Around London in 80 days
In these uncertain times, I need a lifeline and a horizon so I have — somewhat arbitrarily I’ll admit — set a date. April 1st will be my horizon ; my lifeline will be the 80 days separating me from it.
And as I cannot go around the world right now, I give you A Mad Belgian’s “Around London in 80 Days” : eighty impressions of London, eighty stories, places, thoughts from my experience of this wonderfully mad and maddening city.
Day 61: Alley Cat
It’s late and dark, the pubs are closing but the Alley Cat is still open — always is. Max’s behind the bar. He has just packed up the board games that were on the tables: the Alley Cat is about to move from early evening to late night.
I say hello and grab a table. My favourite one, at the bottom of the stairs, between the bar and the stage. The place is empty right now but won’t be for long. It’s 11pm, pubs are closing and many lost souls will then find their way here, come to this downstairs late-night bar for one more beer.
The Alley Cat is a strange place, that’s why I love it. On the wall at the back, films are playing non-stop but with the sound off: there’s always music playing in the bar. All sorts of music, from rock ‘n’ roll to blues, from jazz to French pop, which makes for a very surreal soundtrack.
Sometimes there’s live music at the Cat, loud rock bands and cocky blues guitarists. The place is packed then, people drink, dance and chat. One always has an interesting night at the Alley Cat.