Archive for the ‘Middlesex’ Tag

Grims Dyke Hotel, Harrow & Wealdstone, Middlesex   1 comment

 

Drenched from the rain and steaming with sweat from the uphill jog, I entered the too-nice-for-the-likes-of-me confines of the Grims Dyke Hotel and, yet, no one tried to stop me.

In fact, the bartender was incredibly friendly, insisting that my shabby state was not a problem to me staying inside and continuing our chat about the other pubs in the area, the spectacular beauty of this pile and its surroundings, or, as I had started in on it, the tragic-ironic death* of the original owner (WS Gilbert, of tragic-comic operetta fame).

I finished up in the garden, listening to bird song and almost overwhelmed with the perfumery of the flowers.


*He had often intoned that he would like to die in summertime by this lake.  Check and check.

 

Posted May 13, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Dick Whittington, Hatch End, Middlesex   1 comment

 

It looks as if the Dick Whittington has undergone a recent refurbishment.  Everything is very clean and freshly pressed and lovely and modern.  The refurb is so recent, in fact, they haven’t repopulated the garden yet and I found myself on the only seat out there, the lone remaining picnic table.

Well, there was one other seat there:

 

 

I also found the original (or most recent) sign leaned against a rubbish bin (see above).  Nice house that it is, I’m not too taken with the modernisation.

 

Posted May 13, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Hennessy’s, Greenford, Middlesex   Leave a comment

 

 

Jackie was leaving to visit her family in Trumpministan (formerly the Short-Fingered Republic of Vulgaria) and I took some time off to do stuff with her for a couple of days before the flight. These things did not include shopping for clothes so while she was at the shops, I went for a run to Greenford with a stop in their branch of Hennessy’s.

 

 

It was a quiet morning in the pub with just some OAP’s sitting around reading the newspapers and the bartender snacking on crisps. Tuesday, close to noon … oh, well: the beer was cold and helped get me back home. Sometimes that’s all you really need.

 

 

Posted May 11, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs, Running

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Weekend Runs 25-26 March 2017   2 comments

Went out for an hour-long (or so) run on Saturday looping past the shooting club the other side of the A40 and tucked away down a dirt-surfaced industrial road and bordering a permissive footpath to the lower side of Hillingdon where Hayes and Uxbridge meet. It still seems odd to hear gunfire in Britain although we’ve lived in rural settings most of the last 8 1/2 years and it is as common there as similar areas in the US. In fact, this site always makes me a bit homesick for Atlanta: there, the gunfire just became more frequent and approached closer to the “nicer” (still poor, but not destitute) neighbourhoods as the weather improved after winter. Here, this is about the only place you expect to hear gunfire in the city.

 

 

Sunday, I awoke early and ran off toward Watford just after sunrise. Outside Northwood a little more than halfway to my turnaround, I spotted what I reckoned to be a prison based on the high, razor-wire topped fences and copious security cameras. I took a quick photo which turned out blurry then looked the place up later only to find that it is the actually the Permanent Joint Headquarters, essentially the same thing as Centcom for the US Forces Command. To be fair, it is known as Cell Block H by the staff.

Closer to Watford, there were even more things to remind me of the States, not least of which is this road named after Mark Twain’s creation:

 

 

 

Tom Sawyer famously tricked his friends into paying him to do some of his chores, specifically whitewashing a fence. Someone is going to have to (or, GET to) repaint this bit of nearby hoarding soon, too:

 

 

In Watford, I found two Wetherspoons for pints at 9:00 am (the Columbia Press) and 9:25 (the Moon Under Water) to prepare for the run back home. At a little over 27 miles for the weekend with just under 45 for the week, a rest day will be welcome.

Southern and Northern sections of the Sunday run.

 

Posted March 28, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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Weekend runs 18-19 March 2017   1 comment

 

The Saturday and Sunday runs, this weekend, came in at just over 24 miles but with only 1 new pub to add.  Sunday was especially frustrating as the run involved long climbs and steady 25 mph winds (with gusts to 40).

 

 

 

The target for the day was the Case Is Altered on the hill north of Harrow Weald followed by a stop in Homebase to pick up some wall hanging hardware, but La Casa Alta appears to have been converted to a private residence.

 

 

 

No problem, I thought, since the Hare sits a few hundred meters away on the way to the d.i.y. place.  They, unfortunately, were closed for remodeling until next weekend.  Shit.  I consulted my maps and decided to blow past the pubs in Harrow Weald (which I will almost certainly run past again this summer) in favour of the Letchford Arms which was on the route home near my first return trip rail crossing.

 

 

 

Fucking maps.  The place, shown above in Google Streetview in 2008 (top) and 2016, is now a fully occupied block of flats.  At this point, I was quite thirsty for anything (juice, water, beer, just something rehydrating) and decided to just go to a news agent and buy whatever they had in a bottle.  How disappointing (but it was nice to get some pictures hung up on the walls, later that afternoon).

 

 

The Saturday run was a bit more satisfying.  Both days had strong winds (stupidly, I designed both runs to have the winds in my face on the return trips) but Saturday was sunny and almost warm and felt as much like a Spring day as the blooms and new growth everywhere would make you think it was.  After a brief stop in the Office, I was back on the road and scoping out the blackthorn blooms for next year’s batch of sloe gin.

Next weekend is scheduled to be a little shorter but I may bump up the mileage to make up for the deficit (distance and pints) this weekend.

 

Office, Northolt, Middlesex   1 comment

I pushed my pace on the run to the Office largely because I had the substantial wind at my back but also because I had promised to be back from the run in an hour and a half.  Consequently, I arrived at the door breathing heavily and sweating even more heavily than usual.  I pushed my way to the bar and got dirty looks from most of the nearby punters (I think I was dripping on them) but a friendly reception from the bartender (and a pint of lager for £2.50).  Horseracing on tele, very much a local…good for a quick one, anyway.

Here’s a map.

 

Posted March 20, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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King’s Arms, Harefield, Middlesex   1 comment

 

It was chilly and pissing down rain Sunday morning and I arrived at the King’s Arms at high noon trying to decide if I was going to do Sections 13 and 14 of the London Loop, or maybe just 13, or just bag the whole thing and catch the bus back to Ruislip. Regardless, I had up to a half hour before the next bus so I got a beer and pulled up a corner seat and watched as diners streamed in for their Sunday roast. I especially like this shot of these two old guys, isolated from each other and the world with the one in the back contemplating something dire — a regret from years ago or maybe he can’t remember if he turned the stove off this morning.

 

 

 

The music was startlingly eclectic and very good for the most part. There was a long, live, and very raucous Chicago-style blues cut followed by some cry-in-your-beer honky-tonk country and some Mott the Hoople that would never have gotten airplay (so must be off someone’s personal album collection). The only thing I heard that was standard bar music was the always welcome Life On Mars. I left soon after putting the first 23 of The Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs on my mp3 player (I have been saving this album for a week, and here felt there would be no better time to dive in).

Here’s a map.

 

Posted March 14, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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