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Blog: War Is Hell

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What an exciting weekend this weekend was for me, commencing on Friday with a night out in THE WEST END. I met The Drinks Behind My Bar in The John Snow, scene of many happy nights in the past, where we were reminded that Friday Night In Soho is not the EASIEST of areas to get served in, nor the most lacking in PILLOCKS.

After a discussion of Bar Etiquette (if someone has been outside for an hour having a cigarette, are their friends CORRECT to tell you you have to move so they can pull seats out and sit down? We decided NO, unless they asked Really Nicely, which they didn't) we moved round the corner to have a look at The Old Coffee House. This is where we're doing the WEST END FINALE of Dinosaur Planet and I was relieved to find it was LOVELY. As soon as we got in we bumped into somebody, who turned, apologised, and then joined us in a slightly tipsy discussion about... er... something DELIGHTFUL that i have forgotten. Suddenly we were forty feet and a WORLD away from where we'd come from, as everyone in the pub seemed to be HAPPY, also NOT ANNOYING. It was full but not horribly so, people were A BIT TIDDLY and ready for a chat but VITALLY not insistent on one. It was ACE, and the beer was dead nice too.

I also noticed that they had the same bar staff on as had been there just before Christmas when I'd been in to book the room. This sort of Staff Continuity is almost UNHEARD OF in Central London pubs, maybe that had something to do with it being NICE? It had also had VERY BAD REVIEWS on a couple of online PUB review sites - very similar, in fact, to The Jazz Pub in Mile ENd, which was ALSO pretty ACE. Maybe "rude bar staff" is Online Pub Review Site CODE for "really nice pub"?

Anyway, it was DEAD GOOD and filled me with CHEER ready for the show next month. We finished off by having our tea in TIBITS nearby, which is a VEGGIE Restaurant although you wouldn't know it unless you checked REALLY CAREFULLY, as it seems to want to keep the fact quiet. Sorry, Tibits, if so. It's LIKE a buffet restaurant, except you pay according to how much your food WEIGHS. It's GRATE, and was ALSO pleasantly full of people having a NICE TIME. I liked it!

Cor, this is like a Saturday Supplement or something isn't it? Pubs, Restaurants, surely now we need some GRITTY REPORTING to balance it all out? Here goes then, for LO! On Saturday i took part in WAR!

WAR! Or at least as close as it gets when you find yourself in COMBAT OVERALLS in a field in Essex, running around with a LAZER GUN constantly being GAME OVER-ED by a bunch of ten year olds. It was my nephew's 10th Birthday party (delayed from just before Christmas when it SNOWED LIKE HECK) and it was BRILLIANT. Who could have guessed that running around playing WAR for a couple of hours could be so much fun? Apart from, well, EVERYBODY?

There were a couple of other adults involved, and all of us started off being quite jokey about it, making REMARKS and being a bit larky. By the end of it, however, we were FULL-ON - at one point I found myself creeping up on the ENEMY BASE, taking cover behind an oil drum, on the verge of panic. "I'M PINNED DOWN!" i thought, with NO trace of irony whatsoever. My brother-in-law had to be PULLED AWAY from the ACTION later on, having installed himself in a SNIPING POSITION.

It was a whole lot of fun, and we had CAKE at the end too, also PIZZA! I reckon the United Nations could learn a thing from LAZER MAYHEM, CHIGWELL!

posted 17/1/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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