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I did my bit of culture yesterday by visiting the RAF Museum at Hendon. A must for a buff like me, though I have been before. Later I had intended that we follow a pub crawl around the St Paul's area and accordingly I met E in the Bell,down the side of Cannon St station. It is a spartan little boozer, still tricked out as a Courage pub and quite likeable. After work it was full, though I found a seat beside two businessmen and eavesdropped on a long tedious discussion about conservatories. Such is pub life. Harvey's Bitter was my choice, though frankly it did little for me. The choice (all brown) did less for E, who declined a drink.
So off we went to the Nicolsons run Old Watling. This is a good pub and offered two light beers, though the Roosters True Grit went off as I ordered it. Our second choice of Jaipur was, well, just like Jaipur is these days. Below ordinary, but fortunately a new Roosters came on and was decent enough. Next up was the Cockpit and another pub that I liked. Absolutely crowded, but we found a corner to stand in the bottom of the pub. Beside us, a young couple sat on bench seats, spread out so that a space that would have fitted four or five, was theirs alone. Her coat and handbag took up two spaces and he took up the rest. I sipped my Adnams and observed. She read the Evening Standard, he was texting like mad. They didn't speak and their glasses were empty. After a while the girl glanced up and looked at us. She asked if we'd like to squeeze in. He didn't make any move or even look at us, so we declined. About 20 minutes later they left.
Our next and final stop was Shaw's Bookshop. Our friends from the Cockpit were there at a table. Amazingly she said "Hello". I joked back that I hoped they were buying a drink this time. They grinned sheepishly.
A pub is a shared space. Knowing and observing pub etiquette is important to make the system work properly and for the benefit of all.
Thanks to Perryluke for the crawl. Two pubs I'll be back to are the Cockpit and the Old Watling.