The Veil, Pies and Pints

It’s getting closer. I can feel the air tingling in expectation. Ever nearer it approaches. The time when you are most likely to see me. Blink and I will be there. Twitch and you will see me. Glance and I will appear. The Veil between my world and yours is thinning for the night that spirits dance and goblins gambol. Forget to carve your turnips and gourds and let us through. Omit the lit candle so that the faces of your demons do not shine bright to push the first of the spectres back to whence they came.

Not all of them are unwanted. Let through your loved ones, the ones you wish to see again. Pull a spare chair to your table and sit with them. Let your eyes become heavy and your mind wander. See them again before you. Tell them what you wished you had, remind them that you love them, reassure them that they live on inside you and that to you they have never died.

Eat one last meal with them. Come and find them at my Dragon. Wish for them and they will come. Look for me and I will be there. Raise you glass to us and we will protect you from the mischief makers that nudge against the barrier.

Friendship, Growth and Laughter

There are things that I took as certainties; day break rising, evening drawing, noontime stretching. Then there are things that I took for granted; the warning hisses of the stable cats as I walked past, the impatient stamping of horses ready to leave; the warming comfort of friendships maturing. I should have taken more time and care with my companions, realised that they were there, leaned on them when I needed and opened my arms to them when the were struggling.

I have been watching you closely. Sneaking glances from the bar, sweeping between the Pickwick and the Micawber snugs, creeping up from the cellar. I have watched tentative steps to friendships evolve between folk who would normally not meet but have become entwined though events and games from outside my George. I can see tribe and kin developing, tolerance and acceptance blooming, affections and closeness flourishing, wound tight and strengthened by the ability to come to a place away from their base to drink and to laugh and to eat and to love.

They come to my George before contests, after trials, whether celebrations of victories or sympathies for defeats. I can see them grow. I can see their bonds. I can see the roots stretch, secure and balance the broadening companionship amongst them. You should come to my George and feel for yourself the welcome of my arms, the security of my love and the embrace of my eternity.

Love, steak and dates

I thought I heard your voice last night. It was round the corner, teasing on the air, floating, waiting for me to catch but when I got there you weren’t. The silence echoed and vibrated in time with my loneliness. You haven’t been here for a long time. Your life continued after my death while my half life continued forward. I watched you grow old and fall in love over and over again. Once your time was finished you flew to where I can’t yet go.

I watched as you laughed with others. The times you huddled by the fire with your latest love, making moments intimate by your proximity. The times you sat outside, stretching in the warmth, basking in the sun but eyeing the visitors with the cool assessment of an adder searching for his next meal. The times you fell unfettered into the dizzying, tunnel of first love with enthusiasm and excitement. I watched and imagined the feeling that used to flip in my stomach whenever I saw you, knowing that whoever you were with, knew that at that moment they were the centre of your world.

Come to my Dragon this month. Come to my Dragon on a Thursday and remember those moments. Relive those feelings, rekindle the flame and feel the spark. Come and eat steak, drink wine and share dessert. Be the most important one, be the only one, drown out the others and have a date, at my George.

Festivals, Music, Games and Beer

I have heard of the Americas. I know that there are things far over the sea that I know nothing of, peoples, religions, foods, views of vastness and space, endless skies and entwining ribbons of water with creatures that would look new to me.

I will never be able to go there now. Time to travel passed by me even after my death. I was only ever going to be here. The need for a girl who can work an inn and keep the men under control after harvest has kept me in the place that has my heart. But things from afar can visit me.

August Summer holidays means that it is time for festivals, music, games and beer. At my George we are celebrating beer from afar, but ale that has been brewed only miles away. So close that one of the horses would have been hitched to the cart and sent to collect the dark goodness from the brewery. Come to my George, listen and taste the ales from the Duration Brewery, stay for music and remain with me.

Music, Fairies and Dreaming

Music, dancing, food and wine. Spinning, turning, dizziness of movement as snatches of laughter pass by my ears. With a friend, with my love or alone, letting the music swirl and lift me, taking me to places that I can only visit in my head. Feeling it twist around my body, caressing my dreams, raising me to heights of fancy and daydreams of castles in the sky.

