8. Is That All There Is? (Peggy Lee, Cristina)

(Posted by Buni)

Now the drugs don’t work
They just make you worse
But I know I’ll see your face again

(Richard Ashcroft 1997)

My first outing to a nightclub, back in 1985, was a turning point in my life. I was 13 and had been going out with a guy, much older than myself, for a few months (he didn’t know my age). On this particular night, he took me to two clubs; Heaven, which at the time was owned by Richard Branson; and Propaganda, which was frequented by the likes of Boy George, Marilyn, Malcolm McLaren, and the rest of the 80’s London set. Also at this time, disco was changing its course and becoming a whole new animal. Those were heady days for me back then and I lapped it all up with pleasure and delight. I really couldn’t get enough of it.

As such, I kept on doing it for years. You name a year and I’ll tell you which club I was going to; 1985-87: Heaven / Propaganda / The Sound Factory; 1987-89: Triganomatria / Skipper’s / Mirage (all in Portugal); 1989-94: Heaven / RVT / Love Muscle – The Fridge / Trade; 1994-present: The Garage / The House / Deluxe / Essential / The Bomb / NG1. All those years defined by where I was clubbing at any given moment.

The moment of decline was back in about 1999-2000. I can even remember the moment; I had been out with friends and, as per usual, got totally plastered and well and truly off my face on all sorts of things. There I was, surrounded by friends, dancing away, smiling ‘the smile’ and having a great time. Though, I wasn’t having a great time. I slowed my dancing and had a really good look about me, looked at the people, listened to the music and everything around me. I started to think about what I was really doing there, why I was there? It had all become so standard, so uniform. It was the same thing every weekend. I was bored. I said good night to my friends, got my coat and walked out of the club. Never to return.

Instead, I focused my attention on the gay scene in Nottingham and getting a man in my life. NG1 club had just opened up and the old Admiral Duncan had just undergone a drastic refurbishment, from a right dirty little hole (that we all admit we loved) to a more contemporary designer bar. I was out now to have a few drinks, a few laughs and if I meet someone, all the merrier. However, things didn’t quite turn out that way and it wasn’t long before I was back to my old ways, just in a different club.

This takes us up to about 3 or 4 months ago, when I was diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia. To be honest, I thought that something like this diagnosis might happen; my grandfather died of a heart attack at 56 and my father is just slightly younger than that and beginning to get palpitations and has had some 6 strokes now. The only difference is that my diet is the polar opposite to my father’s. He will eat all kinds of crap and I don’t. So for the last few months I’ve been making little tweeks to my life, like I’ve turned veggie, stopped smoking, curbed my drinking and up to about a month ago, I was calming down on the clubbing again.

Then I met ‘him’ and started to go out clubbing again. We’ve had an absolute ball, a real giggle and he’s been like a breath of fresh air to my life. I’d have liked it to go a step further but he’s not having it. I’m hurting. As such, I don’t really feel like going out now and doing the same things again. It’s been quite strange but this week, answering T.D’s questions, I’ve been forced to think about all these things and I’ve come to the conclusion that ……that’s it; that is all there is

As of this moment I officially retire from hardcore clubbing, here on Troubled Diva.com.

Most of you will probably be thinking, “What on earth is he on about?” I cannot underestimate the gravity of my conclusion. In Nottingham I am defined by my social being, it is who Bob is. But alas, no more. Knocking this on the head is just part of the subsequent changes I’ve made over the last few months as a result of my diagnosis. It’s up to me now to find new and wonderful things to do at weekends. I have a few ideas and I won’t be quiet for too long. I have a couple of book ideas that I might just play about with and I enjoyed my climb up Mount Snowdon so much that I might expand on that experience.

On another note, that is all there is of my guest week. It’s been a demanding week emotionally and mentally. I’m just going to crawl back to my little blog that nobody reads, that doesn’t link to anybody and few people link to.

Thanks to Mike for giving me the opportunity to rant like a mad man about these things, you’re a gem, a very brave gem at that. And finally, thanks to those who read (and commented on) those rants.

Apologies to the Welsh.

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