I open this column with an apology to the Honourable Order of Bass Drinkers. I should have been with them on Monday, when they held their monthly meeting at Blackpool’s oldest pub, the Saddle Inn. However, with the New Year, I’ve started a slimming regime. It’s the only way I’ll get comfortably into my new clothes – a clever ploy by She Who Knows.
What made it worse, me missing their get-together, was that they more usually meet in Manchester. Also, the Saddle is only a few minutes stroll from Edmonds Towers – not a long enough walk, in fact, to boost any fitness or lose weight.
Incidentally, the Order is an eccentric forerunner of the Campaign for Real Ale and has been running (not their usual activity) for half a century. It was started by licensees, police and Pressmen for whom Monday was an ideal night to sample their favourite ale, Draught Bass. I joined from Blackpool more than 25 years ago and my appearance this week would have kept up my risible attendance rate of once in every five years. (You can’t resign and Mondays I’m usually recovering from the weekend.)
Mind you, the Order’s hundred or so members salutes such quirky behaviour. For example, its treasurer is roundly booed if there is any money left in the kitty and newcomers are only accepted as members if a majority object.
I’ve had a similar poor record with slimming regimes. As a teenager I survived for a year or so on diet of biscuits instead of meals – but have never eaten them, or biscuits other than chocolate ones, since. Then I tried the Canadian Air Force six-minute exercises, but plaster dropped off the lounge ceiling when I ran on the spot in my bedroom. Later, jogging knackered my knees. The answer is walking, further than the pub, and drinking less beer.
• For Roy’s books visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com.