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Being in my late twenties, and going to Lewisham's Model Market

My mother's old hairdresser's Iranian father used to say the most important thing in life is to enjoy being the age you are. Not to me obviously, he said it to his daughter, my mum's hairdresser, who said it to my mum, who said it to me.

Ie. when you're 10, don't take slutty selfies and wish away your childhood hoping you were older. When you first go off to uni don't sit inside wishing you were home, or wishing you were full on grown up with a proper income. Embrace the lack of routine, and all the new people and have a fabulous time. And I guess (though I haven't been through this yet obvs) but when you are older and maybe you've had kids but they've left home, don't pine after babies wishing you could just do it all over again and hating the home without them, maybe do something similar to what my parents seem to be doing and take advantage of no longer needing to be responsible for other people, and spend all your time on extravagant holidays. They seem pretty content. You get the gist - enjoy being your age, I could probably have done it without the waffle, soz.

Anyhoo, so now I am 27, undoubtably in my late twenties, what does my age mean to me? (I say to me, as I know 27 feels very different to a lot of people. Some people want to get married and have kids, some people are still enjoying post uni whatshallIdowithmylifeness).

For me, my energy levels are much lower than when I was 21. Boy oh boy, I don't know how I existed going to bed after midnight everyday and having no bedtime routine. Maybe it is working hard all week, maybe I just don't have the same ability to wait for a second wind anymore, but I really like sleeping now.

I also now have a bloomin mortgage, and a relatively swishy and stressful job, so I have to be kinda responsible. And I have a long term-ish boyfriend, so that changes things a bit.  At the same time, I don't have kids or a cat or a puppy, I have enough mula left for cocktails and dresses left after my mortgage has come and out and I live in one of the world's most exciting cities. (I think anyway, London).

So with all that in mind this to me is what 27 will look like, and how I will enjoy it: it'll be a bit more balanced. I have a nicer flat now, which is all the way out in zone 3 of the tube network, both reasons means it is fine if I want to come home to it rather than going out every day like I did when I was 22. 27 is hosting a fabulous dinner party or boozy brunch every month to really get my money's worth in the place that is sucking it all up. And also cos I have enough glassware for 8 people now. I know, such a grown up.

But I'm not dead yet. (Not that dead people host dinner parties and enjoy matching glassware) but you know what I mean, I am still in my twenties dammit. And I have actively chosen not to buy a puppy, so if I am not doing that I should at least go out a fair bit. So every month, I want to go to something that is sort of "only in London" with my friends and with my beau. (Or my bae as the kids are calling it. I am still in my twenties I am down with the lingo).

And that folks is how I've come at last to my review of Lewisham's Model Market, set up by the people who did Street Feast and then everything in the east, and have taken their project south of the Thames (and to my new home borough, woop) to take over an old market in Lewisham and turn it into a pop up food stall, bar and dancefloor emporium.

I was a little tired that day as like the 27 year old I am, I had got up early to run some errands first thing and then spent the day brunching, baking gluten and sugar free banana bread and upholstering a window seat - I only stayed til midnight and not the market's closing time at 1:30am. That is my life now. May I also note whilst I am being such a grown up, that one negative thing I could say about the model market was that I believe it to be a slight fire hazard. It has these very cool (but in my opinion slightly dangerous) massive fire pits, which instead of being near maybe seated areas or cordoned off somewhere are in the middle of the dance floor! Literally under the disco globe. Every time you had to squeeze through the floor to nip to the loo it did feel like you were taking your life in your hands a bit.

Back to being a fun person again: it was pretty amazing (though for me a tiny bit sad) how Street Feast had barely touched the market before moving in. Will and I munched on delicious greek chicken pita wraps in a bar seating area which was in an old hairdressers. Tiles and mirrors hung on the wall still, in almost perfect condition but with no barber chair in front. Brownies and tequila coconut cocktails were sold from cute little pop up bars and restaurants which still had signs advertising "Ghanaian .....". An old records shop was turned into a wine bar "winyl" (I enjoyed that).

They'd also made a little rooftop bar, and obvs that is everyone's favourite in the summer. Basically night markets have really come on a bit since I went to my first one in Chiang Mai in Thailand in 2010 and accidentally ate a whole tray of deep fried spiders legs with sweet chilli sauce. (True story, I really will eat anything deep fried).

On a Saturday night Model Market was pretty packed in a "woah where did all these people come from maybe Lewisham really is up and coming" sorta way. I went on a little boozy date night with Will, but I think it would be a great place to go with a big group of friends, I am slightly pondering it for my 28th birthday if it returns for a 3rd summer. Although, just to cross off the other subject of my blog - "loner" - this place is good for with lovers and friends but I would say not on your own, you would seem creepy.

Final tip - do not google map the place as otherwise you will be like Will and I, poor little outlaws looking through the railings at hundreds of people who have found the entrance and are having a marvellous time but having no idea how to get in. Instead look for the 3 little roads coming off Molesworth street, and get to that point and you will spot it. Ok I'll shut up now!

Lewisham Model Market is open til the end of this month. No need to book or anything, though you do need to pay £3 if you arrive after 7pm

Never too old for a tequila cocktail filled coconut

PS. More philosophising that eventually leads to a review.

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