I thought I’d hook you in with that pithy title full of promise.
I think the world is jaded by clickbait offering breathy questions as to who was having sex on drugs with what and the disappointing answer being someone you have never heard of but with some impressive bronzed breasts that reach to the sky and you haven’t even heard of the actual drug and it’s all a bit safer when you go to bed listening to Radio 4 at 9pm apart from all the mass murders they insist on telling you about when actually all you want to hear is a pleasantly spoken person speaking anything as long as it stops you thinking.
I tried to think of a clever or interesting title about the train station pub in Weston Super Mare to reel you in. I’ve not written for a while and sometimes thinking of a good, funny or clever title for an article can make the article write itself.
This has not yet happened.
I don’t normally even write about Weston Super Mare, Unicycle Emptiness being predominantly concerned with the North West of England but I can’t think of a pun-laden attention drawing title that encapsulates that. I’ve not written for ages due to finding myself lurching despondently around the same postcode but again, not a snappy title.
I am in a train station pub in Weston Super Mare.
My brother is here and asks me why I don’t write anymore. I explain that everything feels moribund and I have found a grim pleasure only in looking at stranger’s complicated parking arguments with their neighbours on Mumsnets’ Am I Being Unreasonable page. He looks disgusted and talks about his forthcoming trip to North Korea.
I attempt to show off myself so detail the price of the short yet pleasant trip to Ulverston from Lancaster when using a Family and Friends Railcard but I don’t mention how I now take the trip too frequently so it becomes something more of an OCD tinged embarrassment rather than a nice day out and how I feel I have forgotten how to write and my friends and family are sick of going to fucking Ulverston again.
He looks around and tells me I should write about this place, the train station pub in Weston Super Mare. I sip on my three pound double house vodka and lime and soda and think about it. He warms to the theme and tells me I should change my horizons and write about train station pubs.
There’s a whole new world out there of pubs on the periphery, where locals go to watch frazzled strangers arrive, frenziedly neck an overpriced pint of Stella and depart, the over-lit chain pubs with Meal Deals and a pretense of friendliness and places like this, the train station pub in Weston Super Mare.
It is connected to a shop, the shop is now closed but a bobbing cardboard cutout of a large ice based confectionary remains swinging in the breeze in the periphery of my eyesight.
It is friendly. Whilst I wait for my brother, I chat to a quiet voiced regular from Durham about the astonishing price I paid for a can of G and T at Birmingham New Street after four hours of the usual terrifying train chaos of what should have been two hours swooshing genteelly through the Midlands.
Someone appears to be dying outside. She lies resplendent in the road by the bus stop. It is not yet 5pm. Paramedics arrive and the scene is watched and commented on with varying degrees of sympathy, knowledge and sarcasm by the regulars. I seem to be the only person who is not a regular, an unusual occurence for someone at a train station pub.
The choice of cider is superb and I suddenly wish to live in Weston Super Mare, to come here on weekday evenings, chat to the locals and feel like I belong, become a permanent fixture in a building built for transience.
Emboldened by Red Square doubles, I decide my brother’s idea is fantastic, rivers of fantastic, obscure and banal conversation drifts over me, all gold, all pure gold. I take photos, banter, watch the girl on the floor and think of all the things I can write about.
I can’t remember them now. And my photos are terrible.
I will probably go to Ulverston again next week.
Although I have now just wasted a perfectly good title for the next blog post.