|Drink yourself more bliss.|
In the early days of university in Wellington, on Friday nights, a group of us invariably met up in the public bar of The Grand Hotel in Willis Street.
This bar, for several years was the unofficial 'club' for Victoria University students and while being a bit dowdy and smelling of stale cigarettes and beer-soaked carpets had a kind of comforting feel about it. Tony, Mike, Noel, Richard and I and some others would meet up there from about 7PM to 10PM (closing time) and with luck head off to some party or other. The luck was only in heading off to some party or other - we never got 'lucky'. Thinking back on it, until Noel turned 20 he sat outside in Tony's car as he'd promised his dad that he wouldn't enter a pub until he was of legal age. It didn't stop the rest of us.
I enjoyed those times.
I'm enjoying these times as well and I might have
banged on about , beleaguered , mentioned the kayaking, swimming, walking, golfing, playing tennis and bowls and various other activities that occupy me now that I've retired. Those are during the day though. Evenings are different. The Old Girl is in Auckland during the week so I rattle around here on my own. I'm a member of our local club which is kind of like a mini RSA or a Cosmopolitan Club (no Richard, I haven't been kicked out yet). On Friday nights they have a 'members draw' where at about 8PM a member's registration number is drawn out of a hat and, if that member is paid up, and, on the premises when the draw is made stands to win a sum of money. The draw starts at $100 and rolls over each week by $50 until drawn. A while back it got up to $1000 which is the cap. It was won and went back to $100. It now sits at $500.
I go up on the Friday nights that I'm not in Auckland and buy a couple of glasses of chardonnay and sit or stand around waiting for the draw. Now I have to say that it's not like being in Socrates Circle up there. I really don't have much in common with the other members. I'm not being snobbish in any way at all as there is quite a mixed socio-demographic here - it's just that I don't fit in anymore with pub or club members.
The trouble with having moved away from Wellington and subsequently moved away from Auckland is that I've left friends behind, particularly those friends who were comfortable to go out with for a drink or a meal. I miss that. I was thinking tonight at the club while I stood around for my two glasses of wine, making desultory conversation with the odd member, as to how good it would be if the 'old gang' from The Grand in Willis Street from 1972 or 1973 were there.