Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Why come here?

By the time we found Avebury, it was very much lunch o'clock and although there is a perfectly servicable food establishment there, the tourist prices put us off and we decided to have a bit of a forage down the road a bit.

We turned left at the first turn off the "A" road, and wound our way through the hedges and fields until a sign appeared promising a pub if we turned left again in 100 yards. That we did, and after a little more weaving, came apon an apparently nameless village comprising no more than four cottages and a pub. Of course the village wasn't actually nameless but we weren't actually paying attention either and we may not actually be able to find it again, neither was the pub nameless, and in the blink of an eye we found ourselves in the welcoming dining area of the King George.

The young barman looked at us with a mysterious squint, part inquisitive, part fearful, as though we'd materialised from deep space, and welcomed us with "You're not from round here are you?"

For the better part of the time it took us to demolish four steak pies with a beer pastry crust, he engaged us, quite genuinely attempting to determine our motivation for visiting him.

"Why?" he kept asking.

"We've only got stones, and a white horse on the chalk cliffs, and a hill built by someone 3,000 years ago but no-one knows why or what it was for. The only exciting thing that happens here is on April Fools' day when we take hessian bags up the hill and turn the white horse into a zebra."

"Everything's old and grey, like the weather always is", he went on, beginning to sound a little like Eric Olthwaite "even my house is older than your country".

Then, as we were leaving, and he was pretty sure that we weren't actually incognito for the Michelin Guide, he confided:

"Actually, one day I'm going to get out of here, I'm going to open a bar in somewhere in the Sun. I really like the look of Fiji."

April Fools' day might just be a biggie in Suva next year.


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