Anticipating the re-opening of New Forest pubs!

New Forest pubs are finally set to re-open on 4 July, here's a sneak preview with a visit to the Rufus Stone and the Sir Walter Tyrrell

Mark and Hugh writer and cartoonistThis week's feature article by Mark with cleverer than ever cartoon by Hugh celebrates the imminent re-opening of our pubs; coincidentally the day following their visit to the Sir Walter Tyrrell as amusingly told below, the Daily Telegraph featured a front page photo of a ride by visit by locals on their ponies!

PUB! Finally, entry to the holy of holies!

Our good friends Nicky and Alan asked us if we would like to meet for lunch somewhere in the Forest and, naturally, we jumped at the opportunity. The girls, for they are always and will always be, completely in charge, decided that to avoid the lurgy we would pack separate lunches. So far, so hygienic. Alan decided we should meet at the car park that is close to the Sir Walter Tyrrell pub. The four of us and Poppy, our French rescue terrier, wandered aimlessly into the forest on a roughly clockwise circuit returning to the stone where, apparently, the naughty Sir Walter with his bow and arrow, accidentally killed the immensely unpopular King William the second. Oh dear, boys and their toys. The going was firm because as we all know there has been precious little rain, however there was evidence of wetter times. In a pock marked area where the hooves of cows and ponies had left deep imprints there was the top of a solitary wellington boot, stuck deep in the clay. I had a mental picture of the unfortunate victim of the little bog, hobbling back to the car park, one socked foot squelching in the cold mud. Ugh!

Back "in" a pub and how necessary the plastic! 

Once we had returned, we swiftly set up base camp on the huge grassy field that is opposite the pub. Nepalese porters would have been proud of the loads that Alan and I hauled from the cars and courageously delivered to the waiting management. Chairs were arranged, hampers opened and napkins readied.

Alan and I, having been granted leave, set off for the oak panelled delight that is the Sir Walter Tyrrell and once inside I had to stop for a moment. You see I had forgotten how utterly enchanting a pub can be, after all it’s been years hasn’t it? There were the usual pub things, all pubs have them, a fake shotgun, odd looking jugs, strange porcelain, small boxes containing examples of knots; paintings of a bucolic nature and comfortable furniture of a pleasantly dark tint bidding the user to stop awhile. A simple one-way system kept customers safely separated and in no time, we were back at base with liquid sustenance (in disturbingly wobbly plastic glasses) in hand.

Hugh Lohan Rufus Stone cartoon

Make the effort! Life is short!

It occurred to me that as I sat back munching on delicious sandwiches and sipping first class beer that this afternoon couldn’t have occurred without effort. After all, what could be easier than to not to ask friends to come out for the afternoon. To not find a pub that had made the effort to serve beer safely.

Time is our most precious commodity and wherever we can we should strive to use it wisely. A good friend once said that with the average life span of three score years and ten we ought to look at each day of the week as representing a decade. On this basis the pair of us were at around Saturday morning.

At the time I recalled powerful memories of school summer holidays. For the first week it seemed as if the holidays would last for ever and ever, but then, all too soon, it was over. Time flies eh? Of course, some of us are fortunate. Dame Vera Lynn went on until Wednesday!

Another good friend is well on the way to midnight on Tuesday, so there are exceptions. One thing is for sure though and that is that only very rarely do people know when the show ends.  So, here’s a thank you to friends who have the wit to suggest a little outing now and then, or a party, or supper. Just a little something to take us away from our labours. We need to cherish such friends. Cheers!

 

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