(This is not a post about beer, by the way. This is a post about a village.) The sunlight has been disappearing and reappearing all day. We arrive under a blaze of blue sky and I'm tempted by the ale. A whole tableful of ales, £3 each. We go outside and stand in a pool of the sort of warmth that is too rare this summer. It takes about ten minutes for it to start raining--raining hard. Time for another pint. I've reached my ale-maximum, one pint, so I try the Hereford perry. Smooth, sweet, and dangerous. At a certain point it gets dark and then it gets a little cold, so I go inside to warm up. I sit with my feet up in a corner of the pub. Maybe it's the perry, but I can't get this silly grin off my face. There's a live band playing music. I've lost track of my tasting sheet but I wasn't doing much with it anyway. We decide to dance, for a bit, and then Joe, who's a bit of a local celebrity, with his red face and his Oxfordshire accent and his penchant for skirts and heels, reveals the denim mini-skirt and fishnet tights he's been wearing under his trousers, paired with a dirty t-shirt and a pair of slip-0n trainers. "If I'd known it was gonna be this kind of night," he says, "I'd've put me heels on."
Before bed the Man and I lie down in the wet grass to admire the stars. The next morning my trousers are still wet and my blazer is stained, and I can't for the life of me remember which ale I tried and what I thought of it, other than that it tasted ale-y and made my mouth warm, but it's okay, because I can go to the shop next door and get a croissant and the papers and spend the day reading outside. My choice? The Idler #42, with an article, conveniently enough, on the very village I'm in.