Wednesday 6 September 2023

Scrumpy Cider Without Rosie.

 Do you like my blog post title?☺

The nice and amiable man at the campsite told us an easier way into town.  There were far less steep hills and it was wonderful not to be carrying rucksacks, sleeping bags and tents.

Next morning we walked into town.  We passed a old overloaded  jeep type of vehicle with a large caravan on its side.  The driver had obviously lost control driving down a very steep hill to Stroud.  There was nobody in the the jeep that had crashed into some bushes.  But there were two fire engines and a police car at the scene.

" Hope they are ok?"

I said to my friend.

"Yes" he said and we both sighed.

We walked into town and looked on Google maps to see if it would take us to Slad.  My walking speed was deteriorating by the minute and soon my friend was several hundred feet in front of me.  We even saw a sign for Slad, the village and home of Laurie Lee.

My friend kept stopping and waiting for me and we even saw a bus stop.  He said he would walk to the village and I would hopefully catch the bus.  Three miles later and no bus passed by.  No one offered me a lift and I limped into Slad.  The number of times we have picked up hitchhikers and let people camp for free on our land here in West Cork

I noticed the church and immediately looked for Laurie's grave.  A jovial old man told me where it was situated.

My friend text me at the graveyard and said he was having a pint of Scrumpy Cider in the Woolpack across the road.


Scrumpy Cider.
I ended up drinking four pints of the stuff!  It was excellent.
A copy of his classic novel.  It's the story of a Gloucestershire young lad growing up around the first world War.  They also made a film of it.  I have read most of his books.  But Cider With Rosie is his classic.  If you have never read it please do.  It's excellent.
A portrait of the Author in the Woolpack pub where he drank.
Laurie Lees wife's epitaph wrote on the back of his gravestone. 
The grave of the great man's final resting place.

I tried to order a taxi but none arrived.  A young barman who told me he wants to be an actor very kindly gave me a lift to meet my friend in Wetherspoons.  I offered the lad payment asked me for a fiver so I gave him ten Pounds.  

I met my friend and had a meal and a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale and we went to see John Cale in Concert.  The theatre staff of the Sub Rooms were so kind and even noticed me struggling  and asked if I required help walking up and down the stairs?

John Cale is the last remaining member of Velvet Underground.  It was like being at a Prog Rock concert with 15 minute long songs and incredibly loud.  He's remarkable for 81 years of age.

I found this video of him playing Manchester the night after we saw him and his band in Stroud. 


It was a very productive day and tiring and we caught a taxi back to the campsite. I had finally visited the home place of one of my favourite writers.



18 comments:

  1. A great day following in the steps of Laurie Lee all topped off with seeing John Cale live. I would like to have done all those things but not the walking. It is rare to see hitchhikers these days. It is a shame nobody stopped for you. I like to think in a rural area like where I live somebody would have stopped. I bet you slept well that night. Thanks for posting all this Dave.

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    1. Thanks Rachel. The number of times we have let people camp for free and we have gave many one a lift. Public transport is very poor over here and also in many parts of England and Wales. It was great taking in the Laurie Lee scenery and John Cale was excellent. You are never too old to Rock n Roll.

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  2. I love Laurie Lee's books. What fun having a few pints of cider in 'his' pub. A good place to rest those feet, though what an effort to get there. You were wearing boots I presume. How about sandals?
    Don't know about 15 minute long songs, and loud at that. I'll have a listen in a minute

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  3. I did wear sandals some days Linda I have read most of Laurie Lees books on the ferry to the oil terminal in the last year. Cider With Rosie is my favourite. The animation in the videos behind JC and his band are surreal and full of imagination. Thanks!

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  4. That sounds like a great day - except for the pain. What interesting places you saw - and four pints of scrumpy!

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  5. It was a great day and night JayCee. Slad was everything and better than I thought. Absolutely magical place and the Scrumpy was marvellous nectar like. The walk was worth it.

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  6. I would be very productive indeed after 4 pints of cider and a Newcastle Brown.

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  7. They certainly give you the creative juices Tasker..

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  8. I didn't know about Laurie Lee but my library has no books by him. Too bad! I didn't know John Cale either but he is doing very well for 81! I think it takes a LOT of energy to put on a concert like that!

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    1. Cider With Rosie is a 20th century classic Ellen D. John Cale is remarkable.

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  9. John Cale makes a great listenable sound. I wish you had been wearing a pair of walking boots just like mine. I am currently on my fourth identical pair - they cannot be resoled. They are so comfortable from the comment you slip them on - making sure they are the correct size. I buy them at Decathlon.

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    1. John Cale was like being at a Prog Rock concert YP. Very loud and thought provoking. Thanks for the boots tip.

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    2. Why did I write "from the comment you slip them on" when I meant "moment"? First sign of dementia?

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    3. Not at all YP. I am always making mistakes on here.

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  10. Well, your title caused me to look up Scrumpy Cider, that's for sure. I envy you your travels (except for your poor feet). Thank you for taking us all along. Laurie Lee was quite the writer, and I owe you a big debt for introducing me to him. PS: probably good that your cider did NOT include Rosie. It would have put you in deep trouble with Mrs. Northsider.

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    1. I often wonder who Rosie was Debby and what life she had if you ever get the chance visit Slad and Stroud in Gloucestershire. Lovely people.

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  11. Sad to think of you waiting with sore feet for a bus that never arrived so on you went, limping. If you were a circus acrobat you might have walked a while on your hands instead.

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  12. It would be good to join a circus River. My job would be mucking out the elephants. Thanks.

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