Not only is there the evidence of increased hangover potential, decrepitude of the drinking arm and ever-advancing gut to consider, but I have started getting angry at VOLUME in pubs. Back in the day I would bullishly head for the seats directly under the jukebox speaker the better to hear my drunken choices eg “What Do I Do Now?” by Sleeper. (For instance this was my policy in The Nelson in Wood Green, now a – heaven protect me – Rattle And Hum pub). But recently myself and my Carsmile Steve found ourselves rendered grumbly due to the playing of ‘pre-club’ music for the assorted SLAPPERS (of both genders mark – this is not a sexualist weblog) at weapons-grade volume. Yes yes the music was fabulous – “You keep on giving me the HOLD UP” etc. but my dears it limits the conversation.

Even worse in the Firkin in Epsom yesterday we parked ourselves in a table away from the foorball (a gripping confrontation, poor old Australia) and below a speaker. The Manics were playing, oh dear, but then the speaker switched to the satellite channel so though we could not see the football we could hear the commentators like invisible (and very very loud) drinking companions. We retreated to ‘the snug’ to complain about the youth, sub-section Bar Staff. They have, I fear, no respect.