Giles asked me how far I had walked and I told him from Lyneham as I removed my shoes which were soaked through from the downpour and spattered with goat shit from getting lost in the pastures behind the ruins of the old Augustinian Abbey in Bradenstoke (or, it might be said, of the carcass of RAF Lyneham which remains lifeless despite grand plans for an MoD educational facility to occupy the fences).
Attentive to a fault, Giles chatted with me on topics ranging from a mathematical conundrum to the decay of New York’s Times Square from sleazy cesspool to family friendly tourist trap. I get the feeling that locals would refer to him as a raconteur.
I didn’t feel as if I overstayed my welcome, but I also had not budgeted the amount of time that I lingered in the house of the Rising Sun. That’s the mark of a decent pub and I haven’t seen much of it in the past few months (at least, not in the ones I have visited for the first time).
And so, with recommendations of other stops to make on my route, I loaded my pack and ran off toward Sutton Benger. I did swoop by the decrepit and closed Mermaid as I reached the main road…there’s a theme to develop here, but I’m behind on updating the blog with the next three pubs so use your own imaginations.