When I first arrived in London about seven years ago, it took me a while to stumble into the usual gathering of friends and a local pub of choice. It eventually settled into the Divebar in Chinatown, just off Leicester Square with some good friends of varied nationalities. There was one gloriously drunken night where four of us drunken loons were convinced there’d be songs sung of that night. And that was at 9pm.
Of course, all good things must come to an end, we found other pubs, other obsessions and eventually (some of us) other jobs in other cities. But the Divebar, and my old London friends there, always had a nostalgic place in my heart.
So the news that the Divebar was closing for good was a bit of a shock, intermixed with a slight guilt for not having been there for eons. Not even going to Terry’s (one of the friendliest bar managers I know) memorial service.
So we all assembled for one more heroic night of rememberance and drinking. Except of course, none of us are 23 any more. Back then, the talk was of music, London, life, dating/sex (or the lack of it), films, and drinking/clubbing anecdotes. We could drink all night, and still easily make it to work the next morning.
Fast forward 7 years and most of us have moved on. Some got married, some moved away. As Svelteness put it: “We all own houses now”. Which is rather scary. And most of us were acutely aware of having to catch the last train home or to not get too drunk lest we lose our jobs. Of course I managed to miss the last train home, so in that respect, I’ve stayed as consistently shambolic and disorganised as ever. 😉
In many ways, it’s a final farewell to London. There’s not that much tying me to London these days which is a great shame, and I’m no longer involved in the minutae of my London friends’ lives. But you can’t live forever in the past and hope for the future.