Don't get me wrong, I love the café culture here in France. Only last night was I sat in a wicker chair watching the world go by sat underneath a patio heater sipping on a beer that had a slice of lemon in it, but those establishments don't quite have the same atmosphere a pub does. I love the sense of community I feel when I walk through the door. The fake shields on the wall, the pool table in the back and most of all a good group of people who have gone there for exactly the same reason as you. Usually, it's to watch some kind of sport. At the moment, it is the Six Nations which I have to admit I enjoy thoroughly. The FA Cup, less so. Sorry, Mike.
I like these evenings with my parisian family. I know exactly what the score is so my anxiety is much lower. Usually, I don't cope very well in crowded bars because I get too nervous about what could happen to me and panic attacks can ensue. However, it isn't like that in the pub. I know the prices and the drinks on offer. I know all of the people around me. I know my exits so I tend to be a lot more relaxed. This has probably been the biggest help in getting me back out and socializing after my initial struggle with my mental health problems and for that I'm incredibly thankful to all of the friends who have been there to make it that little bit easier.
I'll leave this post here, but before I sign off I have to add in a hilarious photo that has made the rounds in my circle of friends. After an afternoon watching the match we all traipse down the road to fill our stomaches with greasy pizzas and house red wine! We do this so often, not only are we recognised instantly we have had a special mention on their signage!