Barely does a week go by when I don’t hear of a new micropub opening somewhere or other around the country. I’ve managed to incorporate a few of these into my route, but in most cases I have had to resign myself to perhaps visiting them when my quest is over. But last week a new micropub opened in Leighton Buzzard which, being about 25 miles from my workplace in Stevenage, I figured was just about reachable by bike after work one evening. Of course, getting home would be a different matter. So, the second part of my plan would be to try out my recently acquired bivi bag (a late birthday present to myself, because none of my family had taken my present suggestion seriously and actually bought me one). To anybody that doesn’t know, a bivi bag is a waterproof cover for your sleeping bag – it lets you sleep outdoors without the need to carry a tent.
So, after work on Tuesday night, I set off from Stevenage, with my sights set on the recently opened Bald Buzzard. My workmates Stuart and Sam, and Sam’s brother Joe, would meet me down there.
And that’s more or less how it happened.
Drat, I forgot to ask the owners, Alison & Phil, whether Marianne from The Paper Mill had visited them yet!
After a convivial evening in the Buzzard, we went our separate ways and, somewhere around halfway back towards Stevenage I sought out a convenient spot to bed down for the night, just as a fine drizzle had started to fall.
At 5am I awoke and quickly packed up, for fear of being “discovered” by dog-walkers, and got back on the road. The night’s drizzle had not seeped through my bivi bag so I could now believe its claims to be waterproof.
There is a certain satisfaction to be had from arriving at your office desk in the morning, having spent the night under the stars, and with nobody else being any the wiser. Alas, I have yet to experience that feeling: thanks to Facebook and Stuart and Sam, it seemed that everybody knew where I had spent the night.