I had been ill for a few days and this was the first time that I had left the house since Sunday so I took things cautiously. This started by working from home, rather than at the Leatherhead office where I had booked a desk, and continued with me doing almost all the travelling by public transport rather than taking the opportunity to get some steps logged.
I got to the Czechoslovak Bar and Restaurant in West Hampstead a few minutes before the nominal 7pm start time and there were already a couple of people there. One of them, Richard, got the evening off to a good start by buying me my first Pilsner Urquell.
Later on the familiar Pilsner Urquell was followed by the familiar Smazeny Syr and the equally familiar photo of the same. It is getting harder to find different ways to take the same photo but luckily Instagram keeps introducing new ways of playing around with photos to produce different effects.
Another familiar thing was the mix of people who had been there a few times before and those who had not. I found myself sitting next to, and so spending a lot of time talking to, Adriana a cabin manager for easyJet who was returning after an absence of a couple of years. We talked about Prague Airport then and now, life on the road and other such trivialities that people in pubs talk about.
There were other people, other conversations and other beers, including the usual end-of-evening Zlaty Bazant. It was exactly what these socials are meant to be like and exactly why I keep going to them.
The bar closed at 10:30 but we were reluctant to stop talking and I did not get to the Overground station until 11:15. I was a little worried that the station display said that my next train was in 32 minutes but my phone said that it was in 4 and my phone was proved to be right and I got home soon after midnight, slightly tired and very happy.