Tuesday 27 February 2018

#457 The Hitchiker's Guide to Clapham - Part I

Clapham is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to Clapham.

Big places were fine in my book. The bigger the better. That was, until I had to try and navigate one on a Saturday night, or any other time of week for that matter.

Hetal and I had convened a meeting to discuss some important topics like the meaning of life and why I still hadn't replaced that awful frayed woollen thing I called a coat yet. I didn't know the area well so Hetal Googled "Old Man Pubs" and found two, the Falcon and the Beehive.

The English language permits a vast and wonderous array of potential pub names, almost all of which are unavailable to the English pub landlord. After grafting and sweating for years behind a set of pumps, getting barked, sworn and vomited at and working nearly every weekend for the majority of his or her short life, the landlord's one consolation, is the eventual receipt of a set of keys to a pub they can call their own. They are then strongly instructed not to do so and it gets named after some wildlife or a deceased monarch instead.

Having navigated our way to The Falcon, it became apparent that it was not the tranquil garden of Eden that its Google description had led us to envision. Filled to the rafters with burly rugby fans, all chanting and sloshing about rather chaotically, the pub had become everything we were looking to avoid and so despite the arctic weather and my sense of direction, we avoided it.

The other option, The Beehive, might have served its purpose adequately had it not been so phenomenally cold outside. To reduce our walking time, we crossed at the nearest set of lights and hurried inside the bar on the other side, Revolution.

... to be continued.

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