Not far from my door was a darkened circle of grass. The ground touched by the feet of the faeries reeling and the elves spiralling to the music everlasting. If you looked from my window during the hour of the witches you could catch a glimpse of the sparkle, a snatch of melodies and a scent of the iced, sweet treats to tempt the unwary.

Now at my George, many years have passed since the sprites last danced but now we have music to entice them back and food cooked outside on coals alight for them to try to snatch from your plate as it is your turn to feel the music as a rhythm in your heart and a pulse in your soul. Goz will be here on Saturday night, leading the merriment and bringing back the chance to see the fair folk dance. Make sure that you don’t eat their food or drink their drinks else you may be staying with them and me for eternity.

Time, Life and Welcome

Life is short. Time is fleeting. Breathes are finite. I know, I took them for granted and then one day they were gone. Did I celebrate enough? Did I love enough? Did I laugh, play and grab each moment before it slipped away into the past and became my history? Did I tell the people that mattered how much I cared? Did I bend and touch my cheeks to the faces of the horses as they were stabled and groomed? Did I dance unfettered and freely when music came into my George? Did I live for myself? Do I regret?

I did celebrate, love, laugh and play. If I knew my death day then, I would have done more and if you are honest with yourself in the still, dark, loneliness of the night, you would to. Now it’s too late for me to speak to those I wished I had, for they are also gone and haven’t stayed with me in my place of welcome.

But now I grab moments. Now I dance, flicker and shimmer. I fly through my George. I welcome you, I sweep around you and greet you. I show you your table. I watch as your food is prepared; whether it be ribs and slaw on a Wednesday, cooked outside with a band on a Saturday or something fast in passing as life flies you by my doors. Come to my George, seize your days, glorify your friendships, worship your loves and remember your true self before time takes back its borrowed instants to give to someone new.

Grasses, Hiding and Reds

The grass is high. I used to run up the hill and hide so that I could spend some time alone with the butterflies and beetles. I would scamper away holding my skirts; not far as the grass had sprouted enough that you could tell whether it would be a good year for hay. I would look round and crouch among the fronds before anyone would catch a glimpse of where I was. I would lie down with the stalks swaying on the breeze, making the fields look alive with rolling waves breaking against the hedgerows.

Colours would flash by me, browns and greens, shield bugs landing precariously on the seeds not knowing if they were ready to drop, admirals competing with the poppies as they bobbed over my head. I could hear the men calling, frustrated that I had disappeared but for a short time they would have to pull their own beer: I was dancing with the currents and watching the buzzards float until they had sighted their prey.

Although, here the grass is long, calls and shouts floating in from afar come from courts mown short with athletes competing for glory to be reflected in the intricate gold work of a cup and the silversmiths skill upon a shield. We celebrate their skill here with Pimms and strawberries, their reds taking me back outside to the fields, the nodding poppies, the flitting fairy wings of butterflies. Come to my George, let me take you back to a memory of times long gone where I could still chase the winds.

Birthdays, Beginnings and Belonging

Birthday! Birthday! Birthday! It’s the year round from when you all came back to me!

How do you celebrate a first birthday? How do I thank you for bringing life back into my home? How do I show my joy at feeling alive again? I don’t want to scare you but I want you to know that I am here with you. I am happy, you have done that for me. You have made me less ethereal, more present but most of you don’t see me or believe in me.

I am around you in the smell of ash and embers from the clean grate. I surround you with my arms, embracing you, warming you, comforting you. I am the feeling of welcome as you come in the door, the feeling of belonging as you stand at the bar, the feeling of exhilaration as you try something new.

We will do something for you! Paella and music. Food and song. Friends to meet and family to love. Satisfy your thirst and feed your hunger. Think of me as I fly between you, only alighting for a moment to take in your rapture as the next guest arrives.

Come to my George, revel in our jubilation and as the day fades, light a candle to remember me.

