I am triumphant in the aftermath of Friday night as my theory has been proved that there is an audience for Mothers’ Ruin. I can’t use the word triumph to describe the whole event, since the bar only broke even, but if all parties are willing and we do more of these, I think numbers will grow and grow. I for one am really excited about watching this happen.
It was funny how the original concept of the night out for mothers really worked. I had been warned not to be ‘exclusive’, since the Bold Vision organisation who run the café have a policy not to exclude any member of the community – but try finding any activity or event which is going to appeal to or include everyone in the area. And also try thinking of a snappy title for the evening if you don’t use something like Mothers’ Ruin. Friday Night at the Station, the committee rightly said, sounded like just the sort of thing commuters would try and avoid.
When Ian, the manager of the Hill Station, told me he was in favour of the title and the concept, and the committee had passed it after some discussion, I went ahead with it as much for the title as for the idea. I still imagined an evening where I would play some chilled tunes while people (of no specific gender, parent or not) sat down and drank a glass of beer and nibbled on some olives.
How wrong I was. When the event finally rolled round, there was no sitting down. And, apart from Ian and Dafe (my husband, roadie, moral support and other half of the Dino Collective), only possibly 2 men stepped into the room all night. One of these was the angry neighbour who must live upstream of the sound and who burst in to complain at about 11.30pm (apparently he comes in to complain about everything). Also, the thing about the mothers. I knew most people in the room. Apart from a young girl working behind the bar, and a few non-parents, everyone was a mum, many of them knew each other, and most of them got to know each other. I found the atmosphere really good. In fact, I probably enjoyed the evening so much because I knew everyone – it was like my very own house party but with a better venue and no responsibility apart from playing good music. The only people I didn’t know who came in had either come with friends of mine or were members of staff, or related to. As I have mentioned, we do need more people if we are going to repeat the experience – however, I still like the ‘friends of friends’ thing, and if each person who enjoyed themselves came back (as they promised they would) and brought one more friend with them, we would be well away.
A couple of posts back I posed myself some questions about what might happen at this event – and in those questions you can see how I expected it to go. I was surprised and pleased to note that I could mostly cope on my own, with a few helping adjustments of volume etc, and in fact doing it on my own gave me the greater confidence to choose exactly what I wanted to play. I could also tell that what I played was generally well received – and as well as lots of brilliant 60s soul classics, the girls they did want ravey! Especially the high kicking Germans! This is possibly where our friend, the neighbour from down the road, just had a bit too much. The ladies wanted to speak, but they were more than happy to chat loudly and then just dance. This was what made me happiest and why I feel most proud: we do not dance enough, especially once we are ‘our age’, and somehow at Mothers’ Ruin we lost our inhibitions! We don’t care how we dance if it is just us Mums! None of those pesky men in sight!
Thank you to all of you who came and kicked your legs up, had a joke and a drink, and generally let your hair down. For the price of a few drinks and a short stumble there and home again, I am delighted that those of you who came seemed to enjoy yourselves. I am so pleased I did this and I hope others are pleased too. Thank you to everyone else who got me where I am today, including those mentioned above, and especially Andy Hodge for his ‘stylish poster’ (see Brockley Central).
Now, for the future of Mothers’ Ruin, I need your support. Post your comments here (don’t be afraid to register on wordpress, it won’t bite), send me an email, text me, talk to Ian in the Hill Station, mention it to any of the committee members of Bold Vision, post admiringly about it on Brockley Central or Facebook, and harangue your local mp… just tell me if you want more.