A river taxi approaches from the waterside. Visible from afar are the pink sashes, plastic crowns and fairy wands of a hen party.
The vessel pulls along side and one by one the already tipsy bridal crew emerge, staggering on heels along the metal landing platform, up the slippery steps, and into the bar.
There are lots of them -- maybe 20 or 25 -- and one is carrying a visibly excited inflatable doll.
As poor old Auntie Jean struggles from the boat with the help of the crew and begins to totter hesitantly up top, the younger members of the party spread through the pub, chatting up lone men and trying to find a table big enough for all of them. They order wine and gin and shots and a couple of beers.
Auntie Jean is almost there.
'Can you keep it down a bit, ladies?'
'Boo! Hiss! Boo!'
Auntie Jean has made it to the top of the stairs where she stops for a breather.
The manager runs down to conspire with the boat crew. One of them, mortified, comes jogging up, overtaking Auntie Jean on the way. She mutters in the ear of the maid of honour who cries out in fury.
Auntie Jean makes her triumphant entrance just as the party is being turned round and herded back down the steps to the boat.
The maid of honour yells over her shoulder: 'Good! I'm glad we're being kicked out. This place is dead anyway!'
Poor Auntie Jean sighs and turns around to make her slow descent.
The hens march aboard the boat in a snaking line and the boat disappears upriver in a swirl of glitter and song.
The pub relaxes and sighs.