Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

shaggy dog stories

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Stories, folklore, rumours, facts and fabrication the life blood of a country pub.  From ‘did you know that dynamite is made of peanuts’?  to ‘I once met Geoff Boycott in a bar in Barnsley’.

My story today is one of great peril and high drama and of general silliness.   As Landlord and Landlady, myself and my partner have found ourselves often listening to our local Sooth-Sayers.  As usual once the normal pleasantries have passed you become drawn were  inextricably into the world of random facts and fictions.  

on this occasion it all started from a statement  from one of our customers,  Mr X as we will call him,  ‘was in need of a repeat prescription from the doctors’ and that ‘ Iv’ no time to collect it.  I’m a busy man!’   This had surprised the assembled patrons as Mr X had been in the pub well before most of their number. 

But I  digress, as usual mention of ‘doctors’ n medical matters provoked a round of ( as I  like to call it ) I’m sicker than you are.   After due consideration of conditions critical, personal and comical a pause in the conversation deepened into a lull. 

  A lull of course into which a statement of weight and importance  was needed to fill.   Thus to the fore a hero came and a statement of purest ‘shaggy dogness’ spilled forth.  ‘Did you know that Johny Cash became addicted to pain killers after being attacked by an ostrich’.   As you might expect the assembled audience reacted as only people in a pub can.  We had nods of knowing agreement laughs of derision gasps of pure shock and surprise and several giggles of high comedy.  

 After what seemed like only seconds alternative reasons for Mr Cash’s addiction are poured forth and ‘no’ was the general cry.  ‘He fell off a horse’ ‘he was involved in a car crash’ ‘he had an accident on stage’ ‘he was injured getting off a tractor’ ‘he had a childhood illness leading to a bad back’, the alternative explanations had rained down upon our hero. 

 A lesser man would have cracked under the barrage of opposition and recanted.   But not our hero he was adamant!  As with knights of old or gentleman of a nobler age. Satisfaction was required and ranks were formed,   believers and none believers aligned and all that was required was proof !   So yes proof was required but not from your normal run of the mill proof but the full blown certified guaranteed factual  type.  

So where would you find this ultimate proof,  Books no, learned professors, other blokes we have meet down the pub no, all were brought to question but proof is a fleeting thing and not forthcoming so far.   Then the wisest of the assembled cast offered expounds the theory ‘google it’ the assembled throng fell into a hushed silence.

Fingers fluttered on the keyboard keys and in less than the time it takes to order a pint google answers the burning question. Yes dear reader Johny Cash did become addicted due to an ostrich attack. Our hero fills his chests and stands tall vindicated.

All his allies stand glowing with smug satisfaction, the defeated foes stand humbled and mumble words of supplication attempting to distance themselves from former points of view. Thus once again our ‘Shaggy Dog’ has walked abroad bringing glory and defeat to any who attempt to stroke his shaggy coat.


A winters tale

In boating, camra, caravaning, Country Fare, eating out, english pubs, local history, Misterton, real ale, river trent, social history on February 9, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Well life is slower than ever in our village on the trent, yet more snow and ice is causing transport and communication problems nation wide. Here in stockwith the effects of the snow are icy roads and many less regulars braving the weather to join us for a drink and a chat. But those who do brave the elements are as usual being greeted with a warm smile a glowing hearth and a friendly word. Talk is of the weather and tales of winters long remembered and all agree that yet again we have failed to cope with natures more inclement offerings.

The boats in stockwith basin appear like toys upon a frosted glass all fixed within the ice that sheets the waters surface. The canal to is frozen over the surface looking firm and strong as it holds its charges solid. But the look is much deceiving as the ice is only thin, its strength is only spectral and evaporates once tested.

The crew that works the brewery are braving the bitter cold in an effort to brew fresh ale. Our order book requires we brew our ales whatever the climate offers. So with blue fingers and misty breath they toil around the vessels cleaning barrels and all else that is required to produce a sparkling brew . They work with smiles and laughter to keep out winters cold, for all are true believers . Missionaries with a passion for ale in all its forms believers in tradition and there one true idol ‘a sparkling pint of beer’ .

View from the bar

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Village Life

Well we had a ‘snow day’ yesterday over night several inch’s of pure white snow feel and paralysed the area school buses

Another day in ‘Stockwith’ and as usual life is ambling onward with all about us living and working as normal. We at the ‘Hart’ are doing so in our own inimitable way,our friends and customers stopping in and out as the mood takes them.

The river again looks like polished glass, mirror like, motionless to the eye. Until a duck or dog shatters its surface sending ripples across to our sister village ‘East Stockwith’, eighteen miles or sixty yards away. It is the backdrop to all our lives within the village, but we have no knowledge of the other side of our erstwhile neighbours ‘ so close and yet so far’ . A river though deceptive in its piece, a river that’s under currents and tidal flow can cause havoc to our boating friends and end unwary lives without a moments pause.