(This is not a post about beer, by the way. This is a post about a village.)
The sunlight has been disappearing and reappearing all day. We arrive under a blaze of blue sky and I’m tempted by the ale. A whole tableful of ales, £3 each. We go outside and stand in a pool of the sort of warmth that is too rare this summer. It takes about ten minutes for it to start raining–raining hard. Time for another pint. I’ve reached my ale-maximum, one pint, so I try the Hereford perry. Smooth, sweet, and dangerous. At a certain point it gets dark and then it gets a little cold, so I go inside to warm up. I sit with my feet up in a corner of the pub. Maybe it’s the perry, but I can’t get this silly grin off my face. There’s a live band playing music. I’ve lost track of my tasting sheet but I wasn’t doing much with it anyway. We decide to dance, for a bit, and then Joe, who’s a bit of a local celebrity, with his red face and his Oxfordshire accent and his penchant for skirts and heels, reveals the denim mini-skirt and fishnet tights he’s been wearing under his trousers, paired with a dirty t-shirt and a pair of slip-0n trainers. “If I’d known it was gonna be this kind of night,” he says, “I’d’ve put me heels on.”
Before bed the Man and I lie down in the wet grass to admire the stars. The next morning my trousers are still wet and my blazer is stained, and I can’t for the life of me remember which ale I tried and what I thought of it, other than that it tasted ale-y and made my mouth warm, but it’s okay, because I can go to the shop next door and get a croissant and the papers and spend the day reading outside. My choice? The Idler #42, with an article, conveniently enough, on the very village I’m in.