Bloody windy on the prom, today. In search of something to paint, I cross the road towards Happy Mount Park, looking for somewhere sheltered. Nothing. Boring. Midweek. I skirt the left hand edge that borders the golf club. There’s some okay landscape across there, but there’s an annoying ragged hedge that interrupts the eye. The bare twigs bob up and down like drowning men. Please die
They’re resurfacing some of the footpaths, and I’m forced onto the central walkway. I spy an open shed door in the pay-to-use playground where Blobblyland used to be. It’s within an oval of small gauge train tracks, and is a possible drinking den. There’s a guy with a leaf blower, blowing leaves off the line, under the trees, in this gale.
Walking around the other side of the oval track, amongst the trees and bushes bordering the golf club, there’s a large structure, like an expanded communal Anderson Shelter. It’s the train shed.
“Dave, bring some beer down to the park.”
The train shed doors are open, and poking around inside, it’s sheltered from wind and rain. Dave arrives, out of breath, with a box of Strongbow. It’s midweek.
Will we get to be in, or even outside of, a real pub in April?
Until then, we need to keep being vigilant when it comes to spotting communal drinking opportunities. This week, we’re got to go somewhere special.
We got Budgie to fly his helicopter to the isle of Man for a few drinks. Why budgie? Harry was a staunch royalist who was always wittering on about his flying ability. He had never regarded Sarah Ferguson as a real royal, so we called him Budgie to wind him up!
The flight took off from Greenlands Farm, which itself held potential for drinks, and was quickly over Morecambe Bay.
It doesn’t take long to arrive at Ronaldsway Airfield on the island, and a mate of Budgie’s was waiting for us with his car to drive us to the ruined abbey at Ballasalla about a mile away.
We had a couple of bottles of Heineken on the flight over, but upon arriving at the Abbey, we discovered some bottles of local beer had been left for us; Okell’s Triskelion, and plain old Bitter from the same Douglass brewery. I had some Fell Tinderbox, and Dave had his favourite Big Wednesday from Harbour Brewery. Budgie had some cans of John Smith’s, but he also had the lift home, so we let him off with a warning!
A mid-week four pack somewhere wet. No-one else was using the newish drinking pods outside the Owl’s Nest, so we did. The sad thing was, they wouldn’t be legal for ages, even when the pubs reopened. If the law was still going to be based on the smoking laws, then these frontless sheds would be classed as indoors.
We’ve got some Anti-Establishment IPA, the BrewDog rip off/collaboration, although it looks like a Fourpure logo to me. It’s okay, but you can’t drink it without feeling like you’re being fooled. Either in not guessing it’s the same beer, or that it is immediately much, much better, or worse than the famous original. It’s okay, just like the BrewDog.