Tuesday, July 17, 2007

king's head revisited

The taxi from the airport dropped me off in the market place outside a familiar grand front door and almost immediately I recognised the old place. These were dark dark days that I had latterly endured. In moving to the north I had seen things that no southerner ever hoped to see. But standing here, under the hanging baskets, and looking at the prices on the menu, it was like being transported for a brief moment down south again. After all my travels of the last three weeks the place looked as if it hadn’t changed a bit. I went in to the bar. ‘What can I get you love?’ asked the lady who stood between me and the optics . It was as if I had never been away at all. ‘Gin and tonic, thanks’, I replied, with a nostalgic but slightly wistful remembrance of days long passed. I pulled up a stool. At the age of 39 the joints in my legs were now feeling stiff, and had been getting stiffer since I first turned 39 several years ago, as indeed had my gin and tonics. I looked around the bar. I had never been able to understand why I never saw any of the locals in here, but only well heeled tourists and retired civil servants from Guildford who came in after mass. ‘That’s £14.60’, said the lady behind the bar. No, I just couldn’t seem to fathom it out. I didn't mind though. ‘So you’ve just come back from holiday then love...’ she proffered. 'Only poor people go on holiday', I corrected her. 'I've been travelling. Am I really that tanned?’ I asked, admiring my complexion in the mirror behind the malt whiskys. ‘No, you just gave me a 100 euro note’, she pointed out. 'Sorry', I ventured, 'I've just got back from the airport, must be tiredness.' 'Oh, dear', she said, 'did you have trouble with the flights?'. 'Oh, very f****g funny', I snapped, and retired with my drink to the armchair around the corner which the hotel's teddy had been saving for me.

17 comments:

Omega Mum said...

Just as well V Woolf never did go up North. She'd have packed her frocks with so many rocks she'd have caused a major landslip.

mind the gap said...

there comes a time when the only stiff thing in your life is a regular gin. Sounds good to me.

The Secretary said...

In a hotel bar on your own Rilly - must have been on the pull darling.

Anonymous said...

Not quite up to the usual standard, Rilly - think you may be trying a bit too hard

@themill said...

Has M&M seen teddy?

lady macleod said...

another rough day. Poor dear, drink up and we shall see you on the 'morrow shall we? Don't forget the moisturizer before bed dear.

mutterings and meanderings said...

So that's where Aloysius has gone ...drowning his sorrows at being written out of the film ...

rilly super said...

omega mum, lovely that you came by again. you are right, sigh, and I know how she'd have felt. if there are degrees of wanting to drown yourself, living up north must be the top of the scale, sob

mind the gap, thanks for visiting from sunny Kiev and, yes, thank goodness for the humble juniper dear..

the secretary, I can assure you the only thing that has ever been pulled in bar when I've been around for as long as I can remember is the pints, sigh

anonymous, thanks for taking the time to comment. I don't know if you're a regular visitor but any helpful suggestions always gratefully received darling

&mill, I'm not sure if that concerns the blog or just whether you left something at M&M's house...

me lady, all of them are rough lately, sigh...

M&M, I know, the poor thing, in fact I don't even think poor Sebastian has much of a part in this new film; sounds rather like Brideshead's getting the 'Richard Curtis treatment' this time around, times we live in I suppose...

Drunk Mummy said...

Darling Rilly - the only thing I have pulled in a pub recently was a muscle, as I raced towards the bar before last orders - sigh!

rilly super said...

ah, a woman after my own heart drunkmummy...

Anonymous said...

I take it all back - the comments section is the best part !

ziggi said...

I was pulled outside our local the other day . . .
by the F*cking Camera Safety Unit - £60 fine and £60 for the 5 G&Ts to drown my sorrows and no doubt a £60 excess on the insurance - see it could be worse, you could be in Wiltshire the County without Humour where you have to be driving a tractor/tank or be damned.

(sorry, rant over)

rilly super said...

anonymous, so glad you came back dear. You are quite right, the comments have always been the best part of this blog. I'm am very lucky on that front.

ziggi, no apologies for rants required around here darling. Bloody unlucky by the sounds of it. At least NY has no fixed cameras and you'd be pushed to spot plod except perhaps occasionally on the A1. And people think 'Heartbeat' is fiction...

Sarnia said...

Just as well you don't smoke otherwise it would have been even more miserable for you.

G&Ts though - don't you just love them?

Yum yum!

lalala said...

you just can't get a decent g'n't in france. must be the water. welcome home

Flowerpot said...

Welcome home, rilly. All that reading's made me quite thirsty - g&t it is.

rilly super said...

sarnia, this smoking ban is a real problem for some people you know. Just the other day I came across Jacqui smith forced outside to smoke her joint, telling everyone between drags how bad it is for you...

lala, thanks for dropping by my dear, and of course the other difficulty in france is all intials are back to front, the UN is the NU and it took me a week over there to ask for a T&G, sigh

flowerpot, hmm, my thoughts entirely, I'm off for something long and stiff dear...