off as I go...

Tobacco Dock NYD 
Groove Odyssey @Ministry Of Sound 
The Magic Roundabout 

Forge and Co Shoreditch 
Mulletover at East Bloc 

The Breakfast Club 
Call Me Mr Lucky 
Clockwork Orange at Koko  ✔ 

Knee Deep In London at The Printworks
Old Street Records

Norman Jay Up On The Roof @The Prince Of Wales - MayDay Bank Holiday Special
WeR Festival (I know, I know, that's Essex not London)

Jamiroquai at The O2


Elrow Street Party
51st State

The Steelyard
Brixton Electric (been before - good times)
Queen Of Hoxton (an old fave)
The Hoxton Pony (ditto)
Village Underground (been before and enjoyed)
Dalston Superstore
Proud Camden
The Roundhouse
The Jazz Café (saw Too Many Zooz here - great fun)

Have you got more suggestions for my London '17 To-Do List? Hit me up!

Fancy reading my back-story before you go any further? You can find my other blogs at:

Follow me:

Twitter: @SamanthaWalsh76
Instagram: wanderingblonde76

The Non-Mum Network

Ageing raver: I love the glitz and glamour of clubbing
almost as much as the music itself

Those Bird's Eye Viewers who have the dubious pleasure of being acquainted with me in real life will know that I love to party - the whole process of pondering which outfit to wear for weeks in advance...which accessories...perhaps buying a blingy new pair of heels; selecting false eyelashes and face glitter whilst out shopping, head tilted as I cradle my iPhone on one shoulder, chattering away to my mates as we come up with a group game plan for the forthcoming shindig.

I love clubbing; I pride myself on the fact that there's barely a cool club in London I've not frequented and had never been turned away by a clipboard-bearing Door Whore...until of course I went happily trotting upto the red ropes of the Mummy Club, beaming away expectantly, eager to come in and join the fun. 

The glamorous young MILF on the door took one look at me - looked through me into the depths of my empty barren womb - and promptly declared "You're not on the guest can't come in," before turning on her stiletto heels and dismissing me with a flick of her wrist. Oh. Never one to be beaten down so easily, I had several attempts at IVF before returning to the Mum Club once more. Again, I was turned away. "Your name's not down, you're not coming in..."

"Not even with a mate who's a member?" I begged, my dignity rapidly being replaced with desperation. "I'm not expecting a freebie, or even concessions, I'll pay full whack" I whined.

"Uh uh," replied the door staff sternly - all the commotion attracting quite a crowd of Mum Club regulars; members who were by now regarding me suspiciously through narrowed eyes. Who was this Non-Mum imposter, attempting to infiltrate the Mummy Club? What was she doing here?

Crestfallen, I slunk off homewards, yanking off my false eyelashes as I blinked back tears; scrubbing off my Glitterlips on the tube. I was devastated to be turned away. I vowed not to be beaten...

Years later, feeling strong and positive once more, I made a conscious decision not to let the whole experience of being turned away from the Mum Club continue to get me down. I had a lightbulb moment - an idea so obvious that I instantly wondered why I'd not come up with it sooner: I'd open my own club. 

This club would be exclusively for women who'd also been turned away at the entrance to the Mummy Club; those who had done everything they could think of to be allowed entry: eating the right foods, hanging around with mums, trying to look like a mum even, before turning to fertility treatment as a last resort - but for whom the doors to the club remained resolutely closed. Then I decided to open the door a bit wider: to allow other women into the club, ones for whom The Mummy Club was never an attractive venue, but who would like to hang out with other Non-Mums anyway. 

My club? The Non-Mum Network

It may just be a virtual club at the moment - picture a chic and bijou little members-only establishment: expensive but comfy oxblood leather sofas; soft lighting; free-flowing cocktails being served by hot bartenders; an achingly hip DJ spinning tunes in an alcove - low-level at first before ramping up to fever pitch as we all get relaxed and tipsy, confiding in one another in the chill-out area. Who knows, one day I might have a real life Non-Mum Network venue - a physical place for women like me to meet other women for lunch or workshops. I'm dreaming big. 

If you've also been denied entry to the Mum Club, the one club you most wanted to get into, whilst everyone around you is breezing into it just by flashing a wristband, fear not. Follow this Facebook post for more information...

Why not add me as a friend on Facebook, search on Facebook for the Non-Mum Network under 'groups' or just click here to go straight to it. It's a closed group so everything said in there is for members' eyes only. I've also got a Non-Mum Network public page

So if you're not a member of the Mummy Club, come and join us instead. We've got bouncers on the door to keep the mums out, just in case a few try to slip in under the rope, as I did with their club 😋. You need never feel alone as a Non-Mum again... 

Ibiza 2006: smiling with my imaginary baby
(I didn't realise at this point my Non-Mum status was permanent)

#The Non-Mum Network

This article has also appeared in the Huffington Post UK

Fancy reading my back-story before you go any further? You can find my other blogs at:

Follow me:

Twitter: @SamanthaWalsh76
Instagram: wanderingblonde76