Sunday 14 August 2022


We don't rise very early. Well, the kids don't. Me and Lexxie head down for breakfast at 10:30. And just miss breakfast. But they are serving brunch.

Luckily, I can get something with fried eggs: pork hash. It's quite nice, but the broccoli is almost raw and very tough. As we eat, the dining room fills up a bit. Still far from full, though it is pretty big.

Our hotel is in the middle of a state park, with various trails. We decide to take one down to lake Washington. It's very peaceful amongst the towering pine trees. Well, apart from all the people with dogs. And runners. And families with small kids. At least they're all on a lead. The dogs, I mean. And runners with kids and dogs with families. Near as dammit totally deserted.

We don't make it all the way down to the lake. If we had, I'd be well and truly fucked. 

“Kids. My lungs can't cope with these slopes. If I don’t stop now, I’ll never get back up.”


“Thanks for the sympathy, Lexxie. Just wait until you get old.”

“At least you’ll be long dead by then.”

“Lovely, Lexxie, lovely.”

“And they’ll probably have found some way to stop oldies getting useless the way you are.”


“Shut up with that thanks shit. And don’t just switch to another language.”

Damn. It’s as if Lexxie can read my mind.

“You’re so predictable.”

And I keep saying things out loud?

“And you keep saying things out loud”

As it is, I have to take multiple rests on the way up. While the kids waltz ahead, whistling. The bastards.

We're due at Foggy Noggin between 14:00 and 14:30. With my talk scheduled to start at 15:00.  Leaving us an hour or so to chill in our very classy hotel. Just as well I have that bottle of whisky to entertain us. And the kids that beer.

Suitably warmed up for my gig, I get a hotel shuttle. Well, Uber. We sit outside and wait. And wait. So long, I go back to reception and ask where the fuck it is. Obviously, I don’t put it that way, as I’m English.

“Do you know where my car might possibly be?”

It cancelled. Great. He books another.

“Thank you so much.” Remaining polite at all times is my super power.

We arrive at the back end of the time slot. Apart from the delay, it's further than I thought from the hotel.

Most of the attendees are already here so we kick off pretty much straight away.

It's an informal affair, which I conduct seated. Much better, as it takes a while. I really can’t be doing with standing for an hour or more, If I can avoid it.


Jim, the owner, has brewed six AKs of various vintages. Which we go through in reverse chronological order. It makes sense, as that's moving up in strength.

There's lots of interaction with the audience, who ask loads of questions. When I'm done, I hang around and chat. And shift a few books, which is always good. Especially as they’re dead weight I’ll be lugging around for the rest of the trip.

When the crowd has thinned out, a couple from the audience introduce the kids to cornhole. Lexxie, in particular, seems to enjoy it. Probably because of Beavis and Butt-head, which he’s always quoting. He’s worse than me and Barclay Perkins.

We finish on the deck, where we eat pizza, drink bourbon and chat away.

It's quite late when we leave. There's just time for a Tomintin eye-closer back at the hotel.

You can watch a video of the talk here.

Foggy Noggin Brewing
22329 53rd Ave SE,
WA 98021.


If you liked this post, maybe consider buying the book about my trip to Japan and South Korea with the kids.

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