Sunday, 6 March 2011

Tatsfield Village – and the who the hell is Neil Mack?

Neil Mack as he probably looked in The Ship on Saturday night.
It was still very cold, but I think Andy was feeling it more than I was as he didn't want to linger around taking photographs. We cycled to Tatsfield Village today and sat at the bus stop opposite The Ship pub discussing 'stuff', like what we'd do with £51 million. Andy's in a syndicate at work and would stand to win £4 million this week on Euromillions if his tickets come up – he's heard nothing yet.

Two things that intrigued me about Tatsfield today. First, it is twinned with Vern D'Anjou in France, and second, last night (Saturday 5th March) a chap called Neil Mack was playing live at The Ship. Let's start with Vern D'Anjou, not that there's much to say.

Vern D'Anjou is North East of Nantes and South East of Rennes and South West of Le Mans. There's not much else to say about Vern D'Anjou and very little about the place on the net either, bar travel sites and some of those are written in French. Talking of France, Andy is going to cycle to Paris in August. I'd like to go with him, but unless I have a decent holiday booked for the family, which at present is looking unlikley, I can't really piss off to France for four days, leaving them all at home, so I'm not going with him, sadly – although I will be doing the Black Horse Ride this year, which has moved from May to June (more on this in a later post).

A church in the French town of Vern D'Anjou, 
which is twinned with Tatsfield.

As for Neil Mack, well, thanks to Andy there is plenty to say about this guy. Andy emailed me to say that it was Neil Mack, not – as I'd originally written – Neil Tait (who's an accomplished artist). Anyway, Neil Mack, what a fiddler! Check out this piece of music – click here.

In fact, talking of Neil Mack, he's playing a gig with his band on 31 March in Great Bookham in Surrey. I'm assuming it's the same Neil Mack (there's a lot of Neil Macks on Google), but if you're interested in going it's £5 per ticket and the address is the Bookham Grange Hotel, Little Bookham, Leatherhead, Surrey KT23 3HS

The Bookham Grange Hotel.

In fact, it gets better as Neil Mack has a test page for a forthcoming website  – click here! And if that's not enough to be getting on with, here's a photograph of the man in action!

Spookily, there's another Neil Mack – or it could be the same one – who is into mountain biking. Check out his details by clicking here.

While we sat at the bus stop – drinking tea and munching our Jordan's cereal bar – we chatted about running a pub and decided it was too much like hard work, even if I did rather impress myself with my knowledge of 'the grey pound' and what I'd do to maintain consumer interest in the pub during the week – curry nights, real ale, darts matches and so on, but then I have spent the last three years working on a magazine for the licensed club trade. No wonder I'm an expert!

The cycle home, like yesterday, was very cold. Andy took The Ridge again and I used the B269, very exposed and very cold.

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