Wednesday 11 November 2009

The Spoon to my Pencil?

Lauren often asks me when I’m going to write about her on here. “What do you want me to say?” I ask her. “Just tell them how I’m the best girlfriend in the world.” “You’re the best girlfriend I’ve got...” I tell her, “but it’s a beer blog and you don’t like beer.” “Oh.” She says.

To begin, she doesn’t actually drink beer. This is both good and bad. It’s good because she can be my driver. It’s bad because I’d love to share these bottles with her and have her get excited about them with me. I’ve tried hard to get her to like it but it’s not going to happen. Lauren does, however, have a great nose for smelling beer. And a great ear for listening about it. You see, whenever I am anywhere with a beer or whenever I’m doing things which I write about on here, Lauren is usually always there. She’s the one next to me in the pub reading her magazine (the bribe to keep her there so I can have a couple), the one opposite me at dinner while I talk to her about something beer-related, or how I wish they had something else on, or how next week I plan to open this bottle or that, or she’s sitting on the sofa while I sit behind at the table tapping into the laptop, “spending more time talking to people on twitter than talking to me”, posting blogs, or she’s in the driver’s seat while I give (always bad or wrong) directions to some distant “old man’s pub”, or she’s listening to me describing why this beer is good and that beer isn’t or how this one could be better or how I wish I could go here or there, or she’s putting beer glasses back into the cupboard or moving bottles around in the fridge because they take up more room than the food, or she sees me putting away my latest beer order and wonders when I’ll spend some money on her for once, or she’s answering questions as I playfully quiz her on my latest blog post (“You’re my favourite beer blogger,” she told me once, “but then I don’t read anyone else’s blog”), or she’s patiently waiting for me to post a blog, or read a blog, or send a tweet, or buy the bottles I’ve been staring at for ages which took us an hour out of our way to get, or she’s following to a pub (“honestly, it’s just around this corner” I say, hearing the feet drag) only to walk straight out because there’s nothing on, or she’s waiting to start eating her dinner while I take pictures of mine, or she’s planning her next few weekends around my drinking schedule, or she’s kicking me out of bed when my 5am alarm clock goes off so I can get up early to write or she’s woken up late when I steam back in at midnight (I’m sure she’ll tell me what I’ve forgotten, too).

And then there’s the times when she talks to me about beer, when she mentions hops or buys me some of my favourite bottles, when she says she likes something I’ve just written or she suggests going to London to go to some pubs or she says, “I bet that beer would be great with chocolate cake”, or when I catch her looking at my blog and reading the comments people leave, or when she smells a beer and picks out aromas I hadn’t, or when she clears away all my empties and tells me that she likes this label or doesn’t remember me drinking that bottle, “what was it like?”, or when she genuinely takes an interest in what’s in my glass.

I’m quite lucky, I think.

I write this blog but there’s always someone else there, someone who probably should hate beer but tolerates it and listens and actually knows a lot about it because she cares about what I care about. I guess she’s the real Spoon to my Pencil.

Sorry if this is gushy and sentimental but that should keep her sweet while we go for a huge steak dinner at the Hawksmoor on Friday (she doesn’t eat meat) and then drink around Borough, followed by a massive and potentially messy beer night at ours on Saturday, followed by more beer on Sunday and Monday (she will also hopefully be cooking me dinner on Monday). Plus next weekend at The Bull’s huge beer festival, the weekend after at The White Horse’s Old Ale Festival, then the British Guild of Beer Writers Dinner (which she isn’t coming to) followed by the Pig’s Ear beer festival the next day and then the next weekend on a London pub crawl.


  1. awwwww ;o)

    can't we have more from lauren and less from you? she is more interesting and looks better in the pics ;o)

    i tend to try and get our lasses opinion on beers although it usually results in her saying yeah thats nice and nicking the rest of the bottle or yuk you can keep that one!

    she is also very good and patient when i drag her round pubs and beer shops so big thumbs up to her too!

  2. Great post! You and I are in very similar situations. My wife can't drink due to medication she takes but when she could (up until last year) she really enjoyed beer. I sometimes feel bad toting her around to the beer stores so I can buy a "special" beer but she puts up with it. She is an amazing person and I'm very lucky to be married to her. She lets me enjoy my beer and doesn't complain about it as long as I'm fairly reasonable about it.

  3. Hey Mark, I'm the gal behind the BeerMongers and I think that was great. Not that gushy, actually factual and appreciative and it shows that while you love to research and write about beer that you are a great writer about life as well. Cheers!

  4. great post mark! she should join the beer widows club

  5. Sounds very familiar. My girlfriend has an awesome knowledge of beer, and it's not through choice. Nice post.

  6. Lol, great article!

    My gf, brews, loves the stuff, has a completely different perspective than me, it's kinda scary.

    Happy days!!


  7. You sound like a bloody nightmare to live with - why does she put up with you!?

    I can relate to the long-suffering Lauren's situation. I always force Emma to try my beer, even though she doesn't want to and the best response I can expect is a disinterested "it's alright" but usually a screwed up face followed by "eurgh". She drinks lager though (or Fruli when available), something I've come to accept, but I'm not quite so fortunate as to have a permanent 'chauffeuse' at my beck and call!

