Tag Archives: Britain

How to Have the Perfect Bank Holiday

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In Britain, we are lucky enough to be gifted the occasional Bank Holiday. When you are kid it’s like having two Sundays in a week, but when you grow up and start work you learn to really appreciate any extra down time. The big question is, how to spend it?

Time Management

As tempting as it may be, if you spend the whole day in bed (especially if you are alone) you will regret it later. Have a lie-in by all means. But set an alarm and get up at a reasonable hour. Make a list the day before of all the things you want to do, and be realistic about your goals.

Chores

Everyone has them, nobody wants them. Get used to it. Doing the laundry, popping to the corner shop for some milk, washing the dishes that have been festering in the sink since last weekend’s curry night, whatever little jobs need doing, get them out of the way early doors. Then we can all move on.

Fun Time

We all have our guilty pleasures in life. Something we truly enjoy, but rarely have time to indulge. If only there were more hours in a day, right? Well, today there is! Kind of. It might mean firing up the Xbox, going for a walk, having a kick about with your mates or masturbating furiously to repeats of Charmed. Whatever floats your boat. Just remember to lock the door if that last option appeals to you, and don’t let ‘fun time’ last too long.

Spread Your Wings

This part is key. It’s very simple. Do something you’ve never done before. It can be anything from visiting that museum you’ve always fancied, to taking up a new hobby. It’s your call. It will make this particular Bank Holiday memorable, and make you feel as if you’ve actually achieved something.

Chill

What you shouldn’t do is have a big night in the pub. That would equal a short week from hell. You should have done that on Friday. Or Saturday. Maybe both. In a recent survey, ‘watching a film at home’ topped a list of people’s favourite things to do on a Bank Holiday, coming in just above ‘doing chores’ and ‘relaxing.’ The chores should be done by now. At least, the important ones. So now you can relax and watch a film. Two birds, one stone. You’ve had a busy day. You deserve it.


Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

One recent Sunday afternoon, I found myself at a loose end in Nottingham. Obviously, the first thing I did on checking out of the hotel after a heavy session the night before was to find a J.D. Wetherspoon’s and get a traditional English with a beer chaser. That business concluded, with about three hours to kill before my train came, I decided to take a stroll over to the castle, which was (almost) on my route. Being Welsh, I have a thing for castles. No disrespect, but as it happened, Nottingham Castle has nothing on any castle I’ve seen across the border. I don’t know why, I’m not an expert. It just didn’t seem to have much character. Not enough to make me stop for long, anyway. So I kept on walking, and down the road a bit I stumbled across a cute little whitewashed pub set in a courtyard called ‘Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem.’ Sometimes you find the best things when you aren’t looking for them.

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I remembered thinking what a strange name that was. A lot of pubs in Britain are named after something connected with the local history. The Plough, The Hope & Anchor, or The Railway Inn. As far as I knew, Jerusalem was a long way from Nottingham. I could tell the pub was old. It had that clumpy, uneven look about it. But I didn’t realize how old until I saw the sign outside that said, ‘The oldest Inn in England, Est. 1189AD.’

That settled it. There was only one place this path was leading.

Inside, it looked just as old as it did on the outside. Wooden tables and chairs, sloping ceilings, there’s even a suit of armour standing in the corner. I couldn’t bring myself to buy a cheap imported lager in a place like this, so I got a pint of Fuller’s Wild River, took a seat in a quiet corner, and whipped out my Kindle. That felt weird too, and I found myself wishing I’d brought at least a paperback, if not some form of ancient scripture to read instead. It was like being in a time slip. I kept expecting a buxom blonde waitress with a massive heaving bosom to come waltzing through. Or I might have just been hoping. Either way, no such luck.

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When I got home I Googled Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, and found that the pub is attached to rock caves which were once used as a brewing house, and are believed to date back to around the time Nottingham Castle was built in 1068. As you can probably imagine, it has a suitably grisly history. The pub is said to be plagued by poltergeist activity, and there is a disused condemned cell on the premises where prisoners were shackled to walls and left to starve to death. My favourite story is the one about how they keep a cursed model Galleon in a glass case. Superstition has it that anyone who cleans it will die or suffer terrible luck, so everyone stopped cleaning it years ago and now it’s covered with a thick layer of grime.

I also discovered that Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem isn’t the only place that claims to be the oldest pub in England. In fact, there are two more in Nottingham alone. If I’d had more time I could have gone on a mini-pub crawl and decided myself which one was the oldest, or at least which one was the best, but I had a train to catch.

*All photographs nicked off the internet. If they are yours, blame Google Images.


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