It was the misses’s birthday Wednesday night and I had root canal work booked in first thing Thursday morning. I didn’t want to get hammered. Is there anything worse than having a dentist stick needles in your gums when you have vodka dripping out your pores? Behave yourself tonight Brooker, I told myself. For once in your life show some God damn discipline. Stick to a few high balls and maybe a beer or two will ya for crying out loud. 


At the bar I grab two cocktails in glass cut tumblers. I ask the waiter what’s in them and I can’t hear a thing he’s saying. Instead of ducking out of the exchange or asking him to speak louder, I just nod in the right places and wait for my chance to break free. “What’s in this?” asks Annie back at the table. “I’ve got no fucking idea.” I say.


Whatever they were I nailed three of them in fifteen minutes, slam a mojito and finish a Martini Espresso. Now the part of the night I hate the most. Taking pictures. Of course I still haven’t figured out how to use the now not so new camera and with every shot I take I feel like I’m getting progressively worse. Photography is a skill with multiple facets. For one you need to be charming and discreet. Sticking a lens in someones grill as they’re tucking into a pizza, or asking for a hot pool of brunettes to look my way and cheer the fuck up, is one skill.


The next is learning the technology. How to adapt to the light, adjust the shutter speed, control the aperture – all these things just to get some picture of a guy on the decks. I don’t get why everything comes out dark, or blurred, everything blurred all the damn time. It’ all seems so painfully unnecessary and I yearn to be propelled 50 years into the future when we are all taking pictures via an electronical orbital implant.


On the last picture I feel like launching the camera in the canal and calling it a night. Bless my Annie she has already given me hours of photography tutoring. Its her birthday and she hasn’t eaten a thing because we missed the free pizza.


I grab some goody bags, say goodbye to the nice PR ladies (refrain from asking them if the Trade Union logo reminds them of a dudes genitalia) and share a bottle of wine over a curry somewhere in Thomas More Square. The next day I’m having root canal work done and my head feels like its been chopped by a melon farmer.

A quick thanks to Kapranos PR for inviting me, Maua London for giving my girlfriend some roses, to Vagabond for the coffee I found in my goody bag and Drakes of London for the moisturising samples.

From the Press Release

TRADE UNION is an innovative, experiential blended concept. TRADE UNION is a completely new collaboration of some of London’s most exciting lifestyle brands; speciality coffeehouse, Vagabond, male grooming brand, Drakes of London and florist, Maua London. Created by Adam Marshall, founder of Grand Union Bars, TRADE UNION is introducing London to a new kind of lifestyle venue, and his choice of Historic Wapping is a fitting backdrop for the union of three of the world’s oldest trades; coffee, grooming & flowers.



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