Saturday, 4 August 2012

The High Street.

"The High Street."  A  term mostly associated with Britain to describe the main street of a town where you have your traditional shops, banks and even the great British social pastime known as the pub.  This would be the pub where folks can go and get sloshed out of their minds, especially on Friday nights.  Upon getting inebriated and catatonic, these same folks head to another traditional high street establishment, the kebab shop and order several doner kebabs.  They then proceed to stuff the kebabs somewhere in the vicinity of their mouths.  Soon they get violently ill and puke out said kebabs onto the pavement outside the kebab shop.  


Above is a photo of a traditional pub on a traditional British High Street.  You can make your own jokes in regards to the name of the pub.  I remember the first time I ventured into a pub in England.  Not sure what sort of beer to try.  I asked the pub landlord what he would recommend.  "Bitter?" was his reply.  To which I responded, "No, not really.  Why do you ask?"  And if you are not from Britain and don't know what I'm talking about, please see here : Bitter  
To feel more involved with the local community, I joined a quiz team in a nearby pub.  It was called a "pub quiz."  Unfortunately, my knowledge of pubs was very limited.  One of the ladies on my team enjoyed doing sketchings of people during the intermission of the pub quiz.  She asked if she could sketch me.   "Don't worry!  I've been sketching for three months." she declared.  I answered by saying, "Well, you'd better get some sleep."  Upon realising that I was being literally silly, she laughed.  Then she asked me if she could sketch me in the nude.  To which I replied, "Sure thing.  I hope you don't get too cold!"
And so, The High Street, a gathering place where all the usual shops and business ventures can be found, along with several charity shops.  You've got the bank, the pub, the off-licence, the greengrocers, the fish n' chip restaurant, the chemist, the news agents, the kebab shop and you may have this....


......yes indeed, the "Family Butchers!"  I don't think I'll being go in that shop....

54 comments:

  1. Your high street looks to be a dangerous place indeed. Family butchers...brrrrr.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Delores,
      'Family butchers', I can see a horror movie made about the family butchers on the High Street'. Once again, congrats on getting your poem published. I went and read it and it was marvellous.
      Gary

      Delete
  2. Really, is there any need for a "Family Butchers"? Don't family members do the job quite nicely themselves?

    Interesting about high street, and the shops found on it. I'll bet I don't know what you're really referring to with "sketching", at least I'm wondering if there's a British interpretation of the term. Life in the UK really is that "British", eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kim,
      Yes indeed, there are quite a number who would fit nicely into the 'Family Butchers' category.
      "Sketching" as in she wanted to do a hastily done drawing of me using graphite pencils. Life in Britain can be rather quirky. Sort of like my posting :)

      Delete
  3. Ah yes, that British wit. You're a regular Monty Python.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey PT,
      Ah yes, a Canadian, British attempt at wit. And we make "Monty Python" seem like serious drama.
      PT phone home...

      Delete
  4. interesting I didn't know some of this but very cool though that whole family butcher thing a little scaring hope no relation to Mrs. Lovett and her pie shop

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi becca,
      Ah yes, "Family Butchers" certainly can be subjected to a rather dark interpretation :) I certainly hope Mrs. Lovett's pie shop hasn't got something to hide :)
      Have a lovely weekend, becca.
      Gary

      Delete
  5. Hmmm Family Butchers. Could be they are a family who butcher or butchers who butcher families ( 5 for the price of 4). Either way I don't think I will go in there either. So what is an "off licence" ?
    Great description. I almost feel like I'm there. Thanks Gary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Heather,
      Yes indeed and with a subject to interpretation angle on "Family Butchers", it could be a butchers that caters to families, It could be a family run butchers. Or, it could be 'Family Butchers'...
      An "off-licence" is the term used in Britain for a liquor store.
      Glad you liked the description, Heather.
      Have a good BC Day, eh :)
      Gary

