I’M IN A PUB

Robert Duncan tries that writers challenge of talking about anything (or nothing) at all…

Buzz off - you're underdressedHaving spent the morning with a favourite client I needed time to sit somewhere and make notes about the resulting subjects. That done, and still a half glass of wine to go, I accepted the challenge and am about to write about what I see around me, the atmosphere, and maybe what individual things remind me of.

I have always loved hand lettering, and consider myself quite good at it. In fact I have over 3000 greeting cards to my name that feature that very thing. Not calligraphy exactly, more cartoony scribble. Over there, no there, is a sign announcing that Christmas bookings are now being taken (and there’s a cracker too.) all very nicely done, and looking just like some bloke had come along with a big floppy brush and a pot of white paint and just done it, in a sure and experienced hand. But I bet no such bloke was here at all. Probably low tack vinyls or something…

Anyway, old style pub feeling established we move on to barrels that stick out of the wall at the back of the bar, containing really cool wines. How do they do that? My suspicion is that inside these wood-type containers is some sort of fridge unit that dispenses preset doses of the boudoir of the grape (to quote Fawlty Towers.) I digress. Carpets that you wouldn’t find anywhere else in the world, chairs that are a trendy mixture of styles, beer pumps that look icy cold with condensation but probably aren’t, mono prints of the area in early tymes, rustic wooden tables, the inevitable combo of ketchup sachets and mayo, old brick-style fireplace and…several fruit machines. How quaint. The hostelry of old still exists…

The bar staff are really friendly though. I rebuked the barmaid for not following the instructions on her badge and checking if I was under age, and she roared with laughter coarsely, and slapped me on the arm. Maybe the medieval bar wench still exists…

In any case it’s time to go – I can’t make this small glass of wine last any longer. Eventually they’ll ask me if I want to order something to eat, and I’ll say ‘got any peanuts?’ And they’ll probably chuck me out, ignorant of the fact that I have written the warmest, most personal and glowing review of their establishment ever.

Put me down! I’m Robert Duncan I tell you! Cartoonist! Speed drawing artist! Book illustrator! There, that should secure me top billing in Google’s search engines…