In one hour I’ll start to pack and in 8 hours we’ll be boarding a plane to San Fransisco. We’re off to the Sierra Nevada mountain range at 5,600 ft for the wedding of Dave the Rave and his Californian lady Casey who we are yet to meet.
Also joining for this camp-out occasion are 22 pals all linked in one way or another back to the legendary yellow card Upin Arms Pub, which went down in history (administration) 2010. This pub was the heart, soul and scandal of Reading’s Cemetery Junction and students congregated there in beer chugging swarms.
I was a rather well-behaved second-year when I started pulling pints. But I was soon up to mischief with this vibrant bunch as we ventured to grungy bars (big up Purple Turtle and Iguana Bar), house parties, Summer Break and Glastonbury. I knew I loved them all from the start, little did I know that this job would give me the biggest global friendship network of my life and introduce me to my future husband.
The rickety old pub housed lots of fun shenanigans. We’d often be drinking on shift, eating burgers, wearing fancy dress and causing havoc. I was vertically challenged behind the bar which was everyone’s favourite joke nicknaming me ‘half pint’. The locals once laughed as the Red Stripe tap came off clean in my hands and beer started pouring directly into my face.
At some point I was promoted to Team Leader and my two clearest memories include trying to rid the pub of the three barred homeless locals who were passed out in the pub (DMac and Joshy you’ll remember that) and standing on the beer garden bench shouting at the student rugby club to remove the beer bong from your bottom and “please, would you mind, getting out of our pub!”
Over the last ten years, we have expanded in size welcoming new crew, partners and a couple of Upin Arms kids (congratulations Billy & Phillipa and Katie & Si). We’ve also managed to catch up far and wide in Guatemala, Mexico, Canada, Cambodia and Australia.
It’s fair to say that I owe a lot to the Upin Arms Pub. I reckon this Californian reunion is going to be one hell of a party. I’d better start packing.
Ciao for now!
P.s I couldn’t find a picture of everyone so will need to make up for that.