Celebrations and Birthdays

Birthdays; Death days; Holidays; Fathers’ Days; Mothers’ Days; Valentine’s Day; special food Wednesdays; Tapas Tuesdays; you love to celebrate. Sometimes I’m disappointed when it is only a Thursday but then I remember how much you all like the freedom of Fridays, Saturdays and the joy of Sunday lunch togetherness.

I can’t remember my birthday and my death is still hazy so I think I need to choose a day for myself. You can’t see me so it needs to be a day you are celebrating and I will join in with the festivities and make mischief and play jokes. You won’t realise it’s me, you’ll look at the children thinking that they have knocked the spoon from the side, blame your husband as your drink wobbles on the table, roll your eyes as the pot comes off the boil. I wish that I could throw a sheet over my head so that you could see me as you think I am.

I like June. Midsummer brings me waves of nostalgia and echos of the past. Unexpected thunder, dashing rain followed by clear skies and sun baking the ground hard. It’s been a year since I started to welcome you all back into my life. A year made of colours, hopes and dreams: smells of other times and places: feelings of belonging again. My birthday will be your birthday. Find me on the last Saturday of June. Come to my George, bring me the gift of your time, stay a while, relax, drink and eat with us all a dish made with love.

Ribbon, Pots and Sandwiches

I can’t find my ribbons. I know I had them, but now they are gone. I want to tie them back in my hair and run outside whilst a breeze can catch them as the sun shines. The sun may not warm me anymore but it can still make me smile. I can still chase the shadows that sneak up on mid morning, then stretch and wan to evening when it is my time to appear to you as you slide behind your tables to enjoy the company of your family.

I need to find them. I am starting to think that they are conspiring against me, although maybe the kitchen is paying me back for moving their utensils and upsetting their pots. I only want to know what deliciousness lies within them, is that so bad? The colours are deep and the aromas tempting.

The sandwiches surprise me, so I nudge them and put the bread at angles misaligning the corners and irritating the chefs. Sizzling steak, plump chicken breast, smoky bacon and cheeses, with extras on the side and varieties of bread. Come and taste the simple and see how it has become magnificent in my Dragon.

Cats, Menus and Childhood

I saw a black cat today. It crossed in front of the threshold whilst I dreamed of summer. I believe that the crossing of an ink marked feline brings luck through the air to the observer. I turned back inside to the comfort of my Dragon and realised that the cat was a portent of good things to come.

My chefs are imaging and bringing forth sun baked days in bowls to make you fly away in your mind with sweet meze picks, spices from shores afar to season your mouth with taste of nuts and rainbows in a salad, while sea salted caught treats from the ocean can lead you back to days of your childhood with the plate piled high with crispy potatoes.

The menu has changed and I am learning new things, new foods, new tastes, new aromas from my hovering in the kitchen whist I watch others work at the behest of our guests. Still better is the step back into youth that I can see on your face when I follow the plated food from the kitchen to your table. That is what currently brings me joy and fulfilment as I spend my eternity watching.

Raining again

It’s raining again. It’s the rain that brings on the shoots but pulls up the seeds, dampens the fields but then shocks you with its slicing, slashing, freezing daggers, dashing leaves, dissecting stems, drowning seedlings and devouring the dry. The suddenness of the change of pace used to set men running and drive the feral, hissing stable cats back inside to their kits, snuggling down in the golden sanctuary of the woven straw.

The lights are on and you are welcome into my Dragon to find shelter, to find calm, to dry yourself and warm yourself inside and out with drinks hot from boiling with aromas from Africa, India and China or from the furnace of the sun balanced on foreign shores burning as you swallow whole the brief burnt amber liquid. To satisfy yourself with cake topped with oranges, lemon or chocolate while you watch the clouds shifting, churning and moving away to drench the fields in the distance. Fillings between crusty layers to satisfy the gnawing belly ache and itching pangs while you wait to move away again to continue with jobs interrupted and the day’s work stalled.

Welcome to my Dragon, we are waiting for you.