A few days recovery, then back on the chain gang, as someone once sang.
This is that time of year, with the odd pub in Durham, Tyne & Wear and North Yorkshire to visit, that I feel like just moving up to Scotch Corner and being done with it.
The micro in Barnard Castle had been a particular irritant this year with its late opening/early closing/only after Wednesday hours. Not the first time I’ve had opening hours issues in BC.
But it has to be done, as does Bowes Museum.
I’m not one for stately homes and old stuff, but I figured I could ignore Bowes no longer. To my shame, I had no idea it was actually in the town centre.
Now that Ibstock Country Park in Coalville has closed, Bowes has the best fashion display in the country (see also: Northampton Museum).
But the highlights are the two headed calf,
and this 18th Century figurine of BRAPA stealing a barrel of Bass in Newark last week. A crime he didn’t tell us about.
Worth the visit, and you can go back every day of the year with your ticket if you have a porcelain fixation.
I headed into town, classier and busier than ever, to kill half an hour before 5pm opening.
Having a coffee in a pub is becoming a regular occurrence since I got the gig as Duncan and Simon’s official taxi, but since the only beer I saw pulled in 20 minutes was John Smiths Smooth (£1.85, cheaper than Spoons) and my coffee came with a biscuit, I win.
Mark will be pleased to know the soundtrack was “Kiss Me” by Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy.
Ten minutes to go, enough for the highlights package.
The holy trinity of town centre shops is still there; antiques shop, Heron Foods, Fox & Field country sports.
Joined now by a micro that appears to be open earlier than expected.
I enter a room that will be familiar to anyone who watched the original Twin Peaks,
and get a spectacular welcome from staff and a couple of locals who obviously read Facebook rather than the Good Beer Guide to find out opening times. But well done Firkin Alley for increasing hours.
I get a nod of appreciation when I choose the local Tirril Brown Ale, which is rich and smooth and superb (NBSS 3.5+).
They doubt my story that I’ve travelled up from Cambridge to visit their pub, so I claim to be a weirdo who likes Bass memorabilia, which doesn’t sound much better.
I made sure I gave the Bass collection tin back. Honest.
“Nice to meet ya” they called. I believe they meant it too. Lovely folk.