Quiet restricted pub

Brighton is a windstorm. I came here on the train, partly because of the cat and partly to see Lou. She’s catsitting in her friend’s palatial apartment down the road, so I’m here too making sure Mao isn’t starved of company at hers. I just said goodbye to her and stumped into Kemptown under a huge umbrella. This feels like autumn but I’m gonna hold out hope that we have more summer to come. Lou has been dreaming into various festivals she wants to volunteer at or attend. I’m dreaming about getting the hell out of the familiar. Not that there’s anywhere we can really escape to. It’s not like this is just a crappy political situation or a war where one can just escape over the mountains into Switzerland with the singing children. Everybody in Europe has a vested interest in making things harder for the British than it already is with the pandemic and those shifting regulations and concerns. Plus everybody in Europe and everywhere is lesser or greater degrees of fucked. I really really want to escape, or to know that I have a possible escape coming. But the whole idea of freedom is covered in plastic. We are literally fantasising about escape from the planet, via this absurd suicidal space race between the three people who could achieve world peace with the money we’ve given them.

I stumped to the Thomas Kemp pub and I’m sitting here alone.

You order by app. There’s no contact anymore except when the drink gets dropped at the table. They have this limbo stuff, which I’m honestly not sure about. It doesn’t taste like any of the other non alcoholic beers. It’s kinda like actual beer watered down so much that you’d expect to receive it in a Reading nightclub as your “free drink in the ticket price” drink. It kinda makes me want to blow it out of my face in a thin fountain at the bar, only I can’t stand at the bar – I have to get it brought to the table. Plus, blowing it would be frowned on here in Covidworld. And yet… And yet I keep getting more of it. Maybe it’s not as bad as it is. Or maybe I’m a glutton for placebeers.

You walk in the door, sanitise and QR code. If you aren’t seen to be doing one or the other you’ll be asked to. Somebody just was. Then you sit and order through the internet, and your drinks come to the table. I’m just here to write my blog and I came here expecting peace and quiet. It’s a Monday night. I don’t think there’s even any football. Monday is the actor’s weekend, but there’s nothing happening in the Brighton theatres so it’s just a slow night in a slow time in a slow part of town. Despite the rain and wind I’m one of the only people in here and they just announced they’re closing early. Home.


I’m back at Lou’s. Still the wind, so strong off the sea. I can hear the waves slamming in. And just to my left now, purring like a drill, the small furry reason I’m here tonight. He’ll keep me company as I have my first sleep in an actual bed for a few nights. I can’t wait for a soft sleep.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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