I Want To Ride My Bicycle at £4 An Hour.
So London has Boris Bikes and this week the same kind of concept has arrived in Walsall to much excitement, bewilderment or piss taking depending on your perspective. I’m all in favour of this and despite the fact that I am no Victoria Pendleton I wouldn’t mind having a whirl on one of these. Somebody however pointed out that after the unlocking fee, it works out at about £4 an hour to hire them. Still, I was please to see someone cycling around town on Friday on one of these. Less so when he nearly took me out though. Launched by West Midlands Trains, I bet the bikes did a roaring trade on Saturday when the rail line through Walsall was blocked by a broken down train at Bloxwich. Now how did the Queen song go? I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride to Bloxwich. I’ve got an hour’s budget so better get a wriggle on.

One Would Love A Pint Of Saddlers.
I saw this week that The Queen has launched two beers from crops grown at Sandringham. Golden IPA and Sandringham Best Bitter are brewed by Barsham Brewery in Norfolk. I urge you all to buy these as this year I am determined to finally visit Buckingham Palace. If sales have been good of these I could have a word with our beloved Monarch and tell her ale is the future and there is a wonderful brewery in Walsall that she could buy. Imagine that, Highgate Fox’s Nob by Royal Appointment. I used to work the Highgate Brewery tours so would be honoured to show Elizabeth around the place next time she is in town to pick up a handbag.

Hamburglar Is Back – He’s Lovin It.
Another story that caught my eye this week is one about a man being jailed for taking a replica gun into a McDonalds to demand cash and chicken nuggets. Unfortunately he was early and they were still serving breakfasts so he opted for a double sausage muffin instead. Have there been any other robberies where the demand has had to be changed? The article didn’t specify if he had to go outside and write a new note or if it was all done verbally. It did get me wondering though had he got his timings right why not a Big Mac or 5 chicken selects, with fries and large vanilla milkshake (which is a divine meal but I only have during McDonalds Monopoly as this combo affords you 9 stickers – 3 of which are usually Park Lane).

Then it struck me. If he only wanted 6 nuggets, these are shocking value compared to the 9 pack. I’ve only been to the new McDonalds on the outskirts of Walsall once, and that night I was trying to be good both financially and calorific so I opted for the 6 nuggets, plus the fact that I don’t like odd numbers also came into play. Unfortunately there was a delay on my order which gave me time to read the menu and prices. I can’t quite remember the details but everyone in the office got a 5 minute tirade about it the following morning. So yeah, 6 nuggets is shit value but don’t take a replica gun with you when you fancy some.

What Did You Expect From The Vaccine?
So on Friday I joined the millions who have got the first jab. The vaccination site is situated in a former store in Walsall’s Saddlers Centre. I’d only gone into get a pack of socks and an Oxo Cube holder (I’ve always wanted one of those despite never using said granulated stock geometric shape). The place was doing a roaring trade for 5.45 on a Friday afternoon, possibly even better than the former store did. It was fast, efficient and friendly. Well done to all the staff and volunteers. Funnily enough, last time I was in that store a fellow customer was being a complete prick, and this time I encountered a prick of a different sort. I then when home and listened to What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? The debut album from my current favourite band. Good start to the weekend.

Unlucky 13 For Guinness.
So I heard this week that Guinness is to stop selling it’s Hop House 13 lager in the UK. I’d never tried it so nipped out to grab a bottle and found a special offer so I dived in. 3 bottles for a fiver and the contents were over a pint which was good, especially as some of it ended up over the work surface upon my shocking attempt to pour. It was nice, and it’s bad news for some of my friends who I know love it. I still have my Enigma glass from the 90’s when Guinness last attempted to produce lager. So I now have drunk much more Guinness lager than the dark stuff of which I have only ever had one pint. So yeah, I need to sort my life out.

Two generations of Guinness lager saying hello.

Good Pub News.
So the White Lion in Caldmore which has been closed since around Autumn 2019 looks as if it’s reopening. Scaffolding has gone up around it and people have been marvelling at its erection as it was really thought we’d lost this place. I can’t wait to sit in the back room with a pint of ale and a quid in the jukebox.