It’s hard to find a friend

I realize now that the blogs I wrote in NZ in pubs and cafes were really just ways to pass the time and look less lonely when there’s no one else there. Not that I mind being on my own, more that I mind people thinking ‘look at the sad old bugger on his own in the corner’.

I have a mate living in england who occasionally frequents Thom Yorke’s pub and on a random Thursday evening you might find I’m in there ensconced in a corner with a pint and an old paperback. Maybe he doesn’t suffer the same neuroses I do.

So I write this in a snug in a pub in town waiting for two mates to turn up. I have this terrible habit of actually being on time for things, which means i always seem to end up sitting about by myself waiting for other people writing blogs to pass the time.

When I arrive it’s kind of  a slow night, there’s just a few hardened drinkers arranged by the bar who give me a slightly cursory glance and return to Crystal Palace versus Leicester on the telly.

I retire to a snug and begin to fend off my boredom by looking up obscure medical conditions on the program on my phone – this has been a lifesaver to stave off boredom in various isolated situations.

I get bored with Waldenstrom’s macrglobulinaemia (which the first prime minister of Algeria died of incidentally… Don’t ask…) and start to write the blog. Leicester score. A woman walks briefly through and leaves even more quickly. It’s that type of pub. At one point  a non white person arrives and chats comfortably with a few of the locals. I pinch myself to check I’m still in Portadown. Maybe I paint this place worse than it is.

15 minutes later Des sits down beside me having been sitting in the snug beside me for the past 10 minutes but completely oblivious to my presence. He only found me when the bar man suggested that ‘was he meeting anyone’ and that he was probably in the snug beside him.

Shane arrives another 15 minutes later with some lame excuse about baby sitting his 6 year old nephew, or getting beat up by his 6 year old nephew. I’m not sure which.

We all worked (though I use that term in the loosest possible sense) in the hospital as cleaners when we were students. Spending our weekends cleaning toilets and handing out breakfasts to the patients (often in that order).

I loved it, but then I get excited about nearly everything so maybe I’m not the one to ask.

We managed about 4 years in total. It was better than real work – which by my definition involves some kind of manual labour, probably outdoors on rainy days only. So by that definition I’ve never had a real job. And also that the only people doing real work are the roads service – which is clearly nonsense. Though I suppose it does count with Shane who was briefly (though to be fair bout 4 years…) an archaeologist before taking up a job renting property (or selling guns or something…) in Bosnia. Some people eh?

Des makes TV programmes. Which is well cool. Though I’ve never actually seen any of them. Funny where we all end up.

pub-man.jpgThe bant was good, I didn’t even see who won the match. Shane goes back to Bosnia soon so we say our goodbyes till July when Shane gets back and we do this again. Except next time I’ll just remember to bring a paper instead of blogging to fill the time.


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January 2008
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