STILL on the great West Scotland Wander of a fortnight ago, I pause to congratulate Duncan on his excellent driving and commentary on the lesser-known Rural Killie Pub Krawl.
With limited underground stations or landing spaces for private jets, pubbing in North Ayrshire is a challenge.
You can see the success of my late August raid on Burns country.
Many of Burns’s poems describe his own ticking travails. See: “Up In The Morning Early”, which describes his failed attempt to reach the Cambuslang Spoons for 9am.
Duncan, of course, is supreme when it comes to an early start. Either to tick micros in Goole, watch his beloved Reading, seen here employing typical Championship 1-10-0 tactics away at Hull,
or hunting down rare brews from what he calls “Britain’s most misunderstood traditional brewer“.
All from his underground hermetically sealed home near Carluke.
The ticking community understands the importance of sharing driving duties when we go to less developed parts of the UK like West Wales, Huntingdonshire, and North London, and we even have our official song of praise for the DES.
“Sing Blue Silver” we sing, six pubs to the wind.
Anyway, back to Wednesday lunchtime in rural Scotland, and a busy “pub”.
Johnny Souter’s is in National Trust territory, and is basically a restaurant with a couple of high tables for drinkers to enjoy the homebrew. At £2.45 a half. It was the 5p that hurt. I was even given a receipt.
The only excitement (unless you count Billy Joel’s “Still Rock & Roll to me” ) comes from hearing retired gentlefolk making complex ice cream orders. Not Sam Smiths, then.
In its defence, a beer vigorously pulled through before serving, and tasty once over the over chilling. NBSS 3, and I wasn’t inclined to be generous.
Best not to complain, as these death masks of earlier tickers shows.
A journey through mining villages and wild heather followed, leading to another beatiful looking pub in Kirkmichael.
Duncan popped in for a comfort stop, I bought and tipped a half of Kelburn (NBSS 1.5), and decided a Mars Bar would be a good idea. No time to deep fry it though.
And so to Sorn.
Duncan’s lunch recommendation, and one of his best ideas on a day of good ideas.
Curried chicken goujons and an OK half of Corncrake in a village pub with a really cheery barmaid.
But again no lunchtime trade except us.
Never mind, Kilmarnock awaited. They know how to drink there, surely ?