Leaving a Bitter Taste

A gin and a flight in TANK

I am a beer drinker.

My taste in beer is pretty broad – I like light beers and dark beers; hoppy beers and malty beers; session beers and strong ales.

But until recently, the one over-riding consideration was that they are cask ales, not keg.

Lately I have been challenging my prejudices around this and increasingly trying craft keg ales – and often they are very good. However, there is something about the whole craft ale craze that leaves a bitter taste. Continue reading

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A Romantic Sunset

P1080835_edited-2A few weeks ago we returned from a week’s holiday in Santorini.

Santorini is a bucket-list destination for many people and it has a great reputation for romantic sunsets.

I can attest that Santorini is a beautiful island and well worth a visit. However, the romantic sunsets aren’t all that they appear. Continue reading

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When is a Beer Not a Beer?

Delirium RedIt may come as a surprise to those who know me, but I quite like beer.

As a rule, my preference is for traditional cask ale, but I am aware that this makes me a bit of a dinosaur in this age of craft beer. I therefore decided I should broaden my horizons and experiment more in this ever-growing pool of possibility; see what I’ve been missing.

To this end, earlier this week I attended the Rebel Beer Club at Tank in Gloucester, the bar owned by Gloucester Brewery.

It was an extremely enjoyable evening, but it got me wondering – when is a beer not a beer? Continue reading

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The four categories of music

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Quireboys on the Riverside Stage at Upton Blues Festival – Category A

It’s been quite a week.

Last weekend I was at Upton Blues Festival. This meant I missed the start of the Gloucester Blues Festival, but I’ve been trying to make up for it ever since and have been in town enjoying the music – and beer – on offer every evening this week.

During the week I’ve decided that when watching live bands there are only four meaningful categories of music. Continue reading

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Making it up as you go along

It’s been a long few days.

For the past several weeks my mum has been very ill following an unsuccessful cancer operation. As the weekend approached her health deteriorated rapidly and, with my brother and his family, we took turns to keep vigil, trying to keep her as comfortable as possible.

At some point over the weekend I found myself sitting with my two nieces aged 17 and 21. The eldest of them is just about to embark on the exciting new adventure of getting her first flat.

Continue reading

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A Memorable Occasion


We finally found The Lost Gardens of Heligan

We recently returned from a very enjoyable holiday to Cornwall in TVWNN*.

This holiday was most unusual because the sun shone for most of the time we were away – not something we are used to when we go away in TVWNN.

The first weekend fell over the early May bank holiday, when the weather was glorious – the hottest early May bank holiday since records began or something.

We had booked a few nights at a campsite near Mevagissey, right next to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which were the main purpose of this part of our holiday.

This was the first time we had visited the gardens, but not the first time we had tried.

I can tell you exactly when we last planned to visit: it was a very memorable date. Continue reading

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Gloucester CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival 2018 – The One That Nearly Got Away!

FB-Banner-IMG-9138[This article was written for the Gloucester CAMRA Beer Festival Website]

There are some events that mark a milestone in the year: events that you look forward to from one year to the next; events that you plan your life around so that you don’t miss them.

For me and many beer and cider drinkers in the Gloucester area – and indeed for some from far flung corners of the country and even the world – one such event is the annual Gloucester CAMRA Beer & Cider Festival

It is back again for its sixth year on the 27 to 28 April, and is once again at the historic Blackfriars Priory in Gloucester.

However, this year it almost didn’t happen. Continue reading

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