Saturday 16 October 2010

Mr P's First Official Smoky-Drinky Night

Although Puddlecote Towers has been the venue for a few impromptu gatherings in the past three years, post-event affairs mostly (weddings, birthday meals etc), no smoky-drinky night has ever been specifically organised ... till tonight.

The nuts, tortillas, dips etc are nearly ready for our six guests' arrival in around 30 minutes. It almost feels like I'm back in the pub business. Well, it was Mr Puddlecote Senior's business actually, from 1984 to 1992, but - although I left 'home' in '89 - we ran it together during all of that time (yes, I 'shockingly' started bar work before my 18th birthday).

Specifically, it's like being in the trade on Christmas Day but without the tinsel and crappy sweaters. That was when the pub was still licensed to operate even though officially closed, but in the evening we opened the side door and let the regulars, and their families, in for what was always a genuinely warm and pleasant night of friendship and conversation. A small portable was balanced on top of the fruitie so no-one missed 'Fools and Horses' and the till was opened for everyone to serve themselves. Christmas Day wasn't a day for work, just for enjoyment.

I'm hoping it's going to have that feel tonight. Relaxation away from the righteous, the nannies, the rules, licensing hours, the crush vast expanse at the bar, those who irritate and, of course, no-one having to move from their chair whatever it is that they are consuming.

What's more, all the cigs and tobacco derives from outside of this country, along with a fair chunk of the beer and all of the wine and spirits. Our government is getting almost nothing out us tonight.

I don't have a clue what we shall be talking about for most of the night - as was always the way in the pre-nanny state pub full of regulars - but I do know that we will be drawing up a rota at some point. There's no agenda, but even before a glass has been poured, we kinda know we're going to be doing this again. Regularly.

Right, gotta go and prepare the hummus now (remove packaging and peel back foil lid), don't expect anything to appear here till well after lunch tomorrow.


Pat Nurse MA said...

Where's my invite :(

Twisted Root said...

I was with you right up until you mentioned hummus. Or was that a humm'oro'us allusion?
Serving customers under eighteem? You were lucky, was serving them at fourteen and winning obscene amounts of cash off them at three card brag at four in the morning :).

Smoking Hot said...

We keep growing :)

PT Barnum said... have chiiiiilllldreeeen!! You will murder them in their beds with your 456th hand smoke! Your name has been taken for when The Day comes that the camps open.

(Stops channelling Ugly Debbie. Hope it was fun.)

Curmudgeon said...

If I wasn't 200 miles away I'd be straight round :-)

Anonymous said...

I hope it went better than my near freezing fag outside a pub last night. Its reached that time of year when the pubs can piss off.

Jack Savage said...

I have been mulling over opening a "shebeen" (as we used to call them in Manchester so many years ago.) The trouble is, that, unlike the pub, you cannot just leave when you get bored, insulted, utterly leathered etc and the process becomes a chore which is not where I want to be at all.
I just want my pub back. Oh, it would be good if it were affordable, too!

Dick Puddlecote said...

Twisted root: I preferred 7 or 9 card with the backhand to spoil until you're sure of taking the pot. ;)

PT Barnum: Ugly Debbie can go suck my hairy 'nads (well, actually, no she can't - just a coloquialism). {shudders at the thought}

Anon: Yes, October does seem to be the cut off for pubs post-2007. Interesting that Labour's opinion poll ratings started plummeting in October of that year, isn't it?

Paul said...

So was it any cop then? Do tell all. ;-)

And no pork scratchings?! :-O

Dick Puddlecote said...

Paul: It was quality. Broke up naturally around 3am at which point we heard thumping rap shit from a house party down the road. Our chat and laughter had drowned it out prior to that. :)

Pork scratchings ... good idea, a must for next time.