One of the places we always enjoy visiting is the Muse Tavern. There is always a friendly atmosphere with good food and drink.
There is a biscuit or treat for Susie. “We give them to all the visiting dogs as the dogs will then bring their owners back,” I was told. It works!
It isn’t easy to pass the door without being dragged inside. There is a good range of beers and lagers and recently the customers voted a local Collingham Ales beer as the ale of the year for 2012. Quite an accolade for the local brewer.
After sitting for a while, I felt the need to stretch my legs and went outside to smoke. Sarah was there smoking a cigarette and she admitted that at one time she had tried smoking a pipe. Her mother didn’t approve but rather than just tell Sarah not to smoke it, she implied that people might think that a female pipe smoker might be lesbian.
It stopped her smoking a pipe but she continued smoking cigarettes and her mother gave her a cigarette case and advised her not to smoke outside as it wasn’t ladylike.
“But, 20 or 30 years on and with the ban on smoking inside pubs; here I am smoking outside,” she said.
Sarah also reminded me of the blindfolded charity walk I did with a guide dog during the summer. She had been one of the many supporters there, but as I told her; the blindfold thad prevented me from seeing many of the people who were there.
It was an enjoyable event and quite a creditable amount for the charity as well as raising awareness of the work of Guide Dogs. I was glad to see that the Muse was selling the Market Town Taverns charity ale named Santa Paws over the Christmas period with 50p from each pint being donated to the Guide Dogs charity.
Smoking: a dying breed
We smokers are a dying breed – in more ways than one; but this year I’ve not heard of many who’ve made a New Year resolution to give up. There are a few, but then they tend to be people who make the same resolution each year – and break it a few days or weeks later.
The smoking ban has changed the character of many local pubs. They’ve been modernised. Dividing walls between the smaller rooms have been knocked down to make them more open-plan. In olden days there was usually a separate Smoke Room or Saloon Bar with cheaper prices where locals congregated and working men met for a drink after work. Nowadays the only reminder of that is where nicotine coloured paint has been used to try to preserve some of the old atmosphere. Customers had a choice. They could join the smoke-filled atmosphere or they could go in the carpeted lounge bar where it was generally quieter and with a more intimate atmosphere. Now it’s all the same and in most pubs it is difficult to find a quiet corner where people don’t have to shout to make themselves heard.
There was continuous rain for a few days before Christmas and there were floods. Leaves blocked gutters which were overflowing and although walking on the footpath, we became used to dodging out of the way of spray from passing cars venturing a little too close to the pools of water. The one thing which we didn’t expect was to be forced to walk in the gutter of a busy main road because the footpath was flooded.
On Wetherby Bridge it was the footpath which was totally flooded. For some inexplicable reason, the path slopes from the kerb down towards the parapet wall of the bridge and there doesn’t seem to be any drainage to let the water run away.
To make matters worse, most of the large paving stones are broken and sagging and many have sunk by an inch or more to make it even more difficult for an unwary pedestrian to walk safely across the bridge without stumbling. There was one man who was following us across the bridge who was walking with the aid of a walking stick and we noticed that he was having some difficulty with the pools of water and he was stumbling on the broken paving.
It looked as though the damage might have been caused by large and heavy vehicles being driven over the paving at some time in the past. I wonder if at least some of the damage could have been done by a very large and heavy vehicle which we saw being used to inspect under the arches of the bridge a year or two back. It had to drive on the pavement and set down support legs to allow the inspection arm to reach out over the parapet.
Some action needed to be taken and we called at the One Stop Centre in Westgate to report it. Staff were helpful, listened to my comments and agreed to report the matter. They looked at a photograph and took details of my name and address.
I’m not sure whether or not I’ll be contacted and told what (if any) action will be taken, but I’ll keep you informed on progress.