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!


Goodbye Tom! Good luck!!

Drifted down to the Dolphin this evening, hoping to meet up with our pals, the 2 T’s, Trev and Tim, which we did… only to discover that the lovely bar person Tom who has been dispensing beer, drinks, and a benign  almost Buddha like calm from behind the bar for the last eighteen months, is leaving!

Tom is like all good bar people, he has this radar which clocks customers waiting at the bar, and clocks them in the order they arrived! However, he also has judgement… so if someone is standing there and actually nattering to someone, or even mouthing off, has had too much to drink anyway, is not really that bothered about being served, has already been a bit rude, – and he sees you, pleasant, polite, loyal, friendly local person – then he might move you up the queue and serve you sooner.

He is pleasant and friendly and funny and nice and interesting…

We are so sorry to see Tom go, but we wish him well on his travels, and the best of luck in the future, whatever he gets up to! Maybe we can organise a pub trip to visit him, even though it is 3,452 miles away… However, it’s more likely we will stay in contact through social networking… Even so…


OK… so I didn’t post something late… I don’t know about other bloggers, how organised they are, or how much they post as scheduled posts, but I want to connect with people during the day… however, sometimes my actual life and my actual writing comes between me and my blog!
So all was set fair; it’s Saturday night, and unlike in former times when Saturday night meant clubbing, unless we have a particular thing to do ,Saturday can be very much as any other night. Tuesday is quiz night, Sunday is pub night and there are a few variables in between.

So tonight… nothing much planned… then, because tomorrow is a special night, we suddenly think maybe pub deserves  a visit… oh, it is raining… well we have waterproofs, we have umbrellas, so pub…

Actually as we step out to walk the few hundreds yards to the pub,wearing our rain coats and armed with an umbrella,actually, it isn’t raining that much. We trundle down to the pub, down the deserted, puddle filled high street… it’s mild, and actually is only spotting with rain.

We enter, and sitting round the table by the door,Shirley, Maureen and Jean greet us. The beloved goes to the bar to get our drinks and I stand chatting to our friends. This is the amazing thing… Our friends live in the village, their homeland is Northern Ireland to which we are particularly attached ad have many memories and connections, and suddenly it seems we have another connection, a very small village in Cambridgeshire where we both have connections – my cousin and their cousin too!


Pub dog

When we first started going regularly to the Dolphin when we moved to Uphill, there was a pub dog, Penny, otherwise known as Mrs Pen. Mrs pen wasn’t owned by anyone associated with the pub but she was a real character, and of all the dogs who were welcomed into the pub she was the pub dog.

Who knows anything about Mrs Pen’s early life; she was spotted by Terry in Gloucester, tied to a lamp-post. Terry had business in Gloucester, and when he came back many hours later, the poor dog was still tied to the lamp-post. Without more ado, Terry united her and pout her in his cab and brought her home to Uphill where she lived a long and very happy and interesting life.

Penny was a sort of collie type dog, utterly devoted to her family but actually, in truth, not much interested in anyone else. She had acute hearing and could hear a packet of crisps being opened from the other end of the pub.

Penny, Mrs Pen at the back door of the pub

Penny, Mrs Pen at the back door of the pub

Now there is a new pub dog, who is as much of a character as Mrs Pen. Simba is owned by the pub and is as much of a character as Mrs Pen. Simba is a jug, a cross between a Jack Russell and a pug. Simba is truly lord of the pub, and has been joined by Timon, another jug.

We were sitting having a cup of tea in La Cucina, a restaurant and tea room opposite the pub when I spotted Simba… The pub dog.

Walking down the middle of the road

One of the things I really love about living in our village of Uphill is the fact that once rush hour is over – those couple of times between 8:45 and 9:15 and 2:50 and 3:20 when it is rush hour, most of the roads are really quiet. OK, so in the middle of summer when we have lots of people coming to the beach, or in those times I’ve mentioned when cars are bring children to the village school and then  taking them home (why can’t they walk?) – then the village is really quiet.

Tonight at about 8:50, I walked from our house down the main street running through Uphill… yes, I walked along the actual road, in the middle of the road. It is so quiet and peaceful that you don’t have to keep to the pavements, you can just…. stroll along down the road to the pub. If by some chance a car is coming, the village is so quiet that you can hear it coming long before it passes you – by which time you’re safely on the pavement.

So tonight, after  a very pleasant evening in the pub, when we didn’t win a single thing in the quiz but had a really lovely time, I strolled home, right down the middle of the road.



I can be reduced to laughter by the silliest jokes, and remain stone-faced at really clever comedians… I actually do not like stand-up, even though there are occasional gags which make me smile.

A very simple joke:

A man walks into a pub he doesn’t know and asks for a pint of best, and gets a lovely clear foaming pint. He has only taken a sip when he realizes he needs to visit the little boys room. As he has is a stranger he doesn’t really want to leave his drink, but in the end he tears a beer mat in half and writes a little notice ‘I put my tongue in this beer,’ and props it against his glass. he goes to the loo and returns to find his glass empty. Someone has written on the bottom of the beer mat ‘I drank your beer but I could not find your tongue.’