Quite distracted by an interesting coal-hole cover that I'd not seen before (what's a coal-hole cover?? See here) I hadn't realised I was outside a pub. I thought for some reason it was a corner shop. As it happens the corner shop is next door, and isn't on a corner. But the pub is, and now we're here let's go inside.
Uh-ho... just two old men watching football. I bet they're rude. A proper old-style landlord. I bet he's grumpy. He comes over... sees me looking at the handpumps... neither are on. I don't like to ask him - I don't want him to think I'm one of those Camra types. Half a John Smith' Smooooooth, £1.65 - and in a fancy glass too. The landlord is very apologetic about having to leave it to settle.
I settle down to watch the football - Oldham are beating Liverpool in the cup. Splendid. Seems to be pleasing the other fellows as well. Banter and chit-chat breaks out. Turns out they're really quite pleasant after all. Me and my stupid foundless preconceptions! The landlord is really quite jolly, joking about "Who's phone is that??" when clearly it's his out-the-back. "Oh it's mine! hehe" as he goes through the chain-mail curtain.
The pub is perfectly nice. And has carpet - I like a pub with carpet. Repro front pages adorn the walls, recalling a Royal marriage here, and a Royal death there. The Titanic. Scott. John Lennon dead. That kinda thing. Oldham score. We're all happy. More football chit-chat goes on. My tuppence worth is welcomed and considered, none of this "Oi new boy - whose converstion do you think you're joining in with here!?" type stuff here. The sign of a proper boozer.
I can't help wondering what "DR55" is on the khazi door though. I should've asked, I'm sure the affable landlord has an amusing story about it. I'll ask next time I'm back, and I'm sure I will - after all Joanna Lumlet can't be wrong can she?! I'm sure she be straight back too when the ales are back on.