Snow started falling heavily at noon today and it's building up so quickly we already have several inches covering everything.
Don't ask why I'm posting on the pub - perhaps I'd prefer to be there, at home in Devon at my 'local' sipping a sherry by the open fire. Perhaps on a day like today here in North Carolina I should be satisfied and happy with snow because, over there in Devon, they have horrendous rains, winds, and flooding so bad the main railway lines from London to the west country (Devon and Cornwall) have been washed away along parts of the coastline.
The local pub in Shiphay, Torquay
Although I left home over fifty years ago, one of the things I've missed is my 'local'. English people living in villages and small towns usually have their favorite pub (public house) within walking distance of home. It's not just a place to have a drink, or even a meal, it's the social center of that particular community. The pub has been the heart and soul of British life for centuries.
When I was growing up this old building was part of an angora rabbit farm - later it somehow morphed into a 'school of dance' and I took ballet and tap classes there for a short time. It then became our local pub while I was still a child - I recall being sent there for a bag of Smith's Crisps (potato chips) now and then. I probably had a drink there of and on before emigrating to the States, but not often as I was young, but I have always stopped by on visits home. There is a Beer Garden, an outdoor area where you can take children - they are not permitted in pub bars - and 'The Dumpling' is quite well known for good pub food. Meals are served both in the bar and in an upstairs dining room - we always try to get a little table by the fireplace. I've had several suppers there with family members and old friends during visits home, and one very enjoyable reunion several years ago for the 'kids' of my childhood village neighborhood. I got to meet playmates and school friends I'd not seen since I was eight when we moved to another area in town. It was certainly a night to remember and I won the prize for having traveled farthest to be there at 'the local'.
I traveled many, many times along that now seriously damaged railway line over my lifetime. Seeing the devastation in photos and videos online these past days just made me think of my true home far across the pond. I know many people are suffering and it will take time and money to return these lovely English seaside towns, as well as many flooded inland areas, to what they were before this terrible Winter.