I mean, this isn't fucking Los Angeles, so why the hell do people want everything to be so different? Why do things have to be written in neon, covered in cheap plastic, and written in ten different languages, so foreigners – God bless them – can understand what I sell, and what they can eat? The world's gone fucking mad, but if you want to survive, so you've got enough money to retire on, you've got to follow the crowd.
I'm too old for this new stuff, which is why I think the old days were the best. You know, people would come into the pub, buy a drink, smoke a cigarette, and have a chat. Perhaps they would then buy another drink, have another cigarette, and then be on their way. I sold beer or spirits, and wine by the glass was unheard of, because people in south-east London didn't drink wine back then. Food was a packet of peanuts or nothing at all, and certainly not salmon, new potatoes and a green salad. But it's all changed, and because I'm old and too slow to keep up with things, I really wish that I was no longer here.
Sid, the landlord of our local pub, having to deal with change. Extract taken from "The Londoners" - by Luke Ryman.