Archive for the ‘Uxbridge’ Tag

Loco’s, Brunel University Student Union, Uxbridge, Middlesex and the Visa Debacle of 1st June 2018   Leave a comment


Pub #2135:

Glossing over my reasons for being on campus, the mere fact that Brunel University HAS a campus (even an extremely small and modern one) made me long for something besides Oxford or Cambridge.  It lives up to the “Plate Glass University” category but that plate glass looks out on green neighbourhoods surrounding it.  It got its start as a Technical College and eventually got a Royal Charter as a University in 1966 (so, I’m about the same age as the Brunel College of Advanced Technology that preceded this version).  Finished with my visit, I decided to walk home and sought out pre-stroll fortification in the Student Union.

The bar there is called Loco’s and they were packed with right-around-19-to-21-year-olds, enjoying Friday evening with £1.50 pints.  It is a bit loud and very young, but the cricket was on a projector screen and some Ought-ies music videos playing on the tele: stuff their parents listened to while conceiving these engineers (and whatever else is taught here).  The bar food looks like what you might imagine: tempting with the cheap beer, but not to make a meal out of.

Cool, I guess.  Nerd University cool, not party school cool but I’ve got degrees from both types.  While in school, it seemed like any bar would do and it was only years later I even began to notice how they reflect a targeted demographic within their host institutions.  Guess I’m just slow.

Added Saturday morning regarding the Visa payments crash: So, I got to the bar and was told the transaction had to be “cash only.”  Fine, I had two rounds in coins at £1.50 a pop and really only planned to stay for one.  I asked if the interwebs were down but the bargirl said it was just the card reader.  I didn’t think about it again and headed home after my short stay in the nursery.

On the way, I stopped at Waitrose in Ruislip and got some fixings for a fish pie and picked up a nice bottle of wine and, as they were on sale, a bottle each of bourbon and better-quality-than-normal gin.  Everything rang up at about 50 quid and I put in my card to pay only for it to be rejected.  “Is that Visa?” asked the cashier.  I said yes and a floor walker appeared and took me, the unpaid receipt, and my packed shopping to the front desk where the chaos I now noticed at the tills was distilled into a concentrated form.

“Do you have another card type?” one of the beleaguered staff asked while waving a card reader at me. I told them “no” and asked if the cash machine was affected.
“It works, but this has been going on all afternoon and it is out of cash.” She then looked at the packed bag, me, the receipt, and me again then whispered, “oh, just go with your groceries.”
“Are you sure?”
“Just be quiet about it,” and she handed me the receipt. I wish I had bought more stuff, now.



Posted June 1, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Whelan’s. Uxbridge, Middlesex   Leave a comment


Pub #1960:

I had a half hour to kill, Friday, before Jackie arrived in Uxbridge for our wine tasting event. There’s not really much to occupy that short amount of time, there, so I sought out a pub (of course) finding Whelan’s — surprisingly, one that had not previously featured in this Endless British Pub Crawl.

Inside, it is frighteningly similar to what passes for an Irish-themed bar in the States. I understand they do folk music from time-to-time, but I fear it would be a sad imitation of the real thing (or is that te rail ting?).




Across from me, a pair of lads in their late 20s was having what was probably an after work pint. One of them was wild-eyed and probably coked up or just excited by his partner’s companionship. Either way, he was fairly loudly explaining everything he knew about stout which was, essentially, it takes a while to pour properly. Grimacing with each sip of his Guinness, he happily — and unconvincingly — proclaimed his life-long love of the black stuff.

I finished my house ale, a viscous brown soup that tasted strongly of linseed oil and floor polish (which are not bad things, in my assessment) before the tops of the lower-case lettering on their Guinness pints were exposed. They were definitely in the right bar. Me…not so much.


Posted October 23, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Empire of Booze with Henry Jeffreys   1 comment


This was a fun evening.  Sponsored by the Hillingdon Borough Council and Majestic Wines, Henry Jeffreys gave a brief lecture on his book, Empire of Booze, and illustrated the concepts with appropriate (and fairly generous) tipples.



We were met at the door to the Uxbridge Library with complimentary large vessels of wine — red for me and white for Jackie (for that is our way).  At this point, we were breaking even on the evening’s ticket price but the lecture was still twenty minutes from commencing.



Our fearless leader took us to France with a lovely Bordeaux to introduce us to Claret, then moved on to Sicily for Marsala (the wine of Nelson’s officers).  This was a dry Marsala and very nutty and strongly aromatic — not at all like the sweet stuff we used to cook with in our days, decades ago, in Italian kitchens in Atlanta.  It has the unfortunate name of Terre Arse.  We’ve already got this one, and the Port-styled Tawny (below, from Australia) earmarked for our Christmas arsenal.



Looking back over my brief notes, I reckon the best suggestion for a food accompaniment would be the dish known as a Fixed Bayonet … chicken stuffed with chillies then boiled in rum.  As scrumptious sounding, easily, as the Iron Duke, if it is even half as <ahem> interesting then we are in for a treat.  I just have to find a suitably inexpensive bottle to use for the pot liquor.



Posted October 22, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Booze

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London Outer Orbital Path (Intro and Sections 11 & 12)   1 comment



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).

Weekend Runs, late February 2017   3 comments


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.




Posted February 26, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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Three Steps, Uxbridge, Middlesex   Leave a comment



The Three Steps appeared in the waning light of the early evening and I couldn’t resist.  It just looked so dodgy.  But, inside it was a friendly little beer house if a bit weird (the large circular room threw me a bit).  The couple running the place were awfully nice, though, and the Efes Pilsner was cold and bitter and what I wanted.




The pop music videos were a bit loud and not really my taste and the place seemed to already (or maybe still) have Christmas decorations.

But, they won me back with the toilet.  There was a video screen at eye level and three sensors in the urinal.  Once you have “started,” the screen shows Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Vladimir Putin taking the stream if you are on their sensor.  The recipients change from time to time, so I got to soak Bashar al-Assad for a while.  It’s worth a stop in just for this.




Posted October 24, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Waters Edge, Uxbridge, Middlesex   Leave a comment


Running from the Paddington Packet Boat to head back into the Uxbridge town centre, I opted for the canal tow path.  Down at the bridge, the Water’s Edge looked from the outside more like a boat supply shop than a pub and even after I found the entrance it looked more like the clubhouse for the ‘canal cottages” than a purveyor of intoxicating beverages.




But, inside it is quite nice and reminded me of one of the more civilised Florida beachside bars.  I opted for Shedhead then noticed that it was made in Sweden which led to a

wide-ranging conversation with the landlady about the beer, the appearance of the pub, the internet being out due to Network Rail cutting the lines (the Packet Boat had been on “cash only” due to this), the electrification of the rail out to Wales, shopping in Swindon, and gay pride festivals in small towns.  Fantastic.




Posted October 24, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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