Tuesday, 16 August 2016

BRAPA - Mid Wales : Bad Ankle, Good Anchor. (Part 1 of 3)

I'm pretty sure that when Mum and Dad invited me the chance to tag along with their Welsh holiday, they knew that the biggest factor (along with their obviously great company) was the chance for me to tick off some pubs which might not be easily achieved due to (a) lacking public transport and (b) weird opening hours.

NOT that I was taking it too seriously, but I did make sure this map was at the the forefront of their consciousness .....

Could I get all six done?  Well, this was no ordinary BRAPA trip out as it wasn't totally in my hands.  My frustrations were bubbling under early doors, as a stop in Oswestry for a cheese and ham toastie was all well and good, but with neither pub ticked off, this was torture for my BRAPA brain.

On a happier note, Dad had programmed our stoic male SatNav companion (Mum wanted the jabbering female but was overruled) to stop at pub number 4 on my map, and after a few winding roads across the border, we were there and hurrah, it was open!

Celebrating the first of (hopefully) many Powys ticks.
991.  Wynnstay Inn, Llansillin

As I sped round to the bar where four companionable locals were chatting nonsense with the archetypal Welsh barman, I had to laugh when I saw York Guzzler as one of the two beers!  At least that gave me a route into conversation "we're from York don't you know?" (surely enough to impress such yokels .... only kidding) and I then embarrassed Dad accidentally by making him pronounce Bwlych-Y-Cibau, where we were staying.  One local claimed Welsh was the easiest phonetic language ever "much easier than English" so Mum and Dad motioned me and our excellent pints of Big Shed Tyger Tyger to a bench table before I got embroiled in any arguments.  Mum had a lemonade and revealed she rated it quite highly and it might be included in her forthcoming 'Good Pub Lemonade Guide'.   The pub decor was all superheroes and salamanders, a weird combination, Star Wars quite prevalent, but incredibly basic and Mum commented she could not imagine feeling appetised enough to eat in here (I had a feeling I'd see at least one less appetising pub this holiday!)  A bit of excitement as I went back for half a Guzzler out of curiosity (poor and according to Dad, he'd heard them whispering it was about to go off) when the landlord, who was quite deaf, had the loudest mobile phone ring ever witnessed in a pub EVER, he couldn't remember it was hiding on a window sill, and then the cash till bit his hand Arkwright style.  A quirky start to Welsh pubbing.

Vintage tractors in the pub car park

York Guzzler, can you believe it?

Spiderman unimpressed with Batman's Prosecco crotch.

After checking in, it was decided that after the long drive, pubbing would be resumed tomorrow so I set Dad to work combining pubs 5 and 6 with a walk around Caersws.....

All seemed set for a straightforward holiday - long walk, 2 pubs, food, sleep, long walk, 2 pubs etc etc.  But it's when you start think like that when BRAPA bites you on the bottom.

The first bite happened that evening as we sat down to our evening Ploughman's, two bats got in and started circling us menacingly (no literal bites to the bottom though).

That might have been a bad omen, as the following day, me and Dad unfairly made Mum jump across a ditch she wasn't comfortable with and her ankle went SNAP and she went down.  Ouch.  After carrying her back through field after field, we were soon in Shrewsbury Infirmary (I'd done most of my pub ticks in Shrews so had been edging towards Aberystwyth's A&E) and luckily, it wasn't broken!

Mum in good spirits despite her ankle woes.
To Mum's absolute credit, she looked up at her lowest ebb and almost like a dying wish, told me to ensure that whatever happened, I got the Anchor-Anchor ticked off.  Proper Pub Mum!  Of course, my BRAPA mind interpreted this as "crack on with your entire pub plan and add a few cos that's all that is left for us now we can't do any walks".  

Meanwhile back in York, my sister's boyfriend reacted to the news by using an axe to smash a coconut.....

Random behaviour from Andy 

A bit of light reading and a cuppa (no beer today!)
Let us hope day 3 and 4 of the holiday could be more productive pub-wise, I had to make up for lost time and you want to read about pubs, not family drama!



  1. No, I want to read about family drama. I could ask you whether the Guzzler showed signs of increased IBUs since it's debut if you wanted me too.

  2. Haha good! Not sure all readers will agree. Tom might.

    Haha Oh gosh, please don't ask me things like that - hearing bottled Guzzler is now brewed in Stockport but cask still in York is too technical for me. You could give me a history of York brewery beers in mid-Wales though?

  3. If Andy Warhol had a taken a photo of "Ankle Injury leaflet" against "cat mug" on check tablecloth, it would sell for £7.8 million.

    1. That comment just made me spit tea (from my cricket mug on a marble(?) table) all over the place!! Superb.

    2. Is a cricket mug a special type of mug either for cricketers or those who study small insects, or is it a normal mug with a picture of Ian Botham or similar?

      I presume the marble table must be in a posh pub in Harrogate. I doubt they'd let me in.

    3. It is a mug with Victorian cricketers on like WG Grace and Wisden look very un-athletic.

      I got bored of stealing beermats and glasses from Harrogate pubs so have branched out into pub furniture. (not really if anyone from Harrogate without a sense of humour i.e. everyone in Harrogate, is reading).

  4. I agree with Martin. Family drama is welcome. Particularly if a video of people injuring themselves is included for the entertainment of evil bastards like myself. As I like to be nice on occasion, I do send Mummy Ev good wishes and hope she is on the mend.

    Your map is inaccurate. Neither Mid Wales nor Powys is a county. You will find most of your pubs in Montgomeryshire.

    I suspect I agree with the local. I have long thought that Welsh is probably quite an easy language to learn. The trouble is that lots of the letters mean different things, for example dd at the end of a word, such as Pontypridd, is pronounced th.

    1. The whole fact that "dd" is pronounced "th" just shows how unphoenetical (if that is a word) Welsh is. My Granddad for years (even beyond his death) is castigated for pronouncing Porthmadog as Porthmadog instead of Port Madoc. It's all wrong I tell thee! If Clun was in Wales, I bet it'd be spelt Llun.

    2. I'd be interested to see how the individual letters of the alphabet are pronounced. If they are also off then it may be more phonetic. Remember the French alphabet is different, I can still remember the song. An interesting factoid on this subject is that there is actually a special Welsh language edition of Scrabble, that even has amongst others an LL square, suggesting that things like that are somehow seen as different letters.