I got to the Wellington and Jinksy, Russell and Dingle Dave were already in there. I got myself a pint and joined them. Now usually, I try different ales from different breweries. The milk stout I had was so good, I had another. In fact, if I could’ve taken the beer engine with me, I’d have drunk it all day. It had coconut back notes for a start, I love coconut. Not only that, but it had a lovely creamy texture to it. Alan turned up, and once we’d all caught up, It was out to catch the bus.
The X10 arrived and we were on our way. Alan took the opportunity to put his Halesowen top on. Now the rest of us don’t do colours. So it was a bit odd with him sat there in his shirt. 1 Wolves, 1 Baggies, 3 Blues. That’s not supposed to happen is it? It does on the real ale scene. Now if we were Carling brigade then it would be totally different. We hit the Hagley road. It was getting on for almost 10 years since I came down this neck of the woods. It was actually a trail I did regularly when I was with an ex girlfriend. Her oldest lived in Quinton but closer to Halesowen than Brum. A few memories trickled back. Not good, not bad, just memories. A deaf couple got on with their kids. They were all signing to one another. One of the kids wasn’t deaf and kept saying “Superheroes” out loud. It was kind of cute and funny. Never enough to get on your nerves. Touch down Halesowen.
I was tagging along today so was going with the flow. We hit the Wagon and Horses first. A pub that’s part of the Black Country Ales chain. You can’t go wrong with any of their pubs. This one was one of their better ones though. It’s perfectly preserved. Warm and homely in feel. If you’re passing through, drop in, you won’t be disappointed. J.k. was already in situ. Along with a lad whose name escapes me. A Walsall fan who was into his rugby league too. Supports Warrington Wolves though calls them by their proper nickname of the Wire. Mainly because of his dislike of Wolves football club. Something that both Alan and Dave poke fun at with every opportunity. So there were, 4 Blues, 1 Baggies, 1 Wolves (Or is that two?) and 1 Walsall. The conversation thread moved on to watching sport in other countries, although I couldn’t contribute to the conversation, I did love listening to the rest talk about different places they’d been to, as if the places were a couple of miles away and not the other side of the world. It strengthened my ambitions to start going further afield once I’ve been to a few more non league grounds. I want to watch Hearts more, see St Helens in the rugby, see Warwickshire on a few more grounds, watch the Brummies in the speedway home and away. Start doing games abroad. Fiorentina, St Pauli, La Coruna, Willem ll, Cracovia. I want to do cricket in all the test playing nations, Miami Dolphins in American Football, the Heat in Basketball. Will I get to do it all? Won’t be for the want of trying. Bank Holiday trains and the engineering works disruption was talked about but then it was on to the King Edward. The pub was on the corner of the ground. What a great little pub to have next to the ground. I bought a pint and a cheese and ham cob for £4. Cheap? I couldn’t get away from the bar quick enough before he’d worked out he’d under charged me. The prices were something me and Russell got talking about. Neither of us could believe how cheap things were and how close it was to Brum and the prices we get charged there. Russell would move over there if he could, just because of the value for money you get. I wouldn’t because it’s just too far out for me but I could definitely see his point.
The King Edward, A proper pub.
It was after kick off when I’d paid £10 to get in and bought a programme for £2. The Yeltz were 1:0 down. Here I was, the Evo-stick league, Northern Premier. It had been a while since I’d watched a game this low down. This is a good level of football mind you. Halesowen share the same league as Stafford Rangers, Warrington Town, Hednesfield Town, Workington, Altrincham. Clubs that will have been heard of nationwide. The weather was beautiful, an extreme rarity for a Bank Holiday. Sutton Coldfield had got a proper trumpeter amongst their small band of fans. A much better trumpeter than the irritating one that gets free tickets off the F.A. to follow England round. If the consistently soulless and spineless performances by the English national side didn’t already put you off going, then the tuneless Sheffield Wednesday lot will. His near perfect rendition of Tequila deserved a shout of the word at the end. Well, It would’ve been rude not to. When I say that the level of football is good, I take Halesowen out of the equation. They’re struggling. 1:0 down almost before they’d even kicked off and with looking like they weren’t going to score if the trumpeter complete with trumpet was in goal for Sutton Coldfield, they compounded things by one of the home side getting sent off for a reacting to a foul. Basically, rush of blood headbutt, red card. We were off back to the pub for a half time pint. Alan went back for a bit more punishment, we stayed in the pub.
372 sunbathers but looked more. If Forrest Green can get in the league so can these.
A disappointed Alan joined us. It had finished 2:0. So there it was, I’d missed both goals. We had another pint in the King Edward and went back to the Wagon and Horses. It was on to the bus station then to find a bus home. One arrived and we all went upstairs. There was a kid, I say kid, anyone under 25 these days is a kid to me. He was late teens. He was on the phone to a mate. He was talking in street slang. Me and Russell started giggling and started mimicking. The others joined in. He must have realized how bad he sounded because he smiled. Each generation has their own words. Trying to fit in whilst trying to find themselves. Stamping their unique identity. Each generation wastes time doing it. The lad got off and we carried on trying to speak in street slang and laughing like prats. Happy drunk. We hit the P.O.V. When we got back. Darrell came in, he’d just finished work. Never great when you’re trying to get to the same level of banality. With an eye on the time. I left for home.