When I was younger and single, my idea of a good trip to the pub was to arrive with friends at a country pub with good real ale and drink steadily, or more accurately, less and less steadily, from 8PM or so until the pub closed. Nowadays, that doesn’t really appeal, partly because most of my friends are scattered far and wide and we all have lives and families of our own, partly because my job precludes it most days, but also because hangovers are no longer the minor headache inconveniences that I remember from my twenties, but full blown head-cracking, mind-numbing agony!
My favourite trips to the pub are like those we had today. It was a rainy, grey day, so our plans for a day out in the Autumn sunshine were put on hold and we decided instead to go along to the pub in our neighbouring village of Farley, The Hook and Glove, for a pub lunch. Nicki, Caitie and I arrived to find a small, quaint and sadly quiet pub with Wadworth 6X on tap – for me obviously – and a fine menu containing such great staples as local fresh cut ham, egg and chips; steak and ale pie (made with the deeply marvellous Summer Lightining ale from the local brewery) and fish pie and peas. We had a lovely meal for three in a small pub with the wind and rain darkening the day outside and it reminded me yet again that this is what being a family is all about. Do I miss the old drinking days? Not ever.