It was strange to witness the denizens of these West Midland towns as they meet up after they have finished whatever they do during the day. I saw young women out alone with young men (no chaperones); I saw young men who had evidently not bothered to change from their work clothes; I saw one club that required large security men (reminded me a bit of my Sikh batman) to control access; and I saw public houses with rowdy crowds, and staggering patrons.
The occasion - saying farewell to the trusty retainer - went on well into the late evening. It had been decided that we would use an Indian restaurant of some notoriety. I was appalled to realise that I was expected to serve myself (after all, it's not breakfast - where cook leaves the various choices on the sideboard for selection). It was astonishing how many people turned up and evident that said retainer had become quite well known during the time he's been with me.
We moved on to one of the local hostelries, and then moved on again to another. This last stop was a rowdy affair, and had several of my other staff not been present I might have feared for my safety among such rabble.