This past Saturday, as we wandered around the craft fair, wench #2 and I got more and more perplexed. For amongst the paintings, etchings, jewellery, glassware, knitting, soaps, garden ornaments, candles and carpentry we found no beer. How could this be? Surely ‘craft’ and ‘beer’ go hand-in-hand like Beyonce and Jay-Z? Or Barry Chuckle and Paul Chuckle? Or Noddy Holder and Christmas? (I’m not sure about my cultural references here)
At least we found cake, but then we didn’t buy any. So as craft shopping goes, I have to admit I was disappointed. The only hint of beer I saw was Enville and it was in a soap. It is a lovely soap. I bought some at Christmas. It made me feel a bit funny though. Apparently a wench shouldn’t lick it when she’s in the bath.
As we nursed our crushing disappointment with a coffee – a coffee indeed – we discussed how we could rectify this, frankly catastrophic, situation.
“To the pub” wench #2 demanded.
“For fittle too?” I meekly replied.
“Yes bab, of course, fittle too” she reassured.
And there it was, with three little words (and the additional six) wench #2 had made everything right with the world again. Or so we thought.
After much discussion we decided to grace Halesowen with our presence. We had visited the King Edward VII before and witnessed a sign that advertised reasonably priced fittle. The pub was very busy, however in the back we spied a suspiciously empty table in the corner. Wench #2 instructed me to claim it while she ordered our Golden Glow (Holden’s).
Lucky us grabbing the last table in the pub. As I sat waiting for wench #2 I became slightly uncomfortable. Did I put deodorant on before I came out? As wench #2 returned to the table it became apparent that I was not the only one questioning their cleanliness. We held our Golden Glow tight, however the only glow surrounding us was a ripe one. Lucky us grabbing that last table.
It became so bad that I had to draw wench #2’s attention to the no swearing sign. To make matters worse we had missed the food, although our appetite was suddenly waning. It became clear that a gentleman next to us was a little fragrant.* As the other blokes watched the rugby we decided to tackle another pub. Twas a shame as the King Edward VII is a lovely pub, but we’ll be back soon!
*[NB: no one pictured here and I’m not being deliberately mean, it was just significantly off-putting and it takes a lot to put us wenches off our beer!]
This detour meant we got to sample another favourite, but one we hadn’t visited since a refurb by Black Country Ales. Shame on us. As I described in Dame Barbara Cartland, I never thought I’d see you in a Halesowen boozer I had developed a fondness for The Waggon and Horses in Halesowen, so it was with some trepidation that I opened the door. I just wasn’t sure I could cope with more disappointment.
Well I needn’t have got my knickers in a twist because BCA have done a fine job in sympathetically tarting up this lovely pub.
The afternoon was definitely looking up, especially when wench #2 spied the fine cuisine on offer. Pork pie and ham cobs.
All that remained was to nestle ourselves amongst the collection of single Black Country mon taking up the tables opposite the bar. Like two thorns betwixt manly roses, we found our natural home. With my foamy moustache of stout head, I wrapped my lips around pork and ham. It was a beautiful moment.
Or at least it was, until I realised I’d put far too much mustard on my ham cob and started to choke. Trust me to ruin a beautiful moment.
Despite my choking and wench #2’s obvious disdain for my choking, our fellow drinkers couldn’t get enough of us. Every so often I’d catch one of them staring lustily over their pint glass, before shyly turning away. Then one-by-one they just couldn’t resist. Off to the bar they went and it was cobs-a-plenty. Some even went wild with an accompanying packet of crisps.
So, Saturday was saved by The Waggon and Osses in Halesowen. Thank you, you bostin pub. Definitely worth a visit or two or three or…but…dare I ask…whatever has happened to Dame Barbara Cartland???