Bewilderment, a bridge, some beer, and a small blue dog

Here we are in pre-Brexit Britain, and what a state they are in…

As visitors, we’ve listened with a sympathetic ear, and then dulled the pain and propped up the economy by making sizeable contributions to the beer and hospitality industry.

On the Brexit front, conversations participated in and overheard have left the impression that regular folks are exhausted, disappointed with leadership, and baffled and bewildered by what might (or might not) happen next. With the deadline a mere two weeks away, it appears uncertainty rules the land.

The Ironbridge iron bridge

We’ve been happily catching up with friends and family, and happily staying in pubs and forcing ourselves to drink a variety of on tap beers. The Bird in Hand, a pub dating back to the early 1700s, was our first rest stop, and it was delightful. Brasses on the wall, black and white timbered interior, a location above the fast-flowing Severn River in the Ironbridge valley – birthplace of the industrial revolution, and now a pretty world heritage site – we were cocooned in essence of English pub. Steve, the friendly landlord, recommended the Cheltenham Gold, and who were we to argue? A wonderful pint.

Old Speckled Hen and a pint of Cheltenham Gold? Balm for the Brexit blues…

From Ironbridge we had a short drive up to my Dad’s hillside farm in Wales, and it being Wales, we were treated to sunshine, sleet, snow and rain all within minutes of each other. We were also treated to green valleys, fields of sheep, and thousands of daffodils. A host, even…


Meandering conversations by the wood burner, fuelled by coffee and something a little stronger, are what is best about visiting with Mr. and Mrs. Old OldPlaidCamper, and we were sorry, as always, to be moving on when we left. We did leave with a smile, because we got to meet my Dad’s newish canine companion, his four legged best friend (he denied it, never one to admit sentiment toward a furry friend, but we weren’t fooled one bit) and this was Blue, the prettiest little daschhund you’ll ever see!


Mrs. Old OldPlaidCamper is a big fan of wolves, and she’s looking forward to the day we manage to photograph one out on the coast. We send her pictures of Scout doing wolf impressions, but she isn’t fooled.

Not a wolf?

As I write this, we are sitting in The Woolpack Inn, an old pub located a short hike from Hardknott Pass and Roman fort. Their Hardknott Pass golden ale is just the ticket. We thought so after one pint, and this was confirmed by the second.


Weather permitting, or not permitting, we are heading out shortly to take in the views, with heavy rain and strong winds being our likely companions as we stride onwards and upwards. We know there’ll be a pint of something good when we head back down, and my brother should have arrived – he’ll be nursing his own glass of something good, and holding a space for us by the fire…

They heard we were visiting…

The internet is sketchy here, so I hope this makes it out. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

16 thoughts on “Bewilderment, a bridge, some beer, and a small blue dog”

  1. As I write this, I’ve just learned of the Mosque attacks in New Zealand (?!). I can’t say that I fully understand the complexities of Brexit, but I understand angst and anxiety, because any sentient person who isn’t a racist (expletive deleted) in this country should be unsettled by the doofus that occupies the highest office in this land. I can’t imagine the feeling of our global neighbors who have a minor league despot serving (and I use that term loosely) for probably two more years, at least. I can’t understand why so many of my countrymen are ok with the constant circus of ineptitude and illegality that is on display daily. I can’t imagine hating a group of people so much that my life’s mission is to destroy them. All of which is a long way around of saying that I wish I could join you on your travels on the “Old Sod” Adam. Anywhere seems better than here right now.


    1. Bob, with each week (day? hour?) that passes, we are left shaking heads in disbelief and sometimes simply shaking with anger. The divisive discourse and bile that seems to be spewed out in sound bites and twitter feeds is hard to fathom – and the fact that so many are comfortable and prepared to buy in to the bull. The NZ events are the latest items to horrify, and I have to confess to feeling relief (and some guilt) that we are staying in hillwalking country and literally felt the need to climb above it all, as an escape and an attempt to try and understand what the hell is going on. A measure of calm at any rate. A head in the sand, or clouds, response to current global/local woes…
      We sincerely hope our southern neighbors see sense in 2020 and do the right thing. You have to hope!


  2. Adam, I’ll ditto the above sentiments expressed by you & Bob. This country’s idiot-in-charge makes daydreams of visiting an older & currently more sane land, such as Wales, oh so sweet. Enjoy your friends & family, those tasty pints, as well, and scratch those friendly canine ears for all of us back here enjoying the reports of your journey.


    1. Well, Wayne, since you wrote that comment, the Brexit circus just got stranger – what a mess…
      Nope, no green pints for us, and I’ll let Mrs. PC Sr. know you’re the man to see about a wolf!


  3. There is no doubt that Blue is the prettiest little dachshund I have ever seen and that your contribution to the local beer industry may require you to take another vacation to recover from this vacation!! Thanks for sharing your wonderful travels and the history of The Bird In Hand and a few of your favorite beers! I keep following the Brexit news and, of course, the daily political events here and exhausted and disappointed are two perfect descriptions. Loved the photo of Scout, laughed at that last photo of The Bird in Hand and enjoy those short walks and long visits at the pub!!


    1. Thank you! Blue is quite the little bundle of energy, great fun to be around.
      We are slowing down somewhat on the beer front, simply couldn’t maintain the pace!
      It’s been fun to watch the Champions League and Premiership in real time, in a pub, and imagine my surprise when Everton beat Chelsea!
      Brexit throws up new and interesting twists almost by the hour, and the atmosphere surrounding it is quite something. We couldn’t possibly have lived here through it and stayed sane…
      I hope all is well with you, and perhaps spring is looking more real now?!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i wandered lonely as a cloud, over hill and over dale, when all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils…one of my favourites from childhood and am grateful for search engines that will help me look up the rest of the lyrics.. I like the details on that bridge and Blue is a beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Three months later and we are still in a state of bewilderment. We are also in states of denial, tribalism and fantasy. Thanks for your post.
    This comment would not have been possible without the intervention of Gadds No3 from the Ramsgate Brewery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc, I hope you’ve got a good supply of your favourites from the Ramsgate Brewery, because from this distance, watching things unfold, I think you’re going to need to open another one. And another…
      Thanks for stopping by, much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

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