Friday, 6 August 2010
Weather wise it's been a brilliant summer so far, in fact it's been the best I can recall for many a year, certainly down here in this small corner of the Kingdom. I've spent many a long evening out in my garden working on projects like extending my patio, moving my brick-built barbecue and, of course, erecting my new summer-house-cum-brewery.
Back in 2001 when my wife and I were going through the final stages of negotiating the lease on our off-licence, and were in the advanced stages of planning out our new business, I knew that the hardest thing to give up would be those long summer evenings spent pottering outdoors. I was right; running a retail business like an off-licence requires 100% commitment, and evenings are when booze shops do most of their trade. When we eventually sold the business, back in 2007, the garden was looking like a jungle, much of the house was in need of re-decoration and I was in need of a long overdue holiday. One makes these sacrifices, and looking back I would say they were worth it. We manged to sell the business for a reasonable profit, and I was able to go back to my old profession working as a Quality Controller in industry.
As you can imagine then, I appreciate my summer evenings out of doors even more these days, and although the weather's taken a bit of a nose dive over the last couple of days, there's still a fair bit of summer left. Sunny days, and long light summer evenings ought to make for good beer drinking. I haven't seen any figures yet, but I would like to hope that beer sales, especially those in pubs, are on the up. I've done my fair share of beer drinking over the past few months, most noticeably on holiday in Bamberg, but also in some delightful pubs whilst walking the Wealdway long-distance footpath back in June. There's also been quite a bit of activity on the local CAMRA front, what with the two beer festivals we've helped out at, plus my visit earlier this week to the Great British Beer Festival.
Ironically it's raining outside, not heavy rain, but enough to confine me indoors. I'm watching Gardeners World as I write, and they're showing off some stunning gardens. I've obviously got a lot more work to get mine looking anything remotely like the ones featured on the programme. Hopefully the summer will be back before long so I can continue to enjoy quite a few more long evenings outdoors before the nights start drawing in.