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A swift train journey (during which two old ladies got on - i was just ADMIRING their shopping trolleys when one of them took out the exact same issue of PUZZLER as I had with me - these pensioners in The Midlands are SO rock and roll!) found me in scenic STOURBRIDGE, where Ray picked me off and we ZOOMED away to the CO-OP OFF WINE STORE. I'd never heard of such a thing, but there it was, flogging BOOZE on strict socialist co-operative principles. Whilst in the shop I was reacquainted with the clear FACT about people from The Midlands: they are just the right kind of LOVELY i.e. VERY lovely, but not so over-friendly that it gets oppresive. I know i am FROM The Midlands, but still, it is a purely unbiased analysis of THE FACTS when i say it is THE BEST BIT.
Loaded with BEER we went of to his house where I met Mr & Mrs Ray's Parents again, also Charlie The Dog, who took an IMMEDIATE shine to me so that I spent much of the rest of the day LOBBING his ball over the fence for him. Many other people gradually arrived, including Mr & Mrs Pete Green, with whom I discussed Primary Care Trusts, Communications Strategies, and Creating Art For Financial Gain: Can It Be Done Without Compromising Your Integrity?
And we drank some beer too. Ray got the BUFFET out and we all tucked in while Pete gave us a GRATE set, then there was more GRUB before I went on and did THIS:
We're Old And We're Tired (and we want to go home)
Payday Is The Best Day
Sod It, Let's Get Pissed
It Only Works Because You're Here
Hey Hey 16K
The Lesson Of The Smiths
It was a LOT of fun, copying Pete by taking REQUESTS as we went along. My favourite bit was a SUPER-EXTENDED version of It Only Works Because You're Here, made longer a) by me starting it off coming down some steps, realising how GRATE that was, so doing it again b) getting chased around the garden by a WASP and c) accidentally half SWALLOWING said wasp when it got a bit too close during the chorus, spitting it out, and watching it STAGGER away, DEFEATED.
Just as I finished the taxi arrived, so there was HURRIED farewells to those not coming with us into town, and then we were AWAY. On the way i MORTALLY OFFENDED Ray by confessing that I thought his cheesecake was actually Shepherd's Pie. What i MEANT was that that's what I thought it had been BEFORE EATING IT, but at the time it seemed funnier to ask if he had any GRAVY with it. To me, anyway.
Once in Brum Central we went to The Wellington, an AMAZING Real Ale Pub with FIFTEEN different beers on the go, also CIDERS and PERRY, SEVERAL of which we managed to have a taste of between us during a HIGHLY enjoyable SESSION during which SEVERAL wrongs were righted. If you noticed the world being nudged slightly more towards CORRECTNESS on Saturday afternoon, that was us.
All too soon it was time for me to head off home - I was worried about the trains being PACKED, as Virgin had CANCELLED all their trains for the weekend, but it was FINE. Virgin have been running a campaign saying "No trains on Saturday or Sunday - what a great excuse for a long weekend!!" because, like all major train networks, they think people only ever use trains at weekend on a WHIM and never actually have to GO anywhere for any reason. I can only assume usual train users were so ANNOYED by their patronising/stupid attitude that they chose to BOYCOTT travel.
It was a long journey home, but I got in just before midnight, KNACKERED. The GRATE thing tho is it was SUCH a long activity packed weekend that my BRANE is CONVINCED that today is Monday, and I'm bunking off! HOORAH!
posted 31/8/2008 by MJ Hibbett
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If there'd been a real ale pub with 15 different beers when I lived in Birmingham, I might never have moved away! Well, I would, but you know what I mean.
That wasp is going down in wasp rock and roll folklore.
posted 1/9/2008 by Pete Green
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