Sunday, 9 April 2017

Staying put

Today was almost certainly the hottest day of the year, so far. I spent the whole day outdoors, sorting the garden out and generally just tidying around. Although I cleared up most of the fallen leaves, back in the autumn, there were still odd pockets here and there, where the wind had blown them into corners, and against things.

The garden is looking much tidier now, and with the long Easter weekend due in five days time, there will be time for planting stuff out, and re-potting those plants which managed to survive the winter. I’m not a passionate gardener, by any stretch of the imagination; in fact I aim to do just enough to keep the place looking reasonable.

Laying the new patio - 2009
We’ve got quite a large plot though, here at Bailey Towers, and over the years I’ve completely re-landscaped it, moving a path, having some trees taken down but then planting some new ones. I even laid a new patio a third of the way down the garden, and erected a summerhouse.

Yesterday we got rid of an old dining table and set of chairs which was cluttering up the summerhouse; courtesy of the YMCA who came round, as arranged, to collect this surplus furniture. And earlier today, we enjoyed the year’s first outdoor meal of roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings, washed down with a glass of Fuller’s 1845. The beer was excellent, and just the right accompaniment for a Sunday lunch.

Why am I telling you this?  Well it’s chiefly to make the point that sometimes there are other things in life which need doing, apart from going to the pub. My recent post about changing times and changing habits, was partially in response to one by the Pub Curmudgeon in which he was lamenting the decline in pub-going.

We exchanged comments on both our blogs and things got a little heated when Curmudgeon accused me of having a “Pollyanna” attitude towards pubs closing; whereas my argument was that the habit of going to the pub has been in decline for several decades for the very same reason that people have other things to do with their leisure time - including getting the garden straight!

I did actually turn down the chance of a pub-walk today; again for the same reason outlined above. This was the opportunity of walking from Tonbridge to the Dovecote Inn at Capel; a walk my friends and I have done many times, and with the bluebells just starting to show in local woodlands, this ramble is a particular favourite of mine.

So you see, I wasn’t just turning down the chance of sitting in an “old man-type pub”, discussing whether we should switch back to Imperial units of measurement, to go with the blue passports, once we’ve left the “evil empire”, but instead I forfeited a walk in the lovely Kent countryside, with some good friends, and to a good pub, where there is gravity-served beer to be enjoyed in pleasant rustic surroundings.

Sometimes you just have to do these things and so, once again, I make no apology for not doing my bit to support our pubs; but in my defence (not that I need one), I will be walking to a real cracker on Good Friday.


Matt said...

Fuller's 1845 goes particularly well with a roast dinner, especially a Christmas one with pigs in blankets etc., as the fruitiness really compliments the meat and gravy. I know it's only been brewed for a little over twenty years, but it tastes how I imagine a Victorian-era Burton ale might have.

Paul Bailey said...

Fuller's 1845 has always been a favourite of mine, Matt. Like you I have found it goes particularly well with Christmas dinner.