Last Orders – Julia Williams

Today’s guest is Julia Williams, who has a lovely story of being in the wrong place at the right time.

“We were newly married, and post honeymoon having spent the first two weeks of married life babysitting my husband’s grandma, delighted to be finally settled into our little house.
It was a two up two down in need of much TLC, and close to the shops, and train station. But more importantly for us it was also opposite a pub which was to become our home from home in the first few years of our marriage (and is still our local some 26 years later!)

In our early days visiting the Railway Guard it was a buzzing lively place, thanks to a brilliant publican who was a natural host, and had the knack of making sure all his punters felt welcome.

So it was that we ended up there one Friday evening after work. Being young and reckless we of course ended up staying for another and another, without getting round to eating. Naturally by the middle of the evening we were pretty smashed and making not a lot of sense.
It therefore came as no surprise to me then, to stagger into the ladies’ and find a very drunk bloke clad in leather washing his hands.
My mishtake, I thought at first, and then, peering myopically around me, no – his.

“What are you doing in the girls’ loos?” I demanded.

“This is the gents,” my leather-clad stranger said confidently.

“No, it really isn’t,” I said pointing to the lack of urinal.

“Oh bugger,” said the stranger “Are you sure?”

“Yup,” I said.

“So sorry,” my new friend said and departed sharpish.

I fell about laughing and came out of the pub to regale my husband with the tale, and thought very little of it, although my husband mentioned it to the landlord, Derek.

About a week later, Derek, who had a wicked sense of humour, called my new bessie over and said, “You see that bloke over there?”

“Yes?” said the biker.

“You owe him an apology.”

“I do? Why?”

“Don’t you remember accosting his wife in the ladies on Friday night?”

“Oh,” said my new friend.

“He’s really cross,” added Derek helpfully.

My new mate immediately went over to apologise to Dave and again to me when I came in the pub. And we’ve been friends ever since.

I’ve had many drunken nights in the Guard since then, but meeting Ashley in the ladies’ has to top the bill for one of the funniest. And possibly one of the unlikeliest beginnings to a friendship that has shaped our lives.”

There’s a bittersweet PS to this story…

“Sadly Ash has recently been diagnosed with cancer and has just undergone 6 weeks of gruelling radiotherapy at the Royal Marsden. As he’s been unable to drink during his treatment I decided to support him by giving up booze for October.

I appreciate that people have lots of claims on their purses, but the Marsden is a very special place, and there are far too many Ashleys.
Thank you so much.”

Thanks, Julia! If you’d like to donate to Julia’s fundraising (I have it on good authority that no drink was taken for the entirety of October) then the link is below:

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