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Carols in the rain

December 19, 2013

There is one down side to living next door to the pub and that is when the brewery decide to deliver the extra festive barrels of beer required for Christmas at 7am in the morning. Modern barrels are made of metal and have to be clangingly dropped off the lorry before being rolled into the cellar. It is a cacophony with a silver lining. It is that wonderful commodity beer after all, and although Harvey’s is not my favourite pint, it is very decent. As the late great Larry Grayson might not have said; “what a dray day”, or maybe “Shut that door (to the cellar)”.

As my dear Aunt had to be collected from Elstead, and that require driving past the Stonemasons Arms at Petworth, the seat of landlord Fearless Feckless Fricker, pictured today at the No Parsley Lunch last week, we thought that we should give the pub the once over, and very pleasant it is too. A lovely old establishment with wooden floors, and a restaurant of some repute.  There are however two downsides as far as I am concerned, Firstly it is about 9 miles from Arundel, and secondly, it has the worst Christmas decorations adorning the front door it has ever been my misfortune to see. Had he not had his beautiful wife serving behind the bar with him, I would have remonstrated with him there and then. You cannot have an old style traditional pub with Merry Christmas in tasteless coloured lights surrounding the entrance, otherwise you will incur the displeasure of this column and its columnist.

codgers lunch

Fearless Feckless Fricker pointing to the dreaded parsley. You just can’t be too careful where parsley is concerned

Returning to Arundel, we partook of a very light lunch at The Swan Hotel, before adjourning for a short siesta ahead of the evenings festivities at The Bridge at Amberley. The promised storm was right on time and had the effect of ruining the Christmas event. The band manfully performed outside beneath an awning flapping away madly, whilst a few hardy individuals stood singing with umbrellas almost horizontal to try to keep the tempest at bay. These intrepid carol singers were replaced by others in relays almost after every song to go and dry off and recover in the bar. The more sensible amongst us had booked a table inside where we enjoyed a lovely convivial meal, but hardly saw the band or heard a Christmas carol. The weather was too intemperate even to consider attempting to open a window by even the smallest amount. One could say that there was not a window of opportunity, but as one is a dedicated writer and promoter of the services of Currencies Direct, one would not consider such a crass remark.

In the end Mr Otway was not able to join us from London, so the business of rock and roll will have to wait for another day. I am not sure he would have enjoyed it as I doubt very much the silver band would have been performing any of his songs, not even the official BBC’s 7th best lyric of the last millennium “Beware Of The Flowers ‘Cause I’m Sure They’re Gonna Get You, Yeah”. Perhaps not quite festive enough.

Today, after my now normal 4 mile constitutional, I need to prepare for dinner this evening at the Bay Tree in Arundel, courtesy of my lovely Aunt Pam. I shall be lined up at 7.30 pm sharp, washed and scrubbed and ready for pre dinner inspection. The descent into Christmas madness has begun and will not stop until early next year.

Chris France

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Helen permalink
    December 19, 2013 12:05 pm

    The descent into CHRIS.tmas madness
    has started for CHRIS. at last
    the joy for CHRIS in this is
    he’ll no longer have to fast .


  2. Rev. Jeff. permalink
    December 19, 2013 12:27 pm

    Hi Helen, long time no hear-nice idea.

    The descent into madness for Chris,
    At Christmas, goes something like this,
    It’s a simple equation,
    The festive occasion,
    Means beer plus more beer equals bliss !!


  3. Helen permalink
    December 19, 2013 5:33 pm

    Thanks rev. Yes have been busy travelling, am in L.A. right now ..lots of lovely sunshine
    So am ready to get back in the groove … hahaha.


  4. Rev. Jeff. permalink
    December 19, 2013 11:33 pm

    Lucky you Helen-it’s pretty indifferent weather here. Typically Christmas in fact !


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