      Delete
  6. Dear Gary,
    Ah, the pub and the kebab shop, the staple of any good Stoke-on-Trent night out. You may have noticed in one of my posts that someone, in the letters page of "The Sentinel", wittily renamed Burslem and Tunstall, "Kebeb Sentral", the "S" being used instead of the "C" to lampoon the decision to name a new shopping centre in Hanley, "City Sentral". The cultural quarter (don't make me laugh!) in Hanley is also well known for its, erm, pubs and kebab shops. As for family butchers, just don't go there. And, no lady has ever offered to sketch me naked. Your inimitable Canadian wit and charm, Gare, obviously gets you everywhere!
    Very Best Wishes, your way,
    David.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear David,
      Indeed, my illustrious friend, living and soaking up the culture of Stoke on Trent, you know all about the true mainstays of British society. I cannot think of anything more 'fun' and 'profound' as getting 'shit faced', staggering into a Kebab Shop and proceeding to spew one's guts out. Me thinks that you and I are missing out on such fascinating pastimes. I reckon I can now work for the British Tourist Board. Perhaps not.
      "Family Butchers", give that a big miss. Perhaps a lady would rather sketch you naked. Just think of the pencils she might use. Thanks, David.
      Your um 'witty' and charming friend, Gary

      Delete
  7. The abuse of alcohol (not limited to Friday night) is an Australian thing as well. Sigh. As is the puking/chundering/driving the porcelain bus/technicolour yawn. And several other terms I have thankfully forgotten.
    Did you let the woman sketch you in the nude (either of you)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elephant's Child,
      Oh my. The main abuse of alcohol does seem to be on Fridays in Britain. A bit of a binge drinking culture and the accident and emergency wards, the police, can vouch for that.
      And discreetly moving on from the vomiting that you have witnessed in Australia...
      Sadly, or perhaps, not sadly, we both remained covered up :)
      Take care and gidday.
      Gary

      Delete
  8. You sum up the high street so well!
    I'm still laughing about the woman sketching you in the nude - did she? x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Teresa,
      Thanks for that :)
      No, she didn't "sketch me in the nude." Oh well, maybe someday!
      Gary x

      Delete
  9. Nice piece! I treasure high streets but so many of them are under threat, either from boring chain stores or else from general decline. I wonder if Mary Portas' ideas will take hold and make a difference? what do you think>

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jenny,
      Thank you and you are so correct about those boring chain stores. I was hoping somebody might mention the loss of local identity to the "High Street". See one high street and you've basically seen them all, these days. Ah yes Mary Portas, the "Queen of Shops" etc. I would like to think that the small business owners would get a tax break to help rejuvenate the ambience of what the high street once was.
      Thanks, Jenny.
      Gary

      Delete
  10. Hello Gary:
    We tend seldom to find ourselves in a traditional British pub and when we do it is usually for something to eat as many, as you will know, now serve excellent food which has, or so it would seem, become the main thrust of their business.

    As for the High Street, it seems to us that there is hardly anywhere to go now where there might be found anything other than multiple or chain stores. Ghastly! Signed: Disgruntled of Tunbridge Wells.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greetings Jane and Lance,
      Like you, I seldom go to a traditional British pub. It would seem that those surviving are specialising in better quality cuisine. If I go into a pub, it would now probably be out in the countryside and sample the fine food. My friends would have a drink or two. I would partake in a hopefully decent cup of British coffee and then drive them home.
      The High Street has lost the magic it once had. Tis such a pity that the friendly local shop owner has been priced out by the greedy monopolies. Disgruntled in Leek.
      Gary

      Delete
  11. Sadly the traditional UK High Street is disappearing or becoming the same all over Britain. Family butchers, atisanal bakers etc are going for good thanks to dominance by supermarkets.
    Your link to a helpful description of Bitter beer reminds me that I have an, as yet unpublished, post about beer. Perhaps that will appear soon!
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi bazza,
      I'm glad that you also noted the demise of the High Street. Although my article was more on the quirky side, the underlying message is that the small business owner is being wiped out by the large chains. And yes, notably supermarkets, who often locate themselves on the perimeter of a town. Leek has had its road system totally overhauled due to the impending opening of a Sainsbury supermarket.
      Look forward to your beer posting. I wonder if Sir Tom will find it of interest?
      Gary

      Delete
  12. Did you ever get your nude sketch done?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alex,
      Alas, no. If I ever get a nude sketch done, I shall post it up on my blog. Get ready to click on 'enlarge' :)
      Take care,
      Gary

      Delete
  13. that was hilarious! and witty and so interesting at the same time.....first time I've been here, but I will be back...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi joanne,
      Thank you for thinking so. I'm very pleased you visited my shy, humble and oh so unassuming blog :)
      Thank you.
      Gary

      Delete
  14. Oh my... our ale has been replaced by cocaine; our bitterness by tanning beds; our Family Butchers by grocer Meat Departments; our high streets by huge buildings; our kebabs by tacos... but puke remains the same.