  8. Great post Mark, you are very lucky indeed ;) This article shows how much we , beerlovers, need someone who tolerates us and our passion.. and sometimes help us maybe :P

    PS: about Lauren's contribute to this blog... ehm, go on Mark, cede her that keyboard for once! :D And no, you can't actually compete with here on the photo side either :P
    Cheers ;)

  9. So she doesn't eat meat or drink beer? It's a good job she drives :-)

    So what does she drink down the pub? Does your love of beer turn into a strong appreciation of wine with Lauren? Or does she happily accept that blogging about beer is preferable to other man-obsessions such as philately or model train sets?

    Good post.

  10. Tasty looking lass. If she's happy to iron you a shirt and push the hoover about you've got a keeper.

  11. Nice sentiments mate, can we please have Lauren do a guest blog about putting up with your beer habit please!?

    I'm trying to get the gf into beer, she will happily drink supermarket bought kriek so I have made some progress!

  12. With heterosexuality taking a hit this week in the beery world, it good to see man and woman living life together in unison.

    And to video beer review geek, please don't infect this side of the spectrum with your special ed brand of video production.

  13. Am I the only one who thinks 'spoon to my pencil' has a vaguely sexual connotation?

    Anyone? Anyone?

    Nope, just me then. I'll get me coat.

    Mrs Reluctant always tries my beers. Hates Fruli. Loves quads.

    Ain't life sweet :-)

  14. Mark, I have the same issues/life with Sarah, although much to Mr Avery's pleasure she does actually drink some beer (as long as it's Belgian, from Beer Ritz and tastes like a pot of jam or cherry bakewells!)

    I'm sat here right now, reading about beer, talking about beer whilst Sarah watches Dragon's Den or Don't Tell The Bride, reading Look and asking why I'd rather go on an expensive trip to London to have a few beers with the BGBW rather than attend a free, boozy media do in Leeds on the same night.

    Posts like this remind me why I'll be in London spending my own hard earned cash and not schmoozing with advertising agencies.

    Looks forward to Lauren's response - you certainly won't see Sarah blogging anytime soon!

  15. My wife and I used to go out every week for beers. Being German, she used to have a preference for pilseners or export, but since she lived in Ireland for over 16 years, she got onto Guinness. All that stopped when she was pregnant, and now she seldom drinks beer (and will take a pils then). She thinks my beers (or anything remotely ale-like) are too sweet :) I still get her to taste them, hoping it'll break down the barriers, but that's the way it is. More beer for me I guess, but I would like to share the experiences more.

    And Mr. Reluctant, no, you weren't the only one. Something about a long thing and a receptacle is always suggestive!

  16. Nice to read a post that doesn't make the writer seem like a drunk with a modicum of writing ability!

    Your Lauren sounds much like Mrs V (although Mrs V loves steak and appreciates good beer, though without being a sad git like her husband), and I guess when you are passionate about beer, you need a good woman to understand and if not actively support you, at least be happy people watching in a pub.

    I am planning a series of posts where Mrs V and I try the same beers and write our own notes and thoughts, to get a bigger picture of the beer!

  17. Thanks for the great comments everyone. I always worry before posting things like this because I never know what reception it'll get.

    For those who suggested Lauren is better to look at I ask: what is wrong with me? Am I not handsome enough for you?!

    For those who requested that Lauren write a reply... watch out, I got home from work to find her writing one! It's really good so I'll post it tomorrow morning (I was preparing to write - Lauren would love to post a reply but she's too busy cooking/cleaning/washing/ironing..., but she beat me to it!).

    Gal from beermongers, that comment made me smile for ages this morning, thank you - that's why I do this.

    Dubbel, yes and I think she has realised, now that I list it like that, how difficult I am to live with!

    Richard, the order is a Pint of (whatever) and a diet coke. Diet coke (ideally coke zero) is all she drinks. Literally. And I don't think she minds too much. We get our own time to do stuff and she'd rather sit in a warm pub than watch me play rugby in the rain or walk up mountains.

    Mark, great comment. Picture the scene that I can see now: I am on the laptop commenting here (I was commenting when yours come in), Lauren is lying on the sofa watching The Hills with a Look magazine and a Heat magazine. Meanwhile, she is planning her weekend around my drinking!

    Al, that sounds great, be interesting to see the differences! And Lauren is very happy people watching, so long as they are leering, salubrious old pervs staring back at the young blonde in the corner who looks bored!

    (By the way, since I started typing this comment, three more came in!)

  18. Beer, puts lead in your pencil it does!

    Mark, what does Lauren think of the likes of fruit beers, barley wines or even Tokyo*? Ann can't stand ordinary beer but stronger beers or beer with fruit in she loves.

    We share the driving. I drive there and she drives back.

  19. Is it just me or do some of you (you know who you are)sound like a lot of patronising sexists?

    OK I'm jealous of the being driven around, but still.

  20. I had a girlfriend like that. Now she's my wife. She's just as indifferent and tolerant to my geekiness. She's picked up a taste for sours and triple IPAs, so that's cool.

    Cheers to Lauren.

  21. Dave, I was waxing lyrical about the original tokyo and she tried a sip and spat it out. Melissa cole managed to get her to try a couple of fruit beers but it wasn't happening. She does take the occasional sip if she loves the smell, but only occasionally. If beer contained no calories however... who knows?! And that's how we share the driving too :)

    Mario, if you are going to get your other half to get into any styles of beer then they are the ones!

  22. Aww, I've just been working at Hawksmoor too! (I've left now). I could have served you had I still been there! Did you enjoy your steak?