Generosity Of Spirit

“Laugh whenever you can. Keeps you from killing yourself when things are bad. That and vodka.”
Jim Butcher, Changes

Life’s like an elevator sometimes. Wait, that sounds famous and notable, so who said that? Oh yes, me, just now. Oh well. Anyway, it is, and the other day, the button was firmly stuck on DOWN, nothing went right, everything was wrong, and it was a shitty day.

So having escaped the four walls of chez Booker, I went walkabout. And eventually wandered into my local for some vitally needed liquid refueling. Yes, my local.  My fave pub, tucked away in Derby’s version of Diagon Alley, cosy, only slightly dimly-lit with old church pews to sit on, an excellent bar and good music. If you forget about the broken No. 1 button on the jukebox. Smoothly, and kookily run by the lovely Leila (thanks and you know) and Lola (names changed to protect them but as they’ll be reading this well…) along with a great supporting cast just as equally good on the other side if the bar.

It’s also us that help to make it the great place that it is. Yeah, idiots get everywhere but here, the melange of characters is remarkable, and makes (for good or bad), for an incredible smorgasbord of people to drink with. Yeah, I fancied a drink, but the great thing here at V**** is the conversation. And on that day, it was great. Every topic (bar the no-touch subjects) was fair game, and got thoroughly discussed. Sometimes well, sometimes not so well. Sometimes several times, depending on how pissed you were.

A lovely late afternoon swayed and sashayed drunkenly into night, and what struck me was the sheer generosity there. I’m not the easiest of people to get on with, and I’m especially selective about those I associate with, but these few, these brave few that I have come to enjoy the company of, I’ve found over the course of this year to be especially good, lovely company. We’ve all had, and perhaps are having; sometimes more than our fair share of knocks, and, just through our giving ourselves, sharing the fun and laughter, we try to help each other.

Such generosity isn’t just definable; restricted to tangibles – it’s something more diffuse than that. On that particular day, there were no doubt people there, me included, struggling with particular burdens in their lives, and yet we put those aside to enjoy life and to make others feel, if only for a little while, a little better. And by Christ, we did. I’d never tasted bison grass vodka before. Gimme more, Kirsten -oh, and by the way, how many topics did we cover? In what order, and what were they? Wonderful time with you and much appreciated. It had also been far too long since tasting the cognac-like glossy loveliness of Knob Creek bourbon. Oh, yes, and several pints of Olde English cider. And meths. And maybe some sump oil somewhere…

So guys, despite the adversity in our lives, and the increasing emptiness in our wallets (which was the case for me on that day, so muchas gracias for your kindness; you know who you are and such acts are always repaid by me…) I had a great time. I truly hope that you all did as well.

And in conclusion, I’d like to fondly raise my glass to you all with my toast to you guys a la Telly Savalas:

“Who loves ya, baby!”



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