On Saturday night I ventured outside my suburban bubble and spent the evening in THE ACTUAL CITY CENTRE.

I can confirm that city centres on a Saturday night remain upsetting.

Many young fellas were in a bit of a mess by 10pm. Many young gals were under-dressed and disabled by heels.

I was momentarily caught up in a heel-related incident on the stairs of one establishment where two girls who were dressed as if participating in a circus act (leotards, heels, eyelashes) had discovered their costume did not make them magically agile. After attacking their descent a little too quickly considering the height of their stilts and the volume of WKD in their bloodstreams, they ended up sprawled in a helpless heap half-way down the stairs, buttocks all a-plenty whereupon an army of helpful boys in identical checked shirts immediately arrived to assist them back onto their feet.

It was like watching a live episode of Planet Earth where we see the female newborns unable to stand thus leaving them easy prey for the many fertile circling males, eager to land an incapaciated, half-dressed female.

My tribe are too old for heels and the baring of buttocks. We prefer to confine our intoxicated couplings to the privacy of our own front rooms. Our reason for trespassing into this territory of youthful singledom was in order to attend a special private room where we could sing our arses off at each other.

Two of our clan are about to experience yet more indescribably shit cancer treatments. This was to be a final blow-out before that journey begins, a joyful gathering, a night to remember.

Judging by the state of some of us by the end of the night, the remembering may be a bit tricky. But oh, the joy. The joy was in abundance.

Singing is good for you. I know this coz I do it at work every day and also coz I just googled it:

Singing increases oxygenation in the blood, exercises major muscles in the upper body and encourages better breathing patterns. The release of endorphins and oxytocin works like a massive free dose of anti-depressants, especially if you sing in a group with its accompanying feelings of togetherness and shared friendship.

If you could lay off the vats of wine which are essential for karaokeing, you could defintiely count the whole experience as equivalent to a two-hour session in the gym. (NB I have never undertaken a two hour workout in the gym, so cannot reliably report on the truth of this comparison. However, I did feel completely KNACKERED by the end so…)

Leaving aside the fact that these hugely positive benefits of singing clearly didn’t work out so well for say Whitney Houston, Elvis or Amy Winehouse, I can strongly recommend its life-enhancing properties.

My superbly professional rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend” was inevitably the highlight of the evening. I could tell it was good because everybody joined in at full volume and it definitely wasn’t so they could drown me out.

But the finale was glorious. All the women in the room, the poorly ones, the worried ones, the hopeful ones and the happy ones; the mothers, the sisters, the daughters and the wives; we all got up and bellowed “Don’t Stop Believing” at each others faces.

We felt incredible. And as soon as our tribe are all back on good form, we shall return.

Next time I shall be wearing a leotard and seven-inch heels. There is simply nothing I won’t do to make these gals smile…

Sing on!

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