Friday 16 March 2012

The hour

Boak and Bailey recently referred here to meeting up in the pub for a drink immediately after work. There’s a long tradition of having a couple of drinks in the time between finishing work and your tea/dinner/evening meal/supper. It was celebrated by Bernard DeVoto in his classic book The Hour from 1948, described as “a paean to the restorative powers of a quiet drink at the end of the working day”. And the after-work trade is something that, historically, many pubs have thrived on.

But it’s something I’ve never taken to. I’m not averse to a lunchtime drink, but in the evenings I’ve always much preferred to come home, eat my tea, and then go out later. On the times I’ve done it, generally some work-related occasion, I’ve always felt it threw me off my stride for the rest of the evening. And I get the impression that, outside city centres, it’s a pattern of drinking that is now fast withering on the vine.

I have known some people, though, for whom finishing work often tended to mean the start of a five and a half hour session through to closing time.


  1. Top marks Mudgie,an observation deserving of
    Loathesome are the sad prats ,humming with
    soiled Y Fronts and festering armpits not forgetting the forlorn femmes some with worn out
    sanitation,festering in early evening pseudo pubs. Strange Police statistics dont show much
    breathalyser activity between 5 pm and 10 pm.
    Obviously if we had the homelife of these mutations we all would seek out a teatime bevvy
    presuming we could find a tavern worthy of its
    Put simply,work hard ,go home ,have a good meal,
    wash and change and then spend the rest of the evening trying to find a decent pub still open.
    Toodle Pips
    Eternal Optimist

  2. Pleased to see Anon back to his loony best - priceless as ever. However I digress - withering on the vine outside city centres? I'm not so sure about that at all - I was in the Railway, Portwood tonight at "early doors" and it was heaving.

  3. We used to do it all the time in London; hardly ever since moving to Cornwall. Partly herd mentality -- the pub is most fun when there are other people there and there's no-one in most of the pubs round here until after 9pm, because people tend to go home, have tea and change. It's also tied to stress and coping with it. Notable that our trip to the pub this week was after a day when we'd both worked late for the first time in ages.

  4. I'm with you on this one, Curmudgeon. I've never been one for stopping off for a drink on my way home from work; prefering instead to go home, have my tea and then go out later.

    I think the pint or two on the way home ritual is much more prevalent in London, especially so with commuters who can sleep off some of the excess on the train journey home!

  5. You know a lot of alko's you pal.


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