Last Thursday I took my semi-regular trip to The Arena Tavern in Letchworth. Thursday night is band night and there are normally a few roustabouts there and fun to be had. This was no exception. There were two bands on, the latter of which were "Aces Down" who I had seen before. This time I didn't really see them at all. There were too many people in front of me so I had six pints of "Young's" and spent most of the night outside talking to women half my age.
Last Friday was my comedy show in Hitchin. Numbers were down a little (There was a lot else going on in the area) and there was no set plan for an after-show party as the nightclub that had put on a night particularly for us had just gone quiet on us. Fortunately my mate Roch texted me to say he was DJ-ing at Bar Absolute so myself, David Whitney (One of the acts) and a few of the audience gave it a try. The music was excellent but the volume wasn't really condusive to conversation so we moved on to The Kings Arms, which was too packed to be of any real use so we headed for The Croft, which was, to say the least quiet. We managed to drink everywhere we went but the real fun started when we got back. Dave passed out about 4am, by which time we had drunk a bottle of red wine and got stuck in to some vodka as well.
Saturday afternoon Dave and I headed into Letchworth town centre to a. pick his girlfriend up and b. go to the annual festival that was taking place in Kennedy Gardens. In amongst the various charity stalls, a live stage featuring mostly terrible folk artists, live sheep-shearing and a hot dog stand was a concession from the "Tring Brewery". I didn't know Tring had a brewery. I certainly didn't know that one of its ales was called "Fanny Ebbs". We both delighted in ordering pints of Fanny.
|There's a funny little story about the lady in question here|
His girlfriend called to say she had arrived so we went to the station to meet her. Handily, the station is annexed with a little bar called La Concha and it was rude NOT to stop for a quick spirit & mixer. We then showed Liz (The GF) around the festival so as to order another Fanny. In the evening we headed for Letchworth Arts Centre for my monthly comedy show there. Numbers were again a little down but it didn't stop a good proportion of the audience joining me once again in the Arena for another two hours of unabated madness in the shape of "Goat's Gash" cocktails and Young's. I don't remember going home, or what happened after but in the morning when we got up there were the remnants of a bottle of Disaronno, little vodka, red wine and inroads had been made into a bottle of gin.
|This gives you some idea of a. what "Goat's Gash" looks like and b. what it does to you.|
There was also very little food left so we went out for a fantastic lunch at The Three Horseshoes in Norton (with sadly, on this occasion, no opportunity to say "I love man beef"). in the evening I drove up to Biggleswade to help celebrate my friend Eammon's 50th birthday. I figured the best thing to do was just have one soft drink, give him his card and return home as I had a lot to do. I was persuaded otherwise. I finished talking to his common-law father-in-law at about 5am. He looked very similar to my Uncle Larry who lives in Lansing, Michigan. He is in his seventies, fascinating but (As warned by Eammon's girlfriend, Sarah) has a propensity for the odd racist remark. This is not unusual in a man of his age but his choice of language is. The only example I can really remember is his opinion on mixed-race marriages. He said simply "You wouldn't mate a sparrow with a finch". The argument is utterly redundant, of course, but I do have a grudging regard for the expression and if I'd been taking notes I could have written a new Edinburgh show for Al Murray, not that I would have been able to read them.
Getting up at 9.30am the next day to beat the traffic wardens was no picnic but it was achieved and I got home with three hours to kill before my friend arrived from London. She has been rather stressed recently and said she needed a day doing "F**k all" and I would be the obvious choice to accompany her. Setting aside the myriad of things I had to do before I went away, I of course agreed - a friend in need is a friend indeed. We spent most of the afternoon drinking sparkling rose wine, went to the Arena for one (I might as well get my mail redirected there) and then went to L'Artista for chicken Cacciatora, Penne Alla Vodka and an argument about responsible parenting. Obviously we went home after the meal and drank. It was exactly what she needed and the last thing I did.
|An excellent place for a meal, some wine and a minor domestic argument.|
Today I did all the things I should have done over the last five. It's now well gone 3am. I'd better start packing.