On the trail back from the Red Lion I split off on a side road that I hoped would short cut to the High Street, where I was staying, via Piccott’s End, an ancient neighbourhood that promised — and delivered — quiet streets and interesting architecture. It did, in fact, connect to the High Street but not before putting the Marchmont Arms in my sights. Needs must, it can be said….
Inside, everyone was dressed like they were going to a semi-formal party for the birthday of a petty criminal or a footballer (at the risk of repeating myself). Well, not everyone. The blokes with wives tended to be in various levels of yob-casual outfits: bright and very clean trainers, Superdry tee-shirts, mom jeans…you know the outfit. Their significant others, on the other hand, tottered along on fetishisticly high pumps or boots that made their exposed bosoms ripple hypnotically.
The staff members were great. The bar seems a bit cocktail-intense as befits the faux-posh/nouvelle-posh atmosphere. I paid with exact change and the non-plastic transaction seemed to throw the tender who put two 10 p coins back in my hand and retrieved a 20 p. When I protested that “it is the same except I’m mid-run with crappy sweats-pockets,” he re-exchanged the coinage and asked, “do you always stop mid-run for a beer?”
“Oh, this is actually the end of the run; mid-run was between my stops at the Martin’s Pond and the Red Lion.”
“What is this? Some sort of running pub crawl?”
“Funny you should ask.”
Watching people here, I got the distinct impression most of the middle-aged couples were looking for some sort of swingers’ hook up. I’m usually not wrong about this, so, to those of you (we all know who you are) with such an interest remember to thank me for the tip-off.