It started like this.
The normal January de-tox. Not great for our local landlords, but current self-preservation theory says I need to do it while I’m young enough for it to make a difference. Thank goodness we’re all different. So, no beer for January – but a landmark for Newark to look forward to at the end of the month – the first Winter Beer Festival was guaranteed; I had booked my tickets 2 months early. 40 beers on the list! Game on.
On the day, I finally persuaded the wife to join CAMRA – yes, it paid for itself, but more importantly, an extra vote and an extra voice in these difficult times. And then the beer: heaven in our own town; from near (Louisiana Smoked porter from Derby) and far (Boadicea from Fife). The range was “From Good, to Great” (the book of the same name is good for you business people out there, especially the chapter on Hedgehogs). The wife couldn’t leave the Springhead “Cromwell’s Hat” alone – was it the hint of juniper, a tempting taste of the summer G&T’s, or something more impending? We needed clarity.
OMG. Much more impending. Let me assure you, with the news we got on Valentine’s Day, clarity we got. Of the clear-blue kind. Our lives were going to change, big style, and forever. Twins run in the maternal family. OMG.
The immediate reaction was to pull in the purse strings and utilise the Wetherspoon’s vouchers (an amazing benefit to joining CAMRA). After that, trips to Bathley (Newark CAMRA pub of the year and excellent, affordable food), a return to the Castle & Falcon (never fails for excellent beer and a warm welcome from Dave & Dawn) and a trip to the resurrected Inn on The Green to relive one of my (late) teenage haunts. And a trip to the hospital revealed one, not two, unaffected by WBF1. I’ll drink to that.
Between you and me, I’m scared stiff of the future. But I love my new personal driver even more than I love my beer. It took a while for me to get used to the fact that when we now walk into a pub, I check out the hand-pulls and she now checks out the kid’s menu. I always wondered what CAMRA’s take on children, families and beer was. I’ll try to let you know in the next two trimesters.