Slow moves to Pressure Drop. Or Five Go Mad in Clerkenwell

Monday evening and I still ache from Saturday’s exertions.  The joy of ageing! As some of you may be aware I missed the last train home.  This realisation was whilst I was travelling southwards on the Northern Line at 11:45 and I’d just pulled up at Angel, Islington.  I’m not going to get to London Bridge, Platform 15 in 8 minutes I thought.  So I considered the night train option.  The one that left London Bridge just after one and arrived at Hastings just before 8 am, with hours hanging around Brighton Station in between.  But wait, Jafer lives one stop away from London Bridge.  So I called him and woke him up at midnight and one hour later I was in his flat.


I got to spend a little time with him discussing the election and watching a replay of Football Focus before I set off and returned home 24 hours after I’d left.  Perhaps  I should have booked that Travelodge after all.

But what of the previous night?  Well it began with my arrival in London Bridge at 3:30 pm and a walk along the riverfront taking in the view of this


and this


before arriving in The Doggett by Blackfriars Bridge at 4 pm,


followed by a walk across the bridge and a stop in the Sir John Oldcastle by 7 pm and then The Three Kings by 9 and then the Betsey Trotwood a little while after.  On the way towards Clerkenwell we failed in our attempt to get into this place


guarded by this savage noisy beast.  The AA tells me I walked 2 and a half miles but it felt like more, maybe because I was getting more sloshed.  One place was so posh


Top quality handwash.  I would say the best boozer was the last one, or perhaps that’s the drink talking again.  At first Ben arrived


and we caught up about family, pets, work.  Then Yat arrived,


That’s him in the middle between me and Ben, at his own wedding, he was dressed more casually on Saturday.  As was Ben and I.  And I wasn’t dancing.  Trying to.  But failing.  But I’ll come to that.

After Yat followed John


and Andreas.


And a few of these were consumed.


We discussed the relative merits of Paul Weller’s material, I’ve gone off the Style Council but have grown more appreciative of his solo material and The Jam.

Films, like John I’ve never been a fan of sci-fi.

The NHS, one of our other halves works as a midwife and it’s not uncommon to work 12 hour shifts without time for even a sandwich.

Future Islands.  A great group.  Perhaps Andreas will now become a fan too.

Yat told me I’d put on weight.  Well yes, since 1981 I have.  But not since we last met sixteen months ago.  I remain a steady 13 stone.  And when I’m 12 I shall expect loads of compliments.

John reminded me that I hadn’t invited him to my wedding.  Repeatedly.

In 1991.

I’m not planning on renewing my vows but if I do you’ll be invited.  You’ll be the first one on the list.

And I’m sorry.

But so glad you’re starting to heal from the pain I caused.

Too slowly.

And yes I did come not just to your wedding but your stag weekend in Bournemouth.

As I said previously we finished up in The Betsey Trotwood where we got a table near a stairway that led to an upstairs function room.  Which on Saturday night was hosting a hen night with lots of women wearing sparkly outfits.  Very distracting.

The music included a number of tunes from Toots and the Maytals.

download (1)

And I slow danced my way out.

All in all a lovely few hours and hopefully not too long till next time.  When outside The Doggett we were approached by a rough sleeper asking for spare change.  We all obliged. One day that could be us.  It’s the right thing to do.  And that instant response from all of us is a display of the best of the human spirit.  And though we didn’t talk politics much, what I heard made me feel something is stirring.  People are coming out for Labour who I’ve never been certain have done so before, or at least not without the same level of enthusiasm and anger at the Tories.  And not just my friends.  Family members too.

Things I recommend; Ska.  I defy anyone not to shake their stuff to it.

Things I don’t recommend; bad timekeeping.













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