You know how it is…it’s only a short stroll across the fields to the next village, the weather forecast is fine so I’ll go in jeans – amateur walker you cry, he’s in the wrong trousers, Grommit. It gets gloomy and then rains. Why do jeans become like a boa constrictor on your legs as the rain drips incessantly off the bottom of a jacket, just as I’m trying to traverse a field where the horses have decided to congregate by the kissing-gate. Why do animals always gather around a stile?
A few purchases at Cunnington’s Lighting Centre (the wonderful antithesis of multiple retailing), bulk sausage buying at the butchers over the river Lea and then I might as well have a pint at the re-opened Swan. A swan not a phoenix, although it did rise from the ashes of a fire in 2013. It’s a pub that worked hard to keep its community links alive through various guises during re-building, despite the sloth-like UK planning system.
As I opened the door I realised how important the ‘grey pound’ is to the lunchtime trade of a village pub – I felt young again. A good choice of beers and the Bitter & Twisted from Harviestoun perfect for a thirst. The beer revival has spread to the extent that a standard village local will often have a decent range of beers and keep them in good condition. All in all a good pub working hard at serving the local community.
However every pub should think twice about informal notices – particularly about the wrong gear. The old folk in the pub were probably on plenty of drugs but it’s easy to make something appear wrong if you give out the wrong message. A bit like giving lines to a whole class when the teacher knows who did it.
Anyway time to head home and a good job I was riding Shanks’ pony otherwise the gate could have meant a dismount. A drizzly walk back home and low and behold the sun starts to shine. Oh BBC and your 20% chance of rain…