All Bar One Rox ur all etc

I was about to post this when Tom’s original Firkin comment appeared and then cz I’d got so bolshy defending Pret against the ruralpolitans sane universe I hung fire, at least to read properly where the argument went.

Anyway last Tuesday I had a busy businesslike day in town, half a dozen important meetings all lined up in a row requiring precision and discipline to blah blah – unfortunately the human element intervened (ie it wasn’t MY fault) and I ended up with hours to kill before meeting up with Dr Vick and no way to get in touch with her (I didn’t know how many – it turned out to be !!four!! as she was delayed also). So coffee shop or bar or pub or what? I did have am industrial-strength baggaboox, but they were all like actual hardcore research-style tomes. I hate newspapers, and anyway they don’t last that long. Whatever I chose I was going to have to nurse a drink or at most two for a LONG TIME. My eventual choice was an hour-and-a-half or so in the All Bar One on Cambridge Circus, then wandering around “sightseeing” a part of London I know really quite well thank you, then the rest of time in Amalfi in Old Compton Street. Where we often meet, and I assume they recognise me.

Well the Amalfi bit stretched out, and I really did feel they were beginning to look at me a bit askance (a coffee and a red wine taken VERY SLOWLY: I didn’t really want either). The All Bar One bit was way WAY more comfy for my specific needs: its corporate anonymity totally suited me there and then, and I could spread my books out and work with pen and paper and a pint on their big unwobbly tables, and everyone kept out of my way (it was semi-empty anyway) (haha it wz a bit like drinking in a library really).

Also the sun was particularly gorgeous and wintry going down over the pub on the corner where Romilly Street and Moor Street meet (it was the second venue for the second Trig Brother but I can never remember its name). So ABO’s big clear windows worked for it as well, and I spent a good deal of the time just looking out at the world going by – even though I guess the OTHER pub was the hero here, for its bizarre crenellations!

(OK they’re not crenellations but they are pretty and it is the SPICE OF LIFE hurrah)

(I think the top of the actual building I was in is where Smiley and Bill Hayden and Control and that all worked in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy viz “The Circus”))