Welcome to the clockwork of The Devonshire Arms. Eleven minutes past nine and any moment Geoff will walk in through the glass-panelled door and begin unbuttoning his burgundy overcoat as he does every Wednesday night. The bar is dotted with customers. Charles-the-Shoe in residence at the end by the wine rack, draped over his stool. He stares through his wire frame spectacles at the whisky he turns in his wrinkled hand – studying the liquid as it flows in waves. As I reach the bottom of my pint, Carl is already pulling me the next. I watch its bubbles swim as the door opens with a squeak. No one looks round.
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