A guest blog by David Ellis, editor of the Reveller and On The Sauce columnist, Evening Standard
For someone who once didn’t drink pints – don’t worry, I corrected such foolishness swiftly once my age piled up and by disposable income, cocktail money, dried up – it’s remarkable what role the pub has played in my career, and so too on the few hours of life not spent slavishly typing away for the Evening Standard.
Chatter and gleeful gossip overheard or over-shared in the throes of a good session has fuelled so many features or pooled in my mind as a starting point for a story. The pub is a place to meet people, to learn, to joyfully hear what you shouldn’t. And of course, those who go in pubs often have such extraordinary tales to tell – some deliriously funny, some of heartbreak and hurt, some of things lost to the past or looming large on the horizon – that striking up chatter with a stranger rarely leads nowhere. I am fascinated by people; even the dull ones have something to say when listened to closely enough. There is no finer setting to learn of life than a good boozer; they are a stage on which secrets are spilled.