Evening. Dark early. Silence inside and out. Nothing on the television.

The LTLP out. Sudoku complete. A rented house in my new village. Bored and lonely, I don’t seem to have ventured outdoors for several months. Waiting, waiting, waiting. The well of geographical isolation wrapping itself around me like a bespectacled accounts girl with low self-esteem who’s just heard the DJ announce the last record at the office party.

There is a knock at the door!!!

I sprint towards it eagerly, almost falling out of my slippers in anticipation at the prospect of a MYSTERY VISITOR.

“You fancy going down the pub?” asks Big A.

I almost fall at his feet with sobs of gratitude. But I think he will probably find this embarrassing, so I invite him in whilst I get my coat.

There is a knock at the door!!!

I shove Big A to one side in my haste. Throwing open the door reveals a couple of familiar faces.

“We just wondered how you were?” enquire Mr and Mrs Short Tony.

I maintain my composure, but my voice wobbles as I see my old friends on the doorstep. Exile from the village has been harder than I imagined. I explain that I am just about to go to the local pub with Big A. Mr and Mrs Short Tony look extremely enthusiastic. We set off for the local pub.

The local pub is closed.

We put a brave face on this. There is (oddly enough) an upmarket health and fitness club further on up the lane. Somebody suggests going to the bar there. This seems like a reasonable suggestion, and we head off in that direction. I am excited, as this is a new experience for me.

Despite the pumps on the bar, I am informed that they only serve canned beer. This seems ridiculous. I don’t know how they expect people to attend their health and fitness club if they do not serve a range of proper beers. I order a lager. Big A has a small lager as he has to drive back to the village. Mr and Mrs Short Tony have coffee as they also need to drive later.

We chat for a short while, and watch people engaged in various health and/or fitness practises.

“Well, I’d better be off,” says Big A, looking at his watch. “Do you want a lift back?”

I glance at Mr and Mrs Short Tony, who are finishing off their drinks.

“Thanks,” I reply.

“Are we meeting for a pint later on then?” asks Short Tony to Big A. “In the Village Pub?”

“Love to. Eightish?”

“See you in there.”

I pull on my coat and returned to a darkened house.

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