There are no street lights in the village of Liddington. When the pub closed for Covid-19 lockdown the village went seriously dark. It felt like a pall had come over our lives – or maybe it was just over me as I was denied a pint of Guinness for 106 days.
Re-opening was a joy and the first and second pints were a delight. The landlord, Steve, put on a special meal to celebrate which was great. The front-of-house, Jessica, with her warm smile, was in fine fettle. Lots of friends came in and it felt like we’d all come back from our holidays, or being Liddington, more like we’d woken up from a Rip Van Winkle dream.
It’s only when something is taken away that you appreciate it all the more. What’s a village without a pub, I ask you? And a very good pub at that. Since Steve took over, the food has been exceptional, the service wonderful, and the punters seem to have mirrored that with great bonhomie. Here’s a poem about my idea of the perfect pub, like the Village Inn:
Give me lots of nots in a pub –
not a TV, musak, or jukebox in sight
just smiles behind the bar
nodding to your name and “the usual”,
the chat restarted where we left it last.
Give me locals who prop the corner,
political right of everything I believe.
Give me visitors who blow-in
to enjoy an exchange like the
spit-in-hand drovers of years ago.
Give me the intimacy of an evening
wrapped together in a fine meal,
a benign treat for a long day.
Give me a bar where there’s no last bell
where the lights are on and all is well.