Free For All

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Captain Peacock : Are you free, Mr Humphries?

Mr. Humphries : I’m free!

So, on Monday, even though John Inman died more than 14 years ago, as a country we came together to celebrate his most famous catchphrase whilst revelling in our new found ‘Freedom’.  Mick Jagger was there too, singing ‘I’m free to do what I want any old time’ over and over again; 70’s blues rockers Free sang ‘All Right Now’ whilst chewing their lifetime supply of Wrigley’s Spearmint but sadly neither George Michael nor Freddie Mercury were available to perform ‘Freedom’ and ‘I want to break free’…

We went to the pub, a Free House of course, on public transport using our Freedom Pass (who knew we were both over 66!) and drank beer from the Freedom Brewery, freely.  Whilst the beer wasn’t free, this was our free time and we were free to choose how to spend it.

Of course, none of this really happened and if I’m honest, Monday was just another day, with the same amount of people wearing/not wearing masks out and about as we had seen last week.  In the pub on Tuesday it was still table service, socially distanced, the staff were all masked and it didn’t feel weird.  In the shop we’re still wearing masks when people come in and for the most part customers are too.  As mentioned last week, it’s almost as if we can self-govern and work out what’s best for us without outside help although if Boris’ ridiculous behaviour last Sunday when he didn’t much fancy going into isolation are anything to go by, some people, the same people, really do need to have it spelt out to them in words of one syllable – NO, YOU CAN’T.

One person who seems to be taking the whole freedom thing to heart is Dominic Cummings who on Tuesday continued to give us feedback on his relationship with Mr Johnson via interview with the BBC.  This continues his drip feed of almost lascivious revelations about what went on, in his opinion, behind the door of Number 10.  We have been getting Free Dom updates for a while now and it feels they will continue to flow – at what point does the mud actually start to stick though?

In Wayne’s world of weird sports, the Tour de France completed itself and, as suggested last Friday, Pogacar won and Mark Cavendish kept the green jersey, chapeaux all round.  The British Lions take on the Springboks with Eliot Daly at outside centre which only goes to prove that Warren Gatland has a sense of humour.  In the world of cricket, The Hundred started on Wednesday which everyone tells me is not simply shortened format T20 cricket but actually a huge innovation in the world of leather and willow (although I suspect neither of these are used in this format).

For me, I’m off on holiday, following a cry for help from the organisers of the Tokyo Olympics.  Apparently, they have an unusual problem that I can help them solve…. myself and a crack team of shuckers are being paid just over $1 million to save the canoeing and rowing in Tokyo Bay.  Our job is to remove all the oysters that have attached themselves to the floats positioned to protect the racing area from waves.  So many oysters have attached themselves that the floats are starting to sink which I believe, by definition, is not what they are meant to do.  So I’ve packed, Muscadet and Chablis, a bit of Albariño but I just need someone to help me carry the barrel of Guinness – any volunteers?

Should only take about a week and then I’ll be back, clearly not having to isolate as I will be part of the now infamous and perhaps fictitious daily contact testing pilot scheme.   In the meantime, we have a few new things to keep you occupied in my absence:


Slybeast 1533 Session IPA – £3.70

Park Brewery Phantom Kolsch Lager – £3.50 (not new exactly but absent for a long while)

Park Brewery Ballet Loop Table Beer – £3.80

Sambrook’s Session IPA – £3.40


Two new whites, seemed sensible given the weather:

Pfaffl Wien 1 2020, Vienna, Austria – £14.99 – Made from 60% Riesling, 20% Pinot Blanc, 20% Grüner Veltliner all grown overlooking the city of Vienna, we have a wine that is lightly aromatic on the nose with a palate of fresh green orchard fruits with a touch of peppery spice from the Grüner and a long, moreish finish – this is what the Austrians drink on hot summer evenings and I think it’s a bit rude that they haven’t told us about it sooner!

I Clivi Malvasia Vigna 80 Anni 2019, Collio, Italy – £24.99 – if you go any further west here you’ll be in Slovenia but that’s just a free geography lesson rather than a tasting note.  We loved the rounded leesy nose, the appealing softness on palate, the apple fruit, the minerals, the layered texture and the finish.  Our tasting note ended with words of one syllable that we can all understand: I LIKE THIS…

That’s it from us for now, stay hydrated and sit in the shade with a nice glass of white wine perhaps

Now , sing along with me, Mrs Slocombe and Miss Brahms:

Ground floor: perfumery, Stationery and leather goods

Wigs and haberdashery, Kitchenware and food

Going up

First floor: telephones, Gents’ ready-made suits

Shirts, socks, ties, hats, Underwear and shoes

Going up

Second floor: carpets, Travel goods and beddings

Materials and soft furnishing, Restaurant and teas

Going down

Bye for now!

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