There are many things in our lives that do not change – even when our circumstances do –  and remain a constant force throughout. 

I have spent the last 67 years of my life attempting to live it to the full, sometimes to my own detriment. Always endeavouring to fill up the 24 hours in a day with one activity or another can be quite exhausting. Even now, just sitting still for a long period of time sometimes induces guilt and I feel I should be ‘ doing something’.

Over the years I’ve taken ‘mindfulness’ classes, practised yoga, and sought counselling to help me slow down and cease from volunteering for things I would like to – or sometimes, don’t really want to do.

In my youth when going out with my friends for the evening, I embraced it with such gusto, it would have appeared to the onlooking outsider that I was celebrating my last night on earth – mainly in Botto’s!

Luckily for me, now, my energy levels prevent me from tripping the light fandango while burning the candle at both ends, yet I’m still predisposed to taking on too much and it can’t always be managed easily.

This thread has woven its way through my whole life, pulling all the separate pieces together.

Recently when I was recovering and healing from a sports massage to relieve an injury, I  couldn’t resist the invitation from my two daughters to join them for dinner at Sambuca’s in Consett; followed by a trip to The Grey Horse for ‘Open Mic’ Night.

That same day, I’d already had a ride out with my friend to enjoy some retail therapy;  experiencing a stimulating and enjoyable time, so I could have relaxed and rested.

But no; I got ready, putting on my new purchases and a splash of make up and headed out – telling my family I’d probably only stay with them for the meal, then go home!

The replies came in thick and fast, ‘Oh, not that one again Mother, now you know where we get it from!’ and ‘We’ve heard it all before, you’re like a broken record!’ 

Part way down the chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, my shoulder gently eased and I began to enjoy my pizza! So now with the bill paid, I agreed to come to the pub for one drink at 7.30pm.

Enjoying the company and the craic, and realising it was a friend’s birthday, I decided to stay for another round and sang along to the music with everyone else. I was surprised when they called last orders, as I was just getting in the swing!

My daughters and their mates  – as we walked up Sherburn Terrace to the traffic lights – decided to head to a late night establishment for another drink to toast the birthday boy! 

When they extended the invitation to me, I shook my head, looked at my watch and noticing it was 11.30pm  replied, ‘Me, no, I’m going home, I’m nearly 68 you know!’ After a swift half in The Freemasons, I left the merrymakers there – around midnight – and walked home alone, congratulating myself on my willpower!

So whoever in my family passed on the ‘Get the Party Started’ factor is responsible for its replication in my offspring.  I’ve concluded –  that whatever it is – it’s innate, and in the inherited genes. Mainly because history repeated itself the following Sunday!

Story and photographs by Lorraine Weightman

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Lorraine Weightman
Lorraine Weightman who regularly writes a monthly memoir telling of her days growing up in Consett has just published 2 books in conjunction with Firefly New Media Uk, which share 24 stories that were originally seen in Consett Magazine over the past few years.



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