My local pub, the Marlborough House, has recently changed hands. Where it was once run by a local couple it's now in the hands of Pub Master appointed manager. I used to love walking the hundred yards from my front door to the pub. There was always a small collection of locals in varying stages of intoxication, one of whom I once saw directing traffic on the Abingdon Road at about 12.30am. It was very much a locals pub, and when you walked in the door for the first time a whole lotta faces turned to look. The pub was fortunate enough to have a cricket team. In my first match for them I knocked up 67 and in the second I managed 39 and that was enough to get me accepted as a local. The pub had a sufficient collection of memerobilia to be tasteful, and upstairs there were the mandatory pictures of dogs playing snooker and poker.
Last night Chris and I walked in. As I opened the front door the barman got a shock and was forced to take his feet of the table and his eyes away from the telly. There was no one else in the room and nor was there anything on the walls. Chris and I asked for a pint of 1664. It took the barman about ten minutes to pour the pint. We took a table in the corner, although we could have sat anywhere, except, of course, at the table with the telly on it. The beer was off. We chatted, we knocked the pints off and we left, resolving not to come back.
I need a new local.