Look at his face ! Yes, here’s our hero, as happy as Frannie Lee c.1975 and he’d only done one pub, the inevitable Whittlesey Spoons. Just imagine what he’ll be like by Ramsey.
I woke in Chesterfield, had the traditional bacon and scrambled egg with maple syrup wrap for breakfast at the Flags, and by 8.07 was heading north up the M1, before remembering I was supposed to be heading south to chauffer BRAPA.
At about 9.15am Simon’s train passed me at Little Ponton, before juddering to a halt yards short of Peterborough station due to an unfortunate incident Si reports here.
So Simon was stuck in his carriage for 90 minutes, mere feet away, and I had to entertain myself at the Draper’s as police cars and ambulances took over the station.
One of my favourite Timbo places, packed with 9am boozers and always service with a smile.
If I could have taken a flaggon of 6.5% Cream Stout across the tracks to Si I would have, but instead he had to put up with whining Scousers getting later and later for their silly match in Brighton. Norwich fans were being crowded onto replacement buses; Narfolk folk have permanent grins on their faces.
I’d only had 3 flat whites, and witnessed a hilarious argument about table reservations, before Si emerged, an hour and a half behind schedule.
I drove at 59mph on the A605 to make up time, braking as we approached Whittlesey. Straw Bear fever was in the air.
Having delivered Si at the door to the George, I set off for 27.5 minutes of exploration. How is the town coping with the inevitable gentrification ?
Nothing to see here, move on. Just an angry man in a Leeds United shirt being barked at by a dog from Derby.
The Straw Bear festival (this coming weekend) brings folk from across Europe, who will find rather less pubs serving festival beer than in 2007.
Mind, the George has as much custom as the other half dozen put together.
I thought I’d surprise him by taking unsolicited photos as he made copious notes about Twilds or something.
As you see, he was delighted.
On to the much anticipated Leverington, for rugby-based fun.