Thursday 26 May 2022

The Popular Wallop

I'm as mild mannered man as can be
And I've never done them harm that I can see
Still on me they put a ban
And they threw me in the can
They go wild, simply wild over me

If you ask me reports of mild's revival have been greatly exaggerated. So over three weeks into May I had to take a diversion via the Royal Oak to fulfil my beery obligation before it was too late. Being a Harvey's pub it's never let me down when I've needed mild and sure enough, there it was on the bar. 

I did feel a  slight twinge not ordering the best, as it's one of my favourite beers. But then I wasn't here to enjoy myself, so mild it was. Which to be fair was perfectly pleasant.

And with that mild, and my soul, was saved for another year. 

Tuesday 3 May 2022

The retro-pre-emptive tick

 Though my pub ticking may be nothing to write blogs home about I do have the occasional high spot*. And it seems I may have found another! 

Sir Quinno has been lucky enough to get to Lundy and has said the Marisco Tavern should be recommended for the Good Beer Guide. This is something I heartily agree with because I've been there. 

In 2003 I went to Lundy on a climbing trip that was memorable for a number of reasons. I lead my first climb graded Extremely Severe (Fear of Faust, E1 5a), something which puts me at the cutting edge of climbing just as soon as I can find of way of travelling back in time about 70 years. I later managed to get on the wrong route completely so what should have been a straight forward V Diff was in fact a considerably harder Hard Very Severe. And I really learnt a lesson about how the joys of drinking and climbing don't necessarily mix well. 

On the last night of our trip as the pints went down we were planning what to do in the morning before we went home. We were tempted by the fizzy keg climb Double Diamond (HVS 5b) on the impressive Flying Buttress. I was also tempted to pour more beer down my neck, it was the last night after all. When it started raining heavily I agreed to lead the climb before heading back to the bar, confident it would be far too wet to climb in the the next day. So when I was greeted with blazing sunshine when in my hungover state I peered out of me tent in the morning I was not filled with joy. 

We abseiled down to the start of the climb OK but sat on a boulder in the cave beneath the climb we really weren't with it and flaking the ropes took far longer than it should have. Then it was time to climb and after going up a damp corner there was a desperately thin unprotected traverse until a crack in the middle of the slab could be reached and a nut jammed in for protection. Fortunately the climb got easier as you went on, which is just as well as I was getting weaker and was exhausted by the time I reached the top. 

But back to the ticking. It may come as a surprise to you to learn that Good Beer Guide pubs are not the only things that can be ticked. Climbing routes can also be ticked off in guide books, which did once lead to a discussion on retro-ticking. This concerned whether it was acceptable to transfer old ticks to new guidebooks. I can't recall why this was considered important, but hey, it kept us off the streets. And has given me an idea for a new innovation in ticking: the retro-pre-emptive tick!

Seeing as the the Marisco Tavern is a cracking pub, with good quality beer, it should surely be in the Good Beer Guide and as such I am retrospectively pre-emptively ticking it! 

* Isle of Man compleator 2017.