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Dry January

A group of late-fifty-somethings gathers in a hip restaurant in trendy Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross. I expect our use of the words ‘hip’ and ‘trendy’ means that we were not their target clientele – but hey, we pays the bills, and they were charming to us.

After our usual self-congratulation that we all look pretty good for our great age, which of course we do, we settle to the business of catching up on the last 6 months’ news and trying to work out what it is we are actually eating from the various attractive sharing-menu plates set in front of us. No-one really cares – we just need to eat alongside our chat.

One of our number is sadly stuck on a train in Yorkshire – prompting much mirth that he had set off from his Home Counties station on a train going in the wrong direction. A predictable reaction – almost (ALMOST – let’s not completely let it lie) certainly inaccurate, as this particular friend has not previously fallen into the ‘flaky’ category nor does he have a history (as at least one other in the room has) of turning up at the wrong station simply because it starts with the same letter and is in a vaguely nearby county to the correct one.

It was a wonderful evening of chat, fuelled by a slightly smaller than usual quantity of alcohol as a concession to it supposedly being dry January for some. We got around some of the objections by sticking to the driest red and white wine on offer, and some pretty dry gin.

Nevertheless, despite our relative abstemiousness, on reaching King’s Cross underground station afterwards, a sub-group’s attempts to navigate to Waterloo station involved multiple confused viewings of the tube map, a late realisation that there was no direct line from here and an eventual decision to split up and take their chances on separate and alternative routes. Here’s hoping we all made it to somewhere accommodating.

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