Dear all, yesterday I was walking by the Wye at Brockweir and splendid it was too. Daffodils and snowdrops scattered along the bank, a heavy frost and the smell of wood smoke in the cold still air. I called in at a restaurant next to St. Brievals castle for tea and cake and, on my way back to Stanley Towers, passed through Bream. I remembered that it was here, in the Rising Sun on days like this, that I used to be able to order my pint of traditional, draw a red-hot poker from the fire and plunge it into the cider and then sprinkle some dried ginger into it from a pot kept on the mantlepiece. All this while being closely watched by the half dozen or so old boys who seemed to be permanent fixtures. They would nod their approval and I'd drink my toddy.
This morning I thought I'd cycle through the Forest and call briefly into the local library to check my e-mails and to see what's exercising the SE1ers this morning........Oh dear, maybe I''l ride up to the Sun later and see if they've still got a poker by the fire. In the meantime, I shall be back next week and wonder if anyone would like to meet over a pint of that marvelous Stowford Press that they serve at the Oak? All welcome.
I did indeed, I particularly liked the AA inspector telling them that their vegetables were over-cooked and the owners agreed, but said that they'd been cooked to local tastes. A few years ago, when asked by a Forest resaurateur whether I'd enjoyed my meal, I complained that the "selection of fresh vegetables" had obviously come out of the freezer. He said that I was correct, but had no intention of changing the wording of his menu because nobody else had complained!
What about next Wednesday 10th?
Would love the chance to learn more about obscure rugby traditions, and to pick up a few household tips. And to put a face to the beard as it were. But my juggling is not too great at the moment - and so though I'll try I can't be sure I'll make it.