    Lovely post, Gary,(laughed really, really hard and a lot).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dixie,
      I'm feeling strangely pleased that despite it all, puke remains the same. Over here, they puke in a local accent. Wonder if they puke in a Southern drawl, y'all :)
      I'm glad this made you laugh, Dixie. That's a great outcome.
      Kind wishes and happy Olmypukes, oops, Olympics, your way, Gary

      Delete
    2. Hey Dixie,
      Me thinks the 'Olympukes' will be thrown up for debate at the next meeting of the International Olympics Committee :)

      Delete
  15. Oh how I miss Uk with its country houses and peaceful streets. My last trip to UK was in Scotland, I am still enchanted by its beauty. There is a certain magic about you people living on that island :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi unikorna,
      Ah, Britain and its lovely country houses with thatched roofs and roses in the garden. And yes, the peaceful streets where you can get lost in tranquil thoughts, but remember to watch where you step :)
      Seriously, there is a magical enchantment about this island. I love Scotland, the land that brought us deep fried Mars bars,
      Thanks, my friend and I hope your weather has cooled off.
      Gary

      Delete
  16. Picture of the pub gave me a good laugh! I love a post's like these, that are both informative and humorous.
    Thanks!
    Madison

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Madison,
      I'm heartened that the picture of the pub gave you a good laugh. I endeavour to write the occasional light hearted posting and I greatly appreciate your kind words.
      I was most inspired by your upbeat and positive posting on your thoughtful site. I think we can show that any mental health concerns we have, are only a small part of who we are.
      In kindness and respect, Gary

      Delete
  17. The high street in my community is packed full of berries these days. I even saw a sign saying Berries for Sale. I'm with you. I'd rather have a pub. Sadly, the Lakeside Pub was on the low street near the water and burned down. I know, I know. You'd think being right near the water like that they'd have saved the beer. Sad day, indeed. Probably nobody thought to say, "Hey, there's water right over here, let's use it to put out the fire."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joylene,
      Hey, thanks for sharing. I once saw a sign in the Okanagan Valley that said "Fruit Stand". Okay, the sign didn't actually speak the words, 'fruit stand'. However, none of the fruit were standing. Strange that.
      Yes, perhaps the folks were too sloshed in the beer parlour to realise that there was lake beside the pub that would come in mighty handy. You should open up a pub, Joylene. You could serve beer and sing songs about British Columbia. Which reminds me, Happy BC Day, eh!

      Delete
  18. Replies
    1. Hi Melynda,
      Aha, "Family Butchers!" Not a place I would like to 'meat' my friends :)

      Delete
  19. Yikes! I think my family and I will steer clear of this shop! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jemi,
      Are you sure? I've heard they would like to um 'meat' you! :)

      Delete
  20. I hate to burst your bubble, my friend but I think we have you Brits beat. I was raised in south Louisiana, where there is a bar on every street corner. Although not as quaint and lovely as your rustic pubs, they serve the same purpose - to get you plastered. 50 miles to the north is New Orleans with the famous French Quarter. This is a great place to dip into the proverbial pints. One bar in particular offers 3 to 1 specials - buy 1 get 2 free. Just picture me waking around with 3 Bloody Marys - hilarious. We go bar-hopping from time-to-time, and this activity is exhausting, to say the least. There's so many stops to make! One day I will visit your lovely country and enjoy the rustic allure of your famous pubs. But, until then we will settle for our our historic little bars ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jackie,
      No bubble to be burst, my friend. First of all, I'm a Canadian Brit. And there's really no contest. I have sampled the wilder times when I have visited some biker pubs in remote parts of California. I have been in the rowdiest of beer parlours in British Columbia. Yet, I actually downplayed how outrageous it can be in this mostly pleasant land. So pub crawls, bar crawls and buy one get two free is something I vaguely recall from my past. Seems like you are having a good time, Jackie. Have fun and Britain and its rowdy revellers look forward to your imminent arrival to one of its famous pubs. Take care, Jackie.
      Gary

      Delete
  21. I have THE hardest time understanding people from England. I drop my "g's", but when someone drops their "t's" I can't follow the conversation.

