Writer, zoologist and gundog enthusiast, Pippa blogs on life in the countryside

Long live the village pub!

We are getting a bit predictable in our old age.  On a Friday evening at ‘beer o’clock’   we tend to wander down to our local hostelry.   British country pubs are extraordinary places.  Inside our local you will find a wonderful cross-section of society where people from all walks of life meet on the same level.  Where else would you find a surgeon, , a gardener,  bricklayers, a lawyer, businessmen, a mechanic, and the local ratchatcher all chatting happily together.    And that was just yesterday.

 Of course not all pubs are like ours,  some are snooty establishments where you wouldn’t dream of popping in with your wellies on,  others are scary places where newcomers are greeted with a stony silence, and suspicious stares.  

But dotted about the countryside  there are many public houses just like my local.   A home from home,  a place to relax,  to unwind at the end of the working day whilst the dinner dries up in the oven.   

A far cry from ‘dinner parties’,  the pub is a place (and this is the very best bit) where you can turn up at whatever time you like, sit or stand next to whomever you choose,  and leave when you please.  The older I get,  the more important this ‘freedom to leave’  is to me.  I find I no longer have the patience for long conversations about recycling,  organic potatoes, or other people’s toddlers.    I need to be able to move on and talk to someone else if I get bored.

The secret to making the most of your forays to the pub seems to be to avoid talking about anything too personal or too heavy,  and to remain standing up.  That way you can’t be trapped in a corner by someone who has been drinking heavily since lunch time and wants to tell you how much they love their dog. 

Oh , and to  go often enough to get to know the other locals,  but not so often so as to need your liver replaced.

Long live the village pub.

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