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Richard Stedman (aka Stedders, publisher of the Football & Real Ale Guides came came and collected me from Hugh’s this morning. I thought he lived in the posh resort of Cleveden, but it turns out he lives in Pilning, next to the couldn’t be less posh if it tried resort of Seven Beach, which has a bakers; a grocers; a cash machine that charges 99p; a funfair with two stalls and one of those machines that mave 4 year olds backwards and forwards for 20p; and no beach.

What it does have is one of the best short walks in England. Richard took me over the motorway to the new Severn Bridge, by te course of the Bristol and South Wales Union Railway (which took passengers to a ferry pier before the Severn Tunnel was built), and then along the first/last mile of Severn Beach’s sea wall; and that is the best short walk. Whichever was you walk it you see one of the Severn road bridges in front of you, then the other as you walk the curved river bank. You also pass under the new bridge, the supporting wires of which look like fore-aft rigged triangler sails when the light catches then right. You also pass over the Severn Tunnel the ‘town’ side of the bridge, and can feel the trains, but you only see the rusting remains of the pump that used to pump the tunnel dry.

After we got back to Richard’s we sat and chatted. In the evening we went to the Kings Arms for food, but they don’t do any on a Monday. We had Courage Best. We then went to the Crossed Hands, where Richard met a bloke he used to play cricket with (he grew up in the village). The barmaid was cute, called Lyndsey and only works Monday, when she runs a ‘no swearing without a fine’ charity extortion scheme, her judgement being absolute and final. She charged 10p for a bloody, so I gave her 50p advanced payment.

After that we got one of the best donar kebabs I have had from Vasili the Cypriot.
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