Yes, that’s lovely Ed Sheeran beaming out at you from the cover of the new Wetherspoons magazine, which brings you news of their many openings.
Hopefully Duncan was able to tick the Silver Penny on his emergency, Presleyesque stop in Ireland this week.
The prospects for my dream of a Spoons in Waterbeach look poor, even though I’ve identified my house for conversion, so it’s a good job Fakenham (pop. 7,617) got their Limes in before the retrenchment.
This little market town, notable only for occasional horsey races and an annual Christmas nostalgiafest, is now home to a Spoons, a Hungry Horse and a Marston’s diner.
But only 3 pubs, the Limes, an unremarkable keg boozer and a licensed bistro with a lone Doom Bar pump remain in the centre, once host to several lively GBG bars.
Not that “lively” is a word to describe Fakenham.
“Night Commons”, mills, Augustinian Priory, waymarked walks.
The only drama comes when I’m confronted by an aggressive chicken and a small horse.
The town itself is large enough to detain you for about 72 seconds, unless you walk as ponderously as the citizens of Fakenham.
The Spoons is magnificently dull, unless you’re a keen cyclist.
I’ve rarely seen a Spoons so quiet, except in Wells last year. Though of course, most Norfolk pubs would be delighted to have 30 customers for a quiet session.
Most of those 30 are families, with just a couple of Professional Drinkers following the racing from Bath on their I-Phone.
I thought of a killer question to ask the barman while he poured by Grafton Stout (NBSS 3, tasty but thin), and came up with,
“Why is no-one eating ?”
“It’s Norfolk mate, they only eat at Proper times”.
I felt a heathen, grazing on my chicken bites at 4pm.
It’s a different world here, as Curry Charles will tell you.