Bank holiday Sunday Owl was desperate to get out of the house . He didn’t want to go where he would be recognised. He had fallen during the week and his face was badly cut. We went up to my favourite hill to take in the views and have a drink. I decided not to park in the pub car park but the next one along facing the back of the hill away from the sea and the city.
We had a quiet drink and a chat in the pub garden that looks out over the city. When we returned to the car we sat on a bench to watch a couple of guys with a kite. Not your usual type of kite. This kite was attached to a harness which the guy controlling it was wearing around his middle. He was then stood on a board similar to a skateboard but bigger. I am sure that this has its own proper name but I have no idea what it is. ……it turns out that it is kiteboarding.
Whilst I was watching these two guys, one with the kite and the other filming, they later swapped places. I noticed that there were a lot of dog walkers coming and going through a gap in the bottom corner of the field. I wanted to know what was the other side of the hedge so we took a gentle stroll along the edge of the field and beyond. On the way I took a few photos.
elderberry tree, when I was a child my dad made elderberry wine. not a clue about this one this one I have forgotten
could this be old man’s beard this is just my old man sloe ? kiteboarder.
It was good to get out of the house and into the sunshine for a couple of hours.
Friday night equals music night, we don’t go every week but it is nice to get out and enjoy some live music in our favourite pub now and again. It was about 8 o’clock when we arrived and the band (all 3 of them) were just setting up. By that I mean the drummer in his short blue sports shorts and red t-shirt was setting up all the while chatting to the guys at the nearest table. It is a small bar so his conversation carried to all there. He began by opening up his bass drum to stuff pillows and cushions inside to muffle the sound a little. I did wonder why he hadn’t done this at home. He then proceeded to put his kit together making a big thing of having to guess exactly how high to set each drum etc. Surely if you have been playing for years (he has had his snare drum since he was 12 he is now late 50s) it would be second nature by now.
I was beginning to feel uneasy. The lead guitarist and his daughter (the ‘goth’ bass guitarist ) were now setting up around the drummer, speaking to each other in hushed tones. Finally at a minute to 9pm it appeared that the band were ready to begin. But no, first the drummer stripped off his red t-shirt swapping it for a round necked yellow t-shirt then added sweat bands to his head and wrists. Now in my mind he shouldn’t have done this in front of his audience. He should have gone to the gents or even out to his car, certainly not sitting behind his drum kit.
The music began to resonate through the small room (loudly). By the time the first song was over the Landlord told the band to turn the volume down a bit. The drummer complained to his guitarist that he wasn’t able to hear himself over the guitar sound. A minute or so later the band resumed playing. During the next hour they played some Who, Free, Nicky Moore, Thin Lizzy and various others. The Lead guitar was well played, the bass guitar was well played, even the drums were good. The singing was not so good.
But the worst thing that occurred was when the drummer……………………….
………..decided that he was too hot and took off his yellow shirt. I was wondering what he was going to replace it with. It soon dawned on me that the answer was………..nothing. He played the remainder of the set bare chested. From where I was sitting I couldn’t see the guitarist’s face as it was blocked from my line of vision by a speaker. I could see the drummer but directly in my line of vision was the bass guitarist. I have never seen a musician looking less like they were enjoying themselves. There was one moment when I thought she almost cracked a smile but not quite.
Anyway the band stopped for a break and the Landlord told the drummer that he would pay them up but they wouldn’t be playing a second set. Most of the small gathering of people in the pub had either left or were preparing to leave so there was no point in continuing.
This afternoon we popped into the pub for a quiet drink and guess what the main topic of conversation was. Yes you got it…..the weather, in particular the snow that has descended once again in various parts of the country considerably late in the year. Oh and also the dreadful band from last night.
When I got home from work Owl asked me to check the cd player in the car I have been driving for the last 10 days. (Our Chevvy Blazer went into a local garage for it’s MOT). I duly found a cd which the previous driver had left behind. We drove down to the garage to hand over the disc. I had already made up my mind that at some point in the near future, I would give Owl a surprise.
Ok so pulling away from the garage forecourt I decided that there is no time like the present. I had earlier studied a map for the route to my chosen destination. I was taking Owl to a country pub that he had taken me to once last summer. I do not know the country roads around here as well as he does. When I was studying the map I had checked out the route from 2 directions but now I was taking the third route (which I hadn’t checked out).
My husband hadn’t expected me to turn off our usual road home at the point that I did. I was now driving along uncharted territory for me. However I managed to find my way to the lane leading to our destination without saying where we were heading to. Once Owl realised where we were going he cheered, giving my decision his approval.
Walking into the bar Owl greeted the solitary bar man like an old friend (he was an old friend of his). We chatted for a while, including giving him the news of our recent marriage. We had been there a while when I felt the urgent need to find the ladies room. But before I could make my move, my husband up and trotted off to the gents. I waited for his return before scuttling off on my own errand. Climbing down from my high bar stool (I’m only 5′ short) through the bar, past part of the restaurant, through a door leading to the toilets, pushing through the entrance to the ladies room. I was faced by two narrow doors, by this time I was in difficulty. Opting for the door closest to me I squeezed in beside the porcelain (is it my imagination or are all pub toilet cubicles getting this small these days). Managed to get the door shut (there was only just enough room for my small feet). Tried to close the wrought iron latch only to discover that it slides not lifts. Grappling with my skirt and under garments I slumped onto the seat. It was only then that I discovered I had chosen the cubicle with no toilet tissue!!
Quite a few pubs in this area seem to have toilets that are so small that it becomes a major operation to get inside and then get the door shut, not easy when you are in a desperate hurry.
Returning to the bar we had another drink before heading home for a gourmet meal of cheesy scrambled eggs 🙂
Around the area that we now live there are 3 pubs, the nearest one is not to our taste, we made a couple of ill advised sorties into the realms of ripped seating and sticky flooring among men who communicate by shouting at each other from a distance of a mere few feet.
The second pub is a good 10 minutes walk for Owl or 20 for me, it is a level higher than the first pub but has a bad reputation for fights, drugs and the like, I think I have braved it maybe 3 or 4 times during last summer.
But we much prefer the third pub, it is further away than the others and very quiet, apparently in years gone by it had a bad reputation. The couple who currently run it have been there for 3 or 4 years and have no trouble with the punters. They have a zero tolerance policy on drugs, swearing and fighting. They struggle to get back the numbers they should have but they don’t get any trouble there. The staff are very friendly and they often have live music or karaoke nights.
Last week as I drove past it, I noticed that the second pub is closed for major refurbishment. But I did have to laugh when I saw the sign on the fencing which promotes the imminent opening of a new “HUNGRY HORSE” ………..really ……..after what we have been reading and hearing about for the last couple of weeks this must surely be a joke.It’s