Got it wrong!

Tonight at the pub quiz, the question was about the Shangri-Las what was their hit in the UK… OK,so it’s easy now to remember,now I’m home, but in the pressure of the quiz where it is one of twenty-five questions which came thick and fast, I just couldn’t remember. I knew they were a 60’s band, i could even hear them singing in my head, but could I remember what their hit song was… so easy now I’m home, ‘Leader of the Pack’.

It was written by George Morton, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich and it became the number one  hit in 1964. The Shangri-Las were two sisters Mary Weiss and Elizabeth  Weiss,  and identical twins Marguerite and Mary Ann Ganser.


Two shorts in the Dolphin

For various reasons we went to the Dolphin tonight; we don’t usually go on a Thursday – Tuesday for quiz, the occasional Friday or Saturday, then Sunday to meet up with ‘the girls’ and the 2 T’s, Tim and Trev.

So we drifted down this evening at about quarter past ten, just for the last three-quarters of an hour, and we sat in what we call the cross-benches, the bar between what I guess used to be ‘the lounge’ and the other bar which would have been ‘the public’. Such distinctions are long gone, the pub is the pub, but there is definitely the quiet end, and the TV/darts board end. (The cross-benches, by the way is actually a parliamentary term for where those minority parties sit, between the government and the opposition)

We sat next to a table of four jolly, youngish people who we didn’t know, two couples who were having a social time with each other. We were just sitting, drinking our drinks, when the two ladies of the couple stood up and back to back compared heights. It was plain that the blond lady was a few inches shorter than the dark lady…

A friendly row broke out between them because the blond lady thought she was the same height as the dark lady… I chimed in because I am 5′ 4″, the same as the blonde lady. Soon I  had my shoes off and we were back to back comparing heights. Then the husbands joined in, and I have to say my husband, 6′ 6½” was way taller than anyone else… there was much laughter and banter, and then a lady from the other end came over, she wasn’t even 5 foot!

Anyone coming into the pub and seeing all these laughing, arguing people with no shoes on, standing back to each other would have thought us most strange! However, that is just a typical night in the Dolphin! The two couples departed with shaking of our hands and farewells to us, and us promising to bring a tape-measure next time, and then we sat back to finish our drinks…

Yes, a typical Dolphin night!

Ir’s Sunday night…

It’s Sunday night, and unlike the previous three nights when we have thought about drifting down to the Dolphin for a jar or two and been trapped by rain, rain, rain, tonight it was not raining – in fact there was even a sliver of moon in the sky. So hopeful of meeting the two T’s, or ‘the girls’ we set off down to our local.

The pub was fairly empty tonight, but the two T’s, Trev and Tim, were ensconced in their usual corner, so with a couple of pints of fine Otter beer, we joined them. When we arrived they were talking about painting and decorating; we exchanged news – we had been to a family wedding last week and the beer festival today, we had bowls club news from Trev, and painting and decorating news from Tim.

We were drinking mighty fine pints of Otter, as was Trev, Tim was on our local cider, Thatcher’s Gold. I really wish I liked cider; local product, organically grown, giving employment to local people, a traditional product… what’s not to like… well… it’s just not to my taste. I don’t like any cider… there is something about the smell, as well as the taste, as well as the after effects… We had a bit of a discussion about it, and we reported back to the 2 T’s about the cider on offer at the beer festival (this is Somerset, traditional home of cider, as well as the home of some brilliant beers!)

As usual we had a really interesting evening… we talked about Legionnaire’s Disease (a friend is in intensive care with it) – Tim in his professional life had to deal with its prevention so is very knowledgeable; we talked about coach holidays and going to see the WW1 battlefields; we talked about civic works in our town, the power of the local college, the town, our village… and our last discussion was on the corrupt practices in British industry in the 1970’s…

Time was called, we hugged, said goodnight, and tottered off to our homes… what a pleasure it is to be able to walk home down the middle of the road!

This is our way home… no cars, no traffic!


The Dolphin tonight

We drifted down to the Dolphin tonight, as usual on a Sunday to meet the 2 T’s, our dear friends Tim and Trev, and also ‘the girls’, three lovely friends of ours who are always interesting to chat to, and of course, anyone else who happens to be there!

The girls were in their corner chatting, and the 2 T’s were there too, and at the bar was a great friend who we don’t see to chat to as often as we would like, with a friend of his. We greeted ‘the girls’ and while himself went to the bar I went to greet and to get a great hug from our friend who had some exciting news about a brilliant project which he was undertaking.

We sat with the 2 T’s and caught up to date with our various items of news, and then talked about heating systems, New Zealand, work in our former lives, and mutual friends. My beloved was drinking Otter – the best beer in the world from Otter Brewery in Devon, I for a change was on wine, Shiraz, then Côtes de Rhone, then back to Shiraz, and we had a good chat about wine and beer. Then we went on to talk about Legionnaire’s Disease, and what a vile thing it is; one of the T’s had a great deal of practical knowledge about it, although thankfully he had never suffered from it thank goodness. We talked about many things, and I also had a good chat with our friend who is an amazing cook – professionally, and has an exciting new project! I am so thrilled for him, he is amazing in many ways and I know his new undertaking which sounds so exciting will be a great success!

As we wandered home, along the middle of the road because our little village is so quiet, we couldn’t help but think what great friends we have, and what a brilliant pub the Dolphin is!

