Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Late Pass By Kate

The time: 20.15. The place: Madrid. The situation: I was on my way to a gig. I was going on A Night Out. This deserves capital letters because it was the first time I had ventured into the realm of night time entertainment beyond my own front door since Rosie was born more than fourteen months ago.

It wasn't the first opportunity I'd had, but it was the first I had taken up. Because of Rosie's unpredictable sleep patterns and her previous resistance to resettling without a breastfeed, I had always been too reluctant to be out of reach. Also, if I'm honest, there was probably an element of PFB (Precious First Born) there. I think most parents become more blase about leaving their offspring in the care of someone else as they produce more children. But I'm still inexperienced in these matters. Oh, and did I mention generally feeling too knackered to go on nights out?

But Rosie sleeps through more than she doesn't nowadays and Theo has become more adept at resettling her if she wakes up and I've become less neurotic about letting him, so time to step over the threshold and launch myself into the grown-up world of night-time leisure activities.
Except in Spain, it isn't a grown-up world - not until after midnight, anyway. As I walked to catch the Metro I observed numerous wide-awake babies and toddlers out socialising with their parents. By this time, Rosie had been asleep for nearly an hour. Brits like to get their children to bed early, Latinos don't worry about that so much. Their children either sleep later in the morning, sleep more during the day or learn to live with less sleep.

So I watched Anika perform their set at La Casa Encendida, beer in one hand, camera in the other. My friend Rasha was doing some session work with Anika and had kindly added me to the guest list. She had also added Theo, but he had elected to remain at home in charge of Rosie so I could have the late pass.I enjoyed the gig, but being reunited with Rasha was even better. She was an appreciative consumer of some of Madrid's main sights as we walked through Sol and Plaza Mayor on our way to the legendary Chocolateria San Gines, where we continued the business of catching up with each other's news over cups of thick chocolate accompanied by a pile of churros.

By Madrid standards, the evening was over very early. Rasha had had a late night followed by an early start so was more than happy to get some sleep and my body clock is used to being out for the count by eleven, so we were home and tucked up into our respective beds before 01.00.

Many Madrilenos would have only just been heading out the door to meet their friends at that point, but I'm a Brit and a mother of an intermittently-sleeping one year-old so feel I can claim light weightedness with no attendant sense of shame.

It was fun, though.

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