The North Devon Coast is a beautiful place to be and after the terrible month I had just experienced I was ready for some down time. The weather was on the whole sunny and warm and the scenery was breath-taking .
We spent days on the beach and nights together eating in mostly and sampling all the local ciders. It was nice to have all the family around the table for a change and the house and garden was big enough for us all to spread out relax. Crabs were caught and released, sand castles built and then squashed and the crashing, foaming waves negotiated with body boards. It was good to feel glad to be alive again and like the tides I felt my stress ebbing away.
We were staying in Braunton a large village whose adjacent coastline was miles of glorious sandy award winning beaches. It boasted some trendy restaurants and the usual local traditional pubs dotted about all vying for the local tourist trade. But the nightlife was sadly lacking not a club or wine bar with music ,in sight anywhere.
Whilst the couples amongst us slipped out for romantic dinners in rotation Olivia Laura and I were getting restless. By Thursday we were chomping at the bit and decided to head for the village and see what the local pubs had to offer. Hmm let me see Village pubs and three excitable ladies from London hardly a match made in heaven. But no one wanted to drive anywhere.
The George was first a large family pub half empty but at least playing some music. Ordering some large drinks we settled at a table to chat and check out the local talent. Hmm well there certainly wasn’t much of that. One quite interesting guy sat on his lone stool at the bar smiling to himself in our direction. I reckon he could sense our intentions and felt that if he had spoken he would have said ‘you’ve got no chance round here! . He was cute though. As we sat nursing our drinks my eye was drawn to a handwritten sign above the bar..it was amusing and there was me thinking it was a family pub.!!
Our first couple of drinks had an immediate effect as we had decided not to have dinner, we thought we could pick up some food on the way back. Giggling loudly we decided to try pub number two but not before I threw cute guy on stool a winning smile.
The Mariner’s Arms was even more traditional if that’s possible. As we peered through the window we groaned the average age group must have been 70! not a toyboy in sight. We hovered outside..arguing who would go in first pushing and shoving each other and laughing out loud we fell through the door.
We went to the bar and ordered and was immediately engaged in conversation by the group of grandads in the corner. They positively beamed and it seemed were delighted to have some younger female company. The cheekiest of the bunch an ex Londoner was quick to notice Laura’s long slim smooth legs and commented how great they were he then proceeded to pat them..often. This started a conversation about a TV advert regarding the hair removing system ‘No No’ it seems whatever your age EVERYONE hates that advert.
This lead on to Olivia discussing her hairy bits and how she would like laser treatment. The landlady joining in the discussion in her broad west country accent discussed loudly that before her divorce “she never bothered with all that” and used to trim her armpits and bits with scissors. Fabulous been in the pub five minutes and already discussing hairy fannies ..:).
In between our riveting discussions we were interrupted by the men taking turns at a game that was being played in the corner. The tallest of our wrinkleys lent in to whisper to me “don’t suppose you have any idea what we are playing?” Peering around his shoulder I observed the flat board and the coins. “It’s Shove Ha’penny’ isnt it ?”. He was astounded, mind you so was I how on earth did I know that ? God I’m getting bloody ancient myself!!
Deciding to head in the direction of home our new-found friends told us that there was one more pub en route The London Inn..how appropriate, so off we went. By now we were all pissed and craving food. While we deliberated at the bar two of the locals perched on bar stools smiled and started chatting. The taller of the two, a giant of a man honed in on me and started overwhelming me with compliments mainly directed at “my very fine breasts”” He was very drunk his companion was less so and being nice looking and under 5ft 9in right up Laura’s street. As it turned out he was married.. hey ho!. Olivia and Laura went out for a fag followed by the their new-found friend leaving me with the giant.
He was still plying me with compliments and getting me in a bear hug at regular intervals. Somewhere between ‘you have great breasts young lady’ and the hugs he suddenly looked like he had been struck by lightning. “I think I have seen you before young lady” “Don’t think so” says I” with confidence. He grinned broadly “I have ” he says “in a newspaper” “Ah” I answer with sinking stomach “Which one ?” Still grinning insanely he says “The Sun, last week“… Oh my god! the game is up as I squirm and try to hide behind the big black wooden beam that I had been previously leaning on.
I then begin to give him a synopsis of my life and how I ended up in the Sun before diving outside to find the others with him in hot pursuit. Laura is deep in conversation with Mr. married and Olivia was getting tearful about her Ex. As we all chat about the nightlife in London a young guy appears out of the darkness and starts talking to the giant. They are obviously old acquaintances and as they talk I observe the new addition. Hmm now this is more like it ..well-built with big pecs and piercing blue eyes and nice smile. I was just thinking to myself that things had just looked up when he said he had to go. Damn it! I smiled at him he smiled back hmm..shame.
We left shortly after kissing our found friends goodbye. All feeling rather drunk and suffering from the extreme hunger that only alcohol can produce, we set off in search of food. Amazingly enough this quiet village in Braunton boasted a kebab shop of sorts so in we went. I ordered chips but Olivia who was ravenous asked for a dirty kebab. While we were waiting the door opened and in came my blue-eyed friend from earlier. How interesting
We started chatting..the conversation flowed as did the chemistry… I asked his name and if he was on facebook ? He said he was I made a mental note. It turned out that he works in London and doesn’t live far from me. The next morning we managed to find each other on FB.
So our random night in Braunton although not conventional had proved to be fun. From conversations about bikini waxes to watching shove ha’penny it hadn’t been a bad night at all and like all the best tales had an interesting ending, watch this space!