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Blog 61 - Dray & Horses

Well, we’re back safely in Richmond after that long flight to Hong Kong yesterday and I think we will stay close to home today, give the magic carpet a rest, stay off ferries and take a ride in a Brewery horse-drawn dray. Had I known I was going to write a daily blog about my scarves a few years later, I might have chosen a more apt scarf, but there you have it...the photos don’t lie and my scarf is a bright orange and vivid green. I think I chose to wear it that day as I had just bought a broken string of green malachite beads and had them restrung. The scarf is by Hermes and is named Tahiti. Silk, of course, and a very exotic design of some mythical birds.

French Polynesia is a long cry from a very traditional English pub on the River Thames, an annual celebration of Young’s Brewery introduction of their Winter Warmer beer, and the dray and horses used by the Brewery to deliver their beer to their pubs nearby. The beer was launched each year at the White Cross with a Winter Warmer Breakfast, a very generous fry-up with two pints of the beer. Many years back under Denise and Quentin’s management, the event was attended by mostly locals who enjoyed the live jazz, and the sight of the last chairman of the family business, John Young, the ninety year old great great grandson of the founder in his towelling dressing gown made of the pub beer mats dancing to the jazz band. John died and the pub has gone from strength to strength under Sara and Simon. The Winter Warmer breakfast continued and let’s hope it will be back this autumn if and when social distancing eases. The pub looked so sad without its customers as I walked past on my first outing from lockdown. 

But to happier times and my ride in the dray with these magnificent horses.  We went from the river up to Richmond Green and back. I felt quite regal and waved at passers by. I suddenly saw my cleaning lady on the pavement and thought to myself....Bet, she’s surprised to see my mode of transport today. Too true! Where’s the keys, she cried. My God! I’d completely forgotten it was her weekly cleaning day and here I was out for a boozy breakfast at 11 am. That surprised the pedestrians too as I threw the keys from my lofty position and she deftly caught them. I still had another pint awaiting me back at the Cross.

And guess what......because we were close neighbours, my family and a Canadian friend were all given a complimentary Young’s scarf showing the year 1831 when they started brewing. You will have to wait until tomorrow to see that......another blog, another new experience and a rather naughty photo.

Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Blog 61.

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