The fourth of July was independence day for boozers in England. For the first time since lockdown in March, pubs threw open their doors with staff waiting anxiously at the pumps. We were like rats out of a trap. First stop for a cheeky bottle of blush, the White Horse, transformed into a virus-free sanctuary (as much as anything can be) by the jolly landlord, Simon Peck, and his trusty staff.
The pandemic revealed an entirely different side to Simon as a bumbling and uncannily accurate BoJo impersonator as you can see in this tongue firmly in cheek performance.
Simon even made it on to Look East, our regional BBC news programme. If you’re on Facebook, give the video a like if you would. Simon would be chuffed.
Next stop was the Swan for a couple and then the King’s Head for a final snifter. We didn’t quite make it up to the Angel. That’s on the menu for next time. Too early for opening time? I’m no expert so I’ll leave that to the know-it-alls to speculate. What I do know is each establishment did their bit to keep people safe and all the punters behaved. Was it worth it? You bet! We got totally tiddlypooped.
One more pretty beer garden, one more eavesdropped conversation. This time, two young hipsters with ridiculously overgrown whiskers. They were in deep, earnest conclave.
‘Why didn’t you just tell me you were gay when I asked you?’
‘So you go and lock yourself in the toilet for hours? I was really worried.’
‘I know, I know.’
‘Look, we’ve always been mates ain’t we?’
‘So what did you think I was gonna do? Tell you to fuck off?’
‘Well, thanks a lot. What kind of arsehole do you take me for?’
Judging by this and other posts about earwigging, you could be forgiven for thinking we spend all our supping days eavesdropping on the conversations of others. Honestly, we do talk to each other from time to time. Besides, I do like to take a little interest in my fellow man (and woman, of course). If it’s good enough for Her Maj’s secret services…
Now for some pretty pictures of the pretty beer garden at the pretty pub: The Plough, St Benedict’s Street.
Unlike many houses of God poking up through the mishmash skyline of Norwich, the old church of St Giles, so ancient it got a mention in the Domesday Book of 1086, is still saving souls today. At this time of year, it’s ringed by a dripping abundance of wisteria and very pretty it looks too. As the old saying goes:
Norwich has a Church for every week of the year and a pub for every day of the year.*
I took some snaps on the way to my place of worship, the Coach and Horses.
*Sadly, this is no longer true pub-wise though there are still plenty of places to take communion.
It’s our wedding anniversary today. Unlike the resurrection of Christ, it’s not a moveable feast. We celebrated our nuptials a day early with a boozy lunch at one of Norwich’s finest eateries followed by a slow pub crawl back to the loft. The food was divine but the delicious highlight was when an elderly Norfolk broad sitting at the adjacent table said loudly to her companions.
‘The same thing happened to me during my colonoscopy.’
Liam slipped his ring on my finger seven years ago. I suppose I ought to have an itch to scratch, but my senses have been so dulled by yesterday’s excess I can’t feel a thing.
A gruelling morning of shopping and pushing through the madding crowds emptied us of Christmas cheer so we decided to refill it at a local hostelry. Minutes from the loft, the Coachmaker’s Arms is by far the most patronised pub in the vicinity, despite the whiff of damp and the beer flies dive-bombing the kegs of real ale lined up behind the bar. The pub was nose to nipple but we managed to squeeze onto a couple of stools to rest our weary legs. As we supped, it was impossible not to eavesdrop on the animated conversations of the punters. Our ears swivelled like bats to the sound of a couple of Norfolk broads behind us:
“Well, lets face it, you’ve cheated on him loads of times.”
“No I haven’t. That was just a bunch of lesbians.”