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.