I was sitting at my desk the other day feeling dejected and impotent – sad that the highlight of my morning, (an almond milk flat white VOMIT), was now over – when my phone rang.
It actually RANG, ladies. It RANG!!!
It wasn’t the ping of a Whatsapp *ANYONE KNOW WHEN YR1 CANCER RESEARCH BAKESALE IS??* / *FOUND THIS PHOTO OF MUM FROM 1976 ANYONE KNOW WHERE THAT DRESS SHE’S WEARING IS?* / *MORNING GORGEOUS KISS KISS [NAKED SELFIE]* (I wish my dentist would stop doing this).
It wasn’t one of my beloved Insta followers sending me a furious message about something rotten their husband had done, it wasn’t my local NHS surgery telling me by text that it has been FOURTEEN THOUSAND YEARS since my last smear for the love of GOD could I just fucking come in and have one?!?!?
It was an actual phone call. And it was Annabel Rivkin from The Midult. Annabel is like a phantom in journalism. She is the idea of an idea – like the mathematical notion of “infinity”. A phone call from her is a bit like finding the the last purple one in a box of Cadbury’s Roses.
“Listen,” she said, as I tucked my shirt in and took my hands out of my pockets, “You know that bit at yoga, the end bit where you just lie down in the dark and no-one is bothering you?”
“Yes,” I said. “It’s the only reason I would ever go, if I ever went.”
“Well, we’re doing a thing with John Lewis. We’re turning it into an actual thing. At John Lewis.”
“It’s going to be a thing?”
“Yes,” she said, “it’s going to be a thing.”
“Fuck,” I said. “This sounds serious.”
And she invited me along to a preview of this thing, which is called The Lying Down Club.
The premise is mad, but simple. On the 28th and 29th of November this year, the newly refurbished bed department at John Lewis on Oxford Street is going to be transformed into a magical, cosy dormitory, where you can book yourself in for a 2-hr “lying down” session between 6-8pm.
It’s not a massage or a spa (though you can have a foot massage if you want) or a yoga session. It’s just lying down, in dim lighting, for a few hours.
The idea is that you arrive at John Lewis, exhausted from your day of work and/or kids, (or work AND kids if you are a paediatrician), to find that you have rented a double bed in a beautiful dormitory, decked out in John Lewis finest linen with little bedside tables and lamps and everything.
You can either come alone or with a friend(s). You can help yourself to a VR headset or a meditation app or not. Just two hours of not being bothered. Of lying. Fucking. Down. Then you get up, refreshed and go about your evening.
Tickets will be £15 and are not available until November 8th (I will remind you) and can be bought online at The Lying Down Club. NOT YET DON’T TRY TO BUY THEM YET.
I know it sounds a bit of an odd concept so please join me on Instagram (I am @esthermcoren) where I will be showing you this thing in more detail tomorrow night.
I know it’s a bit annoying when people write about stuff happening in London when you don’t live there, but I really think that this might start being a wider social movement. Of what precisely I’m not sure… but it’s something to do with those nightmarish hours in the working day between about 5 and about 8 where all you most want to do is sit down in a dark room and just exist for a minute. Having first muted all your damn Whatsapp groups of course.