gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


UK Trip Day 16: July 12, 2003

August 11, 2003 @ 22:03 By: gordon Category: Travelling, UK Trip 2003

I got up and packed my stuff up and left it in the luggage room at the hotel so I could do some last minute shopping before I caught the train to London. Fortunately, I didn’t have too far to go before I found a shop with lots of tartan, sweaters and whisky. After buying some souvenirs, I retrieved my luggage and made my way to the train station. Of course, I missed the train by a couple of minutes, but another train was along a short while later.

I stashed my luggage and took a seat on the right (inland) side of the train. Of course, most of the things I was looking at were on the right side of the train. As we were going by Holy Island where Cuthbert had a keep of some sort, a lady sitting across the aisle starting pointing things out to me. I switched seats and we talked most of the way to London. She pointed out the remains of Hadrian’s Wall in Newcastle and even identified some of the accents of the people who passed by. This made for a very enjoyable trip back.

Rob met me at the train station and we made our way to his place by surface rail — there was no way I was going to try to drag my luggage on the Underground!

After we got back to Rob and Yuki’s, we headed off to a pub gathering in Wimbledon with a bunch of Yuki’s classmates at her English school. At the bar I thought “Great! I’ll order a Black & Tan.”

It never crossed my mind that the bar tendette would say “What’s a Black & Tan?”

(A Black & Tan is made up of Guiness floating on Smithwicks. Differences in the densities of the two beers means that a well-poured B&T has a sharp edge between the two beers. Takes the edge off the Guiness and looks cool. Enough beer geeking…)

I described it to her and we looked at the selection of beers on tap and I selected something to use in the place of Smithwicks (!). She found a spoon and with a helping hand she did her best to pour one. (There were technical difficulties because they serve Guiness chilled in England and that changes the density so the two layers mixed.) Apologizing for the beer that ran down her arm to her elbow, I paid with a couple of Scottish notes. Apparently, she hadn’t seen one before. I left her a pound tip on the bar for being such a good sport about it.

We headed out back and met up with the rest of her classmates.

A little while later after consuming the first attempt at a Black & Tan we had figured out what was wrong so we headed back in to try another type of beer on the bottom. By this point, the one of the other bartenders had been talking to an Irish chap at the end of the bar and gotten some tips on how to pour a Black & Tan. He grabbed a spoon and bent it and this time we tried Heiniken for the beer on the bottom.

(Note to self: Heiniken does not belong in a Half & Half (a B&T made without Smithwicks). In fact, Heiniken really shouldn’t be drunk at all.)

This time, the two beers had separated nicely and the end result looked much more like a Half & Half. (Even though one of them was Heiniken.)

One of Yuki’s classmates came back from the bar a little while later and said “I’ve ended up with your weird money”.


And she pulled out the Scottish banknotes I had paid with that she’d gotten back as change.

“Oh! That’s not weird money. This is weird money…” and I showed her a couple of Canadian bills I had in my wallet.

We finished our drinks and food and said our fairwells and returned home.

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