Usually when I suggest going to a restaurant to my buds I don’t have many takers. It might be have a sneaking suspicion it’s because I order several drinks, two desserts and five sides of fries then insist that whoever I’m with splits the bill 50/50.

I hadn’t seen Laura for a couple of years (she’s been off living amongst the ‘sophisticated’ people in France). To say I’ve developed a middle-aged spread during her absence isn’t accurate – it’s more like it’s been expanded to all four corners of the globe and then they’ve added an extension. I’m surmising that the 8th continent around my tummy was the reason she suggested going for a meal. Obviously I agreed, especially as I thought she’d offer to pay for all of my food.

She picked me up and insisted we drive to one of those fancy places in the Lakes that I’m sure Rob and Steve frequented on The Trip. You know, somewhere that charges over seventy quid for a main but the amount on your plate wouldn’t fill an eggcup. Give me quantity over quality any day. I convinced her that “because I’m so poor” we should get ourselves some pub grub, somewhere where they are so generous with the chips and chicken breast that you end up bundling it into a napkin for the dog (or me, to scoff later when the meat sweats have worn off).

We found a picturesque pub that looked so quaint sandwiched in between an off-licence and several industrial wheelie bins.

“Mind you get mountains of chips ‘ere, ey!” I beamed. “It only has a hygiene rating of 2,” she stated worryingly as she scrolled through her phone. “But… loads of chips!” I pleaded.

We headed in and, because I was convinced it would be 50/50 at most (at best free), I ordered the large rosé and the garlic mushroom starter. Laura opted for the soup (yawn). I scoffed mine down in a minute flat and headed to the bar for a second wine. “Can you smell garlic?” the barmaid asked her colleague. I tried to hold my breath.

On my return Laura was still sipping soup at a snail’s pace, so, being a good Samaritan, I grabbed a spoon and started to ‘help’. She looked at me with disdain as I emptied the contents into my gob and went for a few more spoonfuls.

“Do you want some?” she asked, sarcastically. “No, I just wanted to taste a little bit of yours,” I answered, scraping the enamel off the bowl.

The main courses arrived shortly after and my eyes leapt out of my skull when I caught sight of Laura’s scampi. “I wish I’d got that now,” I sulked. “I’m gonna have to leave some of this steak for the dog or I won’t eat all them chips.”

I kept looking at Laura with sad eyes. “Oh my God, Shelley, just have it!” she snapped. “I’m going to the Ladies.” She muttered and off she popped.

She was gone a while so rather than check she was still alive I thought I’d “wait outside”. That way she could ‘surprise’ me by paying my bill. “Just a minute, lass.” It was the landlord.

The tight, greedy beggar! So that’s one more pub grub bud I’ve lost. Still, who wants to eat out with greedy mates?