My wife Jacqui and I meet up with friends at our local pub most Friday evenings.
Not the most exciting or adventurous outing you might say, but all nine of us are either into, or close to being, in our eighties, so our idea of an exciting night of debauchery may differ somewhat from the way we might have felt forty years ago!
It beats staying at home watching “Married at First Sight” and all the other rubbish broadcast these days! (But of course, an evening in the pub, or sitting on the seafront eating fish and chips would beat ANYTHING on the air nowadays!)
Our pub, the Yarram Commercial Hotel, does a very good range of meals, from simple fish and chips to ribs-and-buffalo-wings, from sausages and mash to oysters, and grilled scallops, with a list of weekly specials on offer too, so we rarely have reason to grumble about what’s on offer.
One of the advantages about living far away from the bright city lights is that, although the food is as good as, if not better than you can get in a large hostelry, the prices tend to be a lot cheaper (and everything is so fresh).
No frozen fish for us, ours come straight from the fishing boats, twenty kilometres down the road at Port Campbell and Welshpool, and much the same applies to locally reared meat and vegetables as well - in fact, we live pretty well, eating at our local pub.
A glass of wine can cost twelve dollars these days, and the average price of a meal hovers around the thirty-dollar mark, affordable even for pensioners like us, as long as we don’t try to do it too often!
I doubt that we’d have the energy for more than one evening a week out anyway; you tend to have less stamina for such entertainments as you get older!
We have just the one pub in our little town now, and as in many country towns like ours, the locals tend to use it as their main social centre, and it would take a fire or the absence of any beer to drive them somewhere else.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that, like in politics, many blokes go to their local because their dad always went there – “It was good enough for him, it’s good enough for me!”
There is a TAB in our pub, but unlike many city establishments they don’t possess any pokies. No pokies, reduced business, go broke, close, in the city.
But many country places seem to be surviving quite well, offering other forms of entertainment, like Friday meat raffles and cheap lunches during the week. “Open Mic” afternoons are also popular, featuring both local and ‘imported’ talent, depending on what the landlord can afford. Luckily, for some reason, our little town is very strong when it comes to local talent, and they’re not rubbish either, they can provide a good evening’s entertainment.
Our local pub is often used for major social events as well, filling the gap where a reception centre would take up the business in the city. Weddings, funerals, birthdays and club meetings are all catered for on the premises and usually done very well too and at a cost much cheaper than the ‘professionals’.
The thing is, most country people don’t want their family events to be too ‘flashy’, it could be classed as showing-off and no one wants to be accused of that, especially when everyone in the town knows you!
So, on reflection, perhaps our friends and we are pretty well served by our local pub, we are always welcomed cheerfully, served drinks in excellent condition and we return home with bellies well filled – couldn’t really do better than that, anywhere, could we!
© 2022 Brian Lee
Check out our local here: https://www.yarramcommercialhotel.com.au/