BEER is proof that CAMRA loves us and wants us to be happy
Kate and I are back home after our honeymoon in Scotland, all wed up. The wedding went pretty much perfectly, as did Summer Wine Covenant, but I’ll come on to that in a separate post.
One thing that’s taken the edge off returning to Leeds after a very relaxing 10 days in Scotland is the new Winter 2011 edition of BEER magazine which was waiting for me, with a snowscene cover as festive as the Christmas Radio Times. I’ve enjoyed BEER since I first bought a copy in Borders a couple of years ago, with its quality beer writing and clean design, so I was very glad to be able to respond to a Twitter appeal for a few hundred words on “My Local” with a short piece on Mr Foleys.
I’m thrilled that they published it and was surprised when they sent a photographer to take some photos of me in the pub to go with the article. It was a bit daunting to see that the photographer, Will Amlot, had taken portraits of Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan for publications such as the Sunday Times Magazine.
As Dean can testify, Will had me in quite a few poses for a number of hours getting the photos right. It included flipping beer mats; catching slopping pint glasses slid along the bar; and even pretending to have pork scratchings for claws. I asked whether Will had given the same treatment to Mandela, but apparently not. Certainly a man of Mandela’s age would probably have felt even worse after the afternoon drinking (for art’s sake) than I did.
I think it’s mainly down to Will’s excellent photography that they ended up with three pictures of my awkward, doughy face in the magazine. My little article was knocked off in less time than this post after work, but it reflects that there are no shortage of good things to say about Mr Foleys.
I’m just glad to have a bit of writing published in a beautiful magazine alongside that of a writer of the quality of Adrian Tierney-Jones, not to mention a few of my favourite bloggers in Simon Johnson, the CAMRA-shy Mark from BeerBirraBier, and Bailey of Boak & Bailey. It’s a lot more than I could have hoped for a year ago when I started this blog.
BEER magazine is free to all CAMRA members either in hard copy or online (which is reason enough to join CAMRA), or you can buy a copy in some larger newsagents. However you can’t get it in the WH Smith in Oban, where two shop assistants, due to a conflict of accents, thought Kate was asking for “Bear” magazine (about teddies) and then, increasingly red-facedly, “Bare” magazine: “Och, no hen, we dinnae stock that sort of magazine” (or similar).