Tom's is shut and set to re-open Friday(hopefully) under new management.
New Nancy's management.
For a start, there's the paintings.
Now I know Tom's isn't the first pub in the world to have art on the walls but Micheal Collins's lovingly rendered Irish breakfasts, Spanish sunsets and Limerick 'heads' gathered all around you as you drank,-most definitely contributed to the place's unique atmos. As well as regulars and proprietors past and present there was celebrated vagrant 'Sammy Joyce' with his empty pockets and Iconic mayor Jim Kemmy ( floating in the air over the the space where a bridge named after him was and then wasn't).
The characters on the walls echoed the history of the bar as much as the authentic decor.
With enough squeamish inside you, you'd think you were in the teachers lounge in Hogwarts.
There was the music, or rather it's absence. Daytime, the pub was almost silent in comparison to other watering holes, (lyric FM was piped apologetically quietly) and the Monday/Wednesday seshoon was only ever really acoustic, making it fairly easy to avoid if you preferred conversation to entertainment (in other words if your man with the beard and glasses was singing).
Our new Nancy's overlords subscribe to the policy of music piped in all night getting increasingly louder until one is slowly deafened by closing time. This seems to be be par for the course in bars, particularly ones aimed at 'the young people'. I believe it's a subtle way of bringing peoples heads closer at the same time as lightening the burden of making conversation so 'copping off' becomes more likely. Doesn't work for me, I hates it.
But decor and music aside, what maketh a pub a pub anyway?
I believe that it's all in the televisual arrangements. A pub without large screens for people to enjoy sporting events on is probably losing money from somewhere. Thank god I don't have the worry or responsibility of keeping people employed and a business solvent and it's coming from this position of distant powerlessness that I say:' NO to any improvement whatsoever ever.'
Especially of the televisual arrangements.
Telly isn't pub and pub isn't telly.
The real feeling I have about Tom's at the moment is the feeling that I'm taking part in one of those home-improvement-makeover programmes, where your neighbour or parent or some 'designer' kick you out of your home for a few days so they can destroy it and point a camera in your face when you have to say things like: 'that's very interesting use of space,-I never would have thought of that'.
So far they seem to have fixed wiring and plumbing and done up the smoking section. Which is all good and necessary.
Latest news is they have painted the name as was before, so that bodes well...
Any way, it re-opens sometime soon (latest estimate is Friday) and when I re-enter it will be with extreme trepidation. And, of course, I'm going to hate it: unless the work going on for the past week was just skilled artisans removing everything from the place only to replace each object with an exact replica.
Well I'll try and I'll try, and I'll do what I can do.
It's the march of time, living in these troubled times...
Photos stolen without so much as a 'by-your-leave' from Darwin, Bock and others.