I’ve invented a new game. From my Istedgade flat, I have a fantastic view of the street’s biggest sex shop (No, I haven’t been in all of them) and a fair stretch of road. First to five, you score points if you can predict who will enter. Women, children, and people you actually know count for double, and you also score points for prams.
Speaking of long winter evenings, where am I going to find a decent pool table now Bloomsday is closing down. While it’s a popular pub with some of the most faithful regulars in the city, being off the beaten track, it doesn’t get the passing trade (particularly from Swedes and Norwegians) that you need to survive and thrive. Some Swedes have bought it and intend to convert it into yet another cocktail pub.
So, its 15th anniversary party – on the day that this issue hits the streets, with “live music, DJs and lots of free beer” – will be their last.
While it’s regularly referred to as an Irish pub, it’s always been popular with the English – or as popular as it’s possible to be with the English. The annual summer fete at St Albans Church, Abigail’s food shop, Monday’s St George’s Day celebrations at the recently-opened St Nikolai pub, a World Cup game on the telly – the numbers who go are only a dip in the ocean (sorry … insensitive, Titanic, get over it) compared to the estimated 15,000 who regularly complain on our website and live in Denmark.
Go to these events (like the Anglo Comedy Festival) and half the people there are Danish or American. I defy anyone to name me somebody Irish who’s ever stayed in on St Paddy’s Day (okay, maybe Oscar Wilde when he was in prison … and Shergar). But with the English, mention an English event and it’s all awkwardness and evasiveness, regional stereotyping, inverted snobbery and a fear of ending up at an EDL convention. I remember during the last World Cup trying to get a sing-along started in Bloomsdays – I felt like Oswald Mosley.
That’s no reflection on that pub – it was often a great place to see a game. And once you got used to a certain somebody’s demeanour, it had a Fawlty Towers-esque quality that will be sorely missed. More English have bonded over stories about that bloke from Bloomsdays than celebrated St George’s Day. Yeah, us English, we dislike most things, but we do like a whinge.