Went to a strange pub last night in Silecroft, near Millom. It was badly decorated, with a horrible carpet in the restaurant and flock wallpaper with a palm-tree pattern. Half of the bar had brown lino on the floor and the walls at that end were painted a dirty yellow colour which had since been scuffed and muckied. There were no tables or chairs in that part of the bar. It was empty and dark and cold-looking. It looked like it could be used for dog-fighting. A small TV hung from a bracket showing some game of football.
They specialised in steak at this place. The owner was South African and was explaining how, in August, they’re having a big event where he’s going to spit-roast whole oxen. This is something they do in a small town in South Africa, Bathurst I think it is, which attracts thousands of people. The owner was a big man, not fat, but tall and broad with red hair and a beard. He wore a blue-and-white-striped apron and stood with his arms folded high across his chest.
“I got home yesterday and me mate rang me up he said ‘You’ve lost a lamb!’ I said ‘Whaddya mean I lost a lamb?’ He said ‘You’ve lost a lamb! I was driving along behind yer and it just popped out the back of yer truck! It’s got your name on, slaughterhouse number and everything!’ I’d only been driving along with the bloody truck doors open!”
He said he also owns a coffee shop but he’s going to turn that into a ‘meat setup’. They had a kilogram steak on the menu. We didn’t eat that. We had the cajun rump. It was wonderful. It was seven months dead. The quality of the meat indicated that that must be a good thing.