scribbles tagged ‘ale’

mixing drinks

Friday, August 20th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

me: your glass and my glass together make a full glass!

you: And an empty one

me: I can go to the bar with the empty glass and get a fresh pint in it

you: so you get a fresh pint and I get left with the warm mixed up 2 half pints

me: hmmmm..  probably best that you keep your current half empty glass.  I’ll drink my half then we can go our own ways

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good company

Sunday, July 18th, 2010 | tags: , , , ,  |

wendy: 4 pints of Ringwood and a bottle of Chianti

bar staff: how many wine glasses would you like

I look at the smiling person next to me

smiler to bar staff: just one glass please

smiler to me: it’s cheaper to buy a bottle of wine and then leave some than it is to get 1 glass then refill it later.  They know me here, they’ll understand.I’m a sot

barstaff: are you sure you dont want a long straw instead of the glass? It will save us on the washing up

smiler: (sudden squeaky scream) I can’t believe he just said that!

wendy: what’s a sot? acronym, slang or real word?

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car neige

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , , , , ,  |

3pm. Somewhere near Didcot. 21st December

How sensible am I,   starting my journey back to Reading?
Unbeknownst to me, Reading had already come to a standstill
The Reading Chronical had already published the standstill*

6pm. Pangbourne. 21st December

Gridlock in PangbourneThis is where I encountered the full car neige,   the tail end of the traffic trying to get into Reading.   The traffic standing still,   sliding sideways, not yet abandoned.   Local radio traffic news talked  50 yards taking 2 hours to cover.   Urrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhh……

Across the next hour I called and consulted with multiple friends. The phone network was often too busy to connect my calls.   Despite the presense  of many car drivers I felt very alone.    My calm sensible friends and I agreed that I needed to get off the road quickly and get shelter for the night.

Elephant Hotel Bar, Pangbournewendy: do you have any spare rooms for the night?

receptionist: stranded?

wendy: yes, well, um, yes

receptionist: we have one room left,   would you like a toothbrush with that?

wendy: OH! (signifying relief at getting a room and supportive receptionist) Yes please, thank you, I was turned away from the hotel down the road, a toothbrush!   how thoughtful

Handsome Other Guest (HOG): we’re stranded too,   I’ve only got a hammer and some ski poles in the boot of my car,   maybe we can do a deal over the toothbrush?

wendy: I’ve got a blanket in my car, we could build something like a tent with the poles and hammer.   Not sure where the toothbrush comes in

HOG: (Huge smile then turns to receptionist) table for 6 please

receptionist: we’re waiting for the chef to get in before we finalise the menu,   we’ll try and feed everyone

HOG: Table for 6?   Can you put me on the waiting list

Butcombe beerClearly the snow car chaos called for some serious parking-up and a pint of Butcombe.   My party for one joined a few other party’s for one and we all shared stories of family, cars, hills, walking, the IT industry  and other topical faerie tales.

*  the exceptional Number 17 bus was still on the move, albeit erratically.

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Beer mugs

Thursday, March 27th, 2008 | tags:  |

While in the US I was served beer in all sorts of different shaped and size glasses and some germanic mugs.   I was never served beer or Ale in a beer mug   of the particular short-fat proportions with characteristic concave sections in the glass that is commonly found in UK pubs.   Last night at a post-work birthday drinky session we all tucked into beer served in classic English beer mugs


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guests at the Wendy House …

Sunday, March 16th, 2008 | tags:  |

unsuprising:   “would you like a beer?”

unforgivably suprising:   “I just need to pop out to the corner store and pick-up some beers”

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W2 1098 & 1099

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008 | tags:  |

These are letters and numbers that had no meaning to me before the US lured me to a life of car-commuiting.     P60 P45 &  UB40   were the numbers that had meaning in my pre-US life.  

Tax form numbers and chemical valencies.   I’ve always found such things sufficiently challenging to warrant an interpretter.   My US interpretter sent me an email today to let me know I am entitled to a $6 refund.   Hoorah,   enough for a single pint of ale methinks.

