Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

It's happy hour again!

You can blame a combination of holidays and blogging fatigue for the recent hiatus at the Tavern; a glance at the newspapers on returning from foreign climes has left me wondering whether, in my absence, the entire nation has collectively jumped the shark and British life is now utterly beyond satire.

Two things, however, have inspired me to polish the tankards and set out the bar-stools again; one is the eagerly-awaited announcement that fellow hostelry The Raccoon Arms is once more open for business and the other is news that the King Cnut season has started particularly early this year.
A Swindon family were left stranded when their car was caught up in the high tide after parking on a beach in Somerset.
Once again, residents of our once-proud seafaring nation have been caught out by the fact that the sea goes up and down. Fortunately the car wasn't badly damaged, though it would be hard to argue with the local website's assertion that
They were visiting Brean on a trip to celebrate a memorable 30th birthday for Iain's wife.
They weren't the first of the year, though: a week before, a red Vauxhall Tigra convertible parked in the same place had to be rescued by the local beach warden, to the accompaniment, one suspects, of a certain amount of Schadenfreude among the watching crowds.

If all this sounds familiar, it's because we've been here before. Last year:
Teenager Andy Laird returned from lunch to find his car had been submerged in the sea. The 19-year-old parked his Vauxhall Corsa on the beach in the popular coastal town of Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, on Saturday afternoon.
Three other motorists had to be rescued from beaches in the Burnham-On-Sea area of Somerset on Sunday evening as high tides caught them out.
And before that in 2009:
Holidaymakers at a seaside resort could not believe their eyes when they saw no less than FIVE cars parked on two beaches swamped by the sea.
(Fewer, DM, fewer!)

Either Burnham's beach exerts a particular fascination for ignorant landlubbers or the council's policy of operating a pay-and-display car park on a beach with the second largest tidal range in the world demonstrates a touching but unfounded faith in the public's capacity for individual responsibility (though their website does helpfully advise motorists to avoid areas of wet sand and mud).

With such an early start, this promises to be a vintage year for coastal idiocy, giving the Tavern gossips plenty of opportunity to discuss the failings of their fellow-man over a brimming tankard or two.

Cheers, one and all!


  1. That's suspiciously like a Julia M post, Macheath. In fact, I have a theory that you are Julia M on occasions and she is you.

  2. "(Fewer, DM, fewer!)"

    Ah, you're wasting your time there! Like 'decimate', it's now an almost obsolete term!

  3. And no, we aren't the same!

  4. "in my absence, the entire nation has collectively jumped the shark and British life is now utterly beyond satire."

    Correlation is not causation!

    True though, life has become a satire on itself.

  5. JH, thank you for the compliment!

    Perhaps, given that we are, I think, the same vintage and both equipped with more than the usual level of cynicism about our fellow-man, a resemblance is, to quote the German author Heinrich Böll, 'neither accidental nor intentional but simply unavoidable'.

    Julia, you're right, but one has to keep trying. At least I don't go to the lengths of my Grandmother-in-law, who was known to correct municipal signs with a stern red pen.

    AKH, there is, I suppose, some consolation in the fact that master-satirist Petronius said more or less the same thing in 1st-century Rome.