One of our Sunday crew, Colin, has a record of losing his coat from our pub. Always it has turned out that someone else, known to him and to the rest of us has taken it by mistake. The sort of mistake that you may well infer has a degree of alcoholic influence behind it.
Last Sunday after a typical session. We - Colin me and E - were offered a lift down the lane by one of the other regulars whose wife had called to collect him in a big 4x4. We accepted as it was inclement and well, who in truth really fancies a mile walk down a rutted, cow shit filled lane in the dark? E and I were in the car, Colin was in the pub rummaging for his coat. He couldn't find it. The curse of Colin's coat had struck again. With all of us hooting disrespectful comments from the car, he reluctantly left the pub and jumped in, casting wistful glances back into the pub. At the bottom of the lane E and I hopped out. Our benefactor was passing Colin's door and dropping him off there. We turned to the nearby bus stop and I put my hand in my pocket to find an unfamiliar object there. It was Colin's cap. I was wearing his coat.
Well. What to do? E nipped along a couple of hundred yards to Colin's with the coat and I, fortunately with a thick jumper on given that it was chilly, trudged wearily back up the lane for the mile to the pub to fetch my own coat. I met a couple of our lads on the way down who were not entirely sympathetic to my predicament. I may even have heard the buggers laughing as I walked on. John the landlord did keep a sort of straight face, but not by much, when I re-appeared. At least the walk down was warmer and downhill.
This Sunday when I arrived at the pub I was subjected to many coat based comments and much ribbing. One of the things about having a local is from time to time you take a fair bit of stick. Still, it's nice to belong.
When on that lane at night alone you realise how creepy it is. And bloody dark for a fair bit, as lighting only goes half way up. E was meantime as snug as a bug in Colin's house. Despite a fair few pints, my extra two miles certainly sobered me up.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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