Friday, January 20, 2012

A Return to the Barrels: Hereford, England

Most of my closet and dearest friends to me I have met somewhere on the road. I do not see them every week or every year for that matter but they have touched my life like no one else has and will always stay close to my heart. As well with them no time or distance will ever disrupt our friendship. I consider my friend Pip to be one of these nearest and dearest. I met her in 2006 when I first left Canada to live in England but ended up on the Greek island of Santorini. It was a summer that changed my life and that I will never forget. I worked as a waitress in a cocktail bar and Pip kind of worked…but mostly drank. She was one of my customers but we became fast friends in a crazy tiny village with only two roads; the Beach Road and the Main road.

I had been to Hereford years ago to visit Pip when I was living in Southampton with the Ex. That weekend was a hazy blur of cider, ales, red wine, Mika and Dolly Parton. Pip’s mother owns the biggest pub in town and I arrived right in the middle of their annual charity beer festival. I had volunteered to work but could only get paid in pints. After pulling ales all day and into the night the pub would close at eleven then the staff would start to drink in the early hours of the morning. We carried on the drinking back at Pip’s house where every morning we would pass out on the floor of her living room listening to the best cheesy pop music.

Four years later I found myself again taking the train and making my way to the Quintessential English town of Hereford, home of the Mappa Mundi and The Barrels Pub. I was returning to pub life in England.

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