Tag Archives: pubs

Swift Half

England has single-handedly turned around my reluctance to visit pubs.

For one thing, I love being able to suggest to The BB that we “slip out for a swift half.”  As regular readers will know, I don’t even like beer, except as reading material, but that phrase, garnered from British TV shows, is too evocative to pass by. I use it to convey a desire for a chilled beverage of any persuasion, ingested from a container of any dimension. Continue reading

Not Drinking But Reading

I’m not, by any measure, a beer person so why spend ten minutes in the beer section in the Stratford Garden Centre near Warwick? Because of the names. Check them out. Continue reading

Around the Purple Heather

When I travelled in Tasmania as a teenager I experienced an interesting illusion that derived from my having grown up in Western Australia’s vast distances. I relived it in and around the North York Moors National Park, surprisingly, England’s most wooded national park.

Looking at the map, I would estimate the time it would take to get from one town to the next. I no sooner looked up from the map, than we were upon that next town – fifteen minutes early. Prior to leaving Australia, I discovered it’s only about  forty-five minutes north-south along the moors. My brain was curiously resistant to this information. It’s as if there was a little section off to the side in there having its own conversation, rather like a coffee room of insubordinate gossips: “There’s a whole green patch there on the map with lots of towns in it and some big open spaces. It must take longer than forty-five minutes. We’ll take no notice of what the local bloke says. We’ve never been there but we know better.” Continue reading


Black pudding looking deceptively edible at the Eskdale Inn, North York moors.

On Location

The circuit from our B&B, Crabpot Cottage (very nice), in Flamborough to the Rose and Crown pub a few doors down took us about three hours. Via the clifffs. Our B&B proprietor was right, the table booking was necessary. The place was chockablock with locals. What fun, having dinner at a local pub in England. All those accents and all that pale, Ella Bache skin. Continue reading

Lapping Up Queen Victoria’s Feet

Those of you following this little rascal will know that he’s taken a liking to Queen Victoria. (Don’t ask me why, perhaps he sees something of himself in her.)

Guess who we found in Royal Leamington Spa? Guess who put the ‘Royal’ into Leamington Spa in 1838?

He wanted me to set up an elaborate pulley system whereby I could haul him up to sit at her feet but since that would have meant lassoing HRH I decided against it and balanced him on the lower ledges of her plinth. (Actually, he did take a tumble into the flower bed before this photo was taken – the breeze caught him – but he was as stoic as his idol and gamely took his place again.)

I will now dedicate my time to finding an accessible foot-sitting statue for him.

In the meantime Sir Porridge, Baronet, will have to content himself with other representatives of HRH such as the ‘post office’ (see Postal Porridge) and the nearby Queen Victoria pub which performs another kind of service for her subjects.

The Vicar of Turville

Years ago, I found a newspaper article about Turville. (The village is a very old hand at being mentioned in print, having made it into the Anglo-Saxon chronicles in 796.) That piece of paper became something like a science-fiction movie prop, glowing in my drawer, pulling my eyes and mind and resources to it. Continue reading