I had made up my mind to dine out on Friday afternoon and hoped that if any work came in it would be during the morning. I had no work come in and although I could have spent the morning in the garden I chose not to because it was bitterly cold in the easterly wind that was blowing. I spent the morning therefore doing nothing at all. I had finished breakfast at nine-thirty so wasn’t in a hurry for lunch at my usual time. In any case I would be visiting my local pub and knew it would be difficult to get a table unless I went there before noon. I went therefore at two o’clock and even then there were no tables vacant. It was another half-hour before I sat to eat though it was almost three o’clock when the meal arrived. Just right. I had asked for a tab so didn’t need to pay until I left the pub. Some folk pay in advance but I chose to keep my tab open until I had not only finished dining but also until I departed for home. It meant that any drinks I might have for the remainder of my stay would simply be added to the bill. As it happened I stayed there for over three hours.
At first I had no-one to talk with but that soon changed as the afternoon wore on. One good thing about pub life is that you seldom have to remain isolated if you want company. On my last visit though I did end up alone even after two hours being there but that is unusual. After my meal I sat at the bar in the company of three guys and watched as they slowly became ‘tipsy’. The sad part was knowing that two of them would be driving when they left. The one who departed whilst I was there had drunk three pints of lager during my stay at the bar and probably had more before I joined them. He was driving home. The other, a taxi driver, also had three drinks whilst I was there and remained drinking as I was leaving for home. I wasn’t sure that he was driving though but I have seen him on previous occasions driving after drinking. I know of a few people who go to the pub, drink alcohol and then drive home. One day something nasty could happen but they seem to get away with it. When I used to drink alcohol I walked to the pub as it isn’t far from my home. Laws are made for breaking according to some people.
Things don’t often go the way I hope they will for me though if I made the effort……….well we can all say that can’t we? Sometimes even after making the effort things don’t work out either do they? It was a fine though rather cold day on Sunday, a day for relaxing indoors or going out wrapped-up for a walk. I did both and more. There was no hurry to get up early though I did and after breakfast whilst on the computer I switched on the television, not to watch a program but to listen to music through YouTube. I suppose I could have listened via my computer on a separate tab but the television can connect to the Internet and the sound quality or rather the volume would be better. Although the computer sound is of the best quality the volume settings are limited unless auxiliary speakers are used. Anyway I listened to the songs listed in ‘my favourites’ folder for an hour. The only drawback in using the television to play YouTube is in controlling the functions with the television’s remote control, it is slower. I suppose one day remote controls with have a touch pad on them for easier use. I think that would be a great idea. After an hour I made myself ready to go out but not directly for a walk. I drove to the pub and parked my vehicle and from there I went for a walk. An hour later I arrived back at the pub, went to the vehicle and changed my shoes before going into the pub for my lunch. Yes, I dined there again for a change! There were surprisingly few people in there but a half-hour later that all changed and it was full. I had hoped I would see a few acquaintances there to chat with but the only ones I knew, four men, were doing that man thing, sitting around a table drinking beer and chatting about football and work! Who wants to sit in a pub talking about work? Anyway they were too engrossed in themselves to take much notice of me. I was a little disappointed that no-one else I knew came in after sitting there for a couple of hours hoping someone might. I decided to drive home and be bored there instead! Funny thing is I knew there would be people I know in the pub later in the day and evening and I had half a mind to return but didn’t bother. Maybe I was thinking it a waste of time and that I might be disappointed again to find no-one there. I knew I should have returned but I also knew there would be other opportunities too.
I was determined to get some quality sleep on Friday night so after a day with half-closed eyes or at least feeling that way, I went to bed early and was fast asleep at around nine-thirty. I still woke up a couple of times but my sleep was good and I woke up on Saturday morning very much refreshed. I ate breakfast around nine o’clock and waited until ten before donning my overalls and boots to go into the front garden and get stuck into the bluebell removal in the right-hand flowerbed. When I had redesigned the beds last year I hadn’t been thorough enough in eliminating the bluebells in this particular bed and now I was paying the price. Earlier in January I had actually dug out around a dozen plants but now they were back in number and I had to spend a couple of hours on my knees again digging them out. I guess I removed over a hundred of them. It was whilst I was doing that when my mobile phone rang. Why does it always seem that I get calls when I am doing something in the garden? It was an elderly gentleman asking if I could repair a loose lighting switch. I explained that I was digging out bluebells but that I would call back a little later to arrange to visit him. After another hour I had finished in the garden and gave him a call. I drove to his house which was only a mile and a half away and soon had the switch secured. After receiving payment I drove into and through the town centre and on toward my local pub for a meal. Here is a picture of the side entrance, the one most folk use, taken when they were having some outside work done…Here are the links to view much more about the pub http://fishermens.rest/index.html. and https://www.facebook.com/fishermens.rest/ .The place was full except for a space at the end of the bar, so I sat there. I only wanted a snack, a sandwich so sitting at the bar wasn’t a problem. When the ‘snack’ arrived it came with all the trimmings including chips (French fries) and a salad! I only really wanted a sandwich. Still it was enjoyable. No sooner had I finished eating when tables became vacant as many left the premises. Typical! I was greeted by many folk who hadn’t seen me for quite a while and asking why I hadn’t been to the pub for some time. I didn’t have an excuse except that I hadn’t wished to. I have been correcting that of course having been there several times recently, I shouldn’t neglect going to the only place near to home where I am truly welcomed and missed when not there.
