Or alternatively:Taking the long way to the Mem.
Transport to game.
When I lived in Milton Keynes one of my blokey bloke things involved being an avid new road tourist. In MK a new road might open every week and as a consequence Fiona would experience many a detour on my way to or from work as we upped our local road knowledge by “doing the new bit.” This is much more difficult now that I live in Bristol. The only thing that changes on a regular basis are our crazy bus services. So there I was at Cribbs Causeway with some time on my hands when a No. 3 Bus rolled, empty of course, in to the bus station. An hour later it had completed its journey into the City Centre. I have some points to note. No one got on the bus between Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton. It is not surprising as most of this part is through Industrial estates where few would be finishing or starting their shift at the warehouse floor. The route appears to mop up the roads where people don’t naturally use buses. Through Combe Dingle and Henleaze the bus could make up time lost in Lawrence Weston as there was a singular lack of people running for a hop in to town. And then finally when I was joined by passengers in the upper deck it had to be a racist idiot who was happy to shout at fellow passengers about their need to speak English on the bus.
I was aware that a former pupil of mine, Russ, the Wycombe Wanderer, was in town and wanted to search out some cider. We were in contact most of the afternoon via Facebook as he discovered his choices but I was more than happy to take my own gentle King Street stroll.
I had a discussion earlier in the day about the relative price of beer in the craft pubs. Small bar throws a few spanners in the collective beer works with their 1/3 pint policy but the beers are generally good and interesting. I don’t do the keg stuff often and always avoid the sour and crazy concoctions. In my experience they are generally unbalanced and distinctly challenging to drink. I like to enjoy the taste not fight against someone’s “conceptual creation.” The reasonably priced Tiny Rebel Dirty Stop Out was a good start. I settled to the handout leaflets and planned the rest of the day.
The Royal Naval Volunteer
This pub makes it very hard to get a pint of real ale. They are there and generally good quality but the board system they use goes against all logic of easy ordering a beer. My experience went like this:-
Wait ten minutes with a drayman at the bar because the staff were elsewhere.
In the meantime scrutinise the board for real ales rather than keg versions. This is not possible.
Ask at the bar which are real ale.
Having been told it is everyone after number 18 on the board walk back to the board and check out the beers now available.
Decide on a pint of Celt Experience. Go back to bar and ask for said pint. Only there are two Celt Experience beer. It is a good job as there isn’t a queue as I now return to the board, I ignore the ridiculous pricing policy for 1/23 and 2/3 pints and eventually ask for the beer I want. It was £4.10 a pint.
They pour the beer, charge me £4.20. I just can’t be bothered to argue the toss and I sit in a grump to drink my beer. I had at least filled a good fifteen minutes of my afternoon.
It was a good job that I wasn’t one of a large group of customers or in a large round. What do people do when they want a second round? Do they all go to the area under the board and shout their orders across the pub to a mate stood at the bar? At least in the Small Bar the board is at the bar and lists available at tables. The Fame of the Royal Naval Volunteer may not be that it wishes to be remembered for.
In total contrast to its neighbour the pub has traditional, informative pump clips and staff who will give samples to try. The chap behind the bar was also helpfully keen to discover where the new provider, this time Twisted Brewery, brewed. The beer itself wasn’t particularly good but it was no fault of the pub, more of my fascination to try what turned out to be a classic “Garage Beer.” Rose then joined me for a post work relaxation session before her train home. I really like this pub because it encompasses all that is good in the beer scene at the moment and I can get traditional well balanced beers. The second choice hit the spot perfectly a crisp clean hoppy cascade beer.
Bus to the ground
The Clubhouse Bar
Real Ale appears to have come to an end. Keg Butcombe Bitter just doesn’t cut it.
The guest was a Timothy Taylor Boltmaker at £4.10 a pint. I went therefore, for a gin and tonic and waited for Rose to join me and take me home.
Bristol Rovers 2 Wycombe Wanderers 0 Attendance 3243 (123 Chairboys)
Entertainment Value 3
The football was good and Rovers should have scored five or six. Wycombe could have scored a few times. Like many a Football League trophy game it was like a good pacey training match. Both sides played with little apparent care for defence. I started to get bored with the game and resorted to fellow fan watching. Gleefully it started to rain. This is always a new welcome phenomenon when we play the weathermen. The stewards were too kind and offered them shelter in the covered seats. There were calls to abandon the game but the shower was short lived and the temporary noise from their foolhardy 123 came to an end.
They arrived and stood together.
And then it rained and they ran for cover.
Man of the Match: Jermaine Easter
Pub of the Day: The Beer Emporium
Beer of the Day: Tiny Rebel Dirty Stop Out