Sunday, 17 January 2010

Friday Evening

The windows are steamed up
and when the front door opens
the sound of laughter spills out.

"It's been such a loooong week;
I'm so glad that it is Friday."

It is the end of the first week of term
and the pub is full to bursting.

"Can you get me a pint of the Cornish,
a pint of orange juice and lemonade,
a glass of red wine
and whatever that man in the black coat
on the other side of the bar wants."

Every seat is taken,
latecomers must perch on the end of benches
or lean against the wall, clasping their drinks.

"Have you packed for the Spain field trip?"
"Are you kidding?
I'm a bloke - I'll leave it to the last minute."

We are squeezed around a corner table,
academics and postgraduate students,
celebrating the submission of a thesis.

"We are going away for the weekend
but I don't know's a surprise...
he says we need a tent but I hope he's joking."

The academic who has just turned 40
looks pleased with himself,
organising excellent nights out is his speciality.

"Of course I have more hair than him.
He has a wig.
You watch carefully...
if he turns his head sideways
the hair stays still."

And then it is time to wrap up,
walk out into the cold night
and start the weekend.

On the way home I remember
that I was worried about making friends
before I moved to this Department.

And it seems a long time ago.


  1. You can't go wrong with a Geography department (if I didn't tell you that then, I should have).

    And while the cat's away, it would be rude not to join in really.

  2. Isn't it lovely to fall into step and suddenly realize that you are one of the gang?

    (They let one of my favorite assistants go, on Friday, and though it was what she wanted - a push to make her re-think where she wants to be - she was in tears and came to me first for a shoulder.)

    There's nothing like a drink with the co-workers!

  3. It does seem a long time ago! I had practically forgotten that you were once in another department!!

    That pub looks so cozy. Wish we had proper pubs here, and not just smelly bars...

  4. Who was the man in the black coat on the other side of the bar? Someone partcularly famous? Or just handsome? Is Mr. M still away?....

  5. Sounds perfect. I'm glad you have settled in so well.

  6. It sounds like a fitting end to the week!

  7. I remember drinks after was its a dsh down the ring road to meet poll's for a coffee and cake...just as lovely but less stimulating conversation....

  8. I am deeply envious! No one organized a party to celebrate the submission of my thesis - I feel totally deprived! I think the man in the black coat was Captain Wentworth.

    Pomona x

  9. Alice, having never met you, I know I am missing out on being friends with you, it is no wonder to me the depths of your friendships. And now, I must go fix myself some scrambled eggs.

  10. Remind yourself, whenever you miss your children, that in our house an after-work drink requires military-style organisation.

  11. That pub should be re named. Happy Man and woman..or happy people.

  12. I wouldn't think you'd ever need to worry about making friends :) K x

  13. What a lovely post Alice, you perfectly conjure up that after-work pub buzz.

  14. Oh, how homesick this makes me feel: over here in the US we have a paranoia about alcohol and students and pubs.... So glad that the department is working out so well for you!



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