Archive for the ‘Swindon’ Tag

“The Slug and Whip-It” is the new house bar   3 comments

Slug and Whip-It Ruislip sign hanging

It was the Public Bar of the Drunken Bunny in Swindon but the new digs means that, as we start preparing the bar for the Autumn Drinking Season, we are also going with a new name.  This time, it is

The Slug and Whip-It

because that’s the primary debris I see on the walk to the Underground station every morning.  Garden parasites and hippy crack, literally, but I also like the puns: a ‘slug‘ as a unit of alcoholic measure and the iconic working class dog.

Posted September 1, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in 1PumpLane, Booze, Drugs, Made Me Laugh

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The Adver Bids Us Farewell   Leave a comment

Today’s Swindon Advertiser was entirely devoted to us and our wee house move!  I’m overwhelmed.  Slow news day, I guess (pun intended).

2016-07-30 Adver farewell



Drunken Bunny Liqueurs has a life of its own, now, as well as a poorly maintained Facebook presence.

The original “Hashlam in Society” Treatise probably only means something to you if you know something about Hash House Harriers (mostly insider humour).

Here are some of Edie’s Swindon era appearances as nurse, internet star, and gardener.

No students were harmed as a result of attending Swindon University.  Which is to say, no students attended Swindon University.




Get Thee Behind Me, Christadelphian Signage   Leave a comment

In the turmoil around moving house, I’ve neglected my heretical duties these past couple months.  I’ll miss the weekly Christadelphian sermon announcements (the link, just there, goes to a collection of these); this post catches up on our final several weeks’ worth:

5 June 2016

2016-06-05 C-delphians sermon
1. How’s that? Does He pretend He’s not home when they ring His heavenly doorbell?
2. Besides, I thought Prince was God’s Witness.
3. {This one is an old joke and I don’t know who deserves credit for it but works here with a bit of word association to make the Jew/Witness connection}:  “My granddad died in the holocaust. Yep, he fell out of a Watchtower at Auschwitz.”

19 June 2016



In this 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare, this seemed far too obvious a choice but the soliloquy has some good bits downstream (you know…”shuffle off this mortal coil,” “what dreams may come,” etc).  I would have opted for something you could really put some preaching into, myself, like

“It is an heretic that makes the fire,
Not she which burns in’t.”
–Paulina, Scene III of The Winter’s Tale

But, it isn’t up to me to write the sermon; I am but a humble critic…the play’s the thing.  Still, I can help thinking they’ve missed a Shakespeare opportunity with MacBeth (although the Guilt lecture may have incorporated this one):

Out out damn spot


26 June 2016

2016-06-26 russia in mid east

Or, why is the US or, for that matter, the UK and France?  Indeed…why is Israel in the Middle East?  Oh, yeah, that’s right…Zionism and the arbitrary demarcations imposed on the region by these powers after the World Wars.  For greater detail, read about partition of the Ottoman Empire and, probably more relevant to the Christadelphians, the British Mandate for Palestine.

3 July 2016

2016-07-03 Mosaic Law

This one was almost too easy. Mosaic law is full of ludicrous and anachronistic rules about food and lending practices and women’s groups will gladly (and correctly) point out the misogynistic ones. To be fair, there are also some very practical things, rare though they are, that have found their way into modern Codes of Regulations. But, I’m here to mock so you have to find those on your own.

You mustn’t commit sodomy with one’s father (Lev. 18:7) nor one’s paternal uncle (Lev. 18:14). You can almost hear the schoolkids as Lev. 18:14 was read out: “so then, Rabbi, it’s okay to commit sodomy with mom’s brother?” “Okay, you little shits, I’m writing this one down as Lev. 18:22…ANY male, is that clear enough?”

Pantomime and Shakespeare (if those aren’t the same thing) become difficult to perform because crossdressing of any sort is banned (Deut. 22:5).


Mosaic Law Traffic Sign

Mosaic Law Traffic Sign


There are some words of wisdom for Donald Trump, too: The King shall not take an excessive number of wives and he shall not accumulate an excessive quantity of gold and silver (Deut. 17:17).

There is one, grand Holocaust-related irony here represented by the Mosaic law to exterminate the seven Canaanite nations (Deut. 20:17).  Tsk.



Then, there was Amalek who went to war against Israel (as did many other tribes) during the Exodus. Don’t know off the top of your head who Amalek was? Well, you are instructed to “always remember what Amalek did (Deut. 25:17) and destroy the seed of Amalek (Deut. 25:19)” and this is in no way contradictory to the laws not to take revenge nor bear a grudge (Lev. 19:18).

