Before M and I moved in together, the only way we could see one another was to actually schedule dates during the week as well as the weekends. This meant that no matter how tired we were, we always made the effort to meet up in town after work and see a movie or eat out or go to a late night art opening. Now that we live together, we see each other every night after work when we both come home.
On top of this, our work lives have stepped up several gears and we are working harder than ever. I'm working on so many projects at once, that it takes me several seconds to make the transition from one project to another. For example, it always happens that someone asks me for an update on project 2 when I'm in the middle of project 7, or a project 6 client calls when I'm still working on project 4 (if this makes sense!). In any given day, I can be juggling three or four completely separate projects - for completely different clients - at any given time. The result is more exhaustion by the time the home bell rings.
The outcome of all this is that we rarely need or make plans to meet up after work to go out on a weeknight - saving it all for the weekend. On weeknights after work, we tend* to go home and we cook, we eat, we catch up with each other, we watch a DVD, we read: we simply enjoy each other and relax in each other's company. * I say "tend" because there are still weeknights when lots of things happen: Steve Reich or Marisa Monte at the Barbican and Akram Khan at Saddlers Wells, for example; Friday night at the Tate Modern; and this week will be particularly busy because I'll be out eating twice this week for work and the London Film Festival has begun.
But tonight was a pleasant departure from what has become our cosy weeknight routine. We met up with our friends D and J - friends from our Oxford days, who have three young children together and who both have busy, high-powered jobs. We ate at a local Spanish restaurant called La Vina on Wightman Road and ate deliciously moreish and fresh tapas, from artichoke hearts and tortillas to chorizo and my favourite black pudding. Lots of red Rioja of course.
It was lovely catching up on our personal lives and on our work. D is my witness at our wedding and we've decided to have our joint hen and stag party in Oxford, where all of us (including M and myself) met. It's going to be at the beginning of February and I'm looking forward to it as much as the wedding (only kidding M!).