A night out in the city leads to club name confusion and the Grand Coat Theft
Billy Joel may have serenaded ex-wife Christie Brinkley with the song Uptown Girl, but I am perfectly safe in the knowledge that I’m no Uptown Girl … nor indeed a girl who goes up town.
Well, I wasn’t until last weekend anyway when I made a very rare foray into Preston city centre on a girls’ night out.
You reach a certain age when high-heeled, cocktail-fuelled shriek-fests become relegated to the past and, instead of tottering through the streets with your friends on a pub crawl around town necking cocktails in quick succession, you go out for a nice meal instead with a civilised few glasses of wine.
That’s not to say that you don’t sometimes fleetingly think it might be fun to relive what it was like, but nowadays, my only trips up town are for work Christmas parties and leaving dos.
Recently, I’ve been filled with the desire to put on my dancing shoes and going out for a good bop. Not because I’m any good at dancing. However, what I lack in co-ordination, I make up for in enthusiasm. And I always dance like no one’s watching. The only time I get to have a dance these days is at someone’s wedding – or at one of the rare work nights out.
Hubby didn’t really seem to understand my yearning to dance. When I told him I was in the mood for dancing, he suggested I played Just Dance on the Wii with the children. Not quite the same. Besides they always beat me.
So when one of my friends suggested a night out and, instead of the usual meal followed by home, we should all go out for something to eat in the city centre early evening, followed by plenty of drinks at plenty of pubs, I felt excitement. Maybe I’d get my chance to strut my stuff on the dancefloor after all. And it was great to have an excuse to dress up and make a bit of an effort to get glammed up for a night out.
After lining our stomachs with food at a pleasant meal out, us four girlies felt a bit giddy as we hit the pubs.
But it soon dawned on us that town was a very different place from the glory days when we were used to going out a couple of times a week.
For one thing, town just isn’t as busy as it used to be. Blame the smoking ban, the price of drinks, the fact that people don’t have as much disposable income or they just go out later, but the reality is town is not as hectic as it used to be.
The other thing that perplexed us all (bearing in mind we were in our 30s) was that everywhere seemed to have changed its name which led to no end of confusion.
“Let’s go to Wall Street!” said one friend. So off we went. Only it wasn’t called Wall Street anymore, but Fishers. And before that it was Squares.
“Why don’t we go to Revolution and have some flavoured vodka shots?” suggested another friend. But Revolution was now called Rift and Co.
We ended the night by going to Squires nightclub as we had free entrance cards – only it’s not called Squires anymore but Cameo.
We also walked past another one of our favourite former haunts – Tokyo Jos nightclub. I had only just got my head around the fact Tokes was called Lava and Ignite, but now it seems to be called Evoque.
Why do these places insist on changing their names so much? Do they not know it bewilders us older ones?
It was bad enough when sweets manufacturers kept doing things like changing Marathon to Snickers, but I didn’t realise clubs were at it too.
Then as a further reminder of our years, I caught myself asking: “Isn’t she cold?” as I caught sight of a teenager in a skimpy dress. As the words left my mouth, I put my hands over my face in horror remembering all the times I went out with bare legs and no coat.
But I didn’t go without a coat that night, as I wore a fake fur jacket which kept me nice and snuggly between pubs.
As we entered Squires – sorry, I mean Cameo – at around 11.30pm, we were baffled to see how empty the place was.
However, a couple of hours later, we went into the Quincey’s part, sorry I mean VINYL, where 80s tunes were playing and I managed to get my dancing desires out of my system.
Stupidly, in our excitement at going to a club again, instead of handing our coats into the cloakroom, we put our coats on the stools near where we were dancing. When we entered the 80s music department, I put my furry number on a nearby ledge just within sight.
But when it was time to go, my coat which I had seen minutes earlier, had disappeared.
After asking staff if it had been handed in, I soon realised that someone had pinched it! The nerve of them! It was probably that teenage girl dressed impractically for the cold I’d spotted earlier.
It was an annoying ending to the night and I indignantly told my work colleagues about it on the Monday.
I even suggested that the Grand Coat Theft might be worthy of making the front page. They didn’t take me up on it.
So LEP readers can be my detectives. If you spot someone wearing a snuggly nude/pink fake fur coat by George of Asda, ask them if they picked it up in Squires.
Sorry ... I mean Cameo.