Yesterday as the snow started to melt we went out along the country lanes full of large puddles, the fields a tracery of snow and black earth. The sky blue and people walking the lanes with their dogs. The Sportsmen Arms pub at Nounsley was the place we were heading for. Nounsley was once a small hamlet with three or four old houses by the pub and a large farm about fifty metres away. Today strip development of modern houses along the lane has taken place, no church, no shop, the pub being the only centre of the community/
No more alas, closed and fenced off, the windows empty and black, the large area of green where people would eat their lunches on the wooden tables all gone. We had spent many a sunny afternoon sat there with our drinks children playing on the green, dog walkers passing sometimes with more exotic dogs than a country labrador or spaniel. Sad and then angry at a world that drives people out of their business, supermarkets and gastro pubs run by large breweries slowly encroaching into every area. Pubs are closing of course everywhere, but it is the sense of community that is also lost that is so sad.
We went to the Cats pub, always full of the same people who greet you with a friendly smile but even Wally is way past retirement age, he only sells a small brewery beer, and the food is kept simple but good.