Lockdown inevitably means changes in habits and routines. I know some people are drinking more, some not at all. I guess it’s all just a bit different. Pubs closed. Trying times. Everything essentially a bit…odd.Read the rest of this entry »
Seymour Haden sits on the balcony of the Yacht Tavern, Erith. Seymour Haden, the famous etcher and surgeon. Two very different jobs, on the surface, and yet, on reflection, there are some similarities. The scalpel and the graver look interchangeable to the layman. Both occupations require precision, decisiveness, delicacy.
As I worked on my review of Dušan Šarotar’s Panorama, I gathered quotations and I gathered reflections, and did my best to marry the two, one supporting the other. It took me back to my school days, my university days too, the point where writing feels more like brickwork than creativity, but generally an exercise where with a bit of thought and sweat you can produce something reasonably sturdy. Read the rest of this entry »
The twentieth century pub is not just a public house, it is a public home. A home from home. An ideal home. A broken home. It is everything you could want from a home – a refuge, a retreat, a place to entertain, a place to be alone. A place that disappoints, that you grow out of, that you leave. It is somewhere you want to improve, somewhere you never want to change. It is an extension of our identity. A window into our likes, loves, weaknesses and strengths. It is who we are, for better, for worse, richer, poorer. A home.
This is a response to Boak and Bailey’s challenge/competition to write 100 words or so on the 20th century pub, which is also the subject of their latest book.
I sometimes wonder if the archetypal English country pub really exists. There are the country pubs turned gastropubs, country pubs turned children’s play centres with a pub attached, country pubs turned inwards for a select clientele and nobody else, country pubs turned into something else entirely.