I suppose I should confess that my ‘treat’ wasn’t exactly something new for me, I simply dined out again at my local pub. I had this crazy woman call me on the phone on Thursday morning. She was the type who just wouldn’t stop chatting. It seems she wanted several electrical jobs doing and wanted me to go to her house and give her an estimate for the work. However, I seldom do that these days because most of the time it is a waste of time, my time! Often the person will then give the work to someone else so what I tell them is that I can give them a rough idea over the phone as long as they tell me what it is they want. My years of experience allow me to be able to do that and it saves me wasting my time and the customer doesn’t have to wait in whilst I wander about looking at the prospective work. I am never far wrong with my estimate and then it is up to the customer. This particular woman yakked on so much I could hardly get a word in but finally I got a picture in my mind as to what she wanted but even then she kept adding to her original request. I gave her a figure to think about and told her to call me once she had bought the lights she wanted amongst other things to be fitted. I hoped she wouldn’t call back! I just can’t be doing with some people who faff about not really knowing what they want and then wanting what they want doing for next to nothing! It was noon but although I’d had breakfast very early I was prepared to wait until after two o’clock before going to the pub for my meal. As I expected it was easy to find a seat at that time and this time I was seated directly in view of one of the television screens they have dotted about the premises. The tennis championships at Wimbledon were being televised, it being the time of year for the events. I used to watch the tennis quite often but over the last few years my interest has declined. Nevertheless it was nice to be able to watch some of the play. My ‘treat’ was a two-course meal with a non-alcoholic beer and coffee later. It cost me a little over twenty pounds, a little more than I usually pay for my lunch. I spent some time in the pub, more than I usually do when having lunch and then walked back home in the warm sunshine. I decided to water the garden even though we have had quite a lot of rain lately for during these warm months it needs it. Afterward I sat with a coffee out on the patio reading the last few books of The Bible. Another full reading completed. No doubt I will be starting over again later! In the meantime I will still be delving into it reading different things. E had been out all afternoon as usual on a Thursday but she had left washing out on the line so I decided to take it down, fold it and take it indoors to save her the trouble. Looks like Friday is going to be another scorching and hot day, probably too hot for comfort.
Perhaps it is just the seasonal variations but my workload has dropped off somewhat over the last few weeks. I do get some work which is enough to cover my costs with a little over but there are too many days devoid of anything electrical I can do. I am pretty certain that will change though if the past is anything to go by. I had such an empty day on Wednesday but I had already decided I would have my lunch in the pub providing I wasn’t working and I was half-hoping I wouldn’t get any. My wish came true so just before noon I set off to walk to the pub. It was a very windy day and much cooler than of late and it was cloudy and overcast too. The clouds did break up later in the afternoon and the sun came out but it was still cool and windy. As it happened I was their first customer but only because no-one else was seated outside waiting. I try not to eat lunch so early in the day but this day I’d had an early breakfast so it didn’t matter. I was about half-way through my main course (I treated myself to a dessert later) when suddenly the pub filled with customers, most of whom had pre-booked a table in the main dining area. I noticed a group of ladies come in and one of them looked suspiciously like E’s half-sister. I tried to get a closer look without being obvious about it but it was difficult to identify her even though she was a mere two metres away from my table as they walked through. I was certain it was her but I wasn’t going to let her know that I was there if she hadn’t noticed. Maybe she had noticed and didn’t wish to let on. They moved into the main dining area and were seated on the other side of the ‘open’ wall which separated us. The top half of the wall doesn’t really exist but it consists of shelving on which there are several pieces of maritime articles, a ship’s bell, sea gulls, sailing boats and a large wooden steering wheel. My ex ‘sister-in-law’ sat down immediately behind the wall with her back to me and I could only just see the top of her head. Once she began to speak with her friends I knew it was her as I recognised her voice. I still didn’t impose myself on them, it is something I would never do even if I know the person. Anyway I finished my meal and went to the bar to pay my tab and had a little chat with my favourite landlady before leaving for home. She told me that she hadn’t yet viewed the DVD I had loaned her two weeks ago and apologised. I told her to keep it until she had the time to view it and then she said she was going on a short holiday soon to Ibiza to which I responded, ‘To the under thirties club?’ She interrupted by saying, ‘No the over fifties one!’ I guess she is a party girl irrespective of her age. I could spend every day in that pub having lunch but I guess I would soon get bored with that idea. I would much rather be out doing something and visiting the pub occasionally instead. Pretty much what I usually do. Oh and at six o’clock in the evening I received a call from a lady wanting her new cooker connecting. As she couldn’t be available during the days for a while because of the nature of her work I offered to go there immediately and connect it. She paid me more than I’d asked simply because I responded straight away. It’s just the way it goes sometimes.
