In my late teens/early 20s I had a very busy social life, Sunday evening was just about the only time I stayed at home (well, I needed to do my washing!). Mondays to Thursdays my work colleagues and I went to the pub straight from work, had a few drinks, played pool or darts, got a takeaway on the way home. Fridays we always went to a local disco, Saturdays we had a proper night out at a bigger disco, either in London (Hammersmith Palais was a favourite) or at Heathrow in one of the airport hotels...several of them had good nightclubs, exciting because they always had glamorous handsome airline staff in them (although they might have been baggage handlers posing as pilots to get us girls interested 😂). Sunday lunchtimes we went out for meals or just for a drink, usually nursing a hangover. I also managed to fit in a lot of boyfriends 😉. Surprisingly, I was quite slim back then, amazing considering the takeaways and drinks and bacon sarnies for breakfast every morning and burgers for lunch (our office was opposite a bakery and a MaccyD).
Then I met my future husband, we moved to the Midlands and got married, I was 23, he was 32. I had a good secretarial job with friendly young colleagues and continued to go for nights out with them, without husband, although only once or twice a week. Eventually that fizzled out though, I just stopped going....because I felt guilty. Husband never, and I do mean never, went out with his workmates - not because he didn't get on with them, he did. Husband is the world's most passionate and vociferous anti-smoker (ex-smoker!), most of his workmates smoked and they nearly always went to pubs. He's never been much of a drinker, and back then everyone smoked in pubs, so he didn't much like going in them. So he preferred to stay home...whilst he didn't object to me going out, I felt uncomfortable doing it and leaving him at home.
Because husband drove for a living (he was a lorry driver, hence why he didn't drink much, had to protect his licence), he didn't like driving on his days off...understandable I suppose. So we didn't go out a lot. For holidays, he preferred cottages in or near towns, or holiday camps (my idea of hell), as a perfect holiday to him was one where he parked up on arrival and didn't have to drive at all for the rest of the week, whereas I like walking, exploring, mooching around craft shops and visiting stately homes. He also liked spending the day on a beach soaking up the sun - I'm fair skinned, burn very easily and the sun gives me a headache, so not my idea of a nice time! We compromised by having a couple of days out...I'd go inside a stately home whilst he had a nap in the car, or he'd drop me off in a nearby town for some shop browsing whilst he went on the beach. The rest of the time he'd be relaxing watching tv and I did A LOT of reading.
Since he retired, 3.5 years ago, he's been quite busy - his life is outside, doing projects in his veg plot and shed, helping friends and neighbours with their gardens and doing lots of DIY jobs for them...he's quite a handyman, fixing leaking gutters and pipes, mending sheds and fences, helping to fix cars, etc....he's always out doing something. Well, obviously not at the moment whilst he's incapacitated, and not so much during lockdown. Whilst he's out, I'm generally at home doing housework, cooking, weeding and pruning my flower garden, or doing my crafts. A few times I've been invited out by neighbours to go for coffee in a garden centre, or a browse round the shops....I nearly always say no. For no good reason really, other than being out of the habit of socialising, it's been so many years since I did it.
Well, to be blunt....it feels like my life has been on hold for years and years, lockdown and husband's incapacity following his operation have exacerbated how I feel. Hence why I've decided that I'm going to start actually having a life....before I get too old!
I'll go into what plans I've started to make in the next post.