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Gung-ho for the Gun Inn?

November 4, 2013

As soon as the landlord mentioned that his “staffy” a Staffordshire terrier, was in the pub somewhere, It confirmed that I knew it was a place in which I did not want to be . The signs were there. A putrid pile of sweating meat in a bowl by the fireplace, a clientele with more than their share of tattoos, shaved heads and no stranger to extra, extra-large t-shirts and earrings, the swirly carpets and the endless stream of battered cod, chips and garden peas emanating from the kitchen should have given it away more quickly.

We were in Findon, a pretty Sussex village close to where we had been walking in the South Downs. Breakfasting large and late precluded any thought of lunch, but the walk up the hills had built up a nice thirst, and from the outside the pub, that I shall not name, looked inviting. It was just the type of people it had invited that was the problem. Salt of the earth no doubt, but Sky TV on a screen in the bar? There were unlikely to be any contenders for a Currencies Direct account here. They probably thought forex was a pint of lager.

goat on a bench

Billy takes a rest. Spotted last week in Glastonbury

Just before entering council house heaven, we had popped into the Gun Inn in the same village, which could not have been a more different experience, but that is the kind if thing that will happen when on pub reconnaissance. “Pub Of The Year” awards on the door created the right impression, several real ales on tap, including my current third favourite, Ringwood bitter, charming and attractive staff who were concerned that we may have wanted to eat as they were fully booked. The pub has been bookmarked for lunch at some stage in the future, whereas the other one is off my list forever.

Arriving back in Arundel to find The White Hart curiously quiet, the effect of the closure of their restaurant, Boca Nuevo, perhaps having some effect, we decided to walk up the Kings Arms for a pint of London Pride, where we met the Charlie “Pistorius” Malcolmson and his beautiful and beautifully formed wife Ally, who were, for once, on the right side of the counter, enjoying a quiet drink. We resolved to redouble our efforts to rekindle enthusiasm for the Arundel Luncheon Club, of which all four of us are founding members, and set a date, the 14th August, to reconvene. There are very strict membership criteria required in order to join; one must be a publican or their wife, seasoned music business veteran, nice decorating personnel, or anyone else who is available to have lunch when the club meets.

But now to a more sober affair, literally. Today has been set aside as a dreaded diet day. The 5:2 diet, as its name suggests, requires the dieter (in this sad case my good self) twice in each week, to take in no more than 600 calories in a twenty-four hour period. I have changed the bathroom scales as the previous ones had become old and unreliable, but I am unhappy to have to report that the new digital ones are no better, still giving obviously wildly inaccurate readings, and being entirely responsible for the almost nil by mouth regime I am forced to endure. I say sober because a pint of proper beer or a decent sized glass of wine is 170 calories, which would mean that if one restricted the entire daily allowance to beer or wine, three and a half of either would have you pushing the limit. In my weakened state, I hope to speak to you all tomorrow, but cannot be certain.

Chris France

6 Comments leave one →
  1. helen permalink
    November 4, 2013 8:50 am

    A man with a tatoo & earring
    Chris France did not find too endearing…
    Fish & Chips? not his taste
    he departed in haste
    from the bar
    full of miscreants cheering ……..


  2. November 4, 2013 9:57 am

    I don’t want to be unkind — indeed, I’m loathe to hit you with THIS when you’re down and out, on a tough diet day and suffering “an almost nil by mouth regime”, but I wonder — is this just a coincidence or not ?


    Admittedly, the last word doesn’t really apply to you, as you’re so hugely physically active these days – ALLEGEDLY …!!


  3. howzaaat permalink
    November 4, 2013 12:12 pm

    When you’re lunching at A.L.C.O.H.O.L.’s table,
    I am sure, as you dine, you’ll be able
    To tell fiction from fact …
    Chef will be inexact –
    He’ll brag haute cuisine – that’s a fable.


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