London. Life.

“Come on up!” said Kellen, talking into the intercom.

“Can we make Thursday lunch a new weekly tradition?” suggested Charlie, as Kellen returned to the kitchen.

“It only works if we all take the day off…” grinned Kellen. I’m not sure how sustainable that is.”

“Technically, I’m working…” corrected Charlie. “But, as I’m freelance, I get to set my own hours.”

“Sure, freelance…” smiled Kellen, topping up Charlie’s glass of wine “Let’s go with that.”

“Something smells good!” said Hamish, arriving into the flat, handing Kellen a bottle of wine.

“I made lasagne!” announced Kellen.

“From scratch?” asked Hamish, accepting the glass of wine that Kellen poured for him. “Very impressive!”

“I made it with Quorn, instead of beef…” explained Kellen. “It’s vegetarian.”

“Why would you do that!” exclaimed Marc, who’d arrived with Hamish.

“Actually, I’ve been thinking about going vegan…” shrugged Kellen, handing Marc a glass of wine.

“No you haven’t…” dismissed Marc.

“Well, I’ve been thinking about trying to eat less meat…” decided Kellen.

“Oh my god, this is so boring!” laughed Marc. “Where do you want me to put the bread?”

“Are you sure that loaf is big enough?” laughed Charlie. “In a snowstorm, you could hollow it out and use it as a shelter!”

“I know…” agreed Marc. “They would have sold me a half, but I thought that would look cheap if I turned up with half a loaf of bread.”

“Fabrique?” asked Charlie.

“Of course…” shrugged Marc.

“Oh, I’ve got a bottle of wine as well…” remembered Charlie, rummaging in his rucksack.

“This is white wine from South Africa?” noted Kellen, reading the label. “I asked you to get green wine from Portugal!”

“To be fair, I did ask in the off-licence for Portuguese wine, but they don’t sell any…” explained Charlie. “So, I kind of thought that in the same way that Nando’s is from South Africa, that their wine would probably be fairly similar to Portuguese wine, right?”

“To be fair, that logic is fairly compelling…” agreed Hamish. “Why did you want Portuguese wine anyway?”

“Oh, it’s no big deal…” shrugged Kellen. “There’s a Portuguese guy at work that I’m trying to impress. Anyway, tell us about the new job!”

“Yes!” encouraged Charlie, raising his glass. “Cheers to the new job!”

“Well, it’s with an advertising agency…” explained Hamish.

“Excellent, that’s on-brand for you…” nodded Charlie.

“I’m going to be an account manager…” continued Hamish.

“Perfect!” nodded, Kellen. “Which account are you going to be managing?”

“It’s the Philip Morris account…” replied Hamish.

“Cigarettes?” asked Marc.

“Yes…” nodded Hamish. “Does that make me a bad person?”

“Probably…” shrugged Marc.

“It’s not like I’m promoting single-use plastic, or killing turtles or something…” protested Hamish. “I’m actually pro-turtle!”

“Isn’t everyone pro-turtle?” suggested Charlie.

“Anyway, my point is that I think that any discussion of moral dilemmas about promoting cigarettes is over-stated…” explained Hamish. “Given the size of the paycheck that they’re offering me, I’m prepared to compromise my morals a bit.”

“Let’s be honest…” said Marc. “You don’t have any morals. You’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“I’m so glad that we’re day-drinking again…” said Charlie, as Kellen topped their glasses up.

“We’re not day-drinking…” corrected Kellen. “This is just a social lunch on a Thursday to celebrate Hamish getting a new job.”

“We’re drinking, and it’s during the day…” pointed out Charlie. “In my book, that’s ticking a lot of the boxes of day-drinking.”

“There’s no need to be pedantic…” dismissed Kellen.

“How was the film last night?” asked Hamish.

“It was okay…” shrugged Charlie.

“Just okay?” pushed Hamish.

“I liked lots of things about it…” explained Charlie. “It’s just that it lost its way a bit.”

“I loved it!” interjected Marc.

“It had a cute French boy in it…” sighed Charlie. “Of course you loved it.”

“I also like that it was all filmed around Hoxton…” added Marc.

“I know!” agreed Charlie. “I kept expecting to see myself staggering past in the background, clutching an Iceland bag and making the most out of the end of a cigarette.”

“They filmed a scene in that restaurant next to The Bach…” added Marc.

“Hoxton 100? 100 Hoxton? Is that what it’s called?” asked Kellen. “It’s ages since I’ve been there.

“They made it out to be a vegan dumpling place…” explained Charlie.

“Maybe it is a vegan dumpling place?” suggested Hamish.

“I don’t think so…” said Marc. “I don’t know. I’m not even sure that vegan dumplings are a thing.”

“I think the lasagne is ready…” decided Kellen, taking the lasagne out of the oven and tentatively poking it.

“Are you really going to make us eat that?” asked Marc.

“We could just open another bottle of wine?” suggested Kellen, losing confidence in his cooking.

“Now we’re talking!” grinned Marc.

“I love day-drinking…” added Charlie. “This is definitely something we should do more often.”