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Co-Women at Bar Broadway: a joyful Valentine’s

Having experienced serious FOMO when I missed the 2022 Co-Women Valentine’s extravaganza, there was no way I was going to make the same mistake twice, particularly as I had to miss the previous week’s social at the Shelter Hall.

Last week, several Co-Women members were joined by some of our friends from Lewes FC for an unforgettable night at Kemptown’s Bar Broadway: we’d all been sold on the idea of burgers, cocktails, and karaoke, and it’s absolutely fair to say that we all showed up and brought the house down.

Co-Women has done karaoke previously, via visits to Lucky Voice, but this was our first time inflicting our voices upon a room full of strangers. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that this would be what networking looks like, but then I don’t think I’d pictured forming the friendships I’ve made via this group, and therefore that things could be different.

As we waited for our food, we spent time getting to know each other – Maggie from Lewes FC shared her thoughts on a recent trip to Morocco (which happens to be where several of us are going on a trip together in less than four weeks), and Co-Women’s very own Harriet ran us through the highlights of her recent epic five week trip through South America (we weren’t jealous and immediately looking at flight prices for ourselves at all…).

Karaoke host, Sam Pink, was busy encouraging us all to put our song requests in. Having discussed some options beforehand, there were some easy additions: Miley Cyrus’s superhit “Flowers” was top of the list, and we promptly added Lizzo’s Grammy-winning “About Damn Time” (our group chat in the lead up to the evening had involved Jo and I exchanging voice notes – I happened to sing the opening bars of this song as Jo was also listening to it at home; we do sometimes wonder if we’ve got some sort of supernatural connection!). There was also some careful thought going on, with some of us discreetly writing our choices down and psyching ourselves up before adding them to the list.

There was no such shyness from Lewes FC’s Kelly, who gave an impressive demonstration of why she has the professional role she does: she instantly picked a song, took to the stage, and authoritatively informed the room that there would be audience participation. When the opening bars of Rednex’s “Cotton Eyed Joe” played, we all understood the assignment, and accepted Kelly’s cue when she leapt back down from the stage and began dancing her way through the crowd. I now have a small idea of how her players feel in the dressing room prior to a match – fired up and ready to go.

From there, Karen gave us a brilliant rendition of “Flowers” in her sparkly sunglasses, Harriet impressed us all with Amy Winehouse’s version of “Valerie”, and Penina wasn’t far behind with Abba’s “Dancing Queen” (and, thanks to TikTok, the recently-arrived Gen Z contingent enthusiastically joined in). Before I called it a night to make sure that I was fresh for a day in the gym with clients, I paid homage to one of my favourite films, and dutifully murdered one of my favourite songs – Alanis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know”. Having my friends and fellow businesswomen clap, cheer and sing along made me incredibly happy, and very pleased that I’d shown up for a night of fun.

Life, and networking, can be just that. Having experienced several tough years of very limited socialising, and the real threat of serious illness, it’s so great to be out and about, showing up as our true selves, and embracing different opportunities as well as being professional and working hard to see our businesses grow and thrive.

Want to join in and do things a bit differently? If you’re ready to sign up, you can apply for membership here. I’d also recommend booking for our next event – a tour of Goldstone Rum Distillery on 23rd February. If you can’t make it to join us then, we’ve scheduled several events for March and April already, so clear your diaries and come and see what we’re about.

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