Saturday, November 04, 2006
Bye Bye Tom
And so the exodus continues...
Mike, Martin, Tom, Tony, Chris, Lars (and me holding the camera)
Here we are after a now-traditional hit-and-run on the West Cornwall Pasty shop, The Cove, at Covent Garden. Ex (or soon-to-be-ex-) team members at these farewell events now outnumber those unwilling to move on. Martin, Tom, Tony and Chris are (or will be soon) city slickers wondering why the rest of us don't join them. It does make me wonder, truth be told.
The first pub of the night was the Punch and Judy on the Covent Garden market square. Despite it being early November, it wasn't too cold sitting at an outside table (unless you were a wimp...) but we did decide to move on after a couple of pints to warmer climes.
Next stop was the Porterhouse which is a fantastic place. Basement has a small band playing behind-and-above the bar; ground and first floor have loads of space for socialising and drinking. The place was pretty packed - good sign that it's a decent place - and the bars had a range of their own brews (I went for strawberry beer - lovely!). Will definitely put this pub on my places-to-drink list.
A couple of drinks later, we decided to move on to another bar. I'm not sure why we did this as it could be assumed that every other pub on a Friday night would be just as busy but what do I know? After much random walking down roads we reached Leicester Square and off down a side street where the bouncers decided that groups of blokes were not on their list. I didn't think we looked that bad. So we piled into the nearby "Imperial" - very busy and we had to split into two groups - but decent enough (see below).
Sometime after 11, the light-weights decided to leave before the underground went to sleep - I wasn't too worried as the last train back to Reading was 2:36 so nothing to worry about. Not surprisingly, when the rest of us eventually left the pub - it WAS closing at the time - the tube was closed so I pulled out my trusty street map and started walking. The trip was a leisurely 3 miles, including a Subway break for supplies (why do their staff try and start a conversation with you? Is it part of their training?). On reflection (that is, using AutoRoute the next day), it could easily have been just 2.5 miles and not therefore necessitating me running the last few 100 yards to catch the 01:36 train with a minute to spare.
On the train back, my pleasant book-reading was interrupted by a couple of strangers putting the world to rights over large bottles of lager. I don't mind idiots so much but when supposedly bright people start spouting crap, it really gets on my nerves.
I must remember to keep some change in my pocket - there are times when having a few quid spare can come in handy. When catching a Reading night bus and all you have is a fiver, for example. I would say "Live and learn" but I know that I don't - two of the last few night bus rides have necessitated me going in the Coopers pub to buy a bottle so that I could break up a note and pay the driver. Hmmm, this is starting to cost me :-)
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