The Confessions of a Tin Opener by Trevor Plumbly

As the car drove off, I faced a few days fending for myself and I realised that it wasn’t going to be quite as simple or relaxing as it once was. The old system worked fine in a big house; the washing, dishes, pots and empties could be ignored until the eve-of-return blitz. In a small cottage however, some sort of system would need to be followed to get the full benefit out of my temporary return to batchelorhood. First, a quick stock-take: the liquids were easy, tea, a few beers and… Read More

Last Orders! By Trevor Plumbly

The 1960s were the beginning of the end as far as the traditional pub was concerned. The beat generation demanded novelty and noise; this was quickly provided by franchise chains and disco bars, which left the poor old dedicated drinker out in the cold. Depending where you stood in the social scale it was ‘the boozer’, ‘the pub’ or ‘the local’. For non-locals, they had names that totally belied the ambience and clientèle within. Only an innocent tourist would expect to meet any of the peerage in ‘The King’s Arms’ or find… Read More

Emily’s Pepper Grinder Conundrum

Why is it that in most restaurants you have a salt shaker at your table but no pepper pot? More often than not, the waiting staff bring your main course, along with an over-sized pepper grinder and ask if you want black pepper. I like pepper. I might like more pepper as I eat my food, but I cannot have more unless I summon the waiter or waitress. Now salt on the other hand, well too much of it is bad for you we’re told, but you can shake away to your… Read More

Bottled Inspiration by Trevor Plumbly

There are only two options available when your brain isn’t producing anything worth writing about: you can, either (A) flag it and do something else, or, (B) seek inspiration. Being a stubborn sort, I decided that (B) was the way to go. But deciding to seek it and actually finding it caused a problem. Inspiration, I discovered, is bloody elusive. All sorts of important people credit inspiration for paving the way to their fame and fortune. But there’s the rub, they only do this after the event, publicly spouting “I owe it… Read More