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…and then there’s this…

Today was a misty, mizzly, miserable sort of day. It precipitated: something more than fog but something less than rain. We did our weekly shop then set out in search of lunch.

I’ll be honest with you, we stopped Mickey D’s first. But the school holidays are on so the place was chock full of screaming children. Um, no.

So we went on to an old pub not far away. We’ve been in this one many times, but we’re not regulars and we heard it’s under new management. When we walked in, honest to god it was like a Hammer film. You know the scene, where strangers walk into a country pub and all conversation stops and grizzly old men squint at them over pints of beer? That one.

Being the smooth social operator that I am, I gibbered, “Oh my gawd, this is like a Hammer film, where strangers walk into a country pub…”

Turns out, it’s not new management, it’s old management. The man who owns the place and has rented it to a series of wannabes has taken it on again to build the business back up. He came and sat by the fire (see crappy cellphone photo of fire) and all the old boys told us spooky stories about the pub.

He told us about a wounded smuggler being brought in to have his injuries dressed (this was — and is — a *big time* smuggling area, beginning in the 18th C. Before that, it was piracy). And a notorious and probably fictional murder on a bridge nearby. We’d heard of that one.

More recently, there was the neighbor up the hill who had 17 children. All their water came from a big rainwater butt. One day, the man next door disappeared. Three days later, they find him drowned in the water butt with his pockets full of nuts and bolts. Suicide by fresh water supply. Pretty unneighborly, if you ask me.

And the bloke who tried to kill himself with a humane killer. My advice, don’t Google it. It’s a sort of gun barrel with one round in it. Put it against an animal’s head and hit it with a hammer, bang. So he put it against his own forehead, swung, missed and smacked himself in the eye with the hammer. A sort of happy ending. Well, we laughed.

There was the inevitable pub ghost. All it did was move a chair and smell like rotten eggs, though, so I wasn’t impressed.

Also, the food wasn’t bad and the beer was excellent. All in all, a most convivial way to spend an English afternoon.

October 29, 2014 — 9:22 pm
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