Fond as I often appear to be of finding something to whinge about, I actually prefer good news and I’ve been desperately looking for something positive to write about. Sadly, these days – for the pub trade at least – it’s a damned near impossible thing to do.
What with the credit crunch, bad weather, punitive Sky prices, rising utility bills, small wine glass measures, industry redundancies, tied tenancies, Big Brother and the fact that Global Warming causes kidney stones it’s no wonder we’re all feeling a bit despondent. And a couple of quarters of negativity, we’re told, will lead to a recession.
So it was nice to find a little ray of sunshine this weekend that might make Britain’s publicans – and pub goers – smile a little. And I’m not talking about the first decent ray of sunshine, either, which brought customers flocking to our beer gardens, but a report commissioned by Pimm’s that showed this nation’s top ten favourite summertime noises.
Seagulls cawing and pigeons cooing might have some of us reaching for the shotgun, but in seventh and eighth places respectively they did manage to shove the sound of clinking glasses in to a somewhat dismal ninth place; however, they were beaten in sixth place by the sound of drinks being poured over ice. People playing tennis managed fifth whilst the sound of a cricket ball hitting a bat is apparently Britain’s fourth favourite sound of summer.
Waves on a beach is in third place but the pub trade should rejoice because, despite all the stories of neighbours complaining about the volume of people sitting outside and the fact that the smoking ban has driven most of them there, the second favourite noise of the summer is that of people chatting in a pub beer garden.
It was beaten in to second place only by the one sound we all find synonymous with this time of year: a lawnmower cutting grass.
Despite my best efforts, however, I could not find the snap of a bikini being undone anywhere on the list and the top ten does go to show that you can’t keep a good Briton’s despondency down for too long: the final sound, to complete the round-up in tenth place, is rain.
- Lawnmower cutting grass
- Pub garden chatter
- Waves on a beach
- A cricket ball hitting a bat
- People playing tennis
- Drinks poured over ice
- Seagulls cawing
- Pigeons cooing
- Clinking glasses