Thursday, 4 October 2018

Enter The Dragon


THE start of this month saw me in North Wales with the Honourable Order of Bass Drinkers, writes Roy.
I've been a member almost 30 years but have a shameful attendance rate at monthly meetings, averaging once every five years.
This was my first overnight outing with the Bass beer appreciation society. Enticingly, our location was also the setting for my most recent novel, Waiting For The Ferryman - fourth in the Sam Stone Investigates series of light thriller/romances.
The weather was sunny and our 16-seater bus cheerfully weighed down with stalwart members from the Fylde and Manchester areas, where the HOBD was formed and holds most meetings. We arrived at lunchtime in the medieval, walled fishing port of Conway - to find the Welsh dragon rampant!
A beer festival had drawn crowds to the quayside beside our first destination - the tiny Liverpool Arms (pictured). That could explain why it had run out of Draught Bass. However, the local Orme brewery's outstanding bitter ale helped make up for this setback.
Savouring fish and chips on the hoof, so to speak, we gamely ventured onward to the salubrious Victoria Hotel and more historic hostelries at Menai and Beaumaris on Anglesey. What a beautiful location this was and how hospitable the natives!
Incidentally, these locals are named Gwlad y Medra, which I'm told translates as 'Land of the Can Do'. Despite any practical prowess (or bragging of such), the Welsh generally make jokes about islanders of Anglesey, rather like the English about Irishmen. However, we found them real Angels!
Anglesey was known as the Shady or Dark Isle, but the only hint of shadowy menace came on our night-time climb up steps to the hotel from our evening meal at another quayside inn. No fewer than two veteran - even venerated - members stumbled by the wayside and required first-aid back in the bar.
Some never learn, I hear you mutter, but then we never do things by halves either. Let's welcome life's ups and downs, for it's a drama wherein we are all players - with many roles . . .
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So, Yaki Da to you all! 

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