It had been such a trivial point to have been reprimanded for. Yes – reprimanded! Corrected like a small child, who had made a foolish mistake, Emily had jokingly told me that I should have known where the red wine is stocked. It is, she added in a motherly voice, stored in the small room behind the bar, because outside it is too cold, and the pub’s customers, of who more and more were drinking red wine by the glass, wouldn’t be impressed to find their Bordeaux cold, instead of being at room temperature.
I apologised for my error, but when a coach loaded with tourists descended on the pub - all wanting red wine by the bucketful – I thought that a shower of old fools from London wouldn’t mind if their red wine was chilled. But how wrong I was, and as the exaggerated cries of horror could have been heard in a Parisian brasserie, Emily’s father reminded me that every customer is a potential critic, and that all critics are spiteful and malicious bastards. And he was right.
One of the old bastards had taken it upon himself to query our entry in the Good Pub Guide, saying that whilst the welcome he had received at the pub was warm, sadly the red wine he had been served was cold. And then there was the trace of lipstick on one of the glasses…
Cold Bordeaux and a dirty glass. A two-star review. An acidic comment. And now, after having such great things said about the pub, perhaps, said one critic, we should stick to lager and peanuts, because isn’t that what all seaside pubs are about?
Lager and peanuts! Well, I had survived on a diet of lager and peanuts during the previous four years, before I was forced to leave London, after Tony had decided to teach my ex-lover a lesson. I had guzzled lager by the bucketful and had dined on hundreds of packets of peanuts during those four wonderful years, and when I had been at my lowest ebb, and demoralised by all that was going on in my life, lager and peanuts, in the safe haven of the pub at the end of our road, had kept me going.
Dave Cooper reflecting on the day his life with Emily fell apart.
Extract taken from "The Londoners 3 - No Turning Back"
All three books in "The Londoners" trilogy are now out as one, in "The Londoners - Four Years In London"
All titles available for Kindle via Amazon.