Thursday, 19 July 2012
The Sherwood, Sherwood Way, Preston
It is a stark confession but I have to come clean and admit I didn't want to go to the pub.
There are few occasions in my life when I can make such an outrageous a proclamation without falling silent for a dramatic pause, before slapping my leg and bursting out into rolls of laughter.
'Got you again, what a lark', I say.
Oh how they laugh.
But after spending a weekend at my friends' two-day wedding bonanza, including continuous supply of free real ale (with sneaky trips to the pub before and after the service), my barrel was empty.
With Miss Chardonnay Sidekick temporarily unavailable for Sidekicking duties and the entire sum of my friends, saying he was going to the cinema tonight, I was left to slink into The Sherwood alone.
I took my pint of Wainwright and sidled into a seat in the corner, where I settled down to read my paper, slowly sip my beer and mind my own business.
On the table next to me a group of men, including a conspiratorial father and son, jovially plotted ways of continuing their night in town without 'Yer mum getting wind of it', while another small group popped in for a pint to take the edge off a day at work.
To my left a dad and three teenage children scurried through the door, ushered by the rain and made their way to the dining area, to break up the week with a cheap meal out.
As this steady tea-time hum built around me I sat quietly and enjoyed my pint, which seemed to offer me a little more flavour with every lazy sip.
Suddenly I realised, aside from the music (Middle of the Road and The Droaners), I had been perfectly relaxad for the past half and hour, without feeling the need to move at all beyond my left hand turning the pages and the right one to hoist my pint from time-to-time.
'This is a revelation', I thought to myself as I left.
'It's like relaxing at home except better because you're in a pub.
'Wait until I tell the others about this.
'No on second thoughts, it might be better to remain my little secret'.