The day started with a lovely visit and breakfast at the local pub in my village. Tiger Joe's serves, arguably, the best breakfast in the area. We dined alfresco in the patio overlooking The Portsmouth Road. It was a lovely start to a lovely day.
After breakfast, Dad and Flo napped in the lounge as I mowed the back garden. It didn’t really need it, but it was nice to knock down the weeds a bit. Later, we joined some friends over at the home of Phil and Lucy for beverages before introducing them to The Bell.
The Bell is a pub in East Molesey that is about five hundred years old. One of the endearing things about The Bell is that there is not a right angle in the place. It appears to have been held immobile by some invisible giant in the midst of collapsing. The Slanted walls have doors hung in them at crazy angles. The windows, set aslant in the sloping walls, have trapezoidal frames to fill the off-kilter frames. The net affect is to make you as if you were walking through a film shot to imply the subject of the film is having some sort of delusion or nightmare. The local saying is that you know you're pissed (drunk) when the walls of the bell start looking okay.
Despite all the craziness of the architecture (or perhaps of it) The Bell is a cool place and has the potential of being an excellent local pub. The problem is that the pub has become a bit rundown. The ownership, in the midst of trying to sell it, has no incentive to do a lot of the work the pub needs. The staff, aware of the impending sale, feels no great need to try and keep the pub up. Oh well, if the plan as my friends in Molesey have it comes to fruition, I'll win the Euromillions Lottery, buy The Bell and fix it up, and then make it the fun, showplace of a local pub it deserves to be.
After a round at The Bell, we headed deeper into the wilds of Molesey to Terry and Angie's place where (once again) my friends outdid themselves! Angie started putting out the food the moment we arrived, Terry brought-out the ribs, sausages, burgers, shish kebab; there was all manner of food from the grill. Dad and Flo spent hours talking to my friends. They seemed to be truly enjoying themselves. This is a problem for me. Not that they enjoyed themselves, but that my friends spoke to my parents unsupervised.
This is a problem because the last time I allowed this to happen, my parents (my Dad) told stories of the mostly accurate type he is prone to tell; the type that he tells that have just enough embarrassing details to be uncomfortable, and just enough prevarication to be really uncomfortable. The problem is that my friends to not know how to tell the difference so I have to explain. It is in the explaining that the embarrassing truth comes out. But I guess that among friends what is a little embarrassment?
As the evening fell, Angie had one last surprise. She had placed candles all over her garden and lit them just before sunset so that as the light changed, so did the mood of the garden. Her back garden went from a bright and welcoming expanse of herbs and vegetables among the lawns and bushes to a fairyland!
We lit the chimnea. A big, roaring fire; I do tend to over-build my fires. The fire made the cool hours of the evening more enjoyable. The Buddha, watching mutely, from the corner of the garden brought a serenity to the scene that lent its karma to the lovely time had by all.
I hope that wherever you are tonight, you have a lovely evening with friends!
Don Bergquist - 30 July 2006 - East Molesey, Surrey, UK