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Monday, August 22, 2005
Not clinically, though. Perhaps I should seek a second opinion.
This night is endless and it’s not over yet! I’ve still got around 3 hours remaining before I can bust outta this joint. Then it’s yipppeee time!
Most of my colleagues are going drinking this morning. No, not in a park out of paper bags, but at a proper morning pub. Breakfast pubs are one of the best kept secrets in London.
As you may or may not know, the UK has a rather regulated system when it comes to drinking establishments. All this is set to change in November, but as it stands now, most bars and pubs have to close at 11pm, except on Sundays and public holidays, when they close at 10:30pm.
There are exceptions to this rule. Establishments that serve food or offer live entertainment can apply for special extensions to remain open later. Hotel bars can stay open all night as well, but only for guests.
The most unknown exception to the 11pm rule are market pubs, set up for people who work unsociable hours, like me. My favourite spot in London for this is Smithfield Market, which is a wholesale meat market on the fringe of the city. There are pubs that open around 5am there and continue until lunchtime. Yipppeee to that!
The pubs attract a mix of clientele, anything from blood-stained meat-cutters to postman who need a hand-steadier before braving their route. Nurses are another group that frequent these establishments as well as overnight media-scum like myself.
My absolute favourite pub at Smithfield Market opens at 7am and is slightly more upmarket. The drinkers in there tend to be city-businessmen-types, who need to sink a few rounds before hitting their offices.
Yes, I’m talking about the hardcore alcoholics here, but don’t they deserve the chance to enjoy a quiet bevvie at the time of their choosing? I’m not judgemental; we all have our own addictions. Me especially!
In November, all this is set to change as “24-hour, continental-style” drinking will become a possibility. All licensed establishments are now entitled to apply for any opening hours they choose and subject to local authority approval, might get it. The public has a say as well, so if you live near a pub, you and your neighbours can probably prevent it from opening too late if the correct pressure is applied.
This will be a good thing, as it should open up the possibility of having places to go after I finish work in the morning. I’m certain there will be places where this hippy can get a nice double-Bloody Mary before heading home after working all night! How about another yipppeee for that? Fuckers!
The reason I’m droning on and on with my special brand of drivel on this subject is that I’m not going along with my colleagues this morning. I would like to, but it’s just not practical. There’s loads of reasons, but mainly it is because I am so damn tired. Also, I’ve got my little Yaris with me and that means I’d be driving. There is no parking near the pub on a weekday, since it is so central AND I don’t drink and drive. How would I get the car home anyway?
What’s worse is I instigated this booze session. It was my suggestion and now I’m not going. I’m the worst friend you could ever have. Socially, I’m terribly undependable and unpredictable. I often don’t show up even when I promise I will.
Aren’t you glad we limit our relationship to the realm of the virtual? This hippy can’t disappoint you online because I’m always here!