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Nag’s head worth a walk in

Friday, February 22nd, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

I’ve taken to treating myself to a full roast  Sunday lunch in the Nags head with Yorkshire pudding and everything for a bargain £6 with a choice of 12 real ales on tap.   Luxury.   The music is normally very good,   um,   meaning classics from my teens,   last Sunday they played the whole of Dark Side of the Moon over lunch.

For the full experience of Sunday beer, food, friendly people and music,   I really recommend the Nags Head just off Oxford Road on Russel Street.   The only down-side was the Broccoli but I’ve learned to live with this personal handicap.

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slow learner

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008 | tags: ,  |

Reason 65 in a slowly emerging series detailing the reasons why I am currently not diddling with anyone.

Reason #65: slow learner

An unpleasant flavour mixed with the mild dizziness of nausea and a desire to be elsewhere. What prompts such an unpleasant physical reaction? Not the graphic goriness of Sweeny Todd but the sight of a small beautiful old pub in Nottingham, Bell Inn,  where I spent many happy evenings in the early 90’s with my then intended and one enduring love. Who would have guessed that nearly 20 years later the sudden evocation of those happy memories would prompt such an unpleasant physical reaction? I begin to understand why over the years we’ve exchanged letters rather than met for lunch.

I’m a slow learner….

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the local

Saturday, December 8th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

Midweek I’m doing the laundry and making other homesy stuff which is not half as much fun as when the kitties are trying to make things not run smoothly.   So I toddled off to check-out one of the local pubs

Wendy:   do you have and dark ales?

Barboy:   Just Newcastle brown and that comes in a bottle.

I’m disturbed.   Every self-respecting British beer drinker knows that Newcastle brown comes in a bottle.   The barboy felt he had to tell me.   Is this because my not quite English accent shows with just the one phrase above?


There’s me thinking I’d maintained my Englishness through and through and now people are telling me that Newcastle brown comes in a bottle.   I scan the electric taps and pick an ale over a larger

Wendy:   John Smith’s please

Barboy:   that will be two pounds thirty.

I wander off to read my book,   drink my pint,   wonder if I’m geographically unplaceable.

Barboy:   Same again?

Wendy:   I’ll have an Abbots Ale (yummy, I don’t know why he didnt sell this to me first time around)

Barboy:   how did you find us?

Wendy:   I’ve just moved in nearby

Barboy:   where do you live?

Is my luck in?   What’s this all about?   Is knowing that Abbots Ale is the right beer to drink the key to conversational success?

Wendy: Number 13 (blah) road

Barboy:   I live at number 26,   welcome…   …don’t go into the (blah)

BLOODY BLASPHEMY a boy all of half my age just told me his home address,   smiled at me and is being downright friendly.   Gosh,   I remember that happening when I was in my 20’s and 30’s but not in my 40’s.   I think I need to calm down or have a reality check or something.

Wendy:   Oh yeah,   I looked through the windows, it looked rough

Barboy:   I worked there for 2 evenings,   it was EMBARRESSING

at this point I’ll censor the conversation.   Surfice to say it did continue and I do know a little more about my neighborhoood and will be going back to that pub… …which pressumably was the barboys intention…   Should I take flat-eric?   What do you think?

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Mine’s a pint of Bass

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 | tags: , , , , ,  |

My Seattle leaving do was full of a hand-picked set of local characters that  I’ve met  through blogging, tea parties, being a Lecturer in a past life, and being taken to bizarre mountain getways surrounded by gnomes and melon-eating hyennas (you had to be there).   LaCroix and I were able to indulge our predelictions for Bass ale,   while others drank iced tea,   all around it was a stonker!   One of the girls that arranged this party  had also attended my ‘leaving the UK’ party in April 2000!  

By the end of the excellent  evening everything was slightly fuzzy.    I had to hold onto the patriotic balloons in order to maintain a standard  upright position.   The infamous grin was on full display all evening.  

