I arrived here on Sunday night, Andy picked me up from the station at Henley on Thames and helped me with my bag upstairs to my room. It’s a large room, warm and comfortable and with a lot of cupboard space for which I have no need. I have my own bathroom too, which has everything in it that a bathroom should have, for which I am pleased. My room overlooks the beer garden which I believe in the summer months gets packed. I worked my first shift on Monday with Claire behind the bar and I think it went pretty well.The bar is a 400 year old building in the small village of Hambleden, it’s pretty and it’s quaint and has been used in the filming of many movies because there are no street lights and once the cars have been removed, it could be a village any amount of hundreds of years ago! I think I shall like it here very much.
I’m going to skip backwards to the few days before I arrived here, starting with a poetry reading at Covent Garden. It was really cool with these drunk elderly ladies, one reading poems, one singing and dancing and waving her arms in the air, and the other playing her guitar and singing. Paul read some poems too and we drank coffee while another young bloke who couldn’t have been older than 20 read some poems about sleeping with a barmaid and his love for his friend after sleeping with that friends girlfriend. I thoroughly enjoyed the night and walked back to the buses in the snow and the rain.Holloway Road - LondonI worked a shift at the George in Holloway too. Marcus showed me how to use the till and pour pints of lager and Guinness. I had a great time chatting with the locals and pouring them their drinks all night. After cleaning the bar and packing up I got home at half past twelve and slept in exceedingly late the next morning. Saturday was Valentines day and we went to the Tate Britain to look at the William Blake room which was well worth the almost 2 hour long journey to get there due to engineering work on the underground. I felt sick and was whiney and moan-y and probably quite unpleasant to be with but Paul took it like a man and soldiered on (for which I was impressed). What I was also impressed with was the lovely dinner, wine and pudding that evening, none of which I was expecting at all! I even got a rose!
Sunday passed by in a blur of blankets, cups of tea and raspberry cheesecake…until I had to get myself together and get to Paddington Station, say goodbye and get on the train again. And that just brings me back to where I started…crowded train, phone calls, heavy bag, pints of Becks at the bar and meeting the locals…
I'm sitting in Starbucks in Henley-on-Thames, the Doors are playing, I have my latte with sugar free hazelnut syrup and all is well. I'm pretty happy right now.