Day 2 cntd (Oct 25th 2008)
Pillar to Post (Osterley) ½ Cobra, ½ Strongbow £3.00
There was some contention about this one, which in turn led to walking stupid distances in search of a beer. Our research was suggesting that the nearest pub was nearly a mile away, across the A4 and almost back to East Hounslow. We of course couldn’t accept that and decided to ask the locals – the locals being the two station attendants having a crafty fag outside Osterley Station.
“Pillar to Post is the nearest. Turn left, 5 minutes walk up to the traffic lights”.
We asked an elderly lady after 5 minutes walk:
“Keep going, it’s about another 20 minutes”
Thankfully we then found a chap who walked at a slightly brisker pace:
“You’re on the right track, and its less than 10 minutes to the lights”
And so it was, we came to the Osterley Park Hotel, home to a large Indian restaurant and The Pillar to Post Bar.
It’s a fairly large place with three big screens in the bar (which were helpfully showing some Heineken Cup Rugby at the time), and a pool table in one corner. We were Served by Sarina, a very charming lady with a happy face and a strange high five obsession. Seriously, anyone who came within her reach was high fived, including myself, Keith, and one of the regulars who must have been at least 70.
Bless her, she was also equipped with a sense of humour – when we asked for the two drinks, she promptly deadpanned, “Sorry we don’t served halves.”
We of course felt the need to explain our mission at that point, which elicited firstly a roar of laughter, secondly “Why?” (An increasingly good question), and finally “Well halves are ok then – when you first ordered I thought you must just be lightweights”.
Clearly an able salesperson, she then advised us to abandon our task, “Why don’t you just do the top shelf while you watch the rest of the rugby?” she asked.
Tempting, but we needed to move on and drink some more ale. Unfortunately we seemed to be in a sort of Piccadilly Line Innkeeping desert, with no cask beer in the Pillar, or the previous bar, or, as we would soon discover, the next two pubs either.
One final point about the Pillar – I don’t know what it says about the customers here but the Gents boasted a machine that sold not only Condoms, but also “the original Little Blue Pill”. Someone wants to make sure that the customers have EVERY chance of having a good time….
INTERLUDE: Essential Pub Conversations No 3: Who are the early picks for the Lions Test XV against South Africa for Summer 2009?
Lets pick a subject that’s gonna cause a bit of debate shall we?
It has to be said that this particular conversation actually went on for weeks, and has already been the cause of many toys being thrown out of many prams. It is important to note – and we can’t stress this enough! – that all of said discussions took place BEFORE the 2009 Six Nations Championship, so we didn’t have the benefit of the Irish Grand Slam to influence our choices…..
The main contributors then – Messrs Lewis (Welsh) and West (English), Mr Liam Waugh (very Scottish, and married to an Irish Rugby fan, Mairead), plus contributions from Mr Gareth West (somehow Welsh, despite being born in Barnet), and a host of others sticking their oars in where possible. This produced an ever so slightly Celtic bias to the conversation, which, coupled with the fact that I was very down after England’s dismal Autumn Internationals, did not bode well for English players.
So where did we end up then? Well we eventually came up with a starting fifteen that was (almost) universally agreed upon, and which we fully expect to be greeted with howls of derision from everyone who knows better:
Lions Test XV 2009 (If the Test was played in the first week of January!)
15. L Byrne (Wal)
14. P Sackey (Eng)
13. B O’ Driscoll (Ire)
12. G Henson (Wal)
11. S Williams (Wal)
10. R O’Gara (Ire)
9. M Phillips (Wal)
8. R Jones (Wal)
7. M Williams (Wal)
6. J White (Sco)
5. P O’Connell (Ire, Capt)
4. D O’Callaghan (Ire)
3. E Murray (Sco)
2. J Flannery (Ire)
1. G Jenkins (Wal)
The Bench: M Blair (Sco), S Jones (Wal), A Sheridan (Eng), L Mears (Eng), A Powell (Wal)
So there you go. Probably more Scots and Welsh than will actually feature (sorry guys), but I think we will have got the Captain and at least one of the wingers right (World Player of the Year Shane!). Apologies to the “World’s Best Kicker” (Chris Patterson) and various other excellent backs (on current form, having Sackey in there is slightly embarrassing).
Feel free to be outraged and tell us exactly how stupid we are, but remember, this was picked BEFORE the Six Nations. That is our excuse and we are sticking firmly to it.