This is just a quick post.
Sort of post to ease back in to the writing lark after a while away from the blog.
Real life has taken over somewhat. Pressures at work, getting the house sorted – or at least, LLK’s room sorted – have been a necessary, but unwanted distraction. Unwanted, in that – work aside – I’m only doing the room up as Lauren is away with Amy in Menorca.
It’s amazing what you miss about someone when they’re not there. I could be all male bravado here and say that I miss Amy doing the washing or the cleaning, but the truth is I just miss her being there; for far too many reasons to cover off in just one post.
It’s the same with Lauren, in that what fills my days and nights when she is here, are now missing. Story time, bed time, watching cartoons together – it’s only another day. Be strong, Chris. Be Strong.
Even the dog hates the fact that they are away.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t take them or our situation for granted. I genuinely miss them for them, not for what they do.
One thing I could be accused of taking for granted is my local beer shop, Beer Ritz, in Leeds. It’s the sort of place that receives rave reviews from people all over the country, but for me – well, it’s just that shop up the road. Admittedly it’s a shop that sells great beer. Brilliant beer; some of the very best beer you will ever drink. But because I do drink it, I don’t go on about it. Don’t #FF them on twitter, don’t often bring them up in every day conversation.
If anyone ever asks where I got a beer from: “oh, just Beer Ritz.”
Last night made me realise how much I do take them for granted. I bought a beer (well, four of the same beer) that I’d first tried and loved in Rome – BREWFIST “Spaceman”. Rob Derbyshire asked me to bring a bottle back from Domus Birrae – you’ll be able to see a review of it here at some point. It just so happened to be on draft in Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà, so I tried it. It was great. I was an idiot for only bringing one bottle back.
Then I caught wind that Zak Avery of Beer Ritz would be importing some over. Hmm, I know how this usually pans out. It was €4.50 in Domus Birrae, a shop some 500kms south of the brewery. How much more can we expect to pay for a beer imported three times that distance?
£5, £6, £7?
Try £2.99. Yep, £2.99. That’s cheaper than the cost of buying it in Italy. My first reaction was to keep it to myself. They must have priced it up wrong – but no, Zak confirmed that was the right price. I can get a beer I love, from a country I love even more – cheaper than the country where it is brewed? Huzzah for the open market.
But then I soured it slightly. I took the situation for granted once more. Not satisfied that I had this great beer at a cheap price, I fired off a photo of the cover of an Italian beer book and joked, it was a joke, that I’d start a shopping list of beers I’d love them to import over.
Zak’s response: “Perhaps you could savour all the hard work for a bit first?”
He’s right you know. Not just in relation to the three “Spaceman” I have left in the fridge. What I need to do is to stop taking this great shop, with its great staff for granted, and savour everything I get from the experience of having it, near enough on my door step.
Always support your local independent shops – but if you don’t have a beer shop locally, then make sure you pick the best online option you can find. *Nudges and winks abound*
The key to the title is that they did almost go. They were missed, but thankfully they survived. Thankfully they continue to do what they do best.