I challenge anyone to to find joy in the featureless suburbs of Bournemouth and Poole.
The trip wasn’t helped by a diversion to new Poole GBG entry the Barking Cat, which I’d somehow forgot I’d already done, due to it’s annual move between Poole and Upper Parkestone and Branksome in the Guide pages.
Ponies don’t need to worry about GBG ticking, and they don’t worry much about traffic, either.
It took ten minutes to crawl through Bashley, where I saw the welcome sight of scarf wearing Christchurch fans exiting the Glen Mex Stadium after their 2-0 FA Cup win. Football is back, for the grass roots at least.
Bashley lies ten minutes from New Milton, home of my penultimate Hampshire tick for the extended GBG20 ticking season.
I ignored the seafront down the road at Barton, and gave Mrs RM a guided tour of a town I can only described as “challenging“, except for fans of vinyl, net curtains in Chinese restaurants and shops saying “Everything’s £14” *. Which may describe many of my readers.
Actually, it reminded of Winton, a dull shopping street surrounded by scenic scrubland, with a micropub at the end.
The Hourglass has given me hours of worry, I can tell you, teasing me post-Lockdown with a few limited opening hours during which I seemed only able to buy huge kegs to takeaway. Can you count that as a tick ?
But then, unexpectedly, it opened again the other week, following what can only be described as a Perspex makeover.
I can’t pretend the craft and keg formula is new.
But frankly, Mrs RM wasn’t driving and she had the benefit of the 5.8% Deya and the 6.8% Buxton, which certainly met her criteria of “Strong and Murky”.
The perspex is a bit of a problem for me, but at least it makes Mrs RM and the Old Boys feel safe about going back to pubs, and they were still able to have an incomprehensible discussion about the Khans.
“He’s as bad as that Khan bloke“
“What, Ghengis ?”
“No, the grandson. Kubla ?”
Yes, that is a walking stick hanging up from the top of the perspex wall. They do have some practical use.
*Oh, and fans of giant recreation grounds, one of which dominates the town.