10 July 2016

2016-07-10 parables Christadelphian sign

“It is easier for a rich man to enter a camel than it is to pass a needle.” –excerpted from the Jeremy Hardy translation of the Bible.

To be serious, Jesus’ use of parables is INCREDIBLY passive aggressive. Take this passage from Mark 4:11-12 (New International Version, a real one this time):

“The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!”

Or: “Ha, ha, ha!  You misunderstood my puzzle so you can burn in Hell for all Eternity!”

17 July 2016

2016-07-17 love thy nieghbours Christadelphian sign


Love thy nieghbour?  A small church like this probably thinks that the little things matter (like not being petty about proofreading).  The Official Church is at once more explicit and coy.  Or, maybe this ISN’T a euphemism:


clean my organ


24 July 2016

2016-07-24 bible true or false


I won’t wade into an argument with zealots whether the Bible is ‘True’ of ‘False.’ What I will point out is that it is funny; no, more than that: it’s a fucking laugh riot. You know, the plagues of frogs and locusts and Benny Hill style nudity and bear attacks; the book of Job can be a laugh riot read the right way, and the whole Abraham and Isaac debacle is hilarious.  And, there are loads of other bits just tucked away awaiting your merriment.  For instance, these verses from 1 Samuel 21 could be out of a Mel Brooks comedy:

14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me?
15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”

31 July 2016

2016-07-31 Christadelphians just the facts ma'am


Hoping for something goofier for the last one ever, all I could think of was Dragnet:

Joe Friday

End of the Swindon Era   4 comments

swindon station 2016-07-09

“What has passed is already finished with. What I find more interesting is what is still to come.”

–Emil Zatopek


This is melancholy.  Personally, I’ll miss Swindon even though Jackie is glad to see the back of it.  Mind, we’re both excited about living in London — well, living there technically, at least: kind of like the way Little Neck, Queens is technically part of New York City — but we’re on several lines of the Underground and can be in The City in 20 minutes and my commute to Oxford is only an hour (and the service runs frequently and all night).

In the 5½ years we’ve squatted in Swindon:

•  I’ve watched kids that ride the same bus as me grow up. A gaggle of them weren’t yet in 6th-form on the day of my first commute and now most of them have completed University degrees and/or started jobs or graduate school.

•  I’ve run 10,659 miles and completed 3 marathons, 7 half marathons, and a variety of other events including a 3rd place finish in my age group in the Ridgeway Challenge (the National Ultra Marathon Championship race). The transport links in town meant that I could cover a lot of the region on these runs so I wore ruts in the footpaths all over an area bounded, roughly, by Salisbury to Warminster to Frome, Bath, Bristol, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Faringdon, Andover, and Marlborough.

•  I’ve visited (and had pints in) 979pubs since moving there from Bicester, many of them on a regularly repeating basis.  Related to the previous bullet point, 62 of those pub stops were during — or within 10 minutes, before or after — ‘races,’ listed below.

•  In Swindon (borough), a shortlist of the finest of these establishments would have to include
The Beehive (#615 in this blog)
The Roaring Donkey (#672)
The Wheatsheaf (#738)
The Southbrook (#533), and
The Boundary House (#600).
There are really none you need to avoid, though…roll the dice if you’re in town and you will probably get lucky.

•  And, we’ve had really good neighbours in Swindon. Except when we haven’t.

Reverting to an Americanism: it’s been real, y’all, but this Swindon thing is done for us.  Or, to use another, more appropriate quote from Zatopek (and once again out of context):

“Gentlemen, today we die a little.”

Here are those race details I promised from this now past era (with the related pubs from the day):




Distance (miles)


