I like a local pub. The sort of place where everybody knows everybody and therefore, there are very few problems. And the arguments that do exist go back three or four generations, and nobody remembers quite what started it. That’s my sort of place. Somewhere with comfortable chairs and a smidge of intrigue.
My local is my Royal British Legion Club, as previously mentioned, repeatedly, and for a couple of years now. It’s a thing. I love my Legion.
But it’s the localness of the place that makes it so cosy. I can think of nowhere else that my Jack Russell could help himself to my pint, while I was chatting to my brother, Ben, and no one would bat an eyelid.
And there are people at the Legion who’ve been there since the sixties. They’ve changed position, here and there. They haven’t just sat in the same corner, acquiring cobwebs and allowing the foam on their pints to go full-on millpond, in the years in between.
Because they’ve been there for so long, many of the locals have something approaching patois. It’s their own language, composed mostly of half-remembered jokes, which improve with every telling, and the theme tune to The Godfather.
I remember thinking, when Aimée first took me to her ringcraft class, how I was looking into a little world I would never have cause to know about otherwise. In the ringcraft classes, people bring their dogs and practise walking in a triangle, walking up and down, and having the dog stand perfectly still during an examination of their teeth, ears, general shape, on the table. Ringcraft is its own little universe, and it doesn’t take long to get pulled into it.
It’s very like a local pub. As viewed from the outside, it’s filled with connections that don’t need to be explained. It’s comfortable, but somehow, a little distant until you’re part of it. But that’s the joy of a local boozer. You only have to go in twice to be absorbed into the family.
I’m from the eighties, and might have romanticised the whole experience of a drinking establishment because of over-exposure to ‘Cheers’.
But, as much as there have been times when people have struggled to spell it, at my local, everybody knows my name.
And there you have it – Day 70 of #365HappyDays – a Local Pub.