Caspar Dickinson was one of the first people I met in Saint Mary Bourne. The night we met, I was standing outside a pub smoking a cigarette with a stockbroker called 'Geoff,' when a flat-capped Caspar walked past us. He nodded at me and said "Hello Old Bean!" to the Geoff chap. Five minutes later, a middle-aged man wearing all tweed, a red dickie-bow, carrying an umbrella in the non-street-lit darkness, complete with a blue-lit L.E.D shaft, cheerily waved at me. Wide-eyed, I realised I wasn't in Somerset anymore. 'This place is barking mad', I can recall thinking.
Around a week later, upon starting my then new job at The George Inn, Caspar and I found common ground in a love for red wine and cigarettes and a dislike for irritating girls. We have since decided to become friends, albeit a consistently drunken friendship. I've learned a few things about Caspar. He's a fantastic Pianist, loves steam engines and works in the farming industry. He also happens to be the Organist Nigel's youngest son. We are often subjected to the "Organists son, Vicar's daughter" banter when seen at the pub together, which after the hundredth time becomes imaginably tiresome. (Solution: Stop going to the pub so often? Arguable, yet equally unlikely.)
Caspar's 21st birthday party was this Saturday just gone, at a strange pub called The White Hart, which has seemingly unfriendly bar staff. Their lack of smiles, unnerving. It was the entertainment, though, who inspired me to do a post. The Incredible Dr. Busker is a musician, who is billed as 'The Last Victorian Pub Pianist,' and is well known in the world of preservation and steam rallies, which is probably how Caspar knows of him being such an enthusiast. On the day of the party in the early afternoon, I was at work when Dr Busker sat at our piano with his coffee balanced on the table next to him, sporting a top hat and tails and began amusing our afternoon customers for what seemed like a pre-party warm up session. He naturally came with his entourage, who drank Sailor Jerry and Poacher's Choice and sat in the back bar. One even asked for a pair of spoons to play instrumentally. (...?...) I watched from the bar, agog. It was cool.
At the party, the songs were far less 'PG' than those that were played beforehand, with names such as 'The Panda Wanker' and 'Four and twenty Virgins.' I didn't understand what was going on a lot of the time, but I enjoyed it all nevertheless. It was brilliant to see something slightly controversial, given that Saint Mary Bourne isn't always the most 'happening' of places. I walked the mile home with my boyfriend Hugo and two other 'villagers' called Guy and Mish, stopping at Mish's for a quick drink first, of course.
|A cat sat on a piano at The White Hart|
|An unfortunately rather blurry photograph of the pub.|
|Hugo and I. (The sticker which reads 'Totty approved,' was presented to me by the Organist of Saint Mary Bourne/Cas' Dad.)|