Ipple-Pen Diary. The Haven

 Wellington Inn is a place akin to being something of a haven for its regulars who for a few hours can escape in the company of their pals who are nothing if not genial.

And they become even more genial depending on how many Doombars or Otters they manage to consume which also incidentally gradually turns them into born again adolescents.

Observing them as they progress backwards in years and having such a good time makes you look forward to getting older.

They (apart from getting louder) share jokes and then uncontrollably laugh at them.

Jokes which incidentally would have the “politically correct” brigade calling for law enforcement.

The stories they tell are so tall they reach into the stratosphere and beyond as each of the protagonists partake in an increased level of liquid refreshment.

In the corner sit two old friends and constant protagonists who are at that age where at a recent visit to the Ipplepen Health Centre they were told they are to old to have the annual flu jab because the results of their blood tests had revealed their blood group has now been discontinued.

They’ll no doubt comfort themselves in knowing that they have the resilience and determination of their breed to replace it by a good single malt.

Rumour has it that the crematorium has set aside a whole week for when the grim reaper eventually decides to take them on the grounds that it’ll probably take that long for them to burn.

Apart from the good ale at the Welly they also have two very good televisions (whatever happened to the days when the only sound you heard in the pub was the ‘knocking’ of dominoes on the table) which are invariably tuned to sport (or football) of some type or other.

Very rarely are they tuned to horse racing which is perhaps just as well because no doubt the two old gimmers would know and expound on every rider, trainer and nag that was running.

As it is they reminisce about the days of Moore and the Charlton brothers, of Shergar and Red Rum, of Gareth Edwards and Barry John, of England World Cup Wins and the 1974 Lions and where they were and what they were doing at the time.

Which is perhaps just as well if not surprising because they can hardly remember what they were doing yesterday and don’t even think about asking what they did last week.

Not that it bothers them a great deal because tomorrow is another day and you can’t regret what you can’t remember so the best thing to do is have another pint (it isn’t called DOOM Bar for no reason).

For the younger set at the bar the old glimmers are viewed with envy because they don’t have to face work in the morning having some time ago stopped trying to climb the greasy pole and satisfy younger and more enthusiastic electronic savvy bosses.

Their priorities have changed to remembering where they put their bus pass, or even if they applied for one and building up a selection of flat caps all of which has a special purpose.

One for wearing at the allotment, one for when walking the dog etc, etc and of course one to wear to the pub.

What isn’t compromised by age for the old timers is the element of competition which is clearly on show the moment a pack of cards and a cribbage board comes out and as two old sailors with over forty years of friendship in the bag even that doesn’t stop them cursing when losing at uckers.

(You’ll have to look that up to understand the rules)

Yes the Wellington is a haven but it does have a problem for the old gimmers namely what to do once the pub closes.

But that’s another story………..