    But I digress. Quite ballsy of the young woman after only drawing for three months. I assume- whether dressed or naked, the picture would be of assembled sticks going in different directions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi lotta joy,
      Ah, me thinks you might have been talking to some Cockneys. Would you like a glass of 'wa er'?
      And speaking of "ballsy", that may have been part of her sketch. Yes, she was quite confident for somebody who had been drawing for just three months. Strangely enough, her attempt at drawing me ended up looking like an ad for a matchstick, minus the box.
      Take care y'all :)
      Gary

      Delete
  22. Oh, this makes me nostaligc for England. Pubs and pub quizes and kebabs... Tremendous post, Gary. Those names... hilarious! I once saw an old guy swaggering and pissing in the street outside the pub, back in Shipley, West Yorkshire. ;)

    Parker says "Ruff, Penny!"

    P.S. Thank you so much for that award! Bless. I've been awol with my husband off work and useless from the heat and humidity (air conditioner is broken to boot), so sorry for missing that before!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi CarrieBoo,
      Ah yes such nausea, sorry, nostalgia :) Oops, when was that you were outside that pub in Shipley, West Yorkshire :)
      And Penny says in here finest English bark., Arf! Arf! to Parker! :)
      No worries and you were most welcome for those awards. Perhaps you might get your adoring 'fans' to come by and cool you all off :)
      Gary

      Delete
  23. 'The Cock Inn' - hahahaha, of course, it would be. If she does draw you naked, get her to pay you the 2nd time. You could make a name for yourself one way or another there heh. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi All Consuming,
      Ah yes, "The Cock Inn" which is fairly close to "The Quiet Woman".
      She would need an awful lot of graphite to draw me. Note my modesty. Perhaps not note my modesty. Hey, why don't we do a comedy sketch....Right then, must go find her and demand she pays me for a nude drawing. What will I do with a penny?
      Gary :)

      Delete
  24. High Street is always fun. It is the High Road that baffles me more often ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. High Chris, I mean, hi Chris :)
      Suddenly I'm thinking about a certain Scottish song, "Oh! ye'll take the high road and I'll take the low road, And I'll be in Scotland afore ye..."

      Delete
  25. Hi Gary .. I used to think British pubs were fun - but then I frequent those in the sticks ... great post on our High Streets ..

    Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hilary,
      Evidently, British pubs were fun. And on Coronation Street, they seem to still be 'fun' and almost always full. Not quite the reality. Thanks for liking my post on the High Street.
      Take good care and thanks for commenting on this archived article.
      Kind wishes,
      Gary

      Delete
  26. I'd like to send one half of my family to the Family Butchers shop. I wouldn't eat their rotting flesh, though, as it would probably stink from the inside out.

    The Cock Inn pub sounds like a great place to go if you just don't have enough bizarre stories to tell or mayhem in your life. The "Sketch Lady" part of your telling was laugh out loud funny for a number of reasons. Your "switcheroo type" of wordplay on what she asked you, like the naked joke, and so on.

    And yeah, stuffing kebabs down your gullet only to puke them back out on some unsuspecting drunken soul sounds like a fine ol' time. sounds, in fact, like some of the small town redneck bars we have around here. Drink, eat, puke... repeat.

    Take care, Gary. Funny story

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly,
      I really appreciate you taking the time to check through my archived postings :)
      You'd be amazed at what the 'Family Butcher' can do with rotting flesh. They can 'cure' the smell.
      And to think that the "Cock Inn" is a pub in Leek and I just couldn't resist taking a photo of it. What was I thinking...I'm glad you liked the reverse to thinking angle I used in regards to that lady asking if she could "sketch me in the nude". It is a totally true story. I do have a laugh with folks in my everyday zany life :)
      Drinking, eating and puking. Good to know that such noble traditions are being upheld in Indiana! Of course, stuffing a kebab down the front of your trousers can be a right laugh.
      Thanks man, I'm glad you liked this story. Must go and get high on the high street.
      Cheers and a bag of kebab puke, your way, Gary

      Delete

I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.