This summer has seen me go raving mad. Literally. As in I’ve gone crazy for Ibiza anthems, repetitive drumbeats, glow sticks, whistles – the whole lot. I caught the rave bug after a number of late night dance sessions around a camper van whilst on holiday in Sicily in May. The music of choice was a lurid techno/cheesy house mix and when I got back to Nice the rhythms went on banging and banging and banging in my brain.
Thankfully, at the beginning of June Kitty threw a party up at the villa and I had an opportunity to rave on once again. I was so excited that I deigned the event an official rave-a-thon. One of the boys at the party took to the idea immediately but felt that the concept needed clarifying. ‘Explain to me again, why rave-a-thon?’ he asked. In all honesty, I just liked the word. ‘Imagine raving but seriously, seriously hardcore,’ I tried. ‘What? That’s it?’ he frowned, looking disappointed. ‘I had been imagining something along the lines of a marathon, only with dancing.’ Hmmm, 26.5 miles of raving? I had to admit, this had legs. At that moment Kitty’s DJ brother started to spin 9pm (till I come). It was our starter gun. The boy and I looked at each other and nodded. We were off. For the rest of the evening revellers were split between those sipping rose and having civilized conversations and those bouncing up and down like lunatics and waving their hands in the air. I was, of course, the life and soul of the latter; right up to the point that I stumbled to the lounge and lay down on the sofa. It was intended to be a power nap. Not long after I’d dropped off, a hand shook me roughly. ‘Oi, there’s no way you’re going to sleep yet.’ I swotted at the boy. ‘Seriously,’ he continued, sounding annoyed, ‘what’s happened to the rave-a-thon?’ I lifted my head and managed with surprising force, ‘It’s only a fucking warm up.’ I dropped back on to the pillow, now beyond the realm of napping, and the boy tiptoed away to complete the remaining 24.5 miles by himself.
The following week, I had a chance to salvage my reputation at Kitty’s housemate’s party - same venue, same music, same vibe. Alas, due to my dalliance with the bus stop boy the night before, I’d had an hour’s sleep and was heavy with hangover. By 6pm everyone else was well on the way to having a very merry time, whilst I remained sober and sombre. ’Rave-a-thon?’ Mindy looked me up and down with disgust, ‘More like rave-a-non.’ Realising that I couldn’t take the humiliation of another failed performance, I rallied myself and, ignoring the stabbing pains in my stomach, I forced down a cocktail of gin, cava and larger. It didn’t take long for a wave of Ibiza-esque euphoria to wash over me. Suddenly carried away by this new surge of energy I grabbed JC by the hand. ‘Shots!’ I shouted and dragged him to the kitchen. ‘Steady on raver, we’ve got no mixers.’ ‘And?’ ‘We’re not having neat vodka,’ JC looked at me with concern, he clearly thought I’d had enough. His compromise was to dilute the spirit with citron syrup found at the back of one of the cupboards. I downed five of these in the space of half an hour. Half an hour after that I was passed out on the same sofa as the week before. At 1am I had declared on Facebook: “Rave-a-thon! Whoop whoop!” By 1.30am Mindy had added: “Yeah, rave-a-non.”
The following weekend, I felt the need to prove, if only to myself, that I still had the youthful stamina to pull an all nighter. Unlike the majority of my fellow ravers, I was not having it large in the dance tent at Glastonbury but was rather jigging wildly to a schoolboy folk band at a steam engine rally in the heart of the Kentish countryside – an altogether more hardcore affair. After the live music was shut down at 11pm, my five friends and I felt suitably pumped to take the party down a quiet country lane. We turned up the car stereo, took swigs of vodka from the bottle and jumped without coordination. Despite the attempts of the fairground security crack team to shut us down (at one point we were involved in a high speed car chase around rural Kent) we managed to keep going until the wee hours, and I was up until the bitter end. I’ve now come to the conclusion that the key to a successful rave-a-thon is ensuring that one always dances around a stationary vehicle.
‘Sounds as if you’ll be in need of some peace and quiet when you get back to Nice,’ my mother said on the phone, ‘You’ll probably enjoy having a bit of a break.’ ‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ I scoffed, ‘it’s the Riviera and it’s summer, the next two months will be one long party.’ ‘Dear,’ mother tutted, ‘you’re nothing but a playgirl. Only you’re not rich. I don’t know how you manage it.’ I swear underneath the pretence of disdain, I could detect a little pride.