It's all been getting quite sentimental in beer blog land this week. Young Dredge over at Pencil and Spoon posted a few days ago a heartfelt tribute to the patience and fortitude of his girlfriend in the face of what seems to be, even by my standards, a fair obsession with drinking, talking and writing about beer.
The following day Lauren (for it is she) posted her response on his blog. What could have turned into a rather twee and sickly public love-in was smartly avoided by her giving him a right pasting before admitting that she is, at the end of the day, quite proud of him.
This set off a bit of "let's invite the family to work", with other bloggers' partners having their say in response to Lauren's post. In what may be an unrelated move, Mrs Woolpack Dave even signed up to Twitter in her own right. Rumours that this is so she can keep an eye on her husband are unconfirmed, but his first tweet back to her was telling her to make the tea, so whatever happens, this one promises to be very entertaining.
I first became alerted to all this while brewing no.1 barley wine in Burton (sorry to drop that in), when I received an email from Mrs PBBB suggesting Young Dredge could teach me a thing or two about writing. I pointed out that I've written similar passages in the acknowledgements to my books, but this received short shrift.
When Lauren replied to Young Dredge's post, I suggested Mrs PBBB might enjoy doing something similar round here. This received even shorter shrift. There was some talk about boiling my head. And as the ancient copper of the White Shield brewery, on a rolling boil with a dark sugary mash that reminded me of a pan of boiling jam, was only yards away from my head, this was a threat I didn't take lightly. (She was a hundred miles away, but I'm sure Steve Wellington would have done anything she asked. She can be persuasive.)
Anyway, it turns out that I can stick my blog up my arse. Because Mrs PBBB is no longer Mrs PBBB at all. Or not just Mrs PBBB anyway. She is, officially, The Beer Widow. She's been developing her own blog on the sly, a place to vent her feelings about what it's like to live with Britain's second best beer blogger, peripatetic beer explorer, beer author, beer drinker, beer obsessive - yours truly.
About what it's like to wait at home for me when I'm off somewhere with vague reassurances about when I'll be back (which range from "about tenish" to "in about three months".)
And about what it's like when she actually comes out with me to places like the Rake and meets the eccentric - sorry, that should have read 'fantastic' - characters that inhabit Planet Beer.
There aren't many posts yet. She was hesitant about sharing. But now Mrs Pencil and Spoon has led the way, Not-Just-Mrs PBBB is ready to announce to the world her haven for the forgotten, neglected, long-suffering partners of the growing band of beer geeks and obsessives who are cluttering up the internet. Think of it as a female equivalent to the male creche some department stores have. And read the first post, written back in June, if you're interested in how she really manages to put up with me.*
(This was a question she was asked an awful lot when she met many of my beery friends at the beer writers bash in August. "Oh, you're THAT Liz." *Sympathetic face* "What's it like?" Below we see Robert Humphries, Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, consoling her as only he can.)
*She actually likes it. They all do, really).