Sunday lunch and the cat palace

On Easter weekend and on Mother’s Day Lou and I managed perfectly well at getting Sunday lunch without booking, but today we left it too late and we were both properly hangry. The first place we tried had all the people that think having a vintage car is a way to make friends. The barman gave us short shrift and turned us away. Damn. The hunger-rage was escalating as we rolled around the downs being politely turned away until The Half Moon in Plumpton squeezed us in and fed us beautifully. It’s part of the Middle Class English Sunday Experience, driving from place to place being told they can’t fit you in for Sunday roast. I’ve been turned away from as many excellent places as have made room. One time last year we were so hungry we just sat down anyway and ordered three packets of crisps and a slice of cake. But the English dining experience involves “sorry, no.”

Up above the pub there’s a patch of green, and somebody has banged together a nine hole DIY mini golf course there over lockdown. The fences are all pristine, and it’s cleverly organised to take up very little space. It looks like it’s all been built with patience and care, and I was pleased to see some families making use of it. It felt like a good family pub, The Half Moon. Lively and friendly together. Lots of people of all ages. Room to run around. Things to do. Most of the waiting staff seemed like they must have been at school still and doing a summer Sunday job. Friendly and not fully confident but trying their best. Full time staff seem to be hard to find around here – most of the pubs have signs up asking for staff. You could see they were run off their feet but they still made room for us, God bless them. We were getting to the stage where we would have immolated ourselves and each other out of pure refined starvation rage. I had lamb and my only regret is ordering a ginger beer which was Britvic and made me want a glass of wine instead. I inhaled it and the world shifted back into alignment.

After lunch we grabbed a blanket from Bergman and we flopped down on the grass in the sun. I even took my shirt off. It is finally possible. Oh hell I’ve been looking forward to some warmth in the air. Families were running around playing frisbie. We were essentially in an overflow carpark. But we wanted to lie in the sun and it felt like a rare window to do so without cold wind. When Lou is at the cat palace, her primary focus is the cats so we can never spend too long fannying around looking for the perfect place to languish in the sunshine. So we plopped down on some green and lay there prone, soaking up the prana.

Now it’s back with the cats. One of them has decided to try and sleep on my toes. I’ll attempt to accommodate him but it isn’t going to go well for him. I’m a wriggler.

This is the last time I’ll get here for a few weeks. Damn. It’s a gorgeous place to be.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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