Category Archives: writing

A Pub Like No Other

Back in the 90’s when I lived in Scotland I used to go to the Cambridge Folk Festival every summer. A couple of times, along with my friend Al, we would go on a road trip round southern England the week before the festival.

How we planned the road trip was with a copy of the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Good Beer Guide. A little tent icon by the pub description meant there was camping within a half mile (805 metres), or in other words staggering distance of the pub.

Now the wee icons were not 100% accurate and it did mean some extra driving around to find a place for the night. We did however find some gems on our travels. In a period when some great old boozers, and indeed some real dives were being converted into Irish theme bars, the Good Beer Guide promoted (and still does) fantastic pubs with traditional brewed beers, some classic old school, some modern.

Two of our locations were repeated into the next years trip. One in Southwold on Suffolks North Sea coast, home of Adnams Brewery, a must on any beer lovers ‘to drink list’ and another in, or rather around Boughton Monchelsea in Kent. Home of the legendary, to us anyway, Red House.

So so many things about this pub made it a favourite with us. The Real Ale was amazing, the Real Cider sublime, proper cider, translucent, not crystal clear and filtered to death and with added CO2, and certainly not that Jillz pish Heineken try to pass of as cider. It was a friendly pub, and to cap it all off, you could pitch a tent in the adjacent garden and spend the night after a night on the ales and cider.

Trying to find the pub however was a challenge. It was down a country lane, in a spiders web of country lanes that seem to move around while you’re finding your way. After plenty of driving north, south, east and west, and quite possibly driving up and down the lane we wanted at least five times it would just suddenly appear. This carry on happened on both occasions and became part of the pub’s legendary status.

We had a theory about this, and decided it was a sort of English Brigadoon.

After the last person left the pub and it was locked up for the night it would disappear from sight, not if you were camping out in the garden, but invisible from the road. The Red House would be gone and out of sight, only to reappear whenever the last hangover of the night before finally lifted. Truly it was a magical place and provided us with some of the most amazing, and probably the best hangovers ever.

Now amazing, best and hangover are words you never really see together. More often or not it would be hangover, hell and never again. A Red House hangover was weird, it was a hangover you respected. The kind of hangover that had Al sitting under a stand pipe with a slow cool run of water over his head and I had a cooking pot filled with cool water on my head, slowly seeping out. Too bad Monty Python ended up in a bin in a Kent service station later that day.

Sadly The Red House is no more. A bar restraunt, or gastro pub or something, but the legend lives on.

I wonder what happened to Pod who lived in his caravan there.


Losing the Essence

This is one of the frustrating things about this blog. Losing the essence of the piece I want to write, and the blog has suffered as a consequence.

Happened again to me recently. Two nights ago I went along to a  Cultureel Cafe event here in the Boondocks and was keen to write a piece about it here on the blog. But I got home after 1am and with my alarm going off for work at 6am I thought it better to get some sleep, I’ll work on it after work.

It never happened.

Once again I lost the essence. I have a job that doesn’t tax my mind too much, and that’s where most of my writing ideas come in, trouble is I don’t have the chance to jot them down and then it disappears into the back of the unknown realms of my mind.

I would love to become a writer, The original idea of this blog was to be a sort of expat’s Dutch Diary, commenting on social and political issues of the day as well as whimsy and farting about. I have four or five novels swimming around inside my skull, two or three with the potential to become a series, but the chances of them seeing the light of day on paper or screen is slim to say the least.

So I’m going to have a beer, fart about on facebook anf twitter while giving this a right good thinking about.

Seedbombs & Procrastination and Frustration


Seedbombs were deployed last night in a variety of locations within The Village. Got a mixture of sweetcorn, peas, tomatoes, peppers and broccoli out there. Also thinking of a cocktail seedbomb. loosley based on the North American Three Sisters form of agriculture. Although this will only be two sisters, and the beans will be replaced by peas…

Not sure if any of the seeds will actually grow to anything, main threats being professional gardeners tidying up plots to rabbits and pidgeons eating the crop, but even if only one seed succeeds then I’m claiming a small victory.

Really hope the sweetcorn outside the bank makes it.


Procrastination and Frustration

Been wanting to write for a long time, but never get round to it. I have enough ideas swimming around in my head for at least four stories, but I just can’t get them on paper or screen. Even the name for this blog and also my twitter profile comes from a lead role from a failed idea.

I know the ideas are in there, it’s just getting them out there. Who knows, it could be my ticket out of my day job, but realisticly it won’t be. But then Dan Brown is making a fair living I guess, and if he can, I can.

Can’t I?