Old and Peculier

Well, the Greeks did used to say that one should “know thyself” – I believe they went so far as to carve it in stone near the Oracle at Delphi. Given the somewhat ambiguous nature of much of her prophecy, I suspect it was rather sensible advice (though famously ignored on at least one occasion).

Some may question the spelling in the title. This was chosen deliberately on the well-established principle that “two wrongs make a right”. It seems to work in politics and finance, so why not on a blog. If it looks like it might not be working, I am willing to go as far as three wrongs – but that’s my final offer!

The last post mentioned Old Peculier, once made by Theakston’s but long since swallowed up by a multinational. This led me to reminisce about similar experiences in the past. I remember a number of night walks across the North York moors fortified by knowledge that a pint of OP and a steak sandwich awaited the happy wanderer at the Lion on Blakey Ridge.

I do have some form with the sweeter beer. Back when I lived in Tyneside, a night at the Theatre Royal often included a bottle of Mackeson’s in the interval to accompany my ice cream. Not something I’d recommend with a more traditional bitter.

I alluded to the relative elusiveness of OP in the UK, but this is as nothing to its lack of availability overseas. The one (almost) exception was Canada and the town of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This used to have a brew pub (and it may still be there) which made a very passable (and potable) substitute which I enjoyed extensively on my one visit there (during a bus strike, which limited my mobility).

Halifax (the Canadian one) is a port of call for cruise ships from the US (so far as I know, the Yorkshire original cannot make this particular boast – but perhaps an enterprising liner captain could give it a go!). As I sat at the bar one afternoon, I small group of American “seniors” who seemed to have stepped straight off the set of the Golden Girls entered. They were after a sweet beer and seemed rather taken with my OP tribute act. However, given the notorious weakness of much US beer (and its similarity to kayak-based reproductive games), I did feel it was my duty to warn them of its strength alcohol-wise. I like to think that, in my small way, I reduced alcohol-driven foreign pensioner crime in Halifax that day.

In unrelated news, I quite like to imagine that in a few years (though the rate George Osborne is going this may be many years) I might be able to personally make good this liquor-based pensioner crime deficit – though I may not wish to hike all the way out to Nova Scotia in order to do so – as part of my plans to grow old disgracefully. But for now, I’m off to my straw-filled palliasse for some much needed Zs!

Feel free to continue the lunacy...

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