Day 2 cntd (25th Oct 2008)
INTERLUDE – Essential Pub Conversations No 4: What the Hell are we going to call this Blog?
As we moved further along in our colossal task, we realised that we were going to have to start telling the world about our adventures, which in turn led to the marvellous blog you see before you now.
Before we started any sort of creative tale-telling, however, we had to address the most important issue regarding any publication – What the hell are we going to call it?
During our original research, we had those heady times when we thought the whole thing was probably going to take nine days in total. So Mr Lewis came up with the clever working title “One Over the Eight” which would potentially describe both the accurate duration of the challenge, and the condition we would be in at the end of each merry day.
Of course we then realised that there were a lot more stations than we first thought, and the trip was going to take a lot longer than we thought. Right then, new name required.
Obviously this sort of creative brainstorming could only really happen in one environment – down the pub.
So, we nursed some more liquid brain food, got some input from friends and family, and threw a whole bunch of ideas around – some of which were simple and sensible, some of which were frankly silly. We shoved them all together into the final list you see before you.
Still, I think we got the balance about right in the end with our Smokey Robinson tribute, but I do also think there are a couple of crackers below……
The Original Idea –
“One over the eight”
More realistically –
“Eight over the Eight”
Keeping it Simple –
“The Tube Challenge”
“Down the Tube”
“Drinking the Tube”
Literary (with apologies to Jules Verne) –
“Around the Town in Eight-ish Days”
“Around the Town in Eighteen Days”
Literary (with apologies to Douglas Adams) –
“The Beer Seekers Guide to the Underground”
“Beer, the Underground and Everything”
“So Long, and Thanks for all the Beer”
Literary (with apologies to Jonathan Swift) –
Musical (with apologies to The Jam/The Clash)
Cinematic (with apologies to Kubrik) –
“2009: A Beer Odyssey”
Cinematic (with apologies to De Niro, Cimino, Walken and pals)
“The Beer Hunter(s)”
Children’s TV! (with thanks to Mrs West, and apologies to Mike Batt)
“Underground, Overground, Wobbling Free…..”
Not forgetting the eventual, musical, winner (with apologies to Smokey Robinson) –
“The Tracks of My Beers”
The Castle (Acton Town) 2 x ½ London Pride £2.85
Ok, so The Castle wasn’t actually that far from the entrance to station, but unfortunately the entrance itself seemed to be 200 yards up an alley leading from the platform.
This one was another Fullers pub, with a very good drop of London Pride on offer. It was also yet another site that was preparing for a Halloween party, and it probably deserved to be a bit busier than it actually was. It may have been a victim of the time of day we visited, but there was definitely something missing (atmosphere and customers again).
Mind you, having the X Factor blaring out of all three TVs around the bar might have had something to do with that. Some might suggest that having Cheryl Cole on big screen TV and High Definition is no bad thing, but when you can hear her as well, it’s not so great. And as for Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh……..
“Pleasant but not outstanding” said the notes, and that pretty much sums The Castle up. Given that we were sneaking towards the evening at this point, and we had still seen zero fancy dress action, they could have at least got the staff dressed up in suitably ghoulish costumes ready for their party.
East Acton Snooker Club (East Acton) 2 x ½ Grolsch £3.20
According to abeerintheevening.com, the nearest pub to East Acton is the Goldsmiths Arms. Our hastily scribbled research notes suggested that we needed to “Turn left, then turn right, then go under the Westway, then turn right again. Pub is just over half a mile away”.
Not the best directions to start with, but coupled with our lack of orienteering skills we were probably never going to find it. The darkness had fallen, we were weary, and frostbite and blisters were a real danger (in our own minds, anyway). As I looked up and down the street for any sort of informative road sign, Keith had already noticed what was clearly the nearest licensed premises to the station, which was the East Acton Snooker Club. We decided to embrace the spirit of adventure and investigate this one further, and Mr Lewis duly employed his famous diplomatic skills to get us in, telling the steward that we were considering joining the club.
After we were buzzed upstairs we were given the full tour of the club (by Pat, who was a very nice bloke) before settling back with our two halves of Grolsch.
So, I can tell you that the snooker club has 14 full sized tables across two rooms, plus 6 large American Pool tables and one poker table. It also had the most rank, foul tasting Grolsch I have ever had the misfortune to taste. We debated the merits of arguing and sending it back, but in that strangely British way, we decided not to let it bother us.
To add insult to injury, Pat then came out (nice bloke but clearly shrewd) with two application forms, and reminded us that we needed to pay our £2 per person “Guest” Membership for the night.
Well at this stage, we were compelled to do what any self respecting true Brits would do – i.e. we pursed our lips, paid the money and said nothing.
That was an expensive pint of crap beer. Pat – if you ever happen to read this – you are a nice bloke, but for god sake clean your lines and get some fresh beer on….