Corrupting Aunt

When I was in NI in July, there was some amusement, some surprise, some almost disapproval from certain quarters about the pictures of Aunt at the pub. “You’ll corrupt her,” laughed one family member. One cousin said nothing at all. But her silence spoke volumes. Another cousin, also tea-total, smiled, and seemed amused at his strait-laced, Baptist-Church-attending relative happily chowing down at a pub. Perhaps I should mention he is a minister in the Church of Ireland.

Uncle Bill, Aunt’s Big Brother, smiled broadly.

Whatever their reactions, it seems we have hit on a winning formula. I pick Aunt up from her home, we drive through a countryside she doesn’t see enough of these days. We go to a pub with a chef, check that they can cater for someone with Coeliac Disease, settle ourselves comfortably, relax, eat and enjoy our surroundings.

So here is Aunt at Pub Number Two.

Aunt at the Pub

Aunt at the Pub

I am not trying to suggest we went on a pub crawl, though the Nephews would probably pay good money to see their Great Aunt staggering from hostelry to hostelry. The first pub was the one we went to in July, the one in Reach. As Aunt said, we started with the best.

Not that the Walnut Tree was bad. It was jolly good; excellent customer service – the chef went through the menu and ticked every dish on the menu he could make suitable for someone with Coeliac Disease. The staff was attentive and friendly. We sat outside in sunshine and admired the flowers.



It was noisier than Reach, with cars going up and down a road we had thought of as quiet, and there was an, at times almost invasive, farm smell. Again, I ate most of Aunt’s chips.



But we lingered after we had eaten, and enjoyed watching people and the soft sunshine. There were Ladies Who Lunch; an extended family from the US, presumably with links to the nearby USAF base; office workers with limited time. No dogs, which both of us regretted. On a trip to the loo, Aunt was hailed by her cleaner’s daughter who was working in the office.

We went to the local farm selling free range eggs and stocked up, then back to Aunt’s flat where I uploaded my pictures to her tablet.

When I got home last night after a meal with Octavia in a local restaurant, there was a ‘phone message from Aunt hoping I’d make it East again before autumn makes das Boot unattractively cold.

I already have a pub in mind.


22 thoughts on “Corrupting Aunt

    • I think it’s partly a post-Mother thing, for both of us. Not surprisingly, Mother was my first concern when I went East. Now Aunt is getting a look in. Where she and I would be liaising about Mother; exchanging information and working our ways to improve the level of her care, now we reminisce, enjoy a less charged space, and build up new memories for ourselves.

      She did only drink water at the pub. I had orange juice and soda.

    • I think she did have a good time. She likes having the photos of the day too. She says she looks at them a lot, and shows them to Linda her cleaner, who is like an extra member of the family, and a true friend.

  1. I think she looks like she is having a great time and I bet she loves those drives with you through the countryside! I love her smile in click three.. I imagine her thinking.. Isobel you aren’t going to take my picture!

  2. What lovely photos of aunt, and flowers and pub sign. Let’s hope for a good autumn day for the next pub. I begin to feel I’m getting to know aunt a little – give her my best wishes!

  3. Oh how I wish I had an aunt alive to take to lunch. There are so many questions I would like to ask them now that I don’t have the opportunity. Love the photos.

  4. oh how delightful! those flowers are beautiful, too. and fresh chips (or fries, as they are called on this side of the Atlantic). yummy!
    there is nothing quite like time spent with an aunt. do treasure these moments 🙂

  5. How funny that you’ve “corrupted” your Aunt. I know when my brothers found out I took our mom to a Casino they said the same thing. Anyway she looks to be enjoying herself and that is the best part.

  6. Wonderful! And there are some really great pubs in East Anglia. My parents (from similar background to your Aunt) wouldn’t be pub goers, but we have occasionally managed to get them into one for lunch! Never thought I’d see the day!

    • Do take them to Reach if you can. It is a super pub, and there is a chapel next door. Also an organic farm up the road.

      I want to take Aunt to Jude’s Ferry if I can remember how to get there.

  7. Looks like a lovely, relaxing time was had by all, Isobel. Pubs must be treasured for lots of reasons – especially those with flowers! I often use a pub as a motivational tool to get others on their bikes 🙂

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