It’s pouring with rain

It’s pouring with rain but tomorrow promises fair. We’re just beginning to think about putting on our shoes and raincoats, hat for him, hood for me, and go to the pub. We have beer at home, very good beer, we have a wine if we should fancy that, and plenty of whisky and whiskey, so why go out, through the pouring rain and tramp round to the pub, avoiding puddles, in my case unsuccessfully? Outside the bungalow where my dad used to live, right next door to the pub, once again the drain is blocked and a whole pool spreads across the road, what we call Elsdenmere. Even though it is so obvious I still manage to step in it.

There’s the usual buzz of people down the other end, ad we make our way to the cross-benches where we often sit if the lounge end – i.e. the nearest end to where we come in, is empty. As we arrive, another couple is just deciding where to sit. We don’t know them but nod and say hello. B goes to the bar and I sit and the other couple sit at the next table having bought drinks for four – obviously expecting friends. The friends when they are arrive are pub-friends to us, Tim and Vic (there are many Tims in the pub, this is not our usual friend Tim, friend of Trev, i.e. the 2 T’s, nor is he any other Tim, but Vic and Tim) We haven’t seen each other for a while and exchange friendly greetings, but their friends are with them and are soon engrossed in their own conversation, just as we are in ours.

Landlord Mark passes by, bidding us all farewell, Nige arrives and slopes through, exchanging greetings and news with us all, Leighton brings news of a boat built in the Underfall Yard, and Niamh serves us with drinks. In the other bar various regulars are sort of watching the cricket, news of The Hundred – the first time this new cricket tournament has taken place. We have a couple of pints of mighty fine Otter, on form tonight, and as it drifts towards closing time so we drift out.

It’s no longer raining, Elsdenmere has disappeared down the drain, and we walk home.

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