I survived the Hamilton Hall experience.
The Hamilton Hall is a pub at one of the main overground stations in London – Liverpool Street. The commuter trains run out to the Essex coast carrying the wide boys and girls* in and out every day. I grew up on the edge of London and Essex – Romford – through which the overcrowded and slow Great Eastern line runs.
I was to meet friends there before going for a curry Wednesday night. The place makes me nervous. Very nervous.
The problem is I always run into someone I went to school with or knew in my younger days. The conversation goes something like this:
Them: Emma! Are you married?
Them: Oh. You've got kids, though?
Them: Never mind. You're not too old yet! A house?
Me: No. I'm happy as I am. Live with my partner and am doing well professionally – one
step off senior management in a school.
Them: You always did like school, didn't you?.(Sneer). Where do you live?
Them: Oh, that's awful. My husband's a trader in the city. We've got a four bedroomed house
in Hornchurch, his and hers convertibles, three children, a swimming pool and a villa in
Okay, okay. I may have slightly exaggerated that last bit but you get the drift. They think you have to acquire certain material things (husbands and children are seen as commodities) to be happy; I don't and am always annoyed that I leave with their pity.
This time I didn't bump into anyone. I felt like I had triumphed over the place. The weight of the world left my shoulders as we sauntered off to the curry capital Brick Lane.
*does this translate into US English – dodgy chancers?