I like a Maundy Thursday drink, and after a working day consisting of 9 hours and 15 minutes, I’d certainly earned one. The rough plan was to leave work and head straight to Rock Steady Eddies to meet Craig, although I had advised a McDonalds pit stop would be required.

So I left work 15 minutes late, McDonalds was busy but I eventually made Eddies. Craig had got me 3 pints of Strongbow Dark Fruits and he seemed a little miffed at me rocking up with a large Toffee Latte (yes I’m a ponce nowadays) which I needed to finish first, I also wasn’t feeling 3 quick pints so he agreed to have one of them.

We attempted to move inside but people were blocking the door like it was a French port. We eventually got in to find the quiz machine in a bad mood and somebody loading up the jukebox with songs not quite to our taste so we moved on.

Next up was The Pretty Bricks which was playing Listen To Your Heart. This prompted a chat about the best song by Roxette. Craig went for the one playing but I opted for Almost Unreal, cause it’s great. We tried to involve the barmaid in this discussion but she wasn’t playing ball.

After a very pleasant pint we moved on to The Oak Inn. After months of being taunted with the Carling Black Fruits cider dispenser being lit up but them not having any, we got a pint of it for the second visit in a row. We had a discussion as to who would win a fight between Sam Fender and Jake Bugg, as I’d been pondering this in bed the night before and wanted a second opinion. We both went for Mr Fender.

Next up was The Old Bailey. I was intrigued by an abandoned lone pint of Guinness with just a mouthful out of it. As per usual I wanted the back story. Was it the lad’s first pint of Guinness and not to his liking? Was he drinking slowly and all his mates were moving on? Or had he got lucky and had to dash off for a shag? I was tempted to get my note pad and pen out and question the barmaid but I had a pint of my own with less sipped out of it, so I turned my attention to that.

Why? Just why?

We moved onto Katz where I was delighted to see that they had Broadoak Twisted Lime cider on, a delightful green beer that I had discovered in The Jiggers Whistle in Brownhills a couple of weeks earlier. Katz has a free retro arcade machine with 600 games on it so now me and Craig always pick a random football game which neither of us have played and have a bash. First time we did this I got battered 4-0 including a goal where my keeper threw the ball at a defenders head and it bounced into the net. I won tonight’s game though even though I had no idea what I was doing.

You’re twistin’ my lime man.

We finished up in Blue Ginger, where I have discovered an amazing king prawn starter but I can’t think what it’s called. Mo the owner knows what it is so if you want to try it just asked for Mikee’s king prawn starter. This was a great start to the weekend.

Good Friday was football day, and although not hung over, I wasn’t really in the mood for beer so I got to the Bescot Bar not long before kick off and just had a Pepsi. This caused some surprise and my mate Gaz wanted photographic evidence. I still wasn’t feeling the booze as the half wore on so wasn’t in a hurry to get back down to the bar, so I stayed in my seat till the 45th minute. The board went up to indicate 2 minutes additional time. I moved to the front row as we had a free kick and a corner. The ball came back up our end and I decided that was it and off into the bar I went. And then we scored. Oh well, I tried.

On 90 minutes the board went up again this time saying 6 minutes. This could have meant additional time or how long I was going to spend unsuccessfully trying to buy a packet of crisps out of the vending machine in the Bescot Bar afterwards.

At full time there was a little chant of “we are staying up” from my mates as the 1-0 victory meant we had reached the 50 point mark meaning we were safe from relegation out of The Football League. Big relief and everyone was in a good mood mood in the bar afterwards. There were a lot of great friends in there and I finally got on the beer. I also had a second go at the vending machine which was successful this and almost prompted me into a Doc Brown from Back To The Future style “it worked”.

After a visit pleasant hour it was taxi to Black Country Arms time as I was meeting Jane who was down from Blackpool for the weekend. After a quick pint and a much needed Scotch egg and sausage roll we moved on to Katz as Jane really wanted a Church End “Gravediggers” as she says it’s the best mild ever. It’s got to be 30 years since I had a mild as I don’t do dark beers but I had one here, and it was also the first outdoor drink of the year which was ace.

I’m digging the Gravediggers.

Anyway the mild was good, Jase the landlord joined us for a chat and then Jane produced two pens from her bag. A panda and a clown, both which had boxing gloves which could be activated by pushing pads. So we had a quick bout with them, of course I was the clown. Standard. This was my first ever taste of throwing punches in a pub and I quickly got into it. I declared myself the winner of the bout citing that the Chinese judge had been particularly impressed with my technique.

Jane with the punching pens.

We moved inside and Jane requested Mini Cheddars. I asked what flavour and she asked for the options. “What flavours of Mini Cheddars do you have please?” I asked of Colin. “Cheese” came back the very blunt reply. Oh right. A pack of them then please.

We ventured back to the Black Country Arms where Jane got talking to a Liverpool fan at the bar, this lad keeping his mate waiting for a drink for ages while the discussions were going on. He then announced his mate upstairs is a Walsall fan and did we want to join them? Unfortunately due to how long he had been talking, his mate only had time for a couple of mouthfuls before having to run for his train. The Liverpool fan though knew his stuff about Walsall FC and we had a really good chat, and he even bought me a pint as last orders struck. It was a great way to end an excellent couple of days.