Home time

“Reet,” says I, “home time, grumpy bitch.”

“OK then” comes the reply from the very pretty, 19 year old, barmaid.

If ever there was a time I wished I was forty years younger!

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Nothing lasts forever

It’s twenty three years to the day since I migrated to Sandbach. It was another three weeks before I got a gas cooker fitted so I depended on the chippy or pub lunches or microwave meals for those first three weeks in my new house. That microwave broke down this morning. It still pings but the door release mechanism has jammed, probably repairable because it’s mechanical rather than electronic so I’ve bunged it out of the way in the shed for now. When I get a bit of free time, and the inclination, I’ll clean it up and see if the release can be fixed.

Anyways, temporarily microwaveless, I called in at Currys in Crewe after the Biddulph run and bought myself a new one. The sales assistant asked me if I would like an extended warranty on it.

I asked her how long it lasts for because the old microwave is older than her.

To be perfectly honest, I think “extended warranties” are a rip off. If the goods fail within a few years of purchase I’m unlikely to buy another one from the same shop. If they last longer than that then I’ve got my money’s worth anyway. It’s so long since I bought the old one that I can’t even remember for sure where I got it from, probably Argos, but I reckon the warranty has well and truly expired.

Nothing lasts forever.

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Meanwhile, in the snug at the Rovers Return…

When I got out of the shower this morning, ears full of soap suds, I thought the bloke on the wireless was going on about Minnie Caldwell. I then wondered how long it would be before he brought Ena Sharples and Martha Longhurst into the discussion.

Minnie looking quite smug, in the snug, while Ena and Martha listen for a mention of their names.

OK, so it wasn’t the nattering old bats after all but Billy Caldwell, the 12-year-old boy with epilepsy whose cannabis oil was confiscated.

When used medicinally cannabis should not be illegal, recreational use may be open to debate but the drug does have very good reason to be decriminalised.

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Sounds foreign, but so does Salford Van Hire

Sorry, I thought everybody heard of the famous Dutch footballer, Salford Van Hire.

Something else from Salford (give Hydes their due because they do claim to be made of Manchester, not made in Manchester, since moving from Moss Side).

It takes a bloody good beer to wean me off the Lowry when I’m in a Hydes pub and this one fits that description to a T.

I’m no a lager drinker, not by a long chalk, but this tastes what I’d imagine lager would, indeed should, be like without the fizz. A superb light beer, perfect for a warm summer evening… Or afternoon… Morning… Whenever.

While on the subject of Hydes, they have a new (at least new to me) session ale called 1863. Don’t be put off by the ABV (3.5%) if you see it because it’s a really nice old fashioned tasting bitter and taste, not alcohol content, is what matters with beer. I am seriously hoping that The Cheese gets another delivery of it.



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Something is rotten in the state of Cheshire East

With apologies to Hamlet.

The main sewer through Wheelock has finally given in to the continual pounding by heavy lorries that should be on the by-pass.

Well, they are on the by-pass now and so is everything else, including the local buses, because the sewer has collapsed and the road is closed. Wheelock has no bus service until further notice.

It’s about time a weight limit was imposed on Crewe Road and Hind Heath Road, making them access only for heavy goods vehicles instead of a short cut for traffic heading to and from the Elworth industrial area.

In the meantime, if you’re a car owner and live in Wheelock and you have an elderly neighbour who relies on the buses, ask them if you can help with their shopping and other trips into town.

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Taking Star to The Star

There were numerous reasons for Star being so named, the most obvious being the small patch of white fur on her chest. Not so obvious, unless you know my past, is her sharing her name with one of my favourite pubs.

Star, in The Midland.

Anyway, Saturday afternoon, sat at the bar in The Midland, I remembered that I’ve still got half my 2017/18 allocation of free passes to use up before the end of June. The Midland is handy for the railway station, at first I thought about just going one stop down the line to Holmes Chapel (for The Bottle Bank) but then decided that a trip to Glossop and back could be done without getting back home ridiculously late.

So that’s where we went.

Star, at Glossop station, with The Star in the background.

