Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Off to Spain

This is our last full day in England before we whizz off to the sunnier climes of Madrid. We’ve had a fairly eventful time since I last posted. Our week in Scunthorpe and Doncaster featured some bizarre family stuff that I won’t go into here (no matter how much you plead and beg), and some good stuff too.

There was a remarkable gathering of the clans at the Daddy-in-Law’s hoose. DIL has three brothers, one of whom I’ve never met in the twenty-odd years that I’ve been an associate member of the clan. He lives in Switzerland and he addressed me as Keefieboy. Now, nobody calls me that unless they read this blog. So, bonjour George, and thanks for lurking!

By the way, if you ever find yourself washed up in Scunthorpe, make sure you visit The Highfield House. It’s one of the best pubs I’ve ever been in – nice décor, outstandingly good food, ridiculously cheap beer and no background music or TV. It also sits alone in its grounds and it has a functioning bowling green. I loved it.

I also found a really good pub in Doncaster, the Tut ‘n’ Shive. This place belongs to the genre known as ‘spit and sawdust’, and its stone floors and pew-back panelled ceilings are maturing nicely. Fabulous real ales, cheap food and a non-stop selection of old rock tunes made this a winner for me.

The weather and the smoking ban were key themes of this holiday. We escaped the catastrophic flooding that hit Gloucestershire – Yorkshire had already been inundated about five weeks ago – but we’ve seen plenty of rain, a bit of sunshine, and a magnificent double rainbow. The smoking ban that was introduced on July 1 has forced dedicated smokers to cluster outside pubs, trying to keep their fags out of the rain.

We moved on to Liverpool about a week ago. Yesterday BetterArf and I got the bus into town and mooched around in a touristy kind of fashion. We visited Liverpool Museum, an imposing Victorian edifice that has had a serious makeover, and bumped into a mate of ours from Dubai. It turns out that Lynda is a secret Scouser – what a surprise! After the museum we popped into the nearby Walker Art Gallery to see an exhibition of Josh Kirby’s work. Josh is best-known for his cover illustrations for Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, but it was really nice to see the other stuff he did.

So, holiday nearly over. Time to start thinking about getting some work, finishing my novel and making some money. Dang.

Labels: , , ,