Sunday, October 16, 2016

Last of my summer's patience: Walking holidays in the UK that lead to pubs.

The Craven Arms (from The Guardian).

One of my obsessions during the period spent contemplating my NABC-xit was the long-running British television show, The Last of the Summer Wine.

ON THE AVENUES: The last of the summer beer.

 ... It’s hard to imagine a more unfashionable concept in the milieu of the smart phone and driverless car, and perhaps that’s why I’m so attracted to it.

For the uninitiated, the series ran from 1973 through 2010, a staggering 37 years, with almost 300 episodes aired. Virtually all emphasize a timeless sense of place, with much location filming amid the workmanlike stone buildings and rustic, gorgeous rolling hills of Holmfirth, Yorkshire.

There is a basic narrative premise remaining unchanged throughout the program’s run: “A whimsical comedy with a penchant for light philosophy and full-on slapstick (following) the misadventures of three elderly friends tramping around the Yorkshire countryside.”

I actually stopped watching the show during last year's mayoral campaign, as it rendered me dreamy and inert, and no longer willing to read sewage treatment consent decrees.

Then, this morning, the missus pointed me to a piece in The Guardian about walking the English (and Welsh, Scottish and Irish) countryside and drinking real ale in the UK, and I dissolved into melancholy reverie. It is 9:00 a.m., and all I can think about it Ordinary Bitter.

Coincidentally, the Inspector Morse episode we watched two days ago contained a wonderful subtle vignette, wherein Morse and Lewis have retreated to a pub to discuss their investigation, and as Lewis speaks, Morse (a cask devotee) gazes soulfully at a pint of ale being sinuously drawn.

By the way ... get me the fuck out of here.


20 great UK walks with pubs, chosen by nature writers

Pull on your boots and enjoy the countryside in all its autumn glory. Ten of Britain’s best nature writers reveal their favourite routes – and where they like to refuel on the way.


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