Thursday 23 June 2022

Afternoon drinking

I've noticed changes in my pub-going habits over the years. It's not just the frequency of visits. It's also their timing.

I rarely go for evening sessions any more. Only when on holiday, really. Because I far prefer afternoons. For a variety of reasons. Pubs are less crowded, transport is easier and can gave a few hours relaxing at home before heading off to bed.

It all really started when I moved to Amsterdam. Me and my mates got into a weekend groove. Every Saturday and Sunday we'd hit Rick's Café in the centre of town for their happy hour. Which was 16:00 to 18:00. Half price De Koninck and a few games of pool. Even with a couple of beers in Café Belgique afterwards would still see me home by 20:00.

When the kids came along, I'd give Dolores a little relief by dragging them down the pub in the afternoon. How many happy hours I've spent chasing Andrew down Nieuwe Dijk after he'd made a dash for freedom from Café Belgique. Now I have to drag him out of the pub. "Can I have another beer, dad?" is his catchphrase.

During one of my periods of unemployment, I filled the days working on my European Pub Guide. Part of the project was documenting areas outside the city centre. Which entailed afternoon expeditions with anti-American Mike. Usually kicking off between 13:00 and 16:00, depending on when the pubs opened.

When I'm in the UK, one of my great pleasures is to sit in a pub in the early afternoon, sipping a pint while reading a newspaper. Wrapped in my own little cocoon of silence. The emptier the pub, the better. I'm happy if it's just me and the bar staff. I hate crowds of people. Often, I just hate people. They can be so annoying.

I'm down to one weekly pub excursion: Saturday afternoon in Butcher's Tears. And I'm always back in time for my tea.


Anonymous said...

Nearly all (maybe all) of the links of your books are broken. I just get a 404 not found error

Anonymous said...

How did you keep the kids occupied in the pub?

Ron Pattinson said...

Anonymous 1,

thanks for pointing that out, I've fixed the links.

Ron Pattinson said...

Anonymous 2,

with the nut machine. And a toy bus. I wouldn't let them take out the trams I made for them.

Anonymous said...

I had to look up what a nut machine was. Another example of how much the US and UK have diverged since 1776.

Some beer joints in the US are good about welcoming parents with kids by dumping a bunch of cheap toys and books in a box in the hopes that parents will stick around for a couple more rounds.

I understand that not everyone in the clientele is happy about the runts, but it seems like the cost/benefit ratio is in favor of letting them stumble around, at least until 6 o'clock or so.