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Now that our visits to The Angel are so few and far between, it has become a little difficult to keep as up-to-date as I would like...
With apologies to regular readers, therefore, this is a potted "catch up".
I am sorry not to have been able to bring a round-by-round summary of the Sippett romance, or the trials that Jonathan and TA have had with their
cowboys builders, but you can't expect everything.
(I would like, at this point, to apologise for a reference in the last edition to "the size of ... handcuffs". I realise now this was an inappropriate comment to make. It was, in any case, only the result of my poor hearing when someone was talking ABOUT Robert and called him a "big ..." No, don't go there.)
I hope that when we move even further away correspondents will keep me informed of developments, so that this small corner of the real England can be maintained satisfactorily. What remains undoubtedly true is that this really is a small corner of the real England.
It must be remembered that these pages are an unofficial record of the goings on at The Angel, from the partisan point of view of a paying customer. All views expressed are those of the author. So up yours, Greene King.
Freya Ann L'Estrange
Right in the middle of the hottest summer since the last hottest summer, Paula (and I suppose Kevin had something to do with it too) contrived to arrange the arrival of their second child.
Anyone who has ever been connected with a pregnancy will know that, in any case, the mother develops an extra internal heating system. The result was that, by August, Paula was looking decidedly warm.
Being a L'Estrange child, the newcomer demonstrated
For us onlookers it seemed to be about 3 months overdue; it must have seemed even longer to poor old Paula.
- a lot of common sense in not wishing to arrive in all that heat, and
- no sense of urgency.
Anyway, on August 15th, all the signs were deemed to be in order and Freya Ann was duly delivered, safe, well and happy.
By 11.15 that evening, her father was even happier ...
Welcome, Freya Ann.
As a tribute, our jovial mein host has since had a tattoo embellished on his upper arm to celebrate the names of his children. The tattoo is not small. It is just as well Paula was not carrying triplets this time, otherwise there'd be no space for a wrist watch.
The photo shows Freya at rest, or at least ignoring her dad's constant chatter:
Jean, Barry and Jules, from Angel House, have suffered the sad loss of Reg after his brave and long battle with illness.
Our thoughts are with them and the rest of their families.
Crib Team in Early Season Sensation
It looks as though the influx of Russian money into British Sport is having a noticeable effect on the Angel Crib Team.
They've actually won 3 games out of four in an early season surge that makes Ferguson's crew look like the bunch of lightweights they are.
Which means that the early league tables will show The Angel near, if not at, the top.
Not only that, but the list of victories includes a 12 - 3 win over, ahem, The Cock.
Outbreaks of vertigo are already reported by that Nice Mr Orton.
Rumours of inflated transfer and signing-on fees abound, only accentuated by the appearance on the team list of one "Porous" Currie.
Of course, longer standing members of the team have seen it all before. Not for nothing is the team motto "Easy come, easy go."
I await the rest of the results with immense interest.
"These are the days of miracles and wonders ..."
... or ...
An omen of a fading civilisation
I must stop tempting providence.
In the last edition of these notes I reflected on the fact that "apart from a lager tap", The Angel had no faults worth mentioning.
No sooner written than the l*g*r **nkers (that's dri) were the only customers who get a drink at the correct temperature.
The famous Angel cellar cooler, which had been keeping the casks at the perfect drinking temperature, and in perfect condition, for more years than most of us have had hangovers, went and BROKE DOWN.
Not since Mo's problem with TCP-flavoured IPA back in '88, and His Holiness, P Thorogood's, venture into reverse cooling, has such a problem emerged.
And it proved to be terminal. In the hottest summer since summers were invented, Mother raised an eyebrow (but then he always does), Dave contented himself with Cider, and Porous decided it was a matter of duty ... Other comments are not printable here, lest the Web Police are reading.
Even nightmares must end, however, and the Suffolk Pub Company was soon searching high and low through the scrapyards of the realm until a suitable replacement could be found. The new version is fixed where its predecessor stood, but I note that the outside wall will now require repainting.
A recent visit proved that all was well, especially now the cooler weather has arrived, and that IPA drinkers can sleep easy in their bunks.
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It is several years since these pages have echoed to the mellifluous tones of a talking cockatoo or a chattering budgie but this has, after all, been the hottest summer since Ipswich last played at Yeovil (a delight soon to be repeated, eh Mother?), so what better way to end the silliest of seasons than with the sighting of a soaring and swooping red-feathered aerial acrobat behind the fountain in Porous and Pauline's garden (you can tell its silly season - that's three Porous references in one edition). The uncharitable among us might suggest that the sighting of a free-flying vagrant Polly in rural Glemsford had more to do with the quality (and quantity) of the IPA, Abbot and Bacardi on sale, but I am assured that this avian version of Steve McQueen has been seen by others too, without aid of lubrication, so it mut be true.
Mind you, you can also tell the quality of person and story we're talking about, when we refer to a "fountain" - not even a bleeding "water feature", here.
Tune in again later in the year for more tales of The Red Parrot, soon to be joined, no doubt, by a porpoise in the fountain, a humpback whale in the Stour and killer badgers on Flax Lane.
I must not tempt providence.
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