Saturday, 15 July 2017
Not drowning but waving
The Germans are arriving next week. This will be their first visit since the Brexit vote.
Tobias (the other one) sent me a message the morning after the vote, saying that the whole of Germany felt like a bride left jilted at the altar. Since we are going to spend the next two years working out the terms of the divorce, this was not a good metaphor. Far better to have never married in the first place.
They will, of course, find things very much the same as their last visit. We will eat a bit, drink a bit, talk a lot, and they will make a walk to Bradford on Avon via the towpath, or maybe bus there and walk back. They will not be able to drive to the Cotswolds to visit our mutual and dear friend, Colin, this time. He is dead, but they know that.
We will go to The Bell and Thomas will be greeted like an old friend. I think he likes the place more than I do, but absence makes the heart grow fonder and he is not an alcoholic who is pestered by other alcoholics every day. They were once watching a travel program in Germany which featured Bath as a holiday destination, and it included some footage of the interior of the pub. I was there, sitting at the bar with a pint of something in front of me. I don't remember it being filmed, but that isn't surprising - by which I mean cameras are so much smaller these days, not that I was pissed.
During the run-up to the Brexit vote, Nigel Farage arrived at The Bell, accompanied by a camera team with journalists. They all piled in and Farage was just about to order the signature pint, when the barman told him that he would be served only if the camera team stayed on the outside. They all piled out again to film Farage, but this time without a pint in his hand.
During his speech, a friend of mine walked up behind him and made the universal masturbating sign over his head. 'The Farage Wave' was born. The resulting film found its way onto the national news plus media, and you can still find this footage somewhere on the net. The above is a still - hand a-blur. The bodyguard looks a bit concerned, but there was nothing he could do about it. It is, as they say, a free country.
I have just refreshed my love for The Bell by reminding myself of that day.
Posted by Tom Stephenson at 03:40