Having smugly promised myself that I would become a virtuous hermit and spend my non-smoking time reading bracing Russian literature instead of skulking in the pub, I fell into the blissful clutches of failure and went to the Southwark Tavern instead.
The weather clearly thought that this was a crap idea and pissed all over my overly-optimistic summer outfit meaning that if I hadn't wanted a cigarette when I left work I was bloody ravenous for one by the time I got off the Tube.
The rain had sobered up by the time I picked my way through the smokers loitering outside. I don’t know if it’s the end of the working day, or the fact it wasn’t raining, or the sweet little posters the pub had made for smokers nipping outside (see above), but they were all looking remarkably cheery, possibly because there wasn't any ostentatious wafting coming from the ubiquitous pub funsponge.
On managing to wrench a pint out of the clutches of the suicidally bored barman, I noticed the atmosphere, or rather, didn’t. Pubs are relentless places after work, the typically British thing of racing each other to see who can relax the fastest, and without the smokers to smother everyone else into a united front of chuntering outrage it was running off the rails. Anticipation hung everywhere like a particularly vile case of BO. I bet there’s been a fight somewhere.
The weird thing with bars now is that you can smell everything. At a City pub on a Monday, this could probably only have been made worse by rubbing my face directly into someone’s armpit. It reeks of desperation. Re-applied perfume wrestled with body spray, and sweat from a hundred meetings. The thoughtfully-placed flowers downstairs were a sweetly refreshing reminder of what noses can be used for, until the overpowering scented candle alongside smacked it back down.
Still, my tastebuds are certainly coming back. Fruli is fucking disgusting.