The inspiration for this post came – would you believe it (?) – from Waitrose. Of all places to get inspired to write a blog about being different and dreaming. Ha. As a side-note, don’t even begin to question what I (the short on money theatre maker) was doing in Waitrose; it happens to be within very close proximity of my new flat and I was only buying baking ingredients, so…yes.
So I’m stood at the checkout in Waitrose and it’s my turn to play the packing my bags and paying game. I say a friendly “hello” to the cashier who has seemed to be quite chatty with my predecessors, so I’m expecting a bit of conversation – I’m prepared. What I’m not prepared for is her asking me if I’m “going to be painting the town red tonight then?” Firstly I have never really had any idea what that saying means in terms of why it is used to mean going out and having a crazy time. Secondly I did not expect this middle aged cashier in Waitrose – of all places – to hold the commonly held view that going out to have a crazy night “on the town” is what is expected from a Saturday night. “No” I said “I’m going to bake some brownies”. I’m probably more likely to be found literally painting a town red than anything else.
I am now sat here, brownies in the oven (absolutely no metaphor of any kind here), they smell better than anything you do whilst ‘painting the town red’ ever could and I’ve had a great evening. First I did some yoga stretches, then I had dinner, did a bit of theatre work and then I baked whilst listening to Bon Iver. In about fifteen minutes I’m going to have freshly baked brownies to eat whilst I read my book…
Yes, I’ve covered the topic of our binge drinking/wild night-outing culture before and it’s one I could go on about for ages. It’s actually something I plan to build one of my future projects around. Anyway, I won’t bang on about it now – tonight I spent the evening making brownies, last Saturday night I was actually at a party, maybe next Saturday I’ll go to a party and take brownies who knows.
What I don’t like are assumptions being placed, and when such questions as the Waitrose question are asked you then immediately feel a bit bad – a little bit wrong as a person – for not adhering to assumed behaviour. Well you shouldn’t feel wrong, because you’re only being different and not in a bad way. You are daring to live a different life to that of the mainstream and that is essential.
Whilst making my brownies I was thinking – as I often do when baking – about this dream that I have. It’s a dream I developed after reading Bookends by Jane Green ( a romantic novel that isn’t as terrible as some of its counterparts). In this novel the protagonist sets up a bookshop and cafe with her friend, they buy this run down building and they renovate it into this cosy little place. Since then I have always wanted to have a theatre space with a little theatre library/bookshop attached with a cafe; an open space where people can make theatre, discuss theatre, learn about theatre all whilst enjoying the comforting and sociable atmosphere of shared food…
…and it’s only because I’m different, because I bake brownies sometimes on a Saturday night instead of spending it ‘painting the town red’ that I can dare to dream like that.