Last week we held our first CAMRA branch meeting of the year in Ship Isis in Sunderland. Now this is a great pub and sells excellent real ales and ciders. As you walk in the bar is on the right, a staircase in front and a snug to the left.
Normally we have had meetings in the snug, and you can see the room ( this shows a third of it) is fairly large and comfortable for meetings. However, on this occasion we were directed upstairs to a smaller sitting room. ( and I mean smaller- ie what you can see in the photo). I was one of the first ones in so managed to get a comfy chair. There was a fire burning away warming the room up nicely. The meeting started with a full room, no spare seats.
After 10 minutes , in comes another member, who had to grab a stool from another room. He perched near the door. After another 10 minutes, someone else arrived. He had to sit on the marble surround of the fireplace.
Halfway through we were starting to sweat. One guy took of his Christmas present jumper and soon we were gagging for another pint.
The guy on the stool opened the door and we all hurriedly left onto the landing. It reminded me of the crowded cabin scene from the Marx Brothers film, A Night at the Opera, when a steward opened the door and everyone spilled out.
During this mini heatwave no one could figure out how to turn the fire off. A busker had started singing in the bar downstairs which was drowning us out with the door open. Soon the manager arrived to turn the fire down.
Towards the end of the meeting someone remarked, quite prophetically...." this room is a breeding ground for colds"
Where is that tissue box.