I never promised you a dry garden

Soon, it is rumoured, this hell will be over and we will be able to go into a pub and drink beer. Let’s face it this outdoor drinking lark is rubbish, and almost certainly pointless.

My last three attempts have involved attempting to shelter from hail, high winds, driving rain and bitter cold. Often at the same time. Going to the toilet for ten minutes on the hand dryer has been the highlight.

Last week three of us went to a pop up pub, Glasgow Beer Works, progeny of what was Merchant City Brewing. It’s a soggy gap site in the heart of Glasgow, and the friendly staff squeezed us in under a marquee.

There were two beers – an APA and an IPA – neither cask-conditioned but palatable enough even at a hefty £5 a pint. The tacos was cheaper and tasty. I ordered one tres leches cake but got three.

Tacos and Chibs

Later we went on to Babbity Bowster’s, a Good Beer Guide regular, for some superb Jarl and outside heaters. Heaters I tell you.

Two days later Dr John drove me to distant Lincolnshire for a match at Crowle. Spectators were permitted because it was on public land, but wouldn’t have been had it been on private land (don’t ask). Conditions turned out as bad as forecast.

And were even worse on the way.

So it was no surprise when our first target, the Cherry Tree at Horbury, decided not to open. But the wonderful Miner’s Rest at Barnsley was made of sterner stuff.

Seating was under a wooden enclosure overlooking a bowling green. This group of Barnsley fans asked what we were doing and, on finding out, whether we were heading to the Dodworth Tap.

“Will it be open?” I asked, whereupon one phoned them and told them to expect us in ten minutes. If I lived in Barnsley this would be a pub I would go back to time and again. The Ghost Ship was in perfect condition but there was no sign of Jack and Betty. A proper community local that is welcoming to all.

The Dodworth Tap had been modernised at considerable expense. It had an enormous fireplace, solid outdoor seating and two excellent beers from Nailmaker’s.

Told you it was big

Moving on and, as the weather worsened, I didn’t have high hopes that Cusworth Hall would be open. Misleadingly listed in the Good Beer Guide under Doncaster, it’s a courtyard bar in the grounds of a country hall, several miles out of town. My attempt to see what was on tap was not appreciated. None of their own beers were on so an ok Bowland Boxer Blond it was. Many small breweries haven’t resumed brewing yet.

Mind my own business

Our final pre-match stop was the Station Hotel, Blaxton. This was rammed and the harassed table server forgot our order so I had to go in and prompt as kick off was fast approaching. Was it worth the wait for a glass of mostly foam? No time to ask for it to changed though, as Crowle beckoned.

Since you are dying to know, Crowle Colts drew 2-2 with AFC Bentley in an entertaining contest. Now that was worth ten hours on the road.

8 thoughts on “I never promised you a dry garden

  1. Taking picture of people in pubs without prior written permission via their butler is a reprehensible practice, Duncan. Well done.

    You’ve made me sentimental for Crowle and beautiful Goole Fields. Some achievement.

    Oh, and it’s lovely to read your experience in Blaxton was EXACTLY the same as mine and Simon’s. Ignored for 10 minutes, despatched by Mrs RM inside to find a disinterested server who had no idea what “real ale/cask ale” was but knew they had a “guest ale”. The worst pub experience in years (beer was decent enough though !).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Butlers are in scare supply in Barnsley – they have all been sent to pick fruit these days. Blaxton was underwhelming – especially when you think of all the really good SY pubs that don’t get in. Different branch maybe.

      Like

    1. Dickie Bird would certainly not have permitted any play. Was once at Headingley on a glorious sunny day. He and his colleague refused any play due to a small damp patch on the outfield. Play was called off about 4pm and we all had sunburn. He was a famous son of Barnsley though.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “I never promised you a dry garden”

    Nice tweak of the song made popular by Lynn Anderson.

    “Soon, it is rumoured, this hell will be over and we will be able to go into a pub and drink beer.”

    Fingers crossed! Unless of course the new (insert name of variant here) strain of Covid says otherwise. 😉

    “Let’s face it this outdoor drinking lark is rubbish, and almost certainly pointless.”

    Unless it’s in the dead of summer.

    “My last three attempts have involved attempting to shelter from hail, high winds, driving rain and bitter cold. Often at the same time. ”

    Strewth!

    “Going to the toilet for ten minutes on the hand dryer has been the highlight.”

    Egad!

    “but palatable enough even at a hefty £5 a pint.”

    Blimey. Bad weather AND expensive beer.

    ” I ordered one tres leches cake but got three.”

    Maybe the word ‘tres’ confused them. 😉

    “Tacos and Chibs”

    I see the bad weather has given you a stuffy nose. 🙂

    “for some superb Jarl and outside heaters. Heaters I tell you.”

    There’s a fair number of places here that have had outside heaters long before Covid hit.

    “Spectators were permitted because it was on public land, but wouldn’t have been had it been on private land (don’t ask).”

    It’s all down to the wiles of Covid. For example:

    – Covid likes water (so no fountains)
    – Covid likes the nighttime (so, curfew)
    – Covid likes (checks height whilst seated) heights greater than 51 inches (which is why I crab walk to the loo)
    – Covid likes people less than six feet apart (unless they’re seated in an aircraft)

    Pure genius!

    “And were even worse on the way.”

    You sure you weren’t in Canada?

    “But the wonderful Miner’s Rest at Barnsley was made of sterner stuff.”

    It’s in the name; Miner’s. 🙂

    “whereupon one phoned them and told them to expect us in ten minutes. ”

    Love it.

    “but there was no sign of Jack and Betty”

    Jack’s a bit of a ladies man; probably hanging out with Jill or Diane. 😉

    “It had an enormous fireplace, solid outdoor seating and two excellent beers from Nailmaker’s.”

    Would have been nice to be inside that fire on such a day I’ll bet!

    “My attempt to see what was on tap was not appreciated. ”

    If looks could kill!

    “Was it worth the wait for a glass of mostly foam?”

    (sigh)

    “Now that was worth ten hours on the road.”

    And there it is!
    (slow golf clap)

    Cheers

    PS – And with that I will be AWOL for most of the summer alas. Working up north in a mining exploration camp till some time in September. Won’t be home more than a week a month, if that. I won’t be posting while in camp, mostly due to the long hours. I worked there before years ago and I doubt I’ll have 90 minutes of me time a day.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve done those shifts up there before so it won’t come as a huge shock. 🙂

        As for the golf claps, absolutely! Considering I’ll be cramming a month’s worth of beer into one week, I’m sure that will aid in any slow golf clap decisions. 😉

        Cheers!

        Liked by 2 people

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