IN THE village that time forgot, Lush Places becomes, for a few nights only, not a painting by Bruegel but more like a tryptich by Hieronymus Bosch.
We are a place that has lost its permanent post office, shop and pub but we are adapting. And doing pretty well at it too. We may be in Jack and the Beanstalk Land and surrounded by mist for nine months of the year and a world away from the sophisticated (and maddening) Bridport crowd, but far from being miserable, we get on and just sow those beans and make our own luck.
Tonight, in the village hall, the crowds gathered for the first Lush Places community bar of earthly delights. Branscombe ale at £1.50 a pint – grab it while you can, once it’s gone, it’s gone – shorts and wine for the same price and doubles at £2 a go.
There were people (or was it the gods?) playing skittles upstairs, the book club members attempting floppers at table skittles in the main hall, the singing teacher showing everyone how to play a very smuttily-named card game while the table tennis kings were bobbing up and down like this as Bob Marley yelled No Woman, No Cry until some children pulled the plug out of the iPod and portable speakers on the stage and then said rather too loudly it was nothing to do with them.
A couple of farmers complained about the price of milk and then the iPod suddenly sprung back into life with Booker T and the MGs’ Time is Tight. And still the doubles were flying from the optics.
A brindle coloured lurcher was rather better behaved than the very strident lady knocking back red wine like it was Ribena. The allotments group dug deep into their pockets and the short arse bowlers got on their knees before paying for a round. The air was ripe with the smell of pickled onions, cubes of Cheddar cheese and those pretzels that defy all logic with no-ever ever eating them.
Christ, we’ve got at least a month or more of this to go before the pub re-opens. With prices like these, I hope the new publicans don’t accuse us of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.