Jan. 16th, 2017

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Thursday saw Funky Fox come around, largely in an attempt to resume our anime nights. I have been woeful at watching anime of late and really should get back into it, which was one motivation for having him around. We saw two in the end - Hunter x Hunter and Poco's Udon World - two animes with very different plots but with a similar style of warm humour that I quite like.

Saturday was largely spent with Arcais Panda, who we picked up just before lunchtime. The plan had been to drive to Yorkshire Sculpture Park but Wolfie's iPhone took us a weird and wonderful way out of Bradford meaning we were pushed for time what with the early dusk. Arc wanted to take us to The Oil Can Cafe in nearby Holmfirth, home of Last of the Summer Wine, and having had nothing to eat, we decided to call in. The place is an old shed and is full of classic cars and motorbikes, while the theme is vintage 1940s with little wooden shops selling habidachery and Union Flag bunting laid everywhere. Attached to the hoists of the ceilings were rows upon rows of bicycles while the popular little cafe at one end served a range of British staples. Arc recommended the hot roast beef sandwich with gravy and chunky chips, and it certainly didn't disappoint, particularly with a splash of mustard. Service was perhaps a little slow but it was a pleasant place to while away an hour, with the range of automotive paraphenalia on the walls of considerable interest.

After our food, we had a wander around the classic cars parked up, spying some interesting black animal sculptures made out of oil drums and the like. We also had a look at the workshop area which was sadly quite bereft of cars, with things coming into full force during the summer months no doubt. After this, we decided to walk into town, which was about fifteen minutes away along the riverbank. It was quite a pleasant walk, with the weather gloomy but not overly cold, although there were some icy and muddy patches in places. As we went, we talked about something and nothing until we reached the town, which had a surprising diversity of bars and restaurants. I really wanted to go to one, but Arc and Wolfie but their feet down, although we did get to go to the Longley Farm ice cream shop, a company whose yoghurts I remember eating as a kid with my school dinners. Here I grabbed a mint choc chip and a white chocolate ice cream, which was incredibly delicious and a nice snack to eat as we walked back to the car. Where we had parked, it was just outside one of Arc's friend's houses so she popped in for a chat, after she had fed some ducks crumbs from her ice cream cone. We weren't outside her friend's house for long though as we needed to head back as the plan was to call at a supermarket to pick up some food before having a vegan feast back at home.

Arc is having a vegan month and offered to cook some food for us, which turned out to be fried halloumi wraps with aubergine raita and lettuce, served with lime and coriander cous cous and baked crunchy chickpeas. The raita gave the wraps a little caustic taste which I didn't particular enjoy, while I didn't even realise you could bake chickpeas, which was a new taste sensation for us. The food was lovely, which we had picked up at ASDA, where Draken had met us and while we were eating, we watched a few episodes of Don't Tell The Bride, playing our usual bingo game to see if we could predict what happens in this rather formulaic show. It was great being sat around chilling with friends and a nice relaxant after another week of stress, and once we cracked the gins out, things got better and better. Arc and Draken have started dabbling in mixology and got a gin spice accompaniment for Christmas to go along with their extensive gin selections. We tried three gins in the end, with different spices and tonics added to each depending on the flavours of the gin. I am really getting into gin, so much so that I downloaded the Ginto app to keep a track of all the ones I had tried, and it was definitely a rather sophisticated yet communal way to spend the evening. After this, we chilled upstairs, demonstrating a few bits and pieces in the attic and taking some photo memories of the day.

Sunday was a largely quite day as Arc and Draken hadn't left until about 1:30am. This meant I surfaced quite late and we pottered around the house a little before heading down to the Brew-endell Beer Festival at the Brundell Social Club in LS6. This was the fifth annual edition of this small festival but the first time we had ever been. I knew about it last year, but we were in Preston for Sterling's birthday so we couldn't go. We were in two minds as to whether this would be any good, but free entry meant it was worth a shot and we rocked up at about 6:30pm after being rather unfortunate with buses. It was very much a social club, with a main bar and two additional bars opposite serving the festival. There were about 32 keg beers and a further 20 craft style ones, but the menu suggested an element of rotation as over 100 were listed. As we were there in the final hours, entry was free but it did mean less choice, although there were easily enough beers here that we hadn't had before, particularly from Scotland and the rest of the world. Interestingly, they had a few unique local brews as well as a couple which are rarely seen outside of the United States, so we did enjoy a good five or six over the course of the evening. Usually, they have a good range of craft just behind the bar, making it the best social club I had ever been to, while they also had Pieminister pies, which were excellent with the drinks we were having. It was a very delightful evening, even if Wolfie did spend a lot of it on his phone, and while we had a bit of a weird argument at the end on the subject of what is or is not sexual, it was a good night indeed. It's just a shame the social club is a good twenty minute walk from our bus stop, in one of the suburbs. Still, the beer festival is a very good additon to our schedule and we will aim to come back next year, even if our heads feel a little delicate today.

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