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rotating tap

Friday, October 26th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

If you asked an English publican,   in England,    what their ‘rotating tap’ was they would likely look at you quizzically as they explain that it is the thing in the toilets that you turn to get water  for hand-washing after having completed the necessaries.  In the UK tap is a common referent for  a fawcett.    

A  disconcerting reply to an unsuspecting US person who tries to avoid using vulgar terms like  TOILET when the words Bathroom or restroom are more acceptable referents for a room with a toilet in it.   Draft beers are described as being ‘on tap’ so after the initial surpirse the move to understanding your actual meaning will not be hard.  

By contrast,   if you go into a NW US bar and ask what are their guest beers they give you a quizzical look and after some basic clarification they will tell you that what you actually mean is what is their rotating tap.   Doh!

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Chimay = dream suppressant

Sunday, September 16th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

Eighth report in my ongoing investigations of  cheese dream-inducing  properties.    

Conclusion   very tasty  dream suppressant.

Eating phase for Chimay:    1/6    nights produced dreams.          

Riding around on buses* in Birmingham, UK,   wandering through crowded flea  markets watching the shoppers,   down alleyways bordered by red-brick Victorian terraced houses in Birmingham.   I got lost and didn’t know which bus to get on to go home.   So many buses to choose from.   Dreaming about buses,   England and Victorian red-brick terraces adds up to I had a fabulous dream.

Decontamination Phase.   3/3 nights without eating Chimay.   No dreams.

You too can play along at home:   How to play dreamy cheese

* I  like  riding on  buses

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PMT treatment #2: biscuits & brown ale

Saturday, September 8th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

this treatment  doesn’t actually make things better,   but I like it so I’m going to take it and I wouldn’t advise anyone trying to make a reasonable argument for my not taking beer and brown ale.  



 I’m glad we got that little problem sorted… …whatever next….     …tush…

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Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 | tags: ,  |
  • sounds pleasing…
  • smells fresh…
  • tastes delicious…
  • feels invigorating…   …internally and externally…
  • looks luminous…

Like this:

Samuel Adams beer at charlotte airport

This single girl is  easily pleased, temporarily,  with an Imperial pint.

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A cheeky little brew

Friday, February 10th, 2006 | tags:  |

Arrogant Bastard Ale

7.2% Alcohol by volume.   Slogan “You are not worthy

I’m a sucker for Ale at the best and worst of times.   Ale with a funky sales pitch broke all my pretentions at being remotely sensible or humble.


W Marketing-Victim  

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Beers with spirited bloggers

Saturday, February 4th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

Met these online gals in the real world last night:

Evening started well:

Wendy: “what beers do you have on tap?” to server

LaCroix: “I never thought of asking that question because I know they have Bass here

Wendy: “I’ll have a Bass

Evening got better:

These women were all articulate, plucky, self-aware, vibrant, valuable (soppiness police stopped me here). No time for trivialities such as ‘breathing’ inbetween

  • telling a story.
  • laughing at a story.
  • pouring beer down your neck.

Evening lasted long after I left:

I made a naughty cinderella exit before the night ended….

Fabulous evening.

Thanks gals.

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phonological similarity VII: Bass

Saturday, February 4th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

Bass sounds like Becks

Wendy:   “I ordered Bass,   this isn’t Bass

Server: “Yes it is Bass”   (Becks?)

Wendy: “This is not Bass” (Wow,   American servers ARGUE with their customers!!!!!) “Bass is amber,   this is yellow

LaCroix: “That is not Bass,   this is Bass” (raises her pint of Bass)

Server takes the pint, returns with a Bass and apologises.   Phew phonological beer-lager disaster avoided.

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Cask Ale is best

Saturday, March 26th, 2005 | tags:  |

Ales taste best when hand-pulled from a properly stored cask.

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Tuesday night “in”

Thursday, March 24th, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

UK vacation 7

Bethnall Green  

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