1st March 2017: Day 41 - Morning Gloryville
I've never been to a rave. I think they became en vogue about the time I was outgrowing the whole partying thing. To me raving meant staying out till daybreak (winter daybreak) in a drug filled warehouse, strobe lights, fluorescent strips, house, garage and drum and base playing so loud that conversation is impossible. I think it's safe to say raving wasn’t my thing.
Then my friend Lisa told me about Morning Gloryville, a sober rave that's held once a month, on a Wednesday morning in East London. It's also held in other parts of London and, I believe, at least one Saturday per month. Oh, and I forgot to say, it starts at 6.30am and ends at 10.30 (am).
Well of course I don't get there at 6.30 - I didn't leave home till 7.30. I didn't get there by the planned 8.30 either. When you decide your own working hours it’s easy to lose touch with the real world so I forgot about ' going to work' traffic which turns a 20-minute drive into a 45-minute nightmare. I forgot about the possibility of delayed trains and missed trains and didn't know about the almost standstill traffic across London Bridge which makes it quicker to walk across the bridge than to sit on the bus. I walked the bridge and then continued to Liverpool Street, mainly because my bus didn't show any signs of appearing.
Anyway, I eventually got there at 9.30.
People were leaving as I arrived. You could tell where they'd been by the garish in their clothes and the glitter on their faces. There was a band serenading us in welcome as we queued to give our names for the waiting list and then I was invited to go upstairs and have fun.
A young woman serving cups of water greeted me warmly, told me what was going on.
There was a cacao stand, a massage station and a place to just relax. A woman was selling bum bags, you could get your face painted with glitter and there were drums available if you fancied it and if not drums then why not twirl your hips with a hoola hoop? People were dressed in bright ethnic-like colours and were uninhibited but not tasteless or lewd with it. There was natural light and everyone just seemed to be having a thoroughly good time.
I'm not usually like this, but there was something about the music, the drumming that made me want to get in the midst of things and just dance. So I did. I just walked into the middle of the dance floor where other people were dancing and joined in. The young woman at the water stand came to talk to me on the dance floor and as I was telling her about ‘Everyday for 50 Days’ another woman came and held my hand as everyone on the dance floor spread out in a circle. People jumped in and did a little dance move, or a back flip or something and my new friend nudged me to go in and dance.
And I said no.
Then I said maybe.
Then I asked if she would video me if I went in and just as I had set the video for her the DJ shouted that everyone should jump in the circle and I missed my chance - I was so disappointed.
One of my intentions for this year was to say yes where I would usually say no and I missed a chance to just enjoy the freedom of no one giving a monkeys who I was, whether I looked good or not or if I could dance – there’s a lesson there.
All was not lost. I went and decorated around my eyes with glitter and got chatting to the woman who applied it for me.
Morning Gloryville is an amazing way to start your day. People come before they go to work and I can see how it sets you up in a very positive frame of mind. You can dance off any anger or frustration and you can dance up in celebration. It’s your choice and no one cares what you do. The atmosphere is very loved up and there genuinely are no drugs involved, just, I believe an intention that people get up in the morning, dance in their day and then go about their business in a more positive frame of mind. And it works.
The majority of people there were young; in their twenties and thirties I would say. But this is not an activity that is exclusively for the young.
It’s nearly 22.30 and I still have the glitter on my face. I travelled on public transport with it and I went shopping with it and most of the time I forgot it was on and most people didn’t bat an eyelid when they saw it.
There’s a lesson there too.
Morning Gloryville, if you’re thinking it’s something you might do, stop thinking about it and give it a go. You may just surprise yourself.