Session #108: Snowed In (Or Not)

This is our con­tri­bu­tion to the 108th beer blog­ging ses­sion host­ed by Jon at The Brewsite, with the top­ic ‘Snowed In’.

Britain has a pretty tame climate and snow is sufficiently rare that, when it does fall, the economy grinds to a halt as everyone reverts to childhood.

Where we live now, Corn­wall, is even milder, with warm win­ters and cool sum­mers. We nev­er see frost, let alone snow, and even when it does snow up coun­try it does­n’t seem to push past the Tamar.

What we do have is rain. Rain and gales.

Weath­er in which you can go to the pub as long as you don’t mind get­ting drenched and bat­tered by the wind; as long as you don’t mind sit­ting there in wet clothes steam­ing like an old sock, drip­ping onto the floor­boards; and as long as you don’t mind get­ting bat­tered again on your way home. And, you know, all of that can be rather pleas­ant in a masochis­tic kind of way: there’s a cosi­ness attached to drink­ing a pint while items of street fur­ni­ture stam­pede around town under sub­sti­tu­tiary loco­mo­tion and the sea invites itself over the har­bour wall in great chunks.

Waves crashing over the sea wall. (Animated gif.)

But we don’t usu­al­ly drink any­thing spe­cial – there’s no impe­r­i­al stout or bar­ley wine in pubs in these parts any­way – though maybe it does nudge us away from the chim­ing brassi­ness of hops and towards beefi­er, brown­er bit­ters.

When it’s real­ly bad, as in dan­ger­ous, as in bat­ten-the-hatch­es and hope that’s not your roof tile shat­ter­ing on the pave­ment, as in search and res­cue heli­copters over­head… Then we find our­selves hud­dling by the fire with Fuller’s Vin­tage Ale, Adnams Tal­ly Ho or Har­vey’s Impe­r­i­al Stout.

They’re the beer equiv­a­lent of a warm blan­ket.

6 thoughts on “Session #108: Snowed In (Or Not)”

    1. Ha! Good to note that ‘the ale was in fine fet­tle’, only a lit­tle short of being in tip-top con­di­tion.

  1. I’ve owned 12 hous­es in my life and among oth­er rea­sons all have been bought for the close walk­ing prox­im­i­ty to a pub pre­cise­ly for the mete­o­ro­log­i­cal rea­sons out­line in your post.
    The clos­est ever was 15 seconds.So close that my wife would ring me to say when she was serv­ing up din­ner and I had time to down the remain­der of my pint,stroll home and find a plate of steam­ing vit­tles await­ing me.
    But you’re right.Damp clothes in front of a pub fire enjoy­ing a fine pint of Eng­lish ale are a joy.

  2. Peo­ple flee­ing to the pub in adverse con­di­tions is one of the most life-affirm­ing things about being in Britain. Even our dogs come with us. At a deep-seat­ed lev­el I think it’s also a reas­sur­ance to find the hub­bub of peo­ple, gold­en light and the pooled body heat. I’ve lived in France and there is no equiv­a­lent to this com­mu­nal refuge in bad weath­er there.

    There should be a name for this hard­wired instinct/reflex. Post-Mic­turi­tion con­vul­sion syn­drome is the pee shiv­ers. Fugiant in domo pub­li­ca syn­drome (or fug­gles for short)? When you feel the wind rock the house­’s foun­da­tions, you start get­ting fug­glesy.

    1. Fun­ny thing about France.
      About a decade ago I was about to buy a 5,000 sq ft for­mer wine barn in the Langue­doc which,together with a year-long ren­o­va­tion job,would have cost about half a mill.
      Made loads of visits,commissioned an archi­tect and was about to sign on the dot­ted line when the mis­sus sug­gest­ed we check out the local bar.
      Christ,it was mis­er­able – full of scow­ly old locals eye­ing up pre-pubes­cent girls con­gre­gat­ed around a pool table mak­ing it feel like we’d walked into a pae­dophile’s work­ing mens club.We had one glass of Pern­od lean­ing up against a Formi­ca-topped bar and both knew instant­ly the project was doomed.
      The Eng­land estate agent was near­ly in tears,the poor bastard,but we dodged a bul­let.
      France would be a won­der­ful place to live if there were some decent pubs and slight­ly few­er scow­ly locals.
      A bit like Scot­land real­ly.

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