Since The Matapan - our local pub -
was taken over by Keith & Di & re-
named BECON TREE (about the
same time Pavel was born) we've
been made welcome with the pram.
The Sunday before May Day Bank
Holiday is always the poltergeist
doppelganger of the morrow,
we wheel into the bar & are greeted
by a man we've not seen before
collecting glasses. He cuts the shape
of the tattooed offender & is nice
to us. It turns out that Keith's had
a heartattack & is resting upstairs,
so this guy - a local drinker called
Mick - has stepped in to help out.
That's a lovely accent he says to
Sarah & asks is it Welsh? But Sarah
has been talking of Ireland all morn
ing, her lilly-green dress an outcrop
of the thought process. Mick guides
us to a table with a chessboard top.
Then comes the tester : he points to
Pavel & asks : what's is name then?
He puts his palm to his ear for us to
repeat, Sarah says : rhymes with travel.
Fuckin 'ell he says, warm & in fun, he's
gonna get some stick in school for that!
Pavel fuckin Pavin Stone. But he's
smitten with him, says he's gorgeous.
Gorgeous blue eyes he says : where
did he find em? Sarah says from his
Dad but he's not having any of it. He
carries on collecting glasses seren
ading each table with 'Now now boys
& girls, now now boys & girls'. I settle
in on the guinness & Sarah its opposite -
rose wine. Later, at the bar, Keith has
come downstairs looking like an
anaemic Frankenstein & Mick is trying
to wrestle open a bottle of wine -
obviously a beer drinker - tugging
at the cork like a foetus in a flute.
The whole pub is steaming now with
people having a good time, shifting
its rafters against the absence of
work. A balmy breeze drifts over the
bar from outside - May blossom &
spilt Stella - as Mick reaches in to
pinch Pavel's cheek. A lifesize tattooed
swallow floats towards blue eyes -
bracelets & rings splashing in
a collop of gold sun