A walk in the sunshine

So, me, my beloved and the hound had a pleasant evening on Thursday in Peterborough.

We weren’t there for the best of reasons, a funeral.

Roadworks meant we arrived later than we’d have liked, but we still managed most of the bits that mattered: the Bumble Inn, the Ostrich, the Draper’s Arms, the College Arms (ok, so the last one’s awful).

We met a lovely guy in the Ostrich, from Cramlington originally, but he’s lived in Peterborough for a couple of decades. He’s a Gateshead supporter though.

This morning (yesterday really, I guess), I had a big decision to make. While my beloved was at the funeral, I could either fill in the pub gap from the previous night (just two), or go for a walk with the dog.

Surprisingly, I decided on the latter.

So, the hound and I walked along the Nene, ending up on the Green Wheel route. I’d cycled that way a few years ago, but it’s so much slower on foot, even with a two year old dog.

Anyway, we had a lovely walk this morning/afternoon.

And then it rained. And snowed (the hailstones we’re a killer).

The dog doesn’t like rain. So she didn’t like (or understand) hailstones. We were caught out in the open.

My usual plan in such circumstances would be to seek a pub. Unfortunately, this wasn’t an option, since I was on a bike path. That left me with a choice; continue on the path back to Peterborough, or seek shelter.

I decided on the latter, ending up in Stanground. That probably wasn’t my best decision.

With no shelter in Stanground, other than a leaky bus shelter, we waited to be rescued by my beloved. We were a bit wet at that point.

Proper wet.

Bendy wine glasses

A year or two ago, my beloved broke one of my bendy (recycled) wine glasses.

The dog broke another tonight. They’re not precious or anything, but they’re over 20 years old and I’ve not seen anything like them.

We still have two though.

Belly rubs

A new first. Watching TV, with the dog lying next to me. She was asleep.

But then she started kicking me. I looked at her, then she moved her leg for a belly rub.

The Holy GrAle

After hearing about a new micropub in Durham, we had to take a look. The Holy GrAle is definitely worth a visit; a really decent range of cask and keg.

And a pretty lovely Marble imperial stout, 10.5%.

Since we were in the area, we also called in the rather excellent Station House.

And the Waiting Room.

Unfortunately, the dog experienced her first delayed train (waiting for an ambulance).

After her ordeal, she needed gin in Newcastle.


I’ve only been to Nottingham a couple of times in the past, so our eBay purchase of a van front end created the opportunity for a third visit.

It made sense to drive down yesterday and pick up the rusty lump up today. That gave us a chance to fit in some decent pubs, starting with the Doctor’s Orders, a pretty cool micropub I’d found on Mansfield Road the last time we were there.

It’s everything a micropub should be; decent prices too. Also discovered last time was the Crafty Crow, also run by the Magpie Brewery.

Naturally, we had to visit Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, allegedly the country’s oldest pub. I knew that the beer wasn’t going to be the best, but the building’s a real experience.

There were one or two other pubs, but I didn’t take pictures.

One minor negative was the £25 dog surcharge at the hotel, the highest of the three hotels accommodating the dog this year (£10 and £20 at the other two). So we made sure that the dog made the most of the facilities.

This morning, we collected the van front end. Fortunately, we managed to squeeze it in without resorting to the angle grinder I’d taken.

Yes, it has holes. But I love it. We’ll attempt to remove it from the van in the morning.

Confused dog

Yesterday, the dog and I walked down to the Schooner; our first time there in weeks. To be honest, we needed to call off at a t-shirt place near the pub anyway, so it made sense to drop off the Good Beer Guide stuff we’d collected from CAMRA last week.

When this was a daily walk, the dog had a cool habit of crossing a road at the same point. She’d cross the road when she reached a lamp post. The one painted white (the others were unpainted).

The dog was a little confused yesterday, though. All of the lamp posts in that street had been replaced.

Micropub update

The premises license for the micropub came through the other day. While we’d heard weeks ago that the license had been approved, the physical license took a few weeks to materialise.

Not that we were in a rush; we’re still waiting for the lease and planning permission. The deadline for the planning decision is the end of next week though, so there should be another development soon.

Of course, that’ll still leave the matter of the lease.

Meanwhile, thoughts on potential t-shirts (they won’t be white, this exists only on paper right now). And maybe a table top.

And I’m continuing to buy random shit.


Just watched a film about a dog called Goodyear. The film’s called Finch. You’ll have heard about it.

It’s a futuristic, but pretty retro, sort of film, with clear reference to Silent Running from the early 70s.

My kids cried when they first watched Silent Running and there’s a chance they might do the same if the see Finch.

Obviously, there was no dog in Silent Running. But there were robotic equivalents.

In Finch, there was a robot-ish Huey, but instead of the other two robots, Finch has a Jeff.

As a dog owner, Goodyear pretty much has a leading role. And it was good to see that the dog came out ok in the end.

Don’t buy a …

… Gainsborough shower. So, I bought a new shower after moving into this house 17 years ago.

After just a couple of years, the first problem arose. A smell. A weird electrical smell. This was soon followed by (since I’d not conclusively identified that the shower was the source of the smell) smoke.

Electrical stuff was fixed (don’t ask me exactly what) and everything was fine.

Regrettably, the shower expired after seven or eight years (from installation). While realising that this was a little early, I bought a replacement internal unit. I even fitted it myself. It wasn’t too painful a process and I even remembered to turn off electricity and water.

And it worked.

Here’s a picture of the shower unit.

I didn’t actually take a picture at the time; this picture was taken so I’d know which coloured wire goes where. Because, yes, the damn thing died last week.

Thinking positively , the replacement unit had lasted a year or two longer than the original. I’m sure that the original, as well as the replacement, should have lasted longer, though.

When the second incarnation of the shower expired prematurely, I had to decide whether to replace the shower’s innards once more, or just replace the whole damn thing.

Yes, I thought it’d be easier to buy the same shower unit again; or at least it’s internal workings.

Fitting took longer than I’d hoped. The compatible unit looked identical to the original, even though it wasn’t.

Hopefully, it’ll last longer than its predecessor. But, if it doesn’t, I’ll just start again.

The Quatermass Xperiment

I’m currently watching the Quatermass Xperiment (1955) on TV.

AKA the creeping unknown.

As a young child, I found this film pretty scary. Following the return of a space ship to Earth, with its nose buried deep in the ground, the experts arrived at the crash site.

As a young child, I wouldn’t have known what a VW T2 was, even though I had one of those German police VW car and van models.

So I wouldn’t have noticed that the experts had arrived in a T2 split screen.

One unusual thing about the van was the radio set in the engine compartment!