After much cleaning, we're ready to brew again - so let's!
I say we, but the rest of the gang don't get back until tomorrow, and I'm sure they'll be going straight to bed when they do, what with the jet-lag and the swine flu, which they'll probably catch on the plane and then give to me...
So I'm brewing. That is, I'm supervising the machinery as it mashes-in. Actually, that's making it sound terribly high-tech, and it really isn't. We have a simple hydrator cobbled on to the end of a electrically powered auger - so once the malt's in the hopper and the liquor flow is adjusted there's nothing much to do while it all falls into the mash tun. But I do like to keep a lookout for odd bits of metal, mice, etc. falling out of the works.
Anyway, there I am, ear-defenders on (the auger makes a terrible racket), I glance round and notice a local publican and good customer has crept up on me. I jump, he laughs. He (let's call him Mr. X.) wants some beer, and of course I'm happy to oblige.
Mr. X runs a small country pub, popular with the locals - it's a genuinely rural area and everyone's been working long hours cutting stuff, or feeding / milking stuff, or whatever these rural types do all day (and half the bloody night it seems like, in the fields behind us - but that's another story). He tells me he's had the worst two months he's ever had. His business always quiets down in the summer, and while it's a really nice spot - it's not a tourist destination. The games - the darts, pool, etc. are out of season. He's done a lot of work fixing up an outside area - nice tables, set up for barbecue - neat, but the weather has been really disapointing. It's a bugger really.
Funny thing is, Mr. X's pub is only about 30 mins walk from my house down quiet country lanes, but I never go. Truly, the biggest problem with the world is people just like me. That's the problem with the roads - it's not Polish truckers or bloody caravans - it's all the other cars (and vans). That's the problem with the environment - too many people consuming and discarding the way we do here - and more, doing it more like us, every day.
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