Sunday, 9 November 2014

A Nice Single Malt For The Long Winter Nights On The Smallholding. "Am I going Through A Smallholding Middle Age Crisis?"

A kind friend phoned the wife saying they had just returned from an holiday in Scotland and they had picked up a 15 year old bottle of Dalwhinnie ("my favourite") whisky.  We could have it for x amount of Euros if we wanted it? Wanted it?  Was George Best called Best because he was the best?  Of course he was.  Does anybody else have a favourite tipple?  We are supposed to be saving it for Christmas.  Unfortunately the bottle is now half empty.

At least we can get Newcastle Brown Ale and bottles of Vimto in Ireland, these days.  Perhaps some one will open an English pub serving regional grub and pints of real ale?  I have been in plenty of "Oirish " pubs in France and Portugal.  So why not a few English pubs in Ireland?  I read somewhere that Wetherspoons were supposed to be opening a few pubs in Dublin and Cork.

I would also like a Ox red Chesterfield three piece suite to go with the whisky.  Perhaps I could get one of those Basil Rathbone "Smoking" jackets too?  Not that I smoke any more.  I haven't smoked for over twenty years and I still miss them.  Do you?  The amount of people I have got talking to just because somebody said:

"Have you got a light?"

Perhaps I should get a pipe?  Do smallholders go through middle age crisis in the countryside?  If you lived in another country what English/British food or drink would you miss the most?  Bill Wyman missed Piccalilli when he lived in France.  I miss real ales and public transport!  I haven't mentioned that for a few weeks, have I?


22 comments:

  1. You need a city break
    Go and see some old friends, down some ale, see some busy streets and have an amble around a large WH Smith....and buy shit

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  2. Hi John. I forgot about WH Smith. Use to spend hours browsing through the book and magazines and stuff. Wouldn't mind going to Belgium to the First World War battlefields... Belgian beer is supposed to be excellent. Perhaps watch a great band too? Maybe go back to Bratislava- A Euro for a pint of Dunkels? You have got some good there ideas John.

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    1. Yes, the Belgian beer is supposed to be the best in the world, they make a lot of speciality beers, some very strong.

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    2. Watched the Hairy Bikers on television the other night, Cumbrian. They went to Belgium and sampled the Belgian beers. Some of the restaurants served beer by the wine glass.

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  3. We missed ginger nut biscuits and vanilla essence when we lived in Spain, so learnt how to make the ginger nuts and the vanilla problem was overcome by having a jar of sugar with vanilla pods in it for making custard and Victoria sponges.

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  4. Hi Anne. I would love to live in a warmer place like France, Spain or Portugal. I never understood why you don't see real ale or English pubs. The Franciscan well brewery in Cork brews some nice beers. Remind me of the bitters in England. Seems to be a craft brewery industry emerging here in Ireland. We have quite a cosmopolitan diet. Friday night was home-made meat and potato pie. Chippy last night. Home made spaghetti bolognese pizza tonight. We eat very well. Just wish I could brew my own or had a local like an English real ales pub. Thanks!

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  5. Sorry Dave can't empathise - I only drink Guinness and the occasional drop of Blackbush these days. Do you not have good bookshops in Cork?
    Sounds like you need a good night out or three : )

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  6. You need to go to Prague Dave. Good beer there. And good traditional food served at the same time. I could happily live there. And trams too. Everything. When shall we go!

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  7. Hi Jane. I prefer Murphy's (brewed in Cork) to Guinness these days. Black Bush Bush Mills is probably the best Irish whisky. I really like Scottish malts and I miss real ales and real ale festivals. I could do with a good night out. Toying with the idea of seeing Saxon in Dublin in December. Thanks!

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  8. Hi Rachel. Yeah I liked the Czech people I met when I travelled by train from Warsaw to Vienna in July. They don't seem to be so serious like the Poles. I believe Italians are really friendly and happy people. Drank some good Czech beers in Warsaw when I watched Kansas. It was seven percent and went down like a glass of water. Very good and very strong. The trams sound great. I am going to have a look at Prague gigs. Great idea Rachel.

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  9. Hi Dave, you could do worse than try the 7 Stern Brauerei in Vienna. It's got a Czech owner who brews 7 beers including light ale, export, India pale etc. plus one made with chili and one with hemp. Decent pub grub too.

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  10. I'm not a whiskey girl - give me chardonnay, champagne or cognac any day! Cheers from Carole's Chatter

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  11. Hi Gwil. Sounds excellent. I enjoyed my visit to Vienna and Bratislava in July. In Bratislava we paid a Euro for a pint (what ever the metric equivalent is) of Dunkels. Czech beers are also excellent - thanks!

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  12. Cognac is good too, Carole. A good Scottish malt is exquisite. Well I think so any way. Thanks for your comment!

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  13. I spent a week on a survival course by Dalwhinnie. Never like sprints much though. Maybe you should come over to Ludlow for the ale trail next year. Good drunken fun by the end!

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  14. That was meant to say spirits not sprints. Although I'm not a fan of sprints either!

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  15. Hi Kev. I have been to Dalwhinnie distillery and we stayed in a B & B near by. A really nice old man had painted "Bed and Breakfast Ten Pounds" on the side of his gable. He couldn't do enough for us and even made porridge for the little one's breakfast. We also visited Culloden and Edinburgh.

    Been to Ludlow on my travels around England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. I love Shropshire and Herefordshire. Rachel (see above)suggested going to Prague. I use to visit a few real ales festivals in England. Great food, music and ale. I would love to go to the Dorset Steam festival some time - thanks!

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  16. Yes, the single malts are excellent, I like the smokey ones, can't remember the name though.

    Wetherspoons have a very good range of real ales, 9 at last count in our local one, most of which I've never heard of, but any I've tried have been excellent, they actually taste of something.

    And you're right, the request for a light can begin some wonderful conversations. Haven't seen anybody smoking a pope for years, they were popular in my younger days, when pubs had real fires, all the old boys would sit round the fire with their pipes going full blast, it was like a nuclear cloud above them, some wonderfully rich smells some of the tobacco had.

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  17. I love the single Scottish malts too. You should go a trip to the Scottish Highlands or Edinburgh. Your not so far away.

    9 Real Ales. I would have to try every one in a sitting. I used to love the English Northern and Midland ales and Scottish breweries like Youngers especially.

    There are some wonderful pipe tobacco aromas like cherry brandy. Your pub scene in your younger days sounds like a scene from James Herriot. It must have been wonderful. Thanks!

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  18. Never thought of the James Herriot connection, but I think you're about right.

    I know the A65 which we use to drive to Leeds / Bradford airport, has very similar scenery to parts of the Lake District, and presumably has (or had) similar local village pubs with low ceilings, exposed beams, open fires and the old boys with their pipes and dominoes.
    Sadly most of them are gone now, victims of the extortionate beer tax and smoking prohibition, the next generation down from me will have no such memories.

    I seem to remember that the pubs had nothing but real ales, brewed locally and served from the hand pump, we had 2 local breweries, John Peel (long gone), and Jennings (still there but owned now by one of the brewing giants).

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  19. Hi Cumbrian. The lakeland scenery always make me think of James Herriot country. We would love a classic austic 7 car. The beer tax and smoking prohibition and lack of rural public transport is killing the rural pub.

    I have drank Jennings in the Lake District. Coniston was one of my favourite places. Think we use to go in a pub called the Sun Inn. It was frequented by one of my heroes Donald Campbell and in the film about him starring Anthony Hopkins. Most breweries and distilleries seem to be owned by Swiss brewery giants - even Guinness.

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