The lady on the next table…

We popped into The Cottage, a pub on the Baltic Wharf for lunch, and it was very nice. However, the elderly lady on the next table had ox cheek massaman curry… and it looked so nice! She remarked to her friend that it was not really hot enough for her, so I guess I might think the same… however it looked so delicious that I think if we go there again, I might try it… or I could make it at home!

Massaman curry is a Thai curry here’s a recipe I found:

 Ox cheeks massaman curry
  • masamana curry paste (you can buy it in a jar, or make your own if you’re really keen!)
  • 2 lbs ox cheek, cut into regular sized pieces
  • flour for dusting
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 x 400 ml tins of coconut milk
  • 8 oz or so of butternut squash, cut into bit sized pieces
  • seasoning (if you need it with the curry paste)
  • a couple of handfuls of peanuts
  • coriander or your favourtie herb finely chopped
  •  roti or whichever flatbread you like, and/or rice
  1. roll the meat in the flour and fry over quite a high heat (but don’t burn)
  2. add the sliced onions and cook until the meat is just browned and the onions are beginning to go transparent
  3. lower the heat and add about 3-4 tbsp massaman paste – or more if you like it hot!
  4. cook for just a few minutes then pour in the coconut milk and add the squash
  5. stir well and leave to simmer for 2 hours, or in a very slow oven for as long as you like, until the meat is quite tender
  6. check for flavour and heat (if it tasted beautiful but just needs more heat, add a little chilli sauce rather than more massaman paste)
  7. to serve, sprinkle on the peanuts and the herb and enjoy with your roti, flatbread and or rice!


And it’s Sunday, the Dolph, the girls, and the two T’s

We talk about our local the Dolphin such a lot, and yet we don’t actually go there that often… wait a minute… Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday… but wait another minute! Tuesday quiz night! Thursday we had been very busy and it was very hot! Saturday my drummer boy had been at a gig in deepest Somerset so came home tired and very hot and thirsty since he couldn’t drink as he was driving! Sunday we go to the pub to meet the two T’s, our friends Tim and Trev.

We drift down latish for the last hour, and when we arrive, no T’s but the girls. This isn’t meant to sound patronising but affectionate… three very clever, and amusing women who live locally and are always out on jaunts and adventures together, and also play badminton in the village hall. Two are sisters, and dog people; Shirley was the owner of the amazing Thatch, a dog of great character who used to sit on the front lawn arms folded (OK forepaws folded) presiding over the street. Thatch’s cousin/brother, Shirley’s sister Maureen has Hamlet was a more laid back and maybe timid character who Thatch led into various adventures. The third is Jean who comes from the Lake District, and we were talking tonight about the fact that it has become a World Heritage Site.

We have great fun, a real craic (the sisters are from Ireland) talking about all sorts of things,sport, County Antrim, geese, a strange farm they had recently stayed in, drinking champagne and eating canapes in a barn until Maureen accidentally threw her cider over Jean. As she was offering a hanky to dry jean’s shoes, the two T’s arrived, one of them looking slightly less sunburned than the last time we had seen him – he’d been sitting in the garden and fallen asleep… great redness ensued!

We were all up ‘our’ end of the pub – if you can imagine the letter E with the middle bit missing, that’s the shape of the pub. A bar at either end and the cross-benches as we call them between. (The cross benches is a parliamentary term for the benches or seats  between two different parties – this is just a joke… people float round all the areas of the pub!) There may have been a few folk in the cross benches at some point, but when I drifted through in search of a bar man (when it’s quiet like on a Sunday there is only one person on) it was empty. Down at the darts board/TV/other end there were a few regulars, but on the whole it was quiet, typical Sunday.  The jukebox was playing,  a varied selection but predominantly Country and Weston. I was glad to hear one of my all-time favourites ‘Human’ drifting through!

The girls departed, they’d been out and about and they were ready to go, then time was called and we finished our drinks, too our glasses  to the bar and shouted ‘cheerio’ and off we went…

I wonder if Jean’s shoes are dry… but that’s another story..

. as is the tale of the friendly geese…

Sunday night at the Dolphin

We nipped down to the Dolphin hoping our friends,the two T’s, Trev and Tim would be there, and indeed they were. We like to meet up with them anyway, but tonight we particularly wanted to see Tim. he has had some renovations and extensions done on his house which now looks absolutely splendid, and part of it involved new roofing and he’d had to buy new tiles. However, it was one of those things where you can’t get exactly what you want so he has a few (like 100) left over.  He’d asked us if we would like some because they are now obsolete – all the houses in our little road have the same roof tiles, but our homes were built in the 80’s and these tiles are now as I mentioned, obsolete. Yes please, Tim, we said. A couple of days ago we came home to find a load of roof tiles on our drive – not a ridiculous amount, but the sort of quantity which will be useful if we ever have to replace any,

Tim had refused any payment and very kindly delivered them, so we hoped to find him in the pub so we could buy him a drink… and there he was! We are always pleased to see him and Trev – we do see them at other times too, but Sunday night the four of us have a jolly good old chin wag. On this occasion we were also able to buy him a thank-you drink.

We had a very pleasant evening as usual, talking about all sorts of stuff – Dylan Thomas’s boathouse, New Zealand, the English rugby team, the Hobphin music festival a the pub – the Dolphin of course, family and friends, neighbours – new and old, houses, Wales, helicopters, Weston train station, parking…

Yes, a typically pleasant night at the Dolphin!

… and this is about Hobphin two years ago…


By the way, my featured image is of music at the Dolphin from a few years ago, the unmatchable Celtic Shambles and their drummer, my husband!!