So a week yesterday was the last Saturday before the football season. The final Saturday for 9 months waking up without Walsall FC on my mind. The last chance to do things before boozy pre matches, or catching up on sleep before following games on Twitter. So how did I spend this Saturday? Tour of a National Trust property? A game of tennis followed by a relaxing sauna? Afternoon tea in a nice restaurant or spending the day in bed with a bevvy of beauties? None of the above, surprisingly so I went on the booze. Not surprisingly.
First mission was to visit The Corner Cafe in Caldmore to line the stomach and also to pretend that I’m in the Jorja Smith video for Blue Lights as this establishment is featured in it along with other places by my house. I am available to appear in music videos if anyone is interested. I’m very cheap.
Then it was onto The Wheatsheaf in Bloxwich to book in a Friends Of Highgate Brewery social. I could have made a call to do this but I don’t like talking on the phone despite spending much of my 40 hour working week doing this. Ooops. Hope none of my colleagues clock this. So I jumped on the bus from town, unbeknown to me that a diversion was in place. And what a tour it was. At some point I genuinely had no idea where I was and a bit further on I expected to see a sign advising that Cirencester was about a mile away. I became concerned that the bus was going to rejoin it’s route well past my stop, but it eventually came out by The Railway pub near Leamore. Just up the road from where it turned off. Five minutes later and I was alighting in the right spot.
I walked in the pub and they had some 80’s music channel on and Adam Ant was blasting out. Decent. I asked for a pint and the landlord and got the former. Landlord was due back in an hour. I settled down in the back part of the pub by myself which was a relief as Blame It On The Boogie by Big Fun came on. A song that I just have to give portions to (and some arm moving actions). It was followed by The Cure with The Lovecats, an epic song with a video featuring people in cat outfits playing trumpets. Well you have to stop and watch that don’t you?
When that song finished it was bus back towards Walsall time, even though I hadn’t booked the meeting which was the whole point of the visit. Thankfully the diversion wasn’t in action southbound and I was soon at AJ’s Ales. This wonderful family run micro brewery was opening for drinking for the first time since before the lockdowns. The beer was bang on, the ham cobs divine at a quid a go (I had two to make sure) and I had good discussions with people I hadn’t seen in a long time. And some I hadn’t seen for a week.
Whilst sitting there one of my best friends Woza turned up. This guy is legend and gets me out of self induced crisis after self induced crisis although thankfully these have become less frequent over recent years.
From there we popped to Rock Steady Eddies, passing a sign outside a random shop saying water bar featuring bottles of beer which nearly enticed me in. Eddies was rammed. Probably the busiest I have ever seen it. Practically every one in wedding attire. I checked the clock. 14.20. I thought it was decent of the happy couple to have the wedding early so everyone could start supping. Five minutes later there was a mass exodus. It was actually wedding pre drinks. There were just three other people left apart from us. Neither of them were my jukebox enemy though so Woza found a quid and treated us all to Either Way by The Twang for starters. I’d like to think that the bride was walking down the aisle as we listened to that great song.
From there we popped to The Pretty Bricks, the birthplace of Walsall CAMRA in 1972 and we then went our separate ways. I went to renew my bus pass which I couldn’t remember doing by the following morning. Alcohol induced memory loss? Blame It on The Boogie? Blame It On The Breweries more like. I then went home via a two star hygiene rated takeaway, noticed that my local bus stop had vanished, grabbed a power nap, changed my t-shirt and ventured back out.
I had been invited out on the night by mates Sean Harris and Matt Whelan and they happened to be in Katz, my favourite pub. I am a disciple to Green Duck brewery so it was good to see that the beer board was over run with it. Some of our other friends were also out so we had a great time listening to music, talking football and other general stuff. After a couple of Green Ducks I tried a Seacider passion fruit. This stuff is so drinkable. It can go down in seconds. As I approached the bar Avril Lavigne was playing. I forget the tune but the pint finished just after the song. I felt a bit sheepish heading straight back up the bar with my empty glass and I’m sure the barmaid was still serving the person who had been behind me. I played it safer this time. To quote the mighty fine band Embrace “come back to what you know” and I switched to Wainwrights which is like nectar in Katz.
From there we headed to Flans and had great chats in the very intimate outside smoking area. I remember dancing around to Blurred Lines and putting my style on it. I’d need heavy choreographing to attempt twerking.
The Tap & Tanner, then The Registry followed for more good times but I can’t recall much anecdotal evidence from those places but it was a super Saturday, and I phoned The Wheatsheaf on the Tuesday and spoke to the landlord so it all ended well.