Dec 152012

James Hunt

This photography project has ground to a halt again.

Twice in the last ten days I’ve tried to start it and twice I’ve ended up in a pub.

This afternoon I’m in a flatpack, identikit, traditional cockney boozer in Leicester Square.

It’s called The Gullible Outsider or something like that.

It’s awful.

I’ve been here for an hour and a half and life is slowly draining out of me.

When I arrived there was a couple in their early sixties sitting at the table opposite, both nursing a large glass of red.

They didn’t exchange a word with each other during the entire half an hour they were there.

But his phone rang so I know that they left to see a matinee, that they are going to do a bit of shopping afterwards, and that they are staying in a nice hotel near Hyde Park.

It’s her birthday treat.

They’ve been replaced by a provincial family, mum, dad and three grown-up kids of varying size.

I can tell they are from out of town because they’re all carrying M&M’s World bags.

They’re deciding whether to go to Camden Town or Harrods when they finish their burgers and bottled cider.

I glance in their direction and catch my reflection in the large mirror.

I look appalled.

The two sons are enormous. They’ve got matching fringes, making them look like talent show hopefuls pumped up with helium.

Enjoy the M&Ms, boys.

There’s no music in this place but the regular rumble of suitcase wheels rolling towards the exit makes up for it.

The lack of music allows me to eavesdrop.

A man on the next table whose Movember attempt is even more pitiful than my own is talking on his mobile.

He mentions “our next strategy” and thinks “we’ll have it nailed by Christmas”.

The curry he’s ordered arrives so he hangs up and crunches a poppadom.

I’d like to nail his head to the table.

But I think better of it, finish my Guinness, and leave.

I think I’ll use his photo in my project.

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