Pub connoisseur John Porter recounts a night in his local pub, ‘Little Windsor’ in Sutton, Surrey…
I took a mate out for a couple of pints the other day to mark the occasion of his birthday. I avoid the word ‘celebrate’ only because it was a significant birthday and he wasn’t exactly jumping for joy at the move into a new decade.
We picked a local pub to meet in rather that one in the town centre, mainly because it was end-of-exams week for school and colleges, and the high street was awash with excited young people flushed with the joys of life and anticipation of the future. They’ll learn, but it’s not the sort of thing you want when contemplating your mortality.
I won’t claim to be a regular in this particular pub. I was definitely in there the day the Task Force sailed for the Falklands, because I can still remember a bloke claiming to have a naval background explaining how the conflict would play out, using beermats and the salt and pepper shakers as visual aids.
I may have only been in a few time since, but the pub is close enough to home that I was recognised by a few customers at the bar, who were interested enough to seek my views on Martin Jol’s prospects as Fulham manager, and the chances of Britain ever producing a Wimbledon champion.
I’m pretty sure that neither I, my friend, nor anyone else on the pub said anything incisive or original enough on either topic to be worth recording here. The point was, we had an interesting chat and my friend was able to put his woes aside long enough to get stuck into the debate.
Funnily enough, as we sat outside finishing our second pint, my son wandered past on his way to meet a few friends of his own in the aforementioned high street. He stopped to exchange a few words, but I formed the distinct impression he was keen to move on. While he didn’t get home until some hours after me, I’m willing to bet the conversation at his pub wasn’t nearly as good as it was at mine.