30-May-11 Bupa London 10K combined with a hash trail, so who knows The Lord Moon of the Mall
The Blackfriar
The Atlas
 __________ _____________________ ___________________________ ___________________
28-Aug-11 Run For Heroes 3.1 plus about 10 for the commute out and back none (all closed that time of day)
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
11-Sep-11 Chippenham Half Marathon 13.1 The Commercial Rooms
The V-Shed
The Langley Tap
The Duke
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
25-Sep-11 Oxford Half Marathon 13.1 The Priory
The Blackbird
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
02-Oct-11 Cricklade Half Marathon 13.1 after 8 to get there The Old Bear
The White Lion
Ferndale Working Men’s Club
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
09-Oct-11 Swindon Half Marathon 13.1 plus a side trip The New Calley Arms
The Village Inn
The Office Wine Bar
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
22-Apr-12 London Marathon 26.2 The Rose of Denmark
The Angerstein Hotel
The Farrier’s Arms
The Lord Nelson
The Porter’s Lodge
Fountain’s Abbey
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
18-Aug-12 The Great British Beerathon 4-ish The Hoop and Grapes
The Blind Beggar
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
15-Jun-13 Broad Town 5 5 Phoenex Bar
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
20-Jul-13 Great Bustard 5 5 plus a few to get there The Three Horseshoes
The Bruce Arms
The Crown Inn
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
25-Aug-13 Pewsey Vale Half Marathon 13.1 The Cooper’s Arms
The French Horn
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
15-Sep-13 Aldbourne 10K 6.2 The Crown
The Parklands Hotel
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
20-Sep-13 Beat the Bore 7.9 The Water Poet
The Ship Inn
The Anchor Inn
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
20-Oct-13 Devizes Half Marathon 13.1 The Cavalier
The Moonrakers
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
27-Oct-13 Stroud Half Marathon 13.1 The Old Nelson
The Lord John
The Queen Victoria
The Imperial Hotel
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
18-May-14 Commonweal 5 5 none (!!!)
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
30-Aug-14 Malmesbury Carnival 10K 6.2 The Red Bull
The Cat and Custard Pot
The Horse Guards
The Three Cups
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
12-Oct-14 Isle of Wight Marathon 26.2 Isle of Wight Community Club
The Sportsman’s Rest
The New Inn
The Horse and Groom
Off the Rails
The Traveller’s Joy
The Painter’s Arms
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
11-Jan-15 Rough and Tumble Ten 10 none (!!!)
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
11-Mar-15 Teddy Hall Relays 14.6 none (!!!)
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
29-Aug-15 Ridgeway Challenge 86 The George and Dragon
The Red Lion
The Plough
The Perch and Pike
The Bull
 __________  _____________________  ___________________________  ___________________
10-Jul-16 Wales Marathon 26.2 + 0.3 for 2nd pub and about 6.5 miles to get to the start The Old King’s Arms
The Lamphey Hall Hotel
The Freshwater Inn
The Castle
The Three Mariners
Pub Crawl Map 2016-07-27 centred on Swindon

The Swindon region and the pubs I have stopped in for a quick one (usually on the run); the picture is linked to the full Google map

Chats Bar inside the Marriott, Swindon   Leave a comment

Chats Bar Swindon sign

I was tidying up the old homestead following the move and went out for one last run in Swindon…not much as I was knackered but I was definitely going to make it a bar run no matter what.  The only one within 30 miles that I hadn’t already written up was going to be whatever dwelt inside the Marriott down the hill so I braced myself for the business hotel special … something with an especially egregious name like Fandangles or Scamps.  I trotted up to the building and realised the fiver I tucked into my sweats pocket had fallen out and I was without a way to pay for my drinks.  Well, of course there was always this option if one of the guests had a Postman Pat uniform I could borrow (Vine courtesy David Schneider’s Twitter feed):

I doubled back, instead, getting all the way inside the house before remembering that I took it out of the pocket and tucked it in the armband of my GPS device.  So, back I went happy that I could keep my virtue intact.

So, it was called Chats…Shats is more like it.  All the vile aspersions I have defended Swindon of were probably prompted by a visit to this dreadful little Airport Departures Lounge bar sans airport.  And, I suppose the denizens were all hotel guests visiting the Intel site adjacent (apparently visiting from 1986, as well, so nearly 5 years behind the rest of town).

I couldn’t leave like this.  I finished my Becks, returned to the house, packed my last few things, and headed to the Beehive for one, last good memory (and a stout).

Your map, here.

Chats Bar Swindon


Posted July 29, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Pipers (Way) at the Gates of Dawn   Leave a comment

Hello Kitty Ram


Up for a pre-commute run at sunrise I headed toward Pipers Way and momentarily thought I was hallucinating when I saw a ram standing in some Hello Kitty wellies.  No, really, that’s what it was.

Posted May 24, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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Gardening   Leave a comment

2016-05-08 cilantro basil parsley and gnomes

We got a late start on the garden a couple of weeks ago.  We’re moving house, soon, so we aren’t fucking around with the bedding plants and instead are focusing on some cilantro (coriander), basil, and parsley guarded by Tim and Kesey, above while we survey one of our final spring afternoons here, below.

2016-05-08 first gardening day

Posted May 20, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Food

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Robins Farm, Blunsdon, Wiltshire   1 comment

Robins Farm Blunsdon sign

The full-page (and front page) article on food safety in the Swindon Advertiser enticed me to check out the Robins Farm at my earliest convenience.  This turned out to be Sunday when I had a 16 mile run scheduled; I arrived at the remote compound (upper right spur on the map) at the 12 mile mark and found it overrun with diners (I will, ahem, charitably put it) and indoor temperatures and humidity akin to a sauna.


