According to my postal address, I live in Pendleton. According to me, I don’t! It’s about a mile and a half away, across the other side of a major A road. Nevertheless, it’s a nice place to have named on your gas bill. Pendleton is a quaint Lancashire village, with a stream running down the middle of it, a village hall, a church, and a pub. The pub is called the Swan with Two Necks, and it’s what you would describe as a proper local pub. It’s been in the same hands for well over twenty years, has a regular local clientele, and serves pub grub. I believe it also wins awards for its beer or something Ÿ?? I’ve seen it in the local paper, but I have to admit, I’m not sure what it is exactly that they’ve won, or quite what they won it for. The Swan with Two Necks also hit the headlines recently for other reasons. It’s the local pub frequented by Nigel Evans, our local Conservative MP and former Deputy Speaker who had been accused and subsequently cleared of various sexual misdemeanours of the homosexual type. For a short while, the National Press made the Swan with Two Necks its headquarters whilst trying to catch Nigel coming out of his adjacent Cottage. I realise that Ÿ??coming outŸ? and Ÿ??cottageŸ? may be unfortunate words to use whilst mentioning Mr. Evans, but there is no pun intended. Tea at the Swan with Two Necks has been on Sue’s wish list for quite a while, and as usually happens in life, we never quite get around to it. Subsequently, when we had a free Sunday teatime about four or five weeks ago, we made a last minute decision to go and tick it off the list. I went cross dressed as a man, and we arrived about five minutes before they were stopping taking orders. Just in time! Or we would have been, had my security alarm at work not had the audacity to telephone me and inform me that we were possibly being broken into. We promptly made our apologies and dashed off to work, only to find that the alarm was thankfully false. Meanwhile, back at the Swan, meals had ceased! This meant that we went elsewhere, and Sue’s wish list remained unchanged. As I’m sure you are all aware, we have just had Pride weekend in Manchester. This involved Paula finishing work early on the Friday and hotfooting it to Manchester until the early hours of Saturday morning. Returning home briefly, before heading back to Manchester where she remained until mid Sunday afternoon. By which time, she was Ÿ??Paula’d outŸ?. Her feet were sore, her face and eyes were tired and tight due to the numerous layers of cosmetic product that had been slapped on (and maybe also due to the lack of sleep!), and she was generally ready for a regroup with reality at home. She had already made arrangements to return to Manchester on the Monday, so a much needed break was on the cards. She washed all her Paula clothes that she had worn, cleansed, showered, moisturised and generally pampered herself in a valiant effort to feel better. It nearly worked, but still left her lying on the bed feeling rather sorry for herself. Having been informed that I was coming home, Sue suggested that we may make another attempt at having tea at the Swan with Two Necks. In view of the fact that I had been conspicuous by my absence, I readily agreed, eager to top my brownie point bucket back up. Sue did say that we could go with me in either mode Ÿ?? Dave, or Paula. Very thoughtful of her, but in all fairness, Paula just wasn’t up to it. So when Sue returned from the Stables at teatime, it was her husband she found about to get ready, and not his alter ego. She was surprised, and I have to admit, so was I. It was most unusual, but Paula just couldn’t face it. Or could she? The conversation that we had about my weekend to date was all about Paula, and my appetite was already whetted! Add to this, Sue’s surprise that Paula didn’t want to play out, and it did the trick. The hormones started racing around, and all of a sudden, I felt myself wanting to do it. A quick time check confirmed that if Paula was super quick getting ready, we could just about make the food deadline. Yes, you guessed, Paula was going out for tea! Clothes were chosen, underwear was put on, make up was applied, shoes were painfully climbed into, and not too long later, Paula was fit to travel. Just. We jumped in the car, and off we went. I must admit, I wasn’t sure if the Swan with Two Necks was ready for Paula on a Bank Holiday Sunday afternoon, but ready or not, they were going to get her. We arrived five minutes later, to find all the tables outside the pub fully occupied, as were all the nearby parking spaces. This meant parking further down the Village and walking up to and through several Sunday afternoon diners and drinkers. My best wiggle was required, and indeed delivered, and I managed the walk with dignity and poise, and without incident. So far so good. All we had to do now was enter the pub and take things from there. I must admit, we, or maybe I should say I, turned heads. We stopped conversations, and caused gulps during beer drinking, but we were in, and we were at the bar, so nothing else mattered. An old female friend of mine was serving behind the bar, and although she had obviously heard about what I did, she had never seen me. In her words, she was shocked! And I could tell! I think it was a nice kind of shocked, but it had taken her by surprise, and she was struggling to conceal it. However, she remained professional and friendly, and quickly warmed to the situation. We ordered drinks, and asked if we could order some food. She showed us to a table, provided menus, and slowly, but surely, life in The