Thursday, 4 June 2020

Home Drinking Starts to Pall

Those who know me well, know that I don't really drink at home. I presumably thought I did at one time, but the large number of undrunk bottles going back years that lie languishing in my garage, suggests I do not. Well certainly not enough.

Until this pandemic swiped more or less everything sideways, this cosy arrangement was fine. I went into the garage, looked at a beer, shook my head and decided not to bother. Or to go to the pub. Now things have changed. Our binmen - sorry, environmental operatives - who no doubt pre virus, looked forward to emptying my green recycling bin. It was as light as a chaste maiden's kiss, filled as it was with the odd kitchen disinfectant bottle, bog cleaner, mushy pea can and milk container. Now every three weeks, they strain every Covid-free sinew, as groaning like an overloaded dance floor, they huff and puff my brimming bin to the waiting wagon.

You see, among my other sins - and they are plenty - now that the pub is denied me, I almost always only drink bottled beer. I compound that felony by drinking bottles of a larger size. That is 500 ml and above. I rarely drink small bottles of strong beer - they are the dust collectors in the garage. Of  course the ones I do drink weigh more and take up more room in what was previously a roomy bin, but which now is so inadequate that my garage floor has the excess in it as an unwanted trip hazard. If I only drank cans, then at least I could squash the buggers down a bit and equally, not be afraid of hearing a loud pinging noise and a shriek of agony, as an overloaded binman, snaps something essential, as my bin contents are dragged to their recycling future.

Now a narrow wheelie bin, emptied once every three weeks, doesn't really represent a huge amount in the great scheme of things.   I haven't measured my intake, but I do know how it has come about. Two things; the bloody lockdown and secondly the lovely weather.  As a result of the former, our garden, while hardly going to test those who aspire to Chelsea Flower show standards, is looking pretty damn good.  So, at five'o'clock or so, we have on the sun trap patio at the bottom of our garden, taken to sitting in the sunshine and opening a couple of bottles. Each. That has been known to lead to more, or even once, when the weather stayed warm until ten at night, the addition of bottles of wine and a missed evening meal.

In a so far successful attempt to be sensible, we decided some time ago only to do this if the weather is nice. But - and this is a big but - the weather has been, on the whole, damn pleasant.  So the beer (and the crisps) have been opened more often than not.  In days when the highlights are few and far between, it really has been something to look forward to.  What's not to like I hear you ask?  Well I find myself looking wistfully at my beer and saying "We could be in the Rose or the Ringers now."  E nods in agreement. We know people there and, like most people, are company starved under this lockdown. Drinking bottled beer at the bottom of the garden seems fine and dandy. It is certainly sociable between us two, but it ain't the pub and both of us are acutely aware of it.

Now however, the weather has broken and looking ahead, there seems little prospect of sitting on the patio until at least June 15th, maybe longer. The weather forecast isn't at all promising. And you know what? I'm happy about that. On the days when the sun hasn't shone, or it has been too cold, we haven't missed it.

But rain or shine, we are missing the pub and the company we find there. Not to mention in my case, cask conditioned beer.

What have I been drinking? Well, St Austell Proper Job mostly. Bottle conditioned and at 5.5%, two is usually plenty.  Some German stuff too, but I've given up re-racked cask beer.  E has developed a bit of a soft spot for Warsteiner and Aldi Pils. 

We also have the Virtual Tavern on Zoom every Sunday, but while great,  all we really want is to be back round our table.


ShadowHider said...

Would that be the Rose Of Lancaster and the Ring O' Bells Peter?

You must really like your Lees. :-))

Tandleman said...

I like certain people and if in Midd you have to have some regard to Lees.

ShadowHider said...

Had a crawl around Midd over 2 visits in late 2018 and last year. The Rose had a very good pint of MPA, but the best pint I had was Lees Bitter in the Gardeners on Sandy Lane, nice pub as well.

Cooking Lager said...

run a book on what pubs will return and what won't

Tandleman said...

Easier for me in my area, like you in yours. Family brewers won't change much other than what is allowed to open.