“Will they last, do you think?” “No chance”.
Sorry, chaps, they did, this long anyway. And unless they fall out over who has first call on the Zimmer frame, gets to eat all the soft centre chocolates in the box, or has control of the TV remote, (what is it with men and the remote?), they’ll probably last for the duration.
But back to the pub.
25 years ago the Charing Cross Road in London was still full of bookshops, red double deckers, black cabs; pavements covered in litter, sleazy bars and old-fashioned pubs and the occasional ‘working girl’ straying from nearby Soho.
Theatres and the Astoria Cinema fetched in the suburban crowds in the evening, while tramps and young, homeless boys and girls murmured their monotonous chant “got any spare change” at them.
Centre Point stood tall and empty and opposite Centre Point was The Royal Sovereign, not exactly spit and sawdust, but dark and shabby, full of wooden, ‘mahagony type’ pub furniture, settles and benches, with small brass tables, where tiny beer puddles gathered in the dimples of the beaten tops.
The nearest Underground station was just around the corner, which made the pub a handy pit stop for a quick drink and unwind before going home after work.
Artists came here, media people (who were not called media people in those days), booksellers and assorted office workers. People just setting out for a night’s work came here too, like musicians playing in West End shows and The Royal Opera in Covent Garden.
A particular chap caught my eye on several occasions; we got talking over a pint, decided to go for a pancake in nearby Holborn, which was close to this chaps’ place of work and another tube station for me on my way home.
Reader, I married him.
Twenty five years later I thank my lucky stars for women’s lib, without which I would not have had the nerve to walk into a pub after work, talk to a strange man, go for a pancake with him, without ‘having been introduced properly’.
All you young women and girls of today, who take such freedoms for granted and make fun of the old-style feminists, think again. You owe them quite a debt of gratitude.