Thursday, 7 December 2017

So Christmas begins

I’m working on a rather lengthy post at the moment, so in case I don’t finish it this evening, I wanted to say it’s my company’s Christmas “do” tomorrow afternoon. There will therefore be no blogging on Friday evening, when I eventually stagger home.

This year’s event follows a familiar pattern, of work in the morning, before we all march off up the road to the Little Brown Jug pub; around five minutes walk away. There will be a sit-down, three-course Christmas meal, accompanied by the odd glass or three of beer or wine.

The Little Brown Jug is opposite Penshurst station, in the small village of Chiddingstone Causeway, where our factory is based. The station will be handy for a train back to Tonbridge, tomorrow evening, but I think most of the workforce, who don’t live locally, will be relying on someone to drive them home.

There does seem a strange reluctance amongst many people today to use public transport, which is foolish, as in these straightened times the bus and train companies are likely to cite “lack of use” as a reason to cutback on services.

OK, rant over and back to the Christmas theme. The Jug is a Greene King pub which is leased to a local company called Whiting & Hammond. It has a reputation for good food, and beer-wise normally stocks Larkin’s Traditional, from the brewery just a few miles down the road.

This time of year I’d prefer something a little stronger, such as the rarely seen 4.4% Larkin’s Best, but we will have to wait and see as to what else is on, (most likely Rocking Rudolph, that faux Hardy & Hanson beer from the GK stable). With the company picking up the tab though, I shouldn’t be churlish, and there’s normally the odd half-decent bottle of wine floating about.

When I first started with the company, eleven and a half years ago, we had a couple of lunchtime Christmas meals, at the Bottle House up at Smart’s Hill. However, getting staff to and from this attractive, but very isolated country pub proved a logistical nightmare, and also an expensive one due to the cost of taxi hire, so the company then switched to holding an evening “do”.

We were allowed to bring our partners to these events, but as the workforce grew in numbers, these evenings also worked out expensive. The current afternoon celebration works quite well, and although some may have described me as a grumpy old git, I do actually enjoy mixing and socialising with my colleagues, (well most of them, anyway!)

That just about sums up our company Christmas meal, but the family and I will be looking forward to another celebratory dinner the following weekend; this time with friends from West Kent CAMRA. The Brecknock Arms, at Bells Yew Green, conveniently close to Frant station, will once again be hosting our event. With Harvey’s Old and Christmas Ale on draught, that too could prove to be a boozy event.


Russtovich said...

This confirms those Christmas dinner pub boards are for company meals and not family meals on Christmas day itself. :)

Enjoy the get together.

"allowed to ring our partners"

That should either be bring our partners or rope our partners (into coming).


PS - In the photo that's you in the green hat on the left (just kidding!) :)

Dave said...

Out of curiosity do you think many of your coworkers read your blog?

Anonymous said...

Good question,Dave !

Nice piece of social history for posterity, Paul. In 50 years time people will look back in awe at all this.


Paul Bailey said...

Yes Russ, the boards refer to company meals, rather than family ones on the day itself. Typo duly corrected, btw.

As for the photo, I'm on the right-hand side wearing a Christmas jumper. The lovely lady next to me, is Mrs PBT's.

Paul Bailey said...

Dave, one or two of my co-workers read my blog, which is why I didn’t say anything derogatory (not that I would, anyway!). The photo though was taken, three years ago, at our local CAMRA branch Christmas meal, rather than at the company "do".

Martin, “ In 50 years’ time people will look back in awe at all this”. I wouldn’t hold your breath!

Russ, I lost your comment about a “treacle mine”, when I was doing a spot of editing; but I wasn’t sure what you were referring to. Sorry.

Andy Moore said...

Haha! What a photo. Oh dear. Shame the partners can’t go anymore but I’ll catch up with you at The Brecknock! Perhaps we can have a blogging convo? Have a great day today and don’t drink too much beer 🍺 Only joking. 😂 Have a fab time. Xxx

Curmudgeon said...

"The photo though was taken, three years ago, at our local CAMRA branch Christmas meal"

The chap next to you looks like an archetypal CAMRA member ;-)

(He's not the one who passed away this year, is he?)

Paul Bailey said...

Thanks Andrea. Look forward to catching up with you over a few beers at the Brecknock next weekend.

Paul Bailey said...

Regrettably that is our ex- chairman Iain, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Russtovich said...

No worries.

I was scrutinizing the picture further and noticed the sign on the back wall says "Treacle Mine Road" and was just thinking "shades of Terry Pratchett!"


Paul Bailey said...

Hi Russ, I think the then landlady of the Royal Oak, where this photo was taken, was a fan of Terry Pratchett. She certainly like things which were slightly "off the wall", but this aside, she was also a chef, and cooked our Christmas dinner that day.

ps. Got back from today's "do" about three hours ago. It was one of the best I have been to.

Russtovich said...

"ps. Got back from today's "do" about three hours ago. It was one of the best I have been to."

That's the (Christmas) spirit! (LOL)