Swan with Two Necks, Pendleton, returned to normal. I had, as always, shown tact and thought when choosing the outfit, and was wearing a dress ideally suited to dining out in the local pub. You know the one Ÿ?? lime green, very tight and figure hugging with an overall length that extended just below the gusset. And when I say just, I mean just. I think that, coupled with the 6Ÿ? platform heels I was wearing, the dress had been helpful in getting me noticed. Oh, and the fact that I was a Transvestite might also have had something to do with it. Our next door neighbours were already sitting dining, so any previous thoughts I had had with regard to whether they knew about Paula or not were now answered. I’m hardly discreet, and Paula makes several appearances a week around the house and garden, but they never seemed over curious, which always made me wonder whether the high wooden fence and shrubbery helped to disguise me. Anyway, if they didn’t know before, they certainly know now. We were also sitting next to a table of six, at which was one of my customers and his wife. I obviously knew him, but he didn’t know me, so the challenge was to make sure that he still didn’t know me when I left. Whether my bar tending friend dropped my name after I left or not, I still have to find out. Anyway, I’ve written a lot of waffle here without actually mentioning food, so I better get back to the job in hand. We studied the menus, and also the blackboard with the specials on, and were quickly able to make a decision. We both ordered Prawn Cocktail to start with, after which, Sue chose the Salmon and Prawn Mornay, and I went for the Cajun Salmon. A very fishy situation all round! A large dish of the usual traditional vegetables was also provided, and we were given a choice of chipped, new, or dauphinoise potatoes. We both went in the chips direction. The food is prepared by the Landlord, who was constantly in and out of the kitchen in an attempt to both cook, whilst also having a bit of banter with his regulars, and the landlady was involved in the serving up of the food alongside my friend from behind the bar. Our meal came in good time, and was hot and well presented. Well, the main course was hot. We’d have been less than impressed if the Prawn Cocktail had been served with steam rising from the dish! The portions were good to large, and whilst basic, everything was pretty much as it should have been. I personally felt that the Prawn Cocktail was a little overburdened with lettuce, but in its defence, there were also plenty of prawns. Once we had demolished our starters and main courses, it was time to face up to the pudding challenge. On this occasion, Paula conceded defeat, and decided not to bother. There was an underlying reason for this Ÿ?? she was secretly hoping that we would maybe go out into Clitheroe and have a few drinks after the meal, now she had got her second wind. So to speak! Sue, however, was more than happy to face up to a dessert, and was quick to choose the Lemon Meringue that was amongst the varied choices. And face up to it she did. It looked good, and from the various gurgles and appreciative type noises that were coming from her side of the table, I can only assume that it was. Any hopes I had of finishing off what she couldn’t manage were soon dashed. During the course of our meal we had a couple of drinks, and managed a couple of brief conversations with my friend in between her busy glass collecting and beer serving duties. The Swan with Two Necks remained busy throughout our visit, with the majority of the people in there eating. It was obvious from the overheard conversations, that many of them were regular visitors, and that it was quite common for them to be eating their Sunday tea there. Everyone seemed to know each other, and first name terms seemed to be the norm. Once we had finished our drinks, we paid our bill at the bar and said our goodbyes. I didn’t visit the facilities, so couldn’t tell you anything about them, other than I know they have some! Our bill rounded up to ô?50-00 with the drinks and a tip included, so no problems there. All that was left to do now, was to make sure I made a suitable exit without tripping, stumbling, or doing anything else that might embarrass me. I managed. We then jumped into the car, where I succeeded in convincing Sue that she would enjoy another drink or two in Clitheroe. I had to offer to drive as part of the deal, but that was no problem Ÿ?? she deserves a drink when she’s out with Paula! A few pictures, a couple of karaoke songs, and a general good craic followed in the Buck Inn, before we finally headed for home several hours later. The three usual questions will of course require answering, and I will attempt to do so: Is the Swan with Two Necks, Pendleton TV friendly? It certainly didn’t present me with any problems. I was aware that I had caused more of a stir than maybe some of the other places I have visited, but I didn’t feel unwelcome in any way. In fact, a subsequent conversation between Sue and our barmaid friend confirmed that we had been more than popular, with us being the topic of conversation for the rest of the evening! I shudder to think what was said, but she assured Sue it wasn’t anything untoward. Value for Money? As I said, the Swan with Two Necks is very much your basic local pub serving basic local pub grub. That said, the food we had was tasty, well presented, and plentiful, so I had no concerns in paying the bill I was presented with. Go again? Oh, I’m sure we’ll go again, even if it’s just to show them that we can! I mean, why wouldn’t we?