Saturday, 22 August 2009

Mr Mucus

THREE fried breakfasts in three days - that's not the way to good health and fitness.
But that's just the way it was, and three of J D Wetherspoons' finest veggie fry-ups have found their way into me.
The first came at the Richard Hopkins in Newton Abbot before a round of golf with the Caerphilly Kid and his brother at Dainton. The eggs were a bit too well done, but otherwise it was good. The golf was good, too. The handicapping was generous, which meant I finished between the Caerphilly Kids. My finest moment came on the 17th, where I took four hacks to get out of the bunker, and the fourth dispensed with the formality of putting and rolled straight into the hole.
The second fry-up was on more familiar ground at the Isaac Merritt where the eggs were much better. It was A-Level results day and Younger Daughter had done the business. We celebrated with Mr Fangio and the Caerphilly Kid, who were already there having one of their high-powered business meetings.
The following morning Older Daughter, who had been working the previous day, decided she had missed out, so we went back to the Isaac Merritt for more. The eggs were good again, and Mr Mucus sat down at the table next to us, nursing an early-morning pint. He coughed a lot, sneezed, blew his nose noisily, coughed, sneezed and made that noise that comes with a big snort into the back of the throat.
Feeling a bit queasy, we left Mr Mucus to his pint and shifted to a quieter table. Later Mr Mucus got into a row with someone. It seemed a bit early in the day to be getting into rows, but Mr Mucus was ready for anything.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


We went to Newquay, seeing as you ask, for a few days in the rain.
We went to St Ives and Truro, too. We walked the coast path from Porthcothan back to Newquay, and saw plenty of kestrels and a stonechat. There were seals in the harbour at Newquay, too, but most of the wildlife was of the human variety.
Newquay is as lovely and as rough as Torbay in pretty much equal measure. If you want to get hammered on lager and Jager-bombs, go into the centre and rub shoulders with the stags and the hens, then jump back quickly when the Jager-bombs put in a return appearance.
If you don't, don't. Find a quiet pub that does a decent pint instead.
It's that simple, really. People have to enjoy themselves and let off steam, and while you can sympathise with the people of Newquay whose town is over-run with city kids who can't hold their drink, they have to go somewhere.
We also went on the world's shortest brewery tour, at Skinners in Truro. It was pouring with rain so we decided to buy a tour ticket. The tour started with half an hour in the bar sampling beers, which was followed by ten minutes looking at sacks of malt, some hops, a big steamy thing with water in it and some foaming yeast vats. Then we saw the metal casks ready for loading on the lorries.
After a perfunctory 'any questions' it was back into the bar for more beer and the chance to pour some yourself.
I was driving so Mrs H made full use of the hospitality on offer and was quite giggly in the car on the way back.
Later at a pub overlooking Newquay harbour I asked a lovely, lovely barmaid for two Cornish Knockers. I hadn't intended any innuendo but she gave me one of those looks that made me wonder if I should perhaps have ordered something else instead.