Archive for the ‘Hayes’ Tag
I’ve run past the Old Crown a few times but have always been too loaded already to stop in. I had just finished the last stretch of Section 10 of the LOOP and was only 2 beers into the day so this seemed like an opportunity not to pass up.
The bar is essentially a long, railed counter and eventually leads to a darkened back lounge but I stuck close to the front. It’s a friendly crowd — a fair number of Irishmen on either side of the bar — and very much a locals hangout although almost directly across from the Hayes and Harlington rail station.
After some initial, welcoming niceties I was left to my own devices in a sunny seat near the front window. I spotted what is always a good sign — a childrens’ curfew — but not so good a sign as a blanket ban on the brats. There were none here, today, though.
I’m always pleased to see that bars are used for funerals. Not just wakes but actually taking the honoree for one last round. The photo of this announcement is a bit blurry but the sentiment warmed my heart as I bid the bar farewell and continued on my run home:
Monday 20th March 2017
12 PM at the Southwest
MIDDX Crematorium Hounslow
Road, Hanworth, Feltham
On to the Angler’s Pub in
No flowers, please but if you
Wish to bring a single poppy
It’s the one flower Tommy
We are making donations to
The Princess Alice Trust as
They were a great support
To Tommy. Instead of flowers.
Godspeed, Mr McDermot. Here’s a map to the Crown, if you are planning to pay your respects.
Section 10 of the LOOP took less time than I thought it would so, when I spotted the Crane about 2/3 through the trip, I popped in for a beer. It is still TECHNICALLY “The Crane” for licensing purposes although the signage indicates they would rather focus on the Indian food. However, the atmosphere was pure barfly inside and before I could get my Foster’s order in I was accosted by a very drunk Scotsman (John) with an impenetrable accent (here’s a clip of Rab C Nesbitt that is about halfway to the WeeGie white noise coming out of John’s face). I’ll just give you the semi-transcript/subtitles and deleting my repeated “pardons?” and “what wuzzats?”
“So, is that a carrot, then?”
“Oh, no sir, I’m just glad to see you.”
“No, you daft git,” pointing at my beer. “You’ve been running. Is that a carrot?”
“Oh, I see. Maybe years ago, but I think I’m such a hopeless sot it’s more of a stick than a carrot.”
We talked about work (he drives a DHL truck) and American politics as much as we could since we are equally baffled by Trump. We found points of reference between my Atlanta and his Paisley and Glasgow, and pretty much agreed that the English are hopeless bastards, complete tools. “Tell me this, then,” I asked, “how is the Second Referendum going to turn out?” This was about 48 hours before Nicola Sturgeon officially called for another Scottish Independence vote.
“It won’t be close, this time.” I’ll check his prediction here after the vote which will be late 2018 or early 2019.
Here’s a map.
A friend who doesn’t run pointed out that I’ve been repeatedly doing a section or two of the London Outer Orbital Path (LOOP). This is how I wound up running the Ridgeway Challenge a couple of years ago after doing most of the Avebury to Wantage segments of that long distance path; I decided to approach this one sensibly and do it entirely in sections as defined by the Transport For London pamphlets about the LOOP.
I’ve already covered Section 11, near enough, in the run posting from late February (including the trip to the White House pub along the way). Section 12 gets a lot of attention from me since it is the nearest one to the house; it was covered variously in postings about the Coy Carp, the Bear on the Barge, and the Swan and Bottle.
With plans to finish this in Spring, I’ll do a couple of more sections up till then but really focus on the final 100 miles over a couple of weekends in May. As it stands, I have 138 out of 150 miles (22 out of 24 Sections) still to go and really need to step up my game as far as route description and photography go…Des de Moor’s blog should be considered the gold standard for this (his postings on Sections 11 & 12 are here).
A little short of the halfway mark on the Sunday run, I managed to find a pub open for breakfast. Knowing a Wetherspoons would start serving at 9am, I had started the trek just before 8 and was changing into a dry shirt at 9:15. I had spotted the White House on a map and would never have ventured into the office park in which it sits otherwise; but, it turned out to be a fine choice.
I drank my beer in the conservatory while arranging my maps for the remainder of the run. A couple who were working on some massive breakfasts spotted a buddy and the dude yells up to him, “shouldn’t you be in church, mate?” I turned and drew a large circle toward the arched, glass roof with my finger; “he is.” They left shortly after; “bless you, my children,” I yelled after them, lifting my beer reverentially.
It’s an odd house and location. Here’s a map.
Around Christmas, I started a training cycle meant to prep me for the Siracusa City Marathon (Sicily) but other necessary travel was going to interfere with that date (and, in typical Italian fashion, they have just this week cancelled this year’s event, anyway) so I will have to make this year’s marathon some other time. I’m sticking to the schedule, though, and will just continue to ramp things as if I were doing another ultra (so when I DO finally pick 42K to run, it’ll be a dawdle).
This weekend, I had an 8 miler scheduled for Saturday and just decided to wing it by listening to some podcasts to give me an hour then legging it home from wherever I was then to close the loop. The photo, above, was some sort of elephant mobile that has appeared at a roadside memorial on the bike path next to the A40 (Western Avenue) between South Ruislip and Northolt.
Soon after the memorial photo, I picked up some Hash House Harrier marks from a recently cleared trail and followed those a bit, then out to Rayner’s Lane and, seeing that my time for the show I was listening to was lapsing, homeward.
Sunday was a little more structured for the planned 17 miles (17.7, eventually). Hopping on the towpath of the Paddington Branch by the Civil Engineer, it was a quiet canal-based trip around to the Grand Union Canal with a short detour for a pint at the White House before heading back to the waterside and into Uxbridge. Even after picking up the pavement, again, things were quiet (mostly wooded and waterside cycle path into Ickenham). Good loop, this one.
The Station House Apartments made me laugh because it sounds like a euphemism for prison … you know, like “The Grey Bar Hotel,” or something. They even look a little like something administered by G4S.
The graffito, below, was oddly encouraging although, with about 4 miles left the end was not near enough.
The Great Western is a large house made more intimate by fitting two full size pool tables into it. Good local crowd really making good use of the billiards rooms and the quieter lounge area on the opposite side of the bar but the real attraction seems to be the kitchen which was doing a hectic takeaway service early Monday night. Probably better to come with (or meet up with) someone you know, though…non-threatening but lonely.
I was really hoping the Botwell Inn was named for the lead character in Weeds but that turned out to be Nancy Botwin. Instead, Botwell is the archaic name for the village centre that is now called Hayes…how disappointing. The pub, itself, is perfectly adequate and typical ‘Spoons fare: a furniture store for 7 decades then repurposed as a cavernous bar.
A couple of old guys purchased beer ahead of me then a third one of their buddies came in and their conversation went like this:
“Fucking berries fucking all fucking over the fucking trees this fucking time of fucking year.”
It was like listening to teenagers on the bus, trying to shock the other riders.