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Archive for February, 2011

Think Again, Graham P.

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Dear Rachel,

I didn’t think people actually wrote unsolicited reviews of pubs and such outside of adverts for smart phones, but I recently happened across Graham P’s account of our very own Duke of Wellington, Toynbee Street, London E1 on www.welovelocal.com.  The Duke of Wellington, he states, is ‘an ugly little pub with a rather unpleasent clientele‘.  He also mentions that it reeks ‘…like an old man who’s been left in a skip full of cabbage leaves for forty years’ and that ‘although the bar staff are charming enough to look at, they aren’t what you might call super competent’.

Leaving aside the ‘old man in cabbage leaves’ jibe – which, apart from being simply untrue, I should imagine is only included to justify half an hour of workstation metaphor tinkering by Graham P himself – the pub is not ugly.  It’s a bit careworn, certainly, and everything appears to be covered in dust even though it isn’t, but it’s not ugly as such.   It’s a boozer, is what it is.   It has no olives on the bar, or pub quizzes on a Wednesday, which is doubtless what Graham P looks for in a drinking establishment.   It also had, for some years, an abandoned wardrobe in the beer garden (it had been slung over the fence for reasons unknown) and there are no tiles whatsoever in the gents’ after they were memorably stolen by enterprising tile thieves posing as plumbers.   It’s ridiculous, certainly, but not ugly.

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Cultural Quest In SE10

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Dear Rachel,

A feature of quiet trading days at Greenwich are Keith’s jaunts around the Hood in his self proclaimed role as cultural envoy.  In a recent outbreak, he wandered up to my stall, adopted the manner of someone who says things like ‘And I believe the murderer is in this very room’ during their usual working day, offered the first half of the phrase ‘The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about’, and waited to see if I could complete it.

While I am more of an Orwell, Green, and Sillitoe man – I read everything they ever published when I was on the dole – I am familiar enough with Oscar Wilde to be able to complete the task, and thereby pass whatever Gollum like purpose Keith felt he was serving. Seemingly spurred on by this, he called Danny – who earlier that day claimed that Oscar Wilde had written War of the Worlds – over.   ‘Danny’ he said, ‘What’s the only thing worse than being talked about?’  ‘I dunno’ replied Danny, casting his eyes skywards in contemplation for a second or two, ‘Being spunked on?’

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