This photo of Fishermens Rest is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Yet another day free from work though I did get offers on Wednesday evening, I just didn’t want what was on offer. It is a nice feeling to be able to turn down work and simply pick and choose what, if anything, I will do. So it was Thursday, a day for E doing the weekly shopping and a day when I might be working or not. I had eaten breakfast before nine o’clock so around two o’clock I would be feeling hungry but I had intentions of dining out at the pub and I usually time it that I am there at noon or two-thirty. That is so I can easily get seated for in between those times it is busy and usually full. I waited until two for I wasn’t hungry at noon. It was a warm and lovely day once more but the sky was clouded over and it was a little humid, just right in every way for me with only a slight breeze blowing. A few people were outside the pub and some of whom I knew. Inside in the main dining area most of the tables were still occupied but in the bar area most of the tables were free. I prefer sitting in the bar area anyway so it suited me fine. Over the past few months when dining there I have chosen something from the ‘specials’ board more often than not. I usually choose one of the fish dishes and this time I chose spiced salmon with new potatoes and a mixed salad followed by a sweet Lemon Roulade with ice cream. On Tuesday I had Cod wrapped in Parma Ham with a mixed salad and potatoes. These dishes are a little more expensive than those on the menu but they are delicious. Usually there are five ‘specials’ of one sort or another on any one day. The main menu itself is quite comprehensive so will cater for most tastes. Whenever I go to the pub I am met with the many familiar faces of the regular customers. Some I see every time I go there and I guess they must spend much of their lives there! A few years ago we had an old wheelchair-bound guy regularly visiting in the evenings and he sadly died. He is remembered by a plaque with his name inscribed affixed to the front of the bar where he liked to sit in his wheelchair. Later, his wife, also wheelchair-bound, started to frequent the place and she sits in the same place if she can. On Thursday I noticed another commemorative plaque with someone’s name on it placed at the opposite end of the bar where someone liked to stand. He evidently died two years ago and was a regular customer. Now I had to ask who it was that had died for I would have remembered him, though not necessarily his name. I am hopeless at remembering names. A nickname had been inscribed on the plaque rather than his real name. Even though the bar staff described him I had difficulty in trying to picture what he looked like. If I see a photograph with his picture on it i most certainly will remember. I have not frequented the pub in the evening for what will be three years this November 16. That was when I stopped drinking alcohol. I could go there in the evening of course but for someone who doesn’t drink alcohol the same attraction that once drew me there no longer exists. Yes, I could go there just to socialise, perhaps on a Thursday evening when they hold their Quiz Night or Saturday when they sometimes have live music. I just can’t be bothered I guess.
I had very little to do on Thursday and became restless by the afternoon. E had gone shopping again with her mum, it only seems like yesterday she was doing the same thing but in fact it was last week. I changed out of my ‘intention gear’ and into my ‘no intention gear’ and drove to the pub for lunch. Now usually I would walk but I didn’t fancy getting wet on my return for rain had been forecast and indeed the forecast was right, it did rain before I left the pub. There weren’t many people in the pub at that time in the afternoon so I received my meal quite quickly. When I had finished eating I went to sit at the bar. On old guy whom I am acquainted with was sitting there and we chatted a little before he left for home. I sat alone for the rest of my time there, except for greeting several people I knew who came in. I spoke with none until one couple came and stood at the bar alongside me. We had met previously and I was sure that we’d exchanged names but could I remember theirs? No way, I tend to forget names unless I meet with people on a fairly regular basis or I have known them for years. We had a pleasant time chatting, making jokes and learning about one another until they left to go home a short time later. They got to know that I was a qualified electrician and were truly surprised that I had been so for many years. They asked for a card and I was able to give them a spare one I carry in my purse as I normally keep my cards in the bag I use for work which I didn’t have with me of course. Soon after they had left another couple I know came in and chatted briefly with me. Again I couldn’t remember their names. They had called into the pub on their way home to have a meal after spending the afternoon at The Southport Annual Flower Show, an event which has been staged since 1938, admittedly not as long as the many similar shows around the country but seemingly well supported nevertheless. Those who organise the show usually have a celebrity or two to open the proceedings which I guess makes the event more attractive to some. Since coming to live in Southport in 1988 I have never visited the show. It simply holds no interest for me. Just prior to leaving for home another guy came in whom I also know quite well but even his name eluded me and as we chatted I felt somewhat guilty for not remembering his name, especially as he never forgets mine! I will always remember a person’s face but I usually won’t remember their name, where we met or under which circumstances. It’s just the way I am. Many a time I have had to swallow my pride and ask their name. Those people I have worked for, even recently, I forget where we met. The odd thing is I have an extremely good long-term memory for experiences, places and conversations I’ve had many years ago! Maybe I forget only those things I’ve no real need to remember! It’s a good excuse but I’m convincing nobody I’m sure. There’s an art in forgetfulness and I have a certificate to prove it, now where did I put it?