It’s Shoe Time in the Pub
We returned to gorgeous weather in England and took advantage of the dry, warm day to hike Caradoc Hill. A Bronze Age hill fort and the promise of moderate hiking drew us to this trail. About two hours up and down, the path took us through meadows filled with sheep and to craggy outcroppings used by pre-historic warriors to protect their settlement. The shape of the fort, undetectable from the bottom of the hill, is easy to discern from the top.
After dinner this evening, we made our way to the Royal Oak Pub in the small village of Cardington. My husband, Frank, joined local musicians in a caleigh, a music celebration. We had a great time. Twenty or thirty people sang and danced and enjoyed the music. There's a special community feel about a pub in full swing. We met interesting people who live nearby: among them a graduate student in American Literature, a prison guard, a lawyer, a retired rock musician, and a surveyor.
The pub scene has changed for many towns and villages. Small business owners who ran these family bars for generations have been closing or selling out to large corporations. An increased emphasis on profit and the ban on smoking in pubs have sent many drinkers home and away from the Cheers-like fun we enjoyed tonight.