The rain was hammering down on Friday afternoon when I met my oldest friend, who I grew up in the pram with. Over from Australia I hadn’t seen him for five years!
As with all long-term friendships, it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you saw each other last, you immediately click especially when something funny is said.
That particular something was a text saying, “I’ve dived into a pub because of the rain – don’t laugh, it’s called The Cock”.
Laughing and getting strange looks as I walked down Great Portland Street, I arrived at the pub and flung myself into his arms in a slightly overexcited way. Trying to swing me round like he would his four year old daughter, he soon realised I was a lot heavier than her and promptly dropped me.
We stayed in the Victorian era pub catching up and filled our boots with chilli con carne and steak and kidney pie washed down with Sovereign Bitter from the Samuel Smith Brewery.
Aware time was getting on and this being his last day in the UK, we decided to go present shopping for his wife and children.
Making our way into Soho, I had my first experience of a vinyl shop since the day of the disk – Phonica Records. I felt completely out of my depth and wished I was one of the DJ set because it was so groovy. The atmosphere was laidback and the people in there weren’t “too cool for school”.
Purchasing a “House” t-shirt and congratulating ourselves with our first shopping efforts, we decided it was time for another refreshment break.
Wandering around aimlessly, we stopped for a pint of Camden Ale in the very trendy Adam and Eve pub, with superb artwork and photographs on its wall.
Goofing around taking selfies, we decided to get a wriggle on and tried to find a comic store.
Thanking Google for its map app, we found Gosh! on Berwick Street. What a brilliantly geeky place! (Yep, it was my first time in one of these shops too!)
Speaking to the passionately informative staff about which comics a 12 year old boy would like and what cannot be found in Australia, several were bought as well as a beautifully illustrated book of London for the four year old.
Making our way back to Fitzrovia and feeling like one of the “set” sitting outside Villandry, we finished off our afternoon with another ale and a whiskey.
Before we knew it we were rushing to the tube station and saying our goodbyes.
Slightly inebriated I managed to get home in time for the first match of the Rugby World Cup, England vs Fiji. We won – whoop, whoop!!