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.