Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Tennents Special

In the late 70’s I reached 18 years of age. This was the age required for the legal imbibing of alcohol. There were two types of beer. There was “Heavy”, which was a dark beer and the relatively new “refreshing” lager, which was served cold. I decided that being a cool character, I was probably a lager drinker. There weren’t even many brands of lager to choose from. The big two were McEwans and Tennents. The pub next door to the student halls of residence that I lived in, was a tennents pub, so that became my main tipple. There was also a drink called "stout". This was available in bottles, but as it was a drink favoured by pensioner Minnie Cauldwell and Ena Sharples in the television programme "Coronation Street" I never tried it.
Guinness was also available, but it was a bit exotic and unless it was stored and served correctly, you were wasting your money.

In 1978, a pint was 23 pence, if you drank in the pub next to the halls you got 2 pence off for being a student. Some of the more experienced students, mostly those who went to football matches every weekend, drank “screwtaps”. This was beer in a bottle, which had a screw top.

Anyway, when it came to choosing which cans of lager (16 pence each) the most popular was Tennents. They had a clever marketing ploy. On each can was a picture of a “lager lovely”. Despite this being the age of the page 3 pin up in the tabloids, the young ladies were reasonably demurely dressed.

The one that I remember was a former Miss Scotland, (the can on the right) whose name was been linked with the debonair man about town and House of Fraser empire owner, Sir Hugh Fraser.

There is of course a web site for everything, so for those who hanker for the “good old days” This link will take you to an archive of beer and lager cans. It seems that the first can with a twist off lid, came out of the good old U.S.A. It looks more like a brasso tin.

During my third year at university, the drink options increased with the appearance of cider. You could tell the people who started drinking it. They were the ones, who looked ill the next day. Not content just to drink cider, they soon progressed to drinking “Snakebite” which was a half and half mixture of cider and lager. Some pubs refused to sell it, as it had the unfortunate side effect of turning some people into a danger to themselves and others after a couple of pints. My room mate, who was not a big drinker, favoured a “Pink Panther” . This was a snakebite with a dash of blackcurrent. Yeuk!!!
I am heading into a period of leaner finances. Bee Boy and his new woman are moving out on the 27th of this month. This will leave me with only one tenant and 2 empty studio apartments. The smallest studio has not had a tenant since I bought the property.

So no more fresh honey on tap. BB lost/misplaced his set of keys last year, so he continues to leave his door unlocked, which has allowed his friends to wander in and out at will. At least now the building security should improve.

It’s about time that he settled down, having reached the age of 30 last year.

BeeBird is 24 years old and has found a job for a year growing vegetables and delivering veggie boxes to peoples homes. I asked him if baby bees might appear in the near future, but although he is keen, she does not want children for the foreseeable future.

He has already moved all but a few bits and pieces out to his new residence, a two bedroom house with 2 garages to store all the crap which he accumulates as he bumbles along. He reckons that if he continues with apiculture this year, it will cost approximately 10 thousand euros to buy new queens and baby bees. The harsh winter has not done his remaining bees much good and I think that many, many more little bee corpses than usual litter his hives.

I had to leave him a note on his door, because when I went to sweep and wash the stairs and corridor, I found that he has taken my dust pan and broom away with him to his new palace. The corkscrew that I loaned him has also disappeared as has hyperactive man’s wheelbarrow which he borrowed last Autumn. He is a little bugger. Not a bad person, but his brain is not really in gear.

Madame, my remaining tenant has just gone into hospital for a few days for an operation on one of her legs. This should slow her down a bit, but she reckons that she will soon be driving whilst still bandaged up.

I asked her if she needed a lift to the hospital, but she told me that she had already booked her ambulance. An ambulance car came and collected her. In France a large number of vehicles on the road are ambulance vans and cars. One of the questions on page one of the hospital admittance form is “What ambulance company brought you to the hospital?” I presume that your health insurance or top up mutual policy meet or reimburse the costs.

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