Still in Liverpool, folks. Mind you, BRAPA is still in Dorset, getting further behind by the day.
I waved Stafford Paul off at Lime Street as he returned to the bosom of a Proper Pub (probably the Roscoe Head) and set off for an afternoon of micro madness.
I reckoned I could be in Whiston by 14.45, grab a half in the Beer EnGin (agh !) and catch the 15:06 back to Wavertree Technology Park for a long walk to the Handyman Supermarket (agh !) and 3 Piggies (agh !), giving me just enough time for the replacement bus (agh !) up to Waterloo and a triumphant pint in the Four Ashes overseen by Gormley’s iron men. By which time I’d never want to see another micro pub, ever.
Never been to Whiston before, probably never will again.
Five minutes from the station, there’s a run of closed shops. Including the one the GBG says will be open from 2pm*.
Just like Wednesday is the new Monday, 4pm is the new 2pm.
No panic. I’m used to this by now. I dither for a minute. Shall I catch the 15:06 and do the Wavertree Two, or wait till the hour till it’s open ?
I follow the sign back to the station, which takes me via two housing estates and the football pitch where Steven Gerrard scored 40 yarders as a boy, and miss the train by 30 seconds.
There really is NOTHING to do in Whiston. Apart from a Social Club and a keg pub on the appropriately named Dragon Lane.
Ah well, there’s a country park where you can play “avoid the dog mess” for 45 minutes.
At least it opened dead on 4pm. I’m sure there was someone in there already.
I had a pint of Blackjack, unwisely. It was tremendously conditioned, 3.5/4 stuff, but it was all a bit “wordless“. I couldn’t possibly stretch this out till the 17:06 train.
But then it started to fill up. Old Boys with dogs, two regular gin drinkers, a couple from Blackpool on a mini-break at the Whiston Village hotel (the one that costs four times what my hotel did). I had a half of something keg and crafty now I’d ticked the cask box.
Two hours later (two hours) I’d travelled the ten miles to Waterloo, one of my favourite place on earth, and the micro I’d walked past last year and said “Aha, a future GBG entry”.
Lovely atmosphere at the bar, a real mixed-age crowd you rarely get in micros, and banter about Prince Charles attending their birthday party (he won’t) and whether “unemployed = lazy” (no). The Smoked Porter from Heavy Industry was sultry (NBSS 3.5+).
I walked back to my Bootle “hotel”, swinging my Chinese takeaway (pretty good) as if it was a weapon. Google maps took me through the darkest bit of woodland on Merseyside; you’re lucky I’m still around to write this rubbish.