The weekend so far

The usual disarray of shopping arrived on Friday evening’s boat. It took about an hour to put it all away before we could collapse into a hot bath with a newly-purchased bottle of sherry. Mr L had taken care to buy an extraordinary quantity of Very Bad For You items, as usual. Among these were  a nice Melton Mowbray Pork Pie and a jar of Pickled Eggs. Aha! I could see what was coming…

Saturday was pretty much a day of recuperation – ten hours spent on a packed ferry boat and wandering around town in the teeming rain, doing a six-week shopping load unaided, well – that can take it out of man, you know? So we were fairly late up. I cut Mr L’s hair before his morning shower  and then we  took a leisurely late breakfast of croissants before considering our day. We were working towards a pub night.

Pub Night is a periodic feature in this household. It involves consuming good beer, nothing else will do. This time around Mr L had bought himself some Old Peculier (and thereby hangs a nostalgic tale[1]) and some Golden Promise for me. Pub Nights also involve our venerable ex-public house bar billiard table, and our dart board – if is currently mounted on the wall. As it happened, we both fancied playing darts this time but had not yet got around to mounting the board since we moved in here. It had to be done…

I was starting to feel peckish again…

So, we furtled in the store room and found the dartboard, somewhat mildewed. We had to furtle some more to find the case, which was not where either of us thought that we had left it. And then there was a considerable further amount of furtling to discover where on earth we had put the bracket for safe-keeping…

…and by now I was feeling somewhat hungered.

All parts having been discovered, and cleaned, the light was beginning to fade. This was when Mr L, having turned on the light by the dimmer switch, recalled that he had promised to find me an ordinary switch for it. He set off to find one a new switch and renew the old one. It was partly installed when… he screwed the head right off the screw and had to go find another one. Eventually, new switch installed (and not before time either[2]) and the room declared to be “brighter already” it was decided (not by me) that the bulb needed swapping to one of the new low energy ones… but he couldn’t remember where they had been stored either… and much more furtling went on in various rooms of the house, until a bulb was discovered.

I was feeling very hungry by now – 2 small croissants[3] will only fuel a certain amount of furtling, you know.

Then began the tedious business of mounting the dart board case – and getting the screw holes lined up with the rawlplugs. Tempers (a temper was, anyway) were getting frayed. Having been roped in as assistant I did my best to do as I was told but eventually it got the better of me and I quietly and innocently murmured something along the lines of “would a couple of matchsticks help..?

Things went swimmingly after that and the board was up in no time.

My stomach was really rumbling and complaining.

Mr L went to set up a play list for the “jukebox” and took the easy option of lining up several “20/40 Biggest Greatest Hits of the Biggest Greatest Sixties Jukeboxes” or something like that. I prepared the pub supper, and then we hit the bath again, with a preparatory lager and some peanuts, as I was about to expire from lack of food.

I got thrashed at darts, about 6-2, but managed to win the first and the last game. I went out on a single dart double-top so was able to claim that I had only been toying with him 😉

Nell didn’t know what to make of the darts. She was quite worried by the thuds and worked her way backwards into the sitting room, only coming forwards again when the pork scratchings came out of their bag. Treacle, however, was completely fascinated. He sat on the floor, looking up at the board, clearly wondering if he could intercept these birds.

We swapped to bar billiards at 9pm, when we turned off the music streamer and switched on Radio 2 for Pirate Johnnie Walker, which was just brilliant – he played many of my all time favourite records last night (playlist). Can you guess which ones are my favourites?

Treacle was as interested as ever in the bar billiards, so we had to play the “Cat Rules” variant, which is not, I think, very widely known or played. Fundamentally, the cat crouches on the table and is a third player. He’s fairly neutral and may either help or hinder the current player as he sees fit. The remaining two players have to abide by all basic rules and accept both points scored by the cat, and penalties for fouls made.

Unsurprisingly the bar billiards came out honours even, as we both struggled to complete a game with any points at all.

And where was Teddy, you might be asking? Well, he slept through it all, as is his wont.

Photos are from a previous event, when Treacle was a little younger and smaller than he is now. Interim Pub Night events have tended to be broadcast on web cam, and I haven’t bothered with photos. Last night, I was just too convulsed with laughter to be able to hold a camera. We are thinking of setting up a web cam for future events, but need to work out how to handle the streaming in our current network setup. It’s a bit of a challenge. Hopefully we shall be on line in time for my birthday party.

(Apologies are due – I forgot to resize the image before I uploaded them, clicking through will get the original from-the-camera shot and not the cropped and edited pics I thought I was uploading.)

Johnnie’s show finishes at chucking out time, so my date escorted me home and ensured that I was in bed by 11:30.  He may have thought that he’d pulled, I can’t possibly say, but we finished the night listening to Bob Harris, while Mr L sipped some of the Jura that he had brought home. Me? I finished the front of his sweater, so maybe he got lucky after all.

Today got off to a slow beginning, all that playing and being on my feet all night made me very tired indeed. I plan to do very little – I have cast on the back of Mr L’s sweater and shall knit on that, and I am going outside in a moment to see if there is any surviving parsley – I have it in mind to make Chicken Kiev for dinner.


1 – we just celebrated ten years since our first f2f meeting – this was in The Duck and Drake in Leeds, at a uk.local.yorkshire “con” in Feb 1999. Ostensibly set up by Mr L as an impromptu get-together to consume quantities of Old Peculier, he admitted some years later that it had been arranged with the ulterior motive of getting to meet me. He did. The rest is history. Quite an historic event all round, it was my first meeting not just with Mr L but with a whole bunch of Usenet oddities, some of whom gave an unfavourable impression that day but have since become my very good friends. I entered the pub late, and asked the pub landlord if there was a bunch of people who were drinking Old P. “Yeah – he said, they are in that corner and I need a new barrel!” I walked over to them and a voice said “You must be Beth” I looked up and saw the cutest smile and twinkly brown eyes…

2 – the dimmer switch in the middle room has been “fizzing” for some time. It didn’t sound at all healthy. When we took it off the wall, we saw why. At keast it didnlt give us any shocks along the way, as the utility room switch did when we first came here. Idiosyncratic electrics in this house. Very.

3 – if any vistors head this way from Leeds at any time, please bring supplies of Aynsley’s croissants – both plain  and cheese. Some trappings of civilisation I do miss…