Sunday 21 December 2014

Christmas in England: Part the Sixth

So, Gargett, your horse threw ya! And ya don't wanna get back up. Could be that was the first—and no doubt the worst—such equestrian event in recorded history. Then again. Maybe not. 

Regardless. Okay, Dr. self-described Subversive—what're you back here for? If you don't want to get back on the g.d. horse, why'd you bother to stand up? 

Good question. Don't rush me!

First. My horse didn't throw me! The wheels came of my cart. Big difference, as far as I'm concerned. Both are embarrassing as Hell. But when I get on a horse, it's just me and the horse. That cart was carrying a load that's both precious and irreplaceable. When those wheels came off, not just my not-so-very-valuable physical self hit the dirt: out of it spilled every receptacle of self-confidence and self-motivation that had accrued to me in the past three-plus years of having your ear, and with them even the store of indignation at the stuffed shirts and bullies that roam the halls and stairways of the ivory tower within which we're constrained to work, but is very much NOT the edifice that you and I want archaeology and paleoanthropology to be. 

And whether or not you think ALL THAT should have been the result of my 'little' prat-fall at TAG, it's how I felt.

Kay. So. Yesterday I woke up sick as a dog. But with the prudent application of decongestants and analgesics, and after a cuppa the all-powerful elixir—tea, off I drove, to Liverpool, to cash in my voucher for an evening at the world's most famous night club, the Cavern, where the Beatles played 292 times in their early career. I had a good meal at Browns at Liverpool One—pan-roasted cod on fingerling potatoes with a tiny-shrimp and caper butter, and a glass of Chenin Blanc. Then I saw The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Then I walked up Piccadilly Lane toward the Beatles' unoffical shrine to see the house Beatles cover band. Today, I'm feeling somewhat better. Still snivelling and coughing up chunks. But feeling like the worst is over. The worst of the illness, that is.

The cart accident is still very much with me. As is the spectre of having to pay for this little escapade, which was to've been an apotheosis, of sorts. Talk about hype!

Tomorrow it's off to Oxford, with a brief stop at a little village called Hook Norton, to tour the brewery where they make the best ale I've ever tasted. That was back in 1977, in the early days of the Campaign for Real Ale, which turned the tables—one hopes forever—on the megabreweries and their monostyle bitters and lagers. Then to the dreaming spires, home of Inspectors Morse and Lewis, and mine, too, for six weeks in 1977.

Keep your ears and eyes open. I'll be back soon.

Thanks for joining me today and any day, for that matter. And if I get too busy, please accept my early and best wishes for a joy-filled holiday!