It's Sunday morning and I am alone in the house. Shirley, Frances and Stew are in Tideswell attending a church service. It's another one they can tick off as they seek to fulfil attendance requirements ahead of their marriage.
Last evening we moseyed on down to the Urban Choola Indian restaurant just down the road. We tucked into splendid curry meals but avoided starters as experience has shown that in Indian restaurants, starters will often spoil consumption of main courses. So no basket of poppadoms with chutneys and no onion bhajis or samosas.
Afterwards we strolled back up the hill to our local pub. It was noisy in there - but mostly because of televisions on the walls - blasting out historical Christmas hits. We didn't want this and other customers were also struggling to converse because of the din. Stew asked the bar staff to turn the volume down which they did but later it crept up again.
Terry, a carpenter, who has been a pub regular for fifty years came across to me and said, "It's bloody awful in here nowadays. The manager is useless. No idea about hospitality and looking after his customers!" He was in despair as I sometimes find myself - longing for times before the big refurbishment that changed our comfortable local into some sort of bland sports pub with waxed floorboards where once there were homely carpets.
Anyway, we enjoyed our drinks and had a nice long chat about wedding things - including the contentious guest list.
|"A man shaped like a barrel"|
A man shaped like a barrel came in for pints of lager. It was Colin the bus driver. Lord knows how his chubby hands manage to reach the steering wheel. Then Sue came in with some of her family. It was her birthday and they had been out for a celebratory meal in the city centre. I noticed how her thirteen year old grand-daughter is already starting to look like Jennifer - Sue's daughter. Jennifer was with her new man - a fellow she met on the internet. She now lives with him eighty miles away in Middlesbrough and so her two children have had their schooling disrupted. Thankfully, they seem to be settling in well in their new school.
Back home, Shirley and Frances wanted to watch "Strictly Come Dancing" on the BBCiplayer. This show has become a national obsession but I find it mind-numbingly tedious so it wasn't long before I dozed off. I sincerely hope that I was snoring like a fat bus driver during its transmission.
The morning is advancing. Tony Blair is talking about the stupidity of Brexit on the television but I need to make another mug of tea and head upstairs to perform my ablutions before the churchgoers return.