The Crown Tap

I was delighted to learn that, soon after my furniture had been unloaded at Graham Road yesterday, Emily and Alice had come ‘snaffling’.  Em had departed with a table lamp; Alice had a set of hanging shelves and a framed photograph.  I am particularly pleased that my granddaughter had the good taste to choose one of my best photographs, taken at Covent Garden in 1983.  I spent the morning searching for the original colour slide, but it remained elusive.  So Alice, you have the only one.  Treasure it.

After this Jackie drove us to Ringwood, where we had some banking to do.  I also took in my Longines watch to have a new battery fitted.  Mostly, now, I wear the beautiful Tissot timepiece that Jessie bought me, so I hadn’t even been aware that the Longines needed more juice.

The Crown Tap

Whilst waiting for the watch we popped into The Crown Tap in Southampton Road. We were both thirsty on this very hot day.  Jackie caused great amusement by asking for a ‘diet thingy’.  We knew it was a coke that was required, but some other suggestions were made.

The building is a very old part of a terrace, and had probably once been someone’s small cottage.  We thought the later brick fireplace had originally been the site of a kitchen range.  Marilyn Monroe and cricketIn the background, on the wall, England were in the process of being thrashed by Ireland in a limited overs cricket match.  It was as if the English batsmen had been put off their stroke by the sight of Marilyn Monroe.  Goodness knows what she made of the modern version of a game that was so very different in her era.  (I am reliably informed by Ian Steele that I have no faith.  The game resulting in a comfortable win for England, Morgan and Bopara each making centuries.  Miss Monroe must have been beyond their range of vision).

Frank Sinatra sang on the music system. Elvis and company Elvis curled his lip on the wall opposite at the sound of it.  All this made me suggest to the barman that this was a nostalgia pub. He kind of agreed, although I suspect he may not have been quite with me.  He was quite young.  Another, older, customer said it used to be spit and sawdust but now they had a carpet.  Anyway, they serve Ringwood’s best which was my choice.  The customers all seemed well known to the bartender and others.  One man came in leading a mongrel on the end of a piece of string.  He said the dog wasn’t his, but regularly came and sat in his garden, so he thought he’d bring it out for a drink today.

The narrow corridor leading to the toilets seem to have confused some gent’s (sic). Gent's do not use this loo A sign informs them that they have to move next door.

This evening Jackie made a roast chicken meal complete with stuffing.  So we ate it.  It was delicious.  I also drank some La Piedra Leon reserva malbec 2011.  Jackie didn’t.

Would You Please Go Away?

Tomato and noodle soupWell as the builders had cleaned up after themselves, I can see that most of this week will be spent doing more of it and tidying the ground floor.  This morning I made a start on the kitchen.

Jacqueline phoned me to ask me to participate in a charity walk in Lincoln.  Unfortunately this is to take place on the next bank holiday when I will not be available.  While we were talking, with my head sticking out of the attic window where I receive the most reliable signal, a small bird, with bright yellow heraldic markings on a brown ground, settled on the lichen covered tiles over the bathroom roof.  I said I wished I had my camera in my hand rather than my mobile phone.Quiche

My sister mentioned that she has an appointment for neurological testing because of back pain.  This reminded me of my own experience in search of a diagnosis for my  problems with my left shoulder and hip.  In order to check the functioning of my neural paths, I was attached to a machine fitted with electrodes that relayed current to my body, and intermittently, no doubt for sake of variation, subjected to sharp needle pricks.  While this was going on, a woman devoid of any identifying hospital clothing, entered the room and began speaking to the technician about another, named, patient.  I do not wish to indicate that the woman was not fully clad, which was more than I was as I lay on the bed in my underpants.  She wore civvies.

Continuing to administer acute pain, which he had assured me was a good sign, the man responded to his visitor.  This, to me, seemed a bit out of order.

Looking up at my uninvited guest who, had, until then,not given me as much as a glance, I said: ‘Excuse me.  It may have escaped your notice, but I am lying here receiving electric shocks and having pins stuck in me.  Would you please go away?’.  She did.  Without a word.

Steak and chipsDavid told me that 250 people turned up to Le Code Bar’s first anniversary party just after I had left on my last visit.  It has been well earned.  As an example, today’s lunch consisted of plentiful tasty tomato and noodle soup; a succulent quiche with a well-dressed salad; Steaktender steak and chips; and a mousse coated with maple sauce and floating in creme anglais, or custard to you, Jackie, that blended well with the paper table mat.Floating mousse  A group of English people behind me were celebrating the birthday of another David.  In his honour, David played a recording of the excruciatingly embarrassing Marilyn Monroe’s version of Happy Birthday sung at an event in honour of President John F. Kennedy.  It was not embarrassing for the bar’s diners, who enjoyed the gesture.