A London Night Out!

Posted on December 8, 2012

The annual old boys’ piss up in London went off without incident last night, in fact it was such a success we even narrowly avoided a kebab and “one for the road” in Basingstoke’s premier hot spot, the throbbing disco bar, Pure.

One thing that did hit home last night, in fact, there were two things actually, firstly, my capacity for alcohol is now beginning to border on embarrassing and secondly, it appears that no one has told the good people of London that Britain is in a full scale recession/depression. The pubs around the City area are packed to the rafters.

To compare London in 2012 to the London of last depression in the 1930’s is just not even worth consideration, judging by the money flying about in this unique part of the city, what constitutes a recession I really don’t know, a reduction in holidays from twelve to ten perhaps? Maybe these people really are skint and are surviving off the combination of debt and bullshit as to me, London looks no less prosperous than ten years ago at the height of the credit boom.

Whatever the case, I love London pubs, not the wanky Pitcher & Piano type places but the grand old places that have seen generations of people pass through the doors, pubs that have survived depressions and wars and continue to act as great levelers in society. London pubs are pretty much classless, barristers and bankers drink happily alongside builders and butchers, it is something you just don’t get that in most pubs around the suburbs, that’s why they are all empty or going bust.

The Road to oblivion: From the left, me, Pete, John and Mark

Anyway, as usual, I employed Pete as our pub guide with his secondary role being someone who looks for confirmation from me that I have in my possession my wallet, keys and phone every time we exit an establishment, a question that always has me frantically patting all my pockets before I discover these various items in places I never knew existed or more often than not, sat on a bar waiting to be stolen.

Remarkably, I remembered the tickets for gig we were going to see, which surpassed my achievements of many years ago when I forgot to bring tickets for a Beautiful South gig at Brixton Academy resulting in a trip back home to pick them up before heroically arriving at the concert with three minutes to spare, only to discover that there were touts operating outside the venue who could hardly give the fucking things away.

By the time we got to the gig (at The Borderline) I had been sent spiraling towards drunken oblivion by a two pint jug of fuck knows what, in fact I had got myself into such an unsteady state of mind that I ate a McDonalds Unhappy Meal rather than sitting down and facing the embarrassment of falling to sleep in an Indian restaurant and using a chicken Madras as a pillow (rice is actually quite comfy, I have tried it before!).

Once inside the venue, yet another drink was passed in my direction by one of my esteemed colleagues who had seemed to have adopted better coping mechanisms than I was capable of. However once the band started, I woke up again and Mark (Cunni) ensured my return to coherence by more or less throwing me straight in to a bunch of middle aged maniacs po-going their way towards a night of emergency coronary treatment in Royal Brompton hospital. It was good fun thereafter, I have the aching limbs and bruises as confirmation, one particular elbow in my lower rib cage was particularly pleasurable.

Cowpunk band The Men They Couldn’t Hang in action at The Borderline in Leicester Square

So, after the gig, it was a night cap followed by the meandering journey out of Waterloo back to the suburbs, a journey that featured a the heady mix of drifting in and out of fitful dreams that were interrupted by ticket inspectors and Winchester University students who I grew to despise the nearer we got home, not because they were students but because they were so full of life and energy. For them the night was young and there was I with a meaty hangover already making an early appearance and threatening be the most violent of 2012.

Outside the station, a taxi, like a guardian angel  looking over me, arrived just as I was becoming hypnotised by the Kebab shop a mere thirty yards from my lips, whisking me away in to the night as I looked wistfully out of the back window at what could have been. It shows just how pathetic I have become that I celebrated this narrow escape this morning as if it was some sort of worthwhile achievement that deserved personal congratulation.

In my early twenties I would celebrate if I had gathered my senses enough to avoid the clutches of an unsavoury woman, now I celebrate the avoidance of an unsavoury chili laced kebab at Basingstoke train station.

All in all it was a good night all round!



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