Cleared For Departure
Travelog by Lance Darcy
Bek and I have decided to open a pub here and brainstormed names on the way home from dinner. The formula for naming seems to follow two generic rules. Rule #1: Combine two unlikely animals. So, The Cock and Lion (real, but sounds fake), or the Pig and Prawn (not real, but sounds believable). Points for alliteration. The Stag and Porpoise (also not real), The Camel and Artichoke (real, adding a vegetable even), The Walrus and The Carpenter (also real, and even a trans-species example alla Lewis Carol), the Mad Bishop and Bear (real), and The Slug and Unicorn (not real). Advanced namers might combine two unlike objects that have nothing to do with alcohol, like The Boot and Slipper (real), The Salmon and Ball (real), The Hook and Winker (not real), or The Goat and Tricycle (real).
Rule #2 involves a single noun modified by unlikely adjectives. So The White Horse (real) is a very simple example. The most popular (real) pub name in England, The Red Lion. Over 7,000 exist. Laughing Gravy (also real) is a bit more advanced. Mayor of Scaredey Cat Town (yep, real) is next level. Dirty Dicks (real) … not very woke. The Hole in the Wall (obviously not real … KIDDING … totally real), a bit more creative as it’s a double entrendre. Maybe even triple, depending. The Dead Dolls House (real) strikes a morbid tone. Job Centre (real) pings a sense of British humor. My favorite, however, is The Last Tuesday Society. Who knows what happened last Tuesday, because I guess we’ve been drinking since then. Also, we’re a society now.
So … what would your pub name be? I’m curious to hear them.
In reality pub names are simple because in the early days the uneducated population, most likely illiterate, could easily identify the establishment by the picture on the sign. A red lion depicted on a hanging sign, and you knew you’d arrived at a place where everyone knows your name. Even if nobody there could actually spell it.
Switching gears, in most countries when people drive on the left, they also walk on the left. I feel like New Zealand really had this down. Trails, sidewalks, whatever … no matter what happened we stayed to the left. However, in London it’s just a free-for-all. I never know which side I should pass someone. I end up making snap judgements on their nationality, quering the “database” which side that country drives on, and passing accordingly. London Underground doesn’t help matters — some escalators are to the left, some to the right. Staircases seem to float either way depending on who and how many last used it.
The Sky Gardens is this tropical and strange place atop a building. Several posh restaurants (oddly, they are French) are also up here, but you can just go to have a coffee or beer. Tickets are required, but free. Looks like something out of a futuristic magazine.
This is the building The Sky Gardens on top of. I really like it — the lines, the flow. Locals call it the “walkie-talkie.”
St Paul’s Cathedral.
The Tower Bridge.
Most people think The Tower Bridge is a stone structure. It is not. The brick and stone are attached to an understructure of iron.
The two walkways which connect the towers have sections with glass floors. It’s an 80m drop to the water. Fortunately the roadway would likely break your fall first.
This is The Shard — I guessed right! It does look like a shard of glass. In front of London City Hall. I went up to watch the sunset over London. The observation deck has a lot of interesting architectural elements. There are two bars on two floors. One is fully enclosed, another higher up is semi-enclosed. It’s a great place to get a drink and watch the sunset, just like our ancient ancestors did thousands of years ago. Well, perhaps not with gin and tonics on the 72nd floor.
Below is a view of the area called The City. The only "City" in my lexicon is Manhattan.
The Tower Bridge is close by.
A view of London Bridge Station from above. I liked the swooping lines. And trains.
You can see the iconic London Eye in the distance.