I read Past Bedtime



Hello, I'm Isobel!



Welcome to I Read Past Bedtime, a blog for 20-somethings finding their way in the world.


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What a night out looks like when you're a 40 year old trapped in the body of a 23 year old.

Thanks be to my pals for a magical weekend in Birmingham – we laughed, we sighed and we attended a rather disturbing exhibition in the city museum. But what reunion would be complete without a night on the razz? As I get older (hitting the big two-four this year…) I can’t help but wonder if my partying days are behind me (which is weird, because when I was younger I assumed they were somewhere in front of me – so far I’ve been duped).

If, like me, you enjoy nothing more than snuggling under a blanket with a hot beverage, watching Disney films and eating chocolate, the below will ring well and true with you.

If, on the other hand, your partying days are well and truly with you now, read on and have a care for the middle-aged millennial.

Here is what you can expect from a night out when you are a forty year old trapped in a twenty-three year old’s body.


You get ready in 10 minutes

My approach to the beautifying process can be summed up in two words: ‘that’ll do’.

Having never received the memo on how to apply eye shadow or ‘base’, my night out make up routine essentially consists of putting a bit more of the same stuff on my face: extra coat of mascara, darker shade of lipstick, dab on a face full of powder and all that’s left to do is whip out a cross word and get puzzling for forty minutes while everyone else gets ready properly.


You will be the first on the dance floor…

As a forty year old woman with the body of a twenty year old, I pretty much have no inhibitions when it comes to strutting my stuff (having half a bottle of wine under my belt doesn’t do any harm in the proceedings either…) Since I like to start a night out early (with a view to, that way, being earlier to bed), the dance floor is usually pretty sparse when I’m ready to bust a move. All the more space for me to practise some set pieces.


… And the first off

When you’re an energetic dancer but make very little time for aerobic exercise in your day to day life, chances are that twenty minutes are about all you can handle before getting a stitch and needing a quiet sit down.

You can find me by the bar, inhaling deep lungfuls of air until they play Mr Brightside.


You move onto tap water before 12am

Despite having the mindset of a 40 year old, I still have the budget of a 15 year old, so I was never going to be a huge drinker on nights out (although the prices in Birmingham are a revelation!) Even so, by the time midnight rolls round I am well and truly gunning for the hydration station. Don’t let yourself be perturbed by raised eyebrows from bar staff and friends: a glass of water in the club is the thinking woman’s shot.


The post night-out nibbles will be the highlight of the trip

Sensible woman that I am, I’ve undoubtedly carbo-loaded before alcohol consumption took place, but, just in case that mountain of mash didn’t quite do the trick, best opt for something greasy and delicious to ‘soak up’ that glass of wine four hours ago. Did somebody say nuggets?


The next day is a total write-off

Let’s be honest, with all the eating and hydrating that’s been occurring, I’m not the least bit hungover and am perfectly capable of engaging in an ordinary day.

But somehow doing anything meaningful, cooking real food or washing seem like tasks with tomorrow’s name on them. Because, let’s face it, the duvet is where I should have been all along.