The better pubs in England have landlords and ladies who are true hosts. They don´t just sell you a beer or a snack but will try to make you feel at home. Now I have come over here for some years already, I know a bit about where to get the feeling that you are welcome and at ease. In one of my favorite pubs the landlord is sometimes even seen playing a game of ring throwing with his guest. And it is big fun if he throws whilst being blindfolded or standing backwards to the goal. In that manner the guests have a slight chance to win a game.
The landlord is becoming a bit of age and has his health problems, but despite that you will never see him ill tempered and he always shows his youthful smile. His wife has even more problems because of the dreadful disease of MS. When you see her you would certainly not guess her right age: just like her husband she has a very young appearance. Once in a while when she is feeling good she will show up in the pub and will try to give a hand to the staff.
This time she has taken the job of cleaning the tables. When she gets to our table with the blue wet rag in her hand, we take our glasses and the beer mats off the table to give her room. My wife asks how she is doing and that stops the landlady in her work. She sighs and tells us that things are not getting easier. Because illness and age there is a lot on her mind. She polishes the table and I'm ready to put my beer back when she stops and tells us about the trouble she has with her medicine and the side effects it causes.
She sighs and starts polishing the table all over again. Suddenly she stops again and tells us about the annoyance she gets from hearing politicians talk about the National Health Service and discussing diseases and not showing any real knowledge while doing this. She shakes her head in utter disbelieve and polishes the table again. Then she greets us and moves over to the next table. Nobody is sitting there and because of that she's finished quite soon. We put the beer mats back on the table and place our glasses on top of them.
When I go to the bar to order a new round of beer, I see her on the other side of the pub in a discussion with some other customers. Because they are always filled to the brim I spill a bit of beer from both glasses on the clean table.