First port of call was, naturally, The Star but my Star wasn’t on her best behaviour and tried starting a fight with a poodle so we retreated hastily to the tap room. OK, I refer to it as the tap room but in actual fact it bears little resemblance to what the tappy was when I used to spend so many afternoons playing darts and dominoes in there. Not even a darts board to miss now!

The Good Beer Guide once referred to The Star as an odd shaped pub near the railway station.

After a couple of very nice pints we moved on to The Friendship for some Dizzy Blonde. No, not the shapely lady behind the bar, Robinsons’ superb pale ale!

The Frenny has changed to since I lived in Glossop, but not so much as to be unfamiliar.

The snug has been opened out into the main bar area and the tap room has been merged with the corridor to the gents bog to gain a larger area for a pool table but the lovely, and so typical, Robbies wooden panelling is still there.

Glossop Carters’ And Motormen’s Social Club (as was).

On the way back to the station we passed what was once The Carters’ Club. I used to love this den of iniquity! The name dates back to the road transport operators working out of the station goods yard. Unfortunately the club closed a long time ago and it seems to have a (very different) new roll in life now.

Glossop’s only unique boutique bar”? Well, yeah, if it’s the only one it must be unique but, apart from rhyming with unique, what has boutique got to do with a pub?

Next door to the Carters was The Fleece, later renamed as The Moon And Sixpence. Another dive, but one frequented on many occasions for after time drinking. It seems to have remodelled itself as a posh eatery now, so I gave it a wide berth.

Still a magnificent building, but I don’t do wine bars thank you.

Another regular watering hole was The Con Club. Though not for anything to do with politics, this used to be the cheapest beer in town but it looks as if it’s a pretentious wine bar now, so I very much doubt the prices have remained anywhere near the lowest in town.

Back to the station, a friendly notice from Northern points out to us that they have fucked the timetable up… I believe it’s something to do with their drivers’ route and traction knowledge not coinciding with the routes and traction diagrammed for the new timetable… AKA left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Quite amazing. So what do they do? They fuck it up some more!

Dear passengers, we have fucked up your timetable, and we’re going to fuck it up some more.

Grumble over, nearly, on arrival at Manchester I found out that the next train to Crewe was cancelled (see previous paragraph). No point moaning though, at least it gave an hour for a leisurely pint in what I consider to be the city centre’s finest alehouse.

The Bulls’ Head, another pub with a slightly strange shape and near a railway station.

To kill more time on the way back to the station I took the scenic route via London Road instead of using the Fairfield Street entrance. Monroes used to be a convenient pub when I worked in Rail House, the BRSA under the station (where the tram cave is now) was cheaper but always too smoky.

Monroes – Proving that resistance is not futile!

It is quite amazing how this pub has been bypassed in the complete transformation of the area around the station approach! I didn’t call in though because the last time I tried they didn’t let dogs in, a short walk from here found us back at Piccadilly station with still time to spare before our train home was due to depart.

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A local shop, for local people?

I wonder how the staff at the village shop answer the phone.

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Senior moment, far too soon!

I woke early this morning, treated myself to a leisurely breakfast while playing TrainStation on-line, then wondered why my alarm hadn’t gone off.

Probably a flat battery on my phone, as usual. Never mind, if I got the nine o’clock bus I’d be in town with time to spare. The bus was running a bit late but I did get into town well before half past nine so I went to the paper shop for my daily fix of puzzles in the i.

It was only when I came out of the newsagents that I noticed the market was a bit sparse, in fact there were no stalls at all. Looking at the front page of the paper I realised it was Wednesday.

Ah well, far too early for work, at half past nine on Thursday, so I had a look round the charity shops and came home again.

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Emotional support

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Beans ‘n’ rice

My own variation on this nutritious combination, maybe a bit hot for some people’s breakfast preference but I like it.

Half a pouch of pingable wholegrain rice (the other half was mixed into Star’s breakfast), a tin of baked beans, a big gloop of Encona West Indian Extra Hot Chilli Sauce, a handful of grated cheese and a dash of cider because the mix was a bit dry in the pan. Served on hash browns, topped with a fried tomato.

There’s more to Sunday breakfasts than the traditional bacon and egg with all the trimmings… And if I keep telling myself that I will get to believe it.

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