So last Tuesday was my 42nd birthday and Hubby and I went on a brewery tour of Adnams in Southwold.
Nanny P had the boy for the afternoon and we ate fish and chips out of the paper, then went along for a look at how they brew our favourite beer.
As far as I am concerned Adnams is one of Suffolk's great treasures and finest success stories, exporting their real ales, stouts and now spirits all over the world and importing unusual wines into the country to sell in their Cellar and Kitchen stores.
Me and Hubby do love a brewery tour! On several trips to Derbyshire we've been to the Bass museum and tour and then again since it has changed hands to Coors.
I do however tend to get the giggles in these places. Once, on the Bass tour, I'd had a lot of coffee at breakfast in the B&B. Never a good move as me and caffeine don't mix well. I'm like a hyper kid after a bucket full of Smarties and a vat of orange squash. I was bouncing off the walls and completely losing it. There was a working model in a glass cabinet showing how, back in the day, the canals and trains brought the ingredients for the beer into Burton on Trent and took the finished beer away again. There were buttons to press to make the miniature vehicles move, blow steam, whistle and generally do stuff. So I, like a demented 4 year old, ran round and round the glass case pressing them all, giggling and laughing as the little trains and barges zoomed up and down their pretend rails and canals.
But on this tour, I was very well behaved. I'd had no alcohol or caffeine prior, only fish and chips , which sometimes aggravate my IBS, but other than that we were good to go.
The tour was excellent, with a really knowledgeable guide to talk us through the history and the process of how Adnams came to Southwold and how they brewed the beers before and right up to the present day.
After about an hour we went for a tutored tasting!
God love them, they were not stingy on the measures. We tasted four beers and I must have had a good half pint of each. Then the guide asked if anyone would like a wine tasting session too?
By this time two of the ladies on the tour I'd been chatting to knew it was my birthday
"Yes, we all do. It's her birthday. We've got to celebrate!"
So another very lovely lady who was extremely well versed in wine knowledge, took us through a white, red, limoncello and a dessert wine called Rubis, which tastes like chocolate but has the texture of port. Amazing stuff. We bought a bottle!
I was feeling mellow at this point and, as a friend of mine describes it, "lightly refreshed"!
Hubby and I walked along the front, towards the pier for an ice cream.
"I just need the loo" I said
"It's that door there" said Hubby "You'll need 20p for the barrier"
By the time I'd fudged about for 20p I was a bit desperate. the fish and chips mixed with all that beer and wine had kicked in!
The door was open so you couldn't see the sign on it and the barrier was up which immediately confused me, and in my "refreshed" and desperate state I didn't notice what I should've noticed!
I sat down quickly and did what I needed to do.
Then I heard a voice.
"Is that you?"
It was Hubby!
"What are you doing in the ladies?" I said "Get out!"
"What are you doing in the men's?" came the reply
"Oh Christ you told me the wrong door!" I complained back at hubby
"Well hurry up" he said urgently
"I can't!" I moaned frantically "I'm having a poo!"
Hubby kept guard and luckily no one else came in but it was touch and go in there I can tell you.
In Hubby's defence the men's and the ladies used to be the other way round and there did used to be barriers that charged you to go in so you can see why we got confused.
"Why didn't you notice the urinals?" asked Hubby as we walked back to the car with our ice creams.
"They looked like the sinks" I said "They have those all in one soap dispensers, sink and hand dryer things and they looked the same" I explained.
"No they don't" Hubby exclaimed.
"Well they did to me"
Must have been the beer.
Beware beer goggles! They don't just make unattractive people look attractive, they can make the Gents look like the Ladies!