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  • Fraser Metcalf

Paean to the Pub

I love a pub. And I’m talking a proper British Public House here. I mean I love a beach bar as much as the next drinker. I can be persuaded into a cocktail bar on occasion. I have been known to frequent a famous hotel bar. But there is nothing like the old fashioned British Boozer.

Just saying ‘pub’ probably conjures up a mental image for you like it does for me. An open fire, a mahogany bar counter, pint pumps lined up like soldiers at attention, well stocked shelves gleaming in the light, a random assortment of table and chairs, comfy nooks and crannies, a buzz of conversation, a dog or two politely eyeing up your crisps, beer mats on the table. A traditional beer garden is nice to for those summer days and evenings too.

Now, I’ve spent a lot of time in pubs. As a child my Dad loved a pub and would spend long evening in the bar at The Albert, his local. As a divorced man, he wasn’t going to let the fact that he had kids in tow stop him, so he sat us in the little Off Sales section, isolated from the main action and it’s here we would while away hours on end, amply supplied with lemonade and crisps, listening to the hubbub of conversation drifting from the Saloon Bar.

It may sound like child neglect, but me and my brother loved it. Occasionally, we’d go and sit in the car, but this got banned after we ran the battery down listening to the radio. So, it was back to the Off Sales where at the end of the evening my dad would drive us home armed with warm Cornish pasties heated under an electric bar (seeing as microwaves were still science fiction) by Winnie, Len the landlord’s wife. Don’t judge. Times were different. Drink driving wasn’t such a big thing. I mean we rarely bothered with seatbelts either.

So, it started early, the pub for me. And perhaps that’s why I feel so at home there. Now with mates of course, but more often on my own. It’s where I get away to write and it’s the perfect place to do so. Because, despite the pub being a social place, it’s where I can find peace and quiet. A little corner where I can drink my pint and think, undisturbed and unconcerned. If I want, I can join in the chat at the bar, catch up with the other locals and the bar staff, but in the pub people respect your boundaries. It’s not like home where every two minutes there’s an interruption - from Amazon deliveries to demands for the Dad Cab to get revved up. No, it’s my quiet space. My own place. It’s the pub. See you down there.



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