Monday, 9 February 2009

The snow fell and we went to the pub

When the snow struck in the West Country and our town was without power there was only one place to go on Friday afternoon and that was the pub. The place was packed with locals, including the weary part-time firemen who had been out all night in the driving snow, and the licensees were doling out soup that they’d made on the AGA. The ale was in fine fettle, Otter’s robust ale, with its estery fruit notes on the nose, including pear drops; meanwhile the palate was a steady and solid slab of biscuity toffee at first then a balance of fruit before its rich and dry finish. Several pints of this were downed — after all it was a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. But what stays with me is the place of the local pub as somewhere were folk made their way to — to share stories, have a drink and a bite to eat, gossip, laugh and generally leave behind their cloistered selves that slumps in front of the telly. Good pubs like the one I was in will not go under — if there were more with that sense of community we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in.

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