Mr B and I have never patronised a "local."
I'm not sure why - but when the life of all the residents in Albert Square revolves
around the Queen Vic, there must be some attraction. Mustn't there? When we were young marrieds with children, the chances of an evening sans kids at the pub (or anywhere else for that matter) were approximately nil. In those far off days, I kid you not, the
concept of Date Nights for married couples had not been invented. The best chance of an evening out was once a year on our wedding anniversary when it might just be possible to twist some poor unsuspecting person's arm to baby-sit by avowing that (i) all four
little cherubs would be asleep in their beds when we left (they wouldn't); (ii) none of the aforesaid cherubs would wake over the course of the evening (one of them would for sure); and (iii) should a cherub - or two - awake, they would be easily persuaded
back to bed (was I having a laugh?!)
We did have a couple baby-sitting for us on one such special occasion who had no children of their own. What we didn't quite
realise was just how much they were longing for the patter of tiny feet of their own. On our return (quaking with guilt to think what might have happened in our absence) it was to find the Middle of the Darling Daughters holding court before our baby-sitters.
"She woke up almost as soon as you went out of the door," our sweet baby-sitter told us, adding - just as we were opening our mouths to apologise - "It's been SUCH a lovely evening!"
So, no, we never developed a habit of evenings out at the pub - yet suddenly, at our Great Age, I think we may just have adopted a "local."
Most people, I suspect, choose their local on the basis of the beer, the entertainment or the ambience. Mr B and I have chosen the Golden Lion mostly on the basis of its accessibility. We can scoot there from home in less than ten minutes - or rather
Mr B scoots, I trot along huffing and puffing, trying to catch up. There's always a helping hand from the fellas leaning against the bar as soon as they spot us trying to negotiate the ramp and doors. The friendly staff always look pleased to see us. Plus
the space between tables is sufficient to accommodate the mobility scooter as Mr B manoeuvres into position at our favourite table, number 10. Ah, yes, we even have a favourite table - this must mean that this particular hostelry had earned its place in our
affections as our "local."
We were there again yesterday enjoying an All Day Breakfast. "What is THAT?" young Morgan wanted to know when we were talking on the
telephone later. It was delicious, I told him. We didn't stop for coffee because at home we had another challenge waiting for us - our brand new Super Duper coffee machine.
The Youngest of the Darling Daughters organised its delivery from the Amazon Jungle for us. She would telephone us to talk through its operation, she promised, once she had been given a quick lesson by her fella, the main user of the
self-same machine in their house. She didn't use the machine herself, preferring Coffee of the Instant Variety, but she was sure it would be Easy Peasy.
wondering, I know, why we didn't just read the instructions. There was, indeed, a small booklet tucked inside the packaging but it was one of those picture books containing infinitely small diagrams on every page in place of helpful, easily understandable
words. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters, even offering advice at second hand, would surely be more useful. Which, indeed it was.
Except that today when I
swanned off to choir, leaving Mr B in charge of the coffee machine, everything we had been told went for nothing. "How was the coffee machine?" I trilled as I opened the front door, stepping over all the junk mail on our doormat. "It's not working!" Mr B responded,
Which wasn't exactly true. Mr B had forgotten one small detail which, as is so often the way with small details, made all the difference.
Don't worry I have put him right. In the nicest possible way...