Monday 27 April 2020

When you go to the pub

I think they’re open
You go to the pub to meet people or get away from people, but when you cannot go to the pub you sit in the kitchen, or in the back garden or perhaps in the front room, where shelves and shelves of books might be your only company. But the ambience still works as you pour yourself a glass of something from Duration or Lost and Grounded or Thornbridge or whoever’s beer you have in front of you and the characters from the books emerge from their word-ridden hiding places and begin to chatter and charm and put a balm on the harm that being locked up in at home can inflict on your soul.

You go to the pub to try out beers from breweries whose ethos or output is appealing to you, whose judicious mix of hops and malt and well thought out regime of fermentation is a wonder and worth spending money on. But when you cannot go to the pub, you go online and find the beers that you like and love and spend some money and hopefully bring a smile to a brewer’s face. And as you sit there with a book and the characters spring out of the pages with the agility of acrobats you say to yourself softly, that this isn’t bad, but you still miss the pub.

You go to the pub as a home from home, somewhere soothing and comfortable and whether you’re on your own or with a band of like-minded souls, you are home. But when you cannot go to the pub and you’re stuck at home, you try your best to give your home a comfort zone similar to the pub, whether it’s getting stuck in on Zoom or crunching out the words on your laptop with those who want to talk or shout or rave or just pretend to clink glasses with the object of sociability in mind. Or maybe you just listen to the stories and tales and histories that emerge from the books and characters you are spending your time with.

But when you eventually return to the pub it’ll be good not to forget what it was like when you couldn’t go to the pub and maybe, just maybe, you’ll not take things for granted again and give thanks to those invisible folk who kept you company during these trying times. 

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