ALL MASKED UP IN ETAL

Masks, eh ?

Whatever. It’s just a mask.

Next up is my first pub where I had to wear a mask on entering a pub. The rather fetching Black Bull in Etal. Or Etal with Ford as the poshos prefer it.

Just south of Coldstream, and those funny Scots with their sensible leader, lies Etal with its funny train line, broken castle, and frankly wonderful riverside walks,

I could have walked to Ford, with its corn mills, Flodden battlefields, and pre-Raphaelite paintings.

Yawn. Much better to wander aimlessly along the Till, disturbed by not a soul, discovering the grave of Simon Roger de Brapa, mauled to death by crafties in 1832 while seeking out tin shed pubs.

My “health app” recorded 732 calories on this walk, aided by a steep diversion to Tiptoe & Twizel.

Is there ANYONE who wouldn’t divert to a place called Tiptoe & Twizel given that option (It’s a firm of solicitors).

This is the view from Tiptoe…

90 minutes later back in Etal, I noted a vast crowd sipping coffee across from the Black Bull at the Lavender Tearooms, and had a nervous moment lest they’d form a vast queue at my GBG tick which would keep me in Etal till October.

So I sat on the nearest bench, staring out the gentlefolk, who seemed more focused on finding a loo. In fact, no-one joined me inside.

On the very DOT of noon, a uniformed young man drew the bolt and began to issue instructions about sanitiser, downloading the App, and sitting down immediately.

I asked if I could sit at the table nearest the bar, emphasising my compliance in having downloaded the NHS Covid App at 7.47 that morning and already logged in.

From my viewpoint, I could sum up the pub in one word. No, you choose it.

The barman came over to take my order, a half of Black Hag, and returned a long while later, and then came to ask if it was OK. It was lovely (3.5).

I had to do that dreadful middle-aged bloke attempt to attract his attention to actually gain his attention to pay for it, and after a long discussion the bill for £1.85 or whatever was brought over, and then my fiver was collected, and some months later the change was returned.

Really, it’s not the masks, it’s this pointless faff of table service which will send me mad.

24 thoughts on “ALL MASKED UP IN ETAL

  1. A five year single-handed campaign against bar flies, finally victorious! Europes most successful single issue consumer, err… person 🎇

    Question is, do you now wind up the campaign, victim of your own success, or merely move the goalposts and take up the cudgels against high chairs, upstairs toilets, and table service.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ! You’re right, I have finally beat the bar flies, and now face a lifetime of being banned for shouting at folk on the table 6 feet away.

      Like the Campaign for “Real” Ale, a campaign must continue well beyond the point it has served its purpose, because IT MUST.

      I’ve never knowingly used a high chair. Have I ?

      Like

      1. Time to take soundings from the wider blogosphere as part of a ‘Revitalise Retired Martin’ exercise. You need to know what your readers want otherwise how can you ignore them and carry on being the ‘Plant Pot & Crispy Beef Consumers Champion’. This is a turning point, just make sure it’s a 360° turn…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It amusing what tickles our fancy I’ve been googling to see who’s grave it was in the middle of nowhere ( love the BRAPA pun by the way) but failed miserably. Did learn all about body snatchers around that date though!.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny story about this pub from about 6/7 years ago. My friends were getting married a few miles away and this was the nearest pub, so some of the ladies dropped us off suited and booted for a pint. Only about a mile walk back to accommodation to meet them via a footpath over the river. But we got to the river and there was no way across. Enquired with a group in canoes in the river ‘oh the footbridge was washed away a couple of months back’. Nearest bridge is 2 miles away. Just over 1 hour until wedding. Luckily they agreed to take us across in their canoes and we managed to stay dry.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s a cryptic crossword clue lurking here. Something like this: “Late back for wedding when bridge washed away here.”

        Nice blog, sorry for spoiling it.

        Like

  4. “discovering the grave of Simon Roger de Brapa, mauled to death by crafties in 1832 while seeking out tin shed pubs.”

    And probably wearing shorts (which is where Si gets it from).

    “Is there ANYONE who wouldn’t divert to a place called Tiptoe & Twizel given that option”

    I’m right there with you on that!

    “This is the view from Tiptoe…”

    Cracking scenery.

    “From my viewpoint, I could sum up the pub in one word. No, you choose it.”

    Garish?

    “I had to do that dreadful middle-aged bloke attempt to attract his attention”

    Try doing the ‘moose wave’. You put both hands on either side of your head and waggle your fingers. 🙂

    “Really, it’s not the masks, it’s this pointless faff of table service which will send me mad.”

    Good thing you don’t live over here! That’s par for the course alas.

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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