Legal Alien: A Scotsman in Montreal

A whole new side to Durham

Searching for inspiration as to what to do last Friday night and it was suggested that we got The Angel pub. I'd never been and had heard that it was quite unique. I had heard several stories, full of 14-16yr olds, people offering drugs, lesbians hitting on friends in the toilets. Sounded interesting non?

So we went in, and I was really rather unprepared. Perhaps I should elaborate on the types of bar you get in Durham:

College Bar - filled with students, serving stupidly cheap alcohol, good if you don't mind being around students, half of whom are annoying English upper-class twats

Old Mans Pub - smoky, dark, filled with old men who've been coming there for 40 years. Lots of real ales, very atmospheric. Good if you want good bar and a chilled out (but smoky) atmosphere.

Locals bar - standard bar that gets packed on a weekend with all the locals who've come in from the surrounding villages all wearing their smart, going-out clothes. Of varying quality, some are almost guaranteed fights.

And then you've got The Angel. Believe it or not, it's actually a punk bar. Punk! In Durham!! That roughly translates as lots of mohicans, a few skinheads, some goths, and lots of sk8 kids whilst playing Sex Pistols, Clash etc. I even managed to recognise a few people from the forest party I'd been to a month or so previously.

We just sat there having a few beers in the beer garden looking very out-of-place but it was a laid-back place so there was certainly no aggro about being different. After about 30 minutes a guy comes over to our table and sits down. He was probably in his early 30s with tattoos just about everywhere and he started talking to us.

After a few minutes it emerged that the reason he'd come over is that he was checking to see if we were the police working undercover (yeah, we stuck out THAT much). To be honest, he was probably being a little paranoid cos his mate had just bought a load of knuckle-dusters off the internet and was wondering if the police were checking it out. We reassured him we weren't conducting a surveillance operation and he left happy. I think that's the first time I've ever been mistaken for the law!!!