I'm enjoying a bottle of Fuller's 'London Pride' bitter.
I've been served this on flights from SFO, but when you buy a bottle you really taste the excellent bitter beer this is.
Brewed in the Chiswick Brewery on the South Bank of the Thames; I'm glad to see it still going strong.
In the eighties, to get the hell away from people, I'd wait till low tide and wander down to the bridge, past O'Riordan's Bar ( I never did try to claim a free drink there), and go down to the bank.
I'd walk for a mile along the South beach. It wasn't too muddy here. I felt as I always did; I felt as though I was walking through history.
Unlike my trips through Southwark, much further downstream, I didn't find evidence of war and crime, bullet casings, bullets(!), and the general detritus of the Blitz.
Passing through the Kew Bridge area, I found freshwater shellfish, living in the newly 'clean' river.
I never ate them.
But they grew there.
As one reached the mile mark, the point at which the river was an outside bend scoured by the water, with no more beach, one found a ramp.
Up this ramp, was a public house.
A Fuller's public house.
Where one could satisfy the thirst one had worked up with a pint of London Pride.
London as it once was.