Observations of Melancholy Part 1: Down the Pub

Today I have done something productive, I have taken my very good friend Maranda’s advice and had a pint in one of my favourite pubs as well as having a read of a good book. Naturally I didn’t take such a task lightly I threw myself into it with reckless abandon and somewhere near pint four I conceived the idea for a series of posts on the best emotion after happiness, that of course, being melancholy.

Generic pub caption

The pub I chose was not the usual soulless type of pub that seems to be seeping into the very fabric of our good times but a classic local, with an atmosphere, regulars and alcoholic beverages which happily diverge from the generic liquids which seem to flow out of every pub tap.  A pub where the pictures are of local places, the wallpaper does its job and there is enough varnish on the tables.

These pubs are of course better in so many ways, once you get past the repetitive pop music that seems inescapable these days that is. Happily what they do give is an oppurtunity to study the diversity of real people going about their lives, the same as everyone does in train stations except that no one is in a rush and everyone is seated.

I observed my first bit of melancholy when I realised I had no writing paper or pen with me, just a very low phone battery and not much room to engrave stuff upon its memory, but then alas that is always the way. Happily by waving my phone around in a very noticeable way I kept its juices flowing enough to hammer down some notes.

So to pint one and I am happily tab hanging on some sort of to and fro conversation between a couple about jobs and benefits. It was very interesting the missus harangued her partner for being ‘all me, me, me’ before proceeding to tell him how she wasn’t getting enough from him working and how it affected her.  Despite the obvious inconsistent hilarity this couples domestic was giving me, I quite liked the fact they were trying.

I didn’t trust my wallet with the aforementioned couple (a sign of the times I’m afraid), so I took it with me to the bathroom, then in double quick time I was onto pint two and now my attention turned onto the happy old people with their pints of mild and the 24 hour news and the slow teletext that renders the pictures and words unlinkable.  Old people always make me feel sad, this worries me.

Onto pint two, and I am dividing my time between weather watching,( for I am English and that is another national sit down sport we can win at the Olympics) and watching the sad looking man with a paper in the corner opposite me.  It’s a quiet afternoon with only four people left in the pub now.

The weather is, as you would expect intermittent showers with rain in between.  Of course the rain is great if you are at home or not on a flood plain but at the pub it is a whole different state of affairs, do I time my pint to coincide with a break in the deluge? Do I stay here all night and trust the taxi driver to carry me home? Or do I give it up now as a bad loss and leave now. I opted for the ridiculously unpredictable first choice of course.

The man, he who has become my object of nosiness, is combing the paper with thorough attention reading everything on each page in an unhurried way.  It took me a while to realise I was that man, except not trusting to modern newspapers I had taken refuge in a book and had not this blog idea occurred to me I would be mired in The News Where You Are (review soon).  I therefore decided this man was not a man of melancholy loneliness but a true world hero, whom I will one day become.

Anyway somewhere I lose track of the number of pints I’ve imbibed and estimate that I am going to finish on pint four, you know the one, the pint where you have that fuzzy warm feeling where everything is great and you know you will ask that girl out and she’ll actually be interested….

So now I’m at home and musing on the microcosm of people and how their outward appearances rippled together to create a complex ever evolving landscape to be kept track of by intrepid people such as myself.  the types of people who everyday collide sending out new ideas into the ether.  Okay I admit it this started off as observing melancholy, but it has to be asked, how much of the melancholy (or other emotions) we perceive are in our heads and far from the real truth we so earnestly seek?

16 Replies to “Observations of Melancholy Part 1: Down the Pub”

    1. I do have a handy notepad and classic bic pen but for some reason, I was devoid of all interesting thoughts for a while and forgot to put it back in my fashionable rucksack. It’s back in there now and shall travel with me everywhere like a faithful companion, my doctor Watson if you will.


  1. Such a well-written piece Stefan. I must admit that after finishing pint #2 I would not be able to focus much on what was occurring around me (lol). 🙂


    1. I think I got a bit more inventive after pint two lol. That was part of the fun, nothing is as mundane after that, then everything has an expanse of dramatic flair, like the Rio Carnival, just set in the middle of England and with a very brown interior.


        1. Thankyou muchly, I hope to take you to many other places, maybe some that will give away free stuff, because everybody likes free stuff! I hope your day is as great as the last bestest day you had was and shall be again.


  2. Okay, I have the biggest, hugest smile on my face. Huge!!!! I loved this! I’m going to read it again. So I’m going to pull up a chair in your “kitchen?” and grab some toast because I don’t want to miss a single word! Just simply smiling! 🙂


    1. Feel free to make yourself a home, the bread is in the aptly named bread bin. I like that you like my observations. Interestingly all these observations seem to be less about melancholy than i thought they would be, but that’s proof we never know where we will end up once the writing takes over. It must be said though i also have a huge smile on my face now.


  3. Smiling, such a wonderful thing. That’s a telling comment thought “when the writing takes over”. People (who should write) when writing become slightly outside of themselves or maybe more inside themselves when writing. The words just come out (and not necessarily what was planned), in a way like a very subtle “high”. (smiling still)


    1. ‘A very subtle high’. Now that is a wonderful phrase, and yet another one to bandy around at work. Although I won’t put it in a sentence that includes work, unless I am being Mr Sarcastic, which is always possible. It is a strange inside out feeling when the mood hits. Do you ever when typing something out nod to yourself and have a smug look on your face when certain words fall into the right place. I do it all the time. I once shouted BOOM! after I finished a paragraph. It was like my version of a primal scream. If I would have been wearing war paint it would have been scary.


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