Van Morrison sang “When your wife takes you ticking, they’ll be Days Like This“, and this Thursday at the end of April was turning into one of those Days.

From Herefordshire (leaving one straggler in Luston to complete the county) we headed over the border into Gloucestershire. The border is the dashed line, painted by drunk Victorian workers in 1857. Why can’t we have straight county/state boundary lines like the Americans ?

I was last in Newent the week before lockdown, behaving like nothing was about to change in the King’s Arms. Van the Man may have had something to mumble about the impending lockdown, too.

Two years later I’m back doing taking photos of art scrawled on the historic beamed buildings.

You can deface any building you like with the words “I heart NHS“, of course, but what’s this ?

And more importantly, who’s THIS ?

It’s the Queen !” says Mrs RM, but I’m unconvinced.

The Black Pig, our new Newent micro, awaits.

Except it’s NOT a micro, very much not.

It’s 16:42, the Golden Hour for pubs with tradesmen trade, and a dozen blokes are watching the racing.

And blocking Mrs RM’s regal entrance, which disgruntles her. I think Van wrote about it on Veedon Fleece.

I tell her to chill (not really, I fear for my life), and try to interpret the pumps, without success.

Thank goodness for Untppd ! (said no-one ever) as I discover the Black Dog is a house beer from Cotswold. It’s not very tasty, so I nick some orange murk from local craft brewer J. Schweppe.

Oddly, I love the place. It’s the comings and goings, the Guinness tat, the seating,

and a Specials menu featuring Cottage Pie, Faggots & Mash, and Bread & Butter Pudding.

Sadly, that was Wednesday’s menu. It was probably kale salad today.

I never found out.


  1. “But he found out where they were drinking
    Met them face to face outside
    Cleaved their heads off with a hatchet
    Lord, he was a drinking man”
    Sounds like a normal night out in Newent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or in the immortal words of Newent’s most famous son :

      “This town ain’t no good for a girl or a boy
      It’s as dead as the flies on the wall
      Some days I feel I want to squeal
      And shout out ‘I hate it all!’ ”



  2. The person in the wig looks like the former BBC newsreader Robert Dougal. I seem to remember bumping into him in a Cornish clotted cream tea place in Gweek in 1977, or it could have been the equally famous Kenneth Kendall. I forget now.

    Liked by 1 person

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