Robins Farm Run Route

I took my Timothy Taylor’s Landlord out to what is called the garden, a post-industrial apocalypse on the edge of the industrial estate but, thankfully, separated from it by the razor fencing so artistically adorning the compound.

Robins Farm Blunsdon beer

I don’t know if this will improve along with the weather.  The staff were A-1, by the way, and should be recruited for a better bar, restaurant, or what-have-you.  Pub map here.

Robins Farm Blunsdon


Posted April 25, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs, Running

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One Armed Bandits at the Beehive, Swindon   4 comments

Here is a story about the Armed Robbery I witnessed last night.

Jackie had been out drinkin’ with some former colleagues and rang me around midnight to come downhill for one or two before closing time.  I threaded my way through phalanx after phalanx of drunks — one group of about 10 was weaving through Union Street scream-singing Purple Rain, except for three of them that were yelling the lyrics to We’re Not Gonna Take It (I LOVE this time of night).  Eventually, I reached the Beehive.

I joined them on the long bench across from the bar as one guy hurried past me.  A second guy, in a red t-shirt, skipped past a few moments later; I noticed him specifically because his near shoulder appeared to protrude unnaturally forward.  I was just about to point this out when Jackie’s mate yelled up to the bartender, “he just stole her arm!”

One-armed Beehive Girl a

I knew immediately what she meant and glanced down at the girl in the corner.  Every time I go to the Beehive I mistake this mannequin for a real person at some point even as I remind myself before entering that she is sitting there waiting for me.  Apparently, so did these guys as they had earlier escorted the lady to the apex room for photos (and, thus, were on a Yellow Card already); when I was retrieving my first beer from the bar I thought they were chatting her up then realised I had done it again.

The bar manager ran outside after them but they were already gone; “the first one must’ve pulled the motor around so they could make their getaway,” he explained as he came back in.  Dylan was on the speakers but Johnny Cash flashed through my head.  My suggestion that now she could lean against the wall to her right was not warmly welcomed.

Exciting times here in the Big Town!  I’m not entirely sure I would want the part back (who knows what depravity that arm would be forced into in the ensuing hours) but if you spot a severed right arm on your travels around town, Bee sure to contact the pub.  Probably best not to touch it, though.

Posted April 23, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in art, Made Me Laugh

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Stagecoach Swindon’s Bus Depot Closure and Their Shitty Customer Service   1 comment

Last bus out of Eastcott Hill Depot

I like old buses, but I’ve been put on notice that if I start a notebook or go out bus spotting that would be considered grounds for divorce and fair enough to that.

bus enthusiasts

But, Jackie likes the historical and industrial design aspects of the machines so we found our way down to a one-off event on an old bus (a refurbished Bristol VR from the mid-1960s) along with a lot of other codgers (Jax was one of only 2 women on the trip and the other works for the bus company).

all aboard

It was kind of a cool ride as they took the long way to the bus station but the route headed down Marlborough Road prompting me to suggest that this was a ruse to round-up mental patients and we were soon to be under sedation with the rest of our cohort down at the hospital.  But, the bus turned at the last roundabout before the wards so we were safe.

bus has posh refurbishments

Some of these photos are from the event described in the earlier and the last paragraph of this post.  In the meantime, let me tell you about getting fucked by the bus company.

I started getting my ticket on a recurring monthly payment plan that is the same price as the 4 week ticket but for locking into monthly payments you get a full calendar month.  Turns out, that calendar month is only February in leap years.


Mine commenced the 1st day of February and ran until the 29th like it was supposed to.  Cool.

Monthly or 29 day

The next payment was automatically withdrawn and March was credited as 1-29 March.  When I asked about this, daily, for 3 days I eventually got a response — not about the shortage of credits but about the date my payments were due each month (which I didn’t ask in any of my correspondence).  After several more emails explaining that fact, I was told that they consider a month to be 4 weeks “which is 28 days.”  I wrote three more times explaining that the 1st to the 29th is in fact 29 days (you know…the 1st is one day, the 1st and 2nd are two days, the 1st through 3rd are three days…extrapolate) and that the company’s Terms and Conditions which prompted me to spend my cash in good faith explicitly says it is a monthly ticket.  No response to any of that so now I have to go through a fucking arbitrator.  Assholes.  You can understand why there are signs all over the place begging that you don’t assault the staff.


In Atlanta, the bus depot (where they go after the last ride of the day) is called Laredo, which made it sound like the end of the cattle drive (which is oddly appropriate for public transport).  But, I like old buses so I jumped at the opportunity to ride the last one out of the old depot in our neighbourhood.  Despite their shitty customer service that would get them shot in an old west cow town: “Happy Trails!”


Vintage Bus Ride


Posted March 6, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Obits

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