I’ve had the best of times and the worst of times playing pub loner. Well no, not actually the best of times, sitting by yourself in a pub is still sitting by yourself in a pub. Nobody will disturb you if you are reading comics, is the main thing I’ve found.

What I tend to do nowadays if I’m on my tod in a pub is read the paper – guaranteed nondisturbance if it’s a broadsheet because you can hide behind it – or write. But as Emma implies, it’s only acceptable to do either of these if you’re in a pub with some very small tables: if so you can take one in the knowledge that it would otherwise be occupied by a couple, and present company excepted couples are bad for pubs because they tend to either coo or argue.

Every time I try to write something in the pub though I am uncontrollably reminded of how forgotten useless poet Murray Lachlan Young once rolled up in the Uxbridge and proceeded to write his doggerel at a table, barefoot. Bad enough when the Office Hippy insists on going barefoot at work, but in a pub? Madness, madness and thrice madness. What a twat.