There’s something about having worked in the public sector that has changed the way I see any other establishment when I go to one. Whenever Nanny Margaret and I go for a meal somewhere, we do it all the time. My Nan and Grandad used to run pubs. They first had The Queen Vic in Charlton on the lower road, which still stands. Barely. Then they fake retired before having another pub in Eynsford, The Five Bells. I’m so proud of what they’ve done and only wished I’d realised sooner that I wanted to become a publican as I could have taken over from them. I’ve popped into a bar along the beach front and as I notice things around, I’m not surprised it’s empty. Maybe it’s a quiet time. But for example, the water in the flowers need changing, it’s greeny-brown like a swamp. There’s a bunch of mint in a jar that looks like it died when the last year did. I’m missing pub trade now. Haha no I’m not. I’m drinking a cup of coffee whilst reading a book, sitting in a hammock, looking out at the sea.
Going back to the dog situation here as I read a book and drink some coffee which are two things that I don’t do anywhere else. I’ve changed. Am I growing up? I want a cuppa tea! Before I come home, I am making a little detour to Fort Lauderdale in Florida where I have some family. They run a British-American sports bar. I’ll get to drink tea, drink draught GUINNESS (OHMYGOD) and watch football!! Anyway, the dogs.. I’m sitting here reading my book and drinking coffee when I get a moment of realisation. I’ve never seen so many bees knees aka dogs bollocks. Yep. I said it. (Sorry Nan). A cheery little thought.
I know I said I’ll be away until June but I’ll be back a little sooner than that. Not because I’m not having a good time but because I have so many people that I love and miss. And yes, I know, they’ll all be there when I get back but I miss them. I have some work in May anyway so I need to be back by then but I don’t feel bad for admitting that I miss people. Maybe a younger me wouldn’t even dream of being so open. I don’t want to sound cliché and be like, ‘Oh my god man, I’ve learnt so much’, I haven’t. All I’ve learnt is that I appreciate people close to me. But I guess I already did. It’s great being away, just today I was lying on the beach! Besides, I want to see the world with Sal. And I will. I think all this as I eat some pizza and drink a glass of red. Pizza is my meal of choice the night before I have a long bus journey because I won’t eat it all at dinner and so I can have it for my bus journey. Yes Mum, I do refrigerate it overnight. No Mum, I don’t put it in the fridge when it’s still hot. I’m heading to Huaraz next. Looking forward to that.
One thing this trip has made me though is less frivolous. When Tash and I were living together and I’d come back with something from the shop, she would ask, “How much was that?” My reply, “I don’t know!” But as I drink my glass of £1.20 wine, which isn’t that bad, I wonder how I’m gonna get on with the higher prices back home. I won’t even be able to afford going to a Wetherspoons, which I dislike doing anyway. They’re just soulless places without music. And they have the money to have really beautiful buildings. There’s a lovely one near Denmark Hill. Beautiful gardens.
I’ve done something to my ankle. I don’t know what but I can’t move my foot inwards properly (and no it wasn’t a UDI – Unidentifiable Drunk Injury). It’s not a problem yet but something to keep an eye on I guess. Jeez when I get back. The things I need to do; See my family, neck a Guinness, get new specs and sort my ankle. In that order.