Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.



Back in the late 70’s when we lived in Brighton we went on holiday to Diano Marina in Italy one summer. Among our fellow holiday companions were a couple of mates from Manchester who shared our breakfast table each morning. As you do, we struck up a holiday friendship but that was all and we said goodbye on the coach back to the airport.

Some years later we were in a quiet country pub we used to go to in a little village not for from Henfield.  I glanced across to the bar at a group of guys getting some drinks and I thought, I know one of those blokes. It took a while to remember where from and at first I wasn’t certain, so I went over and spoke to him.

Amazingly, it was one of our two breakfast companions from that Italian holiday 4 years previously. We had a chat and I asked if he was now living in the area. No, he said I’ve never been to Sussex in my life before, I still live in Manchester – we are on our way to the Isle of Wight and though we’d cut across country to save a few miles and got lost. We just stopped at the first pub we found for a swift half before resuming the journey.

Play it (again) Sam. Play as time goes by


When I worked in London in the mid 90s I attended Croydon College studying for a CMS. We were a mixed bunch of students and almost all mature, but I got to know a guy called Bruce from Merton who was in the same line of business as me and we used to have coffee together on our break. We didn’t keep in touch after the course finished and the last time I saw him was at the examination.

Roll the clock forward 9 years and I’m now living in Wales. One Saturday Chez and I decided to go for a walk along a section of the Brecon Monmouth Canal we’ve not been to before. As we strolled along the tow path soaking in the views, a canal boat comes chugging towards us. I glanced over at it as it slowly floated pass me and in the prow I see a bloke who looks familiar. He stares at me and I stare at him and we both exclaim Croydon College. Yes it was Bruce. Well by this point the boat was starting to move round the next bend so we only had time to exchange a couple of sentences, I’m on weekend away says Bruce, what are you doing here? I live here, I respond and then as quickly as they had appeared………  Bruce, the boat and the past, were gone.

Ships in the night? – well boats on a canal …..



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