On the way to the pub I remembered that when I was young the streetlights were orange as it was better for cutting through the fog. This gave everything a surreal, monochrome look. The orange glow painted everything, coating all surfaces. Nowadays streetlights are a more natural white and the pub I was heading for is a long way and out of town, but it is by the coast and has a balcony that overlooks the beach. It is the only pub I know of where you can be surrounded by people, but stood on that balcony, looking out across the sea, it's like you're completely alone.
I get to the pub and ascend into the sea of people. Their combined heat making the room feel like a sauna, their lungs working together to rob it of oxygen. Grasping a beer I fight through the crowd like a diver fighting to surface…through the double doors I stand on the balcony and the cool air brushes my face, oxygen fills my lungs. Down on the beach some teenagers amass and play, the orange light from their mobile phones, a prerequisite to the flash, dances across the sand as I close my eyes and truly, truly, smile.