On days when work is a bit too intense, or the week gradually catches me up and prepares to spit me out somewhere uncomfortable, there is a pub within walking distance of my office where I can take a book, sip on a half pint of cask conditioned British beer, and nestle against the wood panelling, enjoying the quiet and the peace. Admiring the old pictures, watching the flicker of flames in the fireplace, I can tune out the world, retreat into my shell and take time to reflect.
It’s my hideaway.
It’s not a secret or hidden place, just somewhere I don’t tell people I go to.
It’s not even a place where my phone is turned off or my troubles are left behind, in fact it’s somewhere to embrace these things in my own company, on my own terms. I guess it’s less of a hideaway than a retreat.
It’s for those times when I just need to get away for a short while. Somewhere that isn’t work, that isn’t home and isn’t shared with anyone else. I can tweet, I can check emails, I can take a step backwards, formulate a holistic approach to my troubles and then, glass drained, hop up from the pew and walk back to work with a little more verve in my step.
My hideaway is a great British pub, and there’s not a binge drinker in sight.
There are two other hideaways in my life, Mad Men and running. Both are pleasures I enjoy entirely on my own (or very occasionally with a close friend).