It is a truth universally acknowledged that any man of drinking age who has
recently moved to London will be looking for a local pub.
In this city “Local” isn’t very much a function of geography, as a pub that is
half an hour’s walk away is equal to a pub half an hour’s bus-ride away which is
nevertheless miles out. So far in my London Life the pubs counting as “The place
I usually go to” would be
which is just outside work and something of a Default Option at 18:00;
– Which is also in Kings Cross, sells beer by the pitcher with iced glasses and
has decent lager and good food;
– which sells variable beer, but is close to home and cheap; or
Hems – Very, Very nice beer, good food, but not cheap and something of an
arse to get to (or at least home from).
I went back to see my parents & brethen before one of them sods off to
Thailand for a while, and their new copy of the Good Beer Guide had arrived, so
I looked though it for places near me, registered one as being potentially
interesting, and promptly forgot about it.
I’m vaguely looking for a new flat, and looking at different areas. In one of
the flats I was looking at, I put the postcode into a search for pubs to see
what was nearby. One of them looked interesting, and rang a bell, but I didn’t
end up visiting the flat (The agent never rang me back) so I forgot about it.
A little while later, a somewhat long-lost friend of mine posted to his
Livejournal about how he was in this particular pub, not far from where I was,
and would anyone on his friends list like to join him? I had almost completed
Peggle, and I did that instead. This was a mistake.
Yesterday. Mr Cooke – who I work with, lived with in Cambridge, was best man
for, and am friends with – mentioned a pub in Hackney that he and his wife were
going to most weekends, it had lots of decent beer and games and even did games
evening. Also, it had free wifi. I should, he said, go with them one Sunday.
Slightly later yesterday, Long Lost Friend – who is also connected via people I
now know though the Maelstrom LARP community, he’s that kind of Nexus – posted
in his LJ that he now had a job at a pub in Hackney, working Sundays and…
…So I brought this up on the LARP channel, because nexi of coincidences like
this really, really start to scare me…
…and it turns out that this used to be a favourite pub of several people on
channel, when they used to live in London.
The same pub. Which was named after the village my grandparents live in.
Where the hospital in which I was born resides.
There is a moment, to paraphrase someone, in RPG games where the unnamed masses
stop responding to you with
Times are Tough“, or “Mustn’t Grumble”, or “I wonder if the crops are
okay?”, and instead will mention uncles on a continent you’ve not seen before,
or how they’re saving to sail there, or how they hope their brother (who sailed
to this continent) is okay. You look at your world map, and you discover there
is now a third continent where once there were potential dragons. At this point
you know, without yet being told, that the next place you’ll be going involves a
long boat ride.
I need a bigger universe.