On the way home from work I walk past two buskers inexpertly duetting a christmas carol on trumpets (eek!) and laugh for stupid, puerile reasons that date back to being in a choir, that probably no-one in the world will find funny but me. It strikes me that this would make the perfect subject for this week's strip, but I don't have a free evening to draw it in, and I kick myself for not having included five free hours in the Christmas schedule for that, but spend the bus journey home bashing out the script anyway, and in the end manage to remember the dirty words for the entire first verse of "it came upon a midnight clear".
I need to find games paraphernalia to round out two cheap-ass games into gifts for my father and youngest sister, comprising a devil bunny, a set of five pawns, some matching counters and about fifty squirrels and dice, of course. Over three lunch hours I find pawns and counters (cute japanese rubbers) squirrels (grey and russet beads) and dice of course are no problem, but eventually I run out of time and have to make my own devil bunny.
Dirty Vegas have flyposted the entire city, it seems like; the same ugly-model-airbrushed-by-Athena staring vacantly out of every empty shop and accessible billboard. Here and there the local flyposters have shredded the posters in fury, leaving tangles of vacant brown eyes and gleaming natural-yellow teeth and too-broad noses trampled in the gutter, and odd triangles of flesh marked with fragments of eye, mouth, nose against the multi-coloured background of the club posters.
We used to come to this pub a year ago, when it was dingy and spattered with sticky beer, and the lights exploded on our heads and our elbows stuck to everything, but we liked the space and crazy Ash the landlord who once spent an entire day when he had nothing better to do on the Cartoon Network competition line trying to win me a Samurai Jack doll (unsuccessfully) and the wasted bar staff and the cheap solid food. Now we're coming back, and it's like a layer of filth has been scraped off everything, the wood is painted pale and the tables sanded clean and the selection of drinks has moved from terrible to excellent and the food has slid upmarket but we still like the space and the chat-friendly music and the lovely bar staff who come over to offer us more drinks and the slightly flashy food because pubs never really ever change in nature, you can refit a dozen times, and its old character will seep on through, and this is our pub, and we like it.