Jen’s Tipples

People waiting for bus in front of empty business called Jen's Tipples

5 Clarendon Road, Portsmouth, England (2011-2012) | Google Maps

“I’ve had the most brilliant idea.”

Hugh sighed. Jen stood in the doorway, her red hair a frizzy halo from the light. “What is it, burd?” he asked, trying to keep his voice even.



“I’ll sell breakfast cereal.”

“You mean…like a Tesco?”

“No, saucer. A restaurant. A cereal restaurant.”

He cleared his throat. “Look, Jen—”

“You think I’m mental.”

“Of course not, love. It’s just that—”

“People are still lining up for my tipples, you know.”

wine shop in portsmouth 2009

5 Clarendon Road, Portsmouth, England (2009) | Google Maps

He gritted his teeth. Now was not the time to mention the reason they lined up was because it was a bus stop. If he’d learned nothing from being married for fifteen years, he’d learned to be careful. One wrong word and she’d be opening another women’s-only wine shop.

“Maybe it’s time we sell the property.”

Her eyes stared off. She nodded. “That’s it! We’ll sell property.”

5 Clarendon Road, Portsmouth, England (2014-2017) | Google Maps

147 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

This week I went time-traveling. Not being much of a historical buff, nor am I into nautical tales, I thought I’d tour Portsmouth as tourists do. I was in search of a place to get some fish & chips but instead wound up traveling back in time through Google’s location history feature and noticed this particular piece of property has had an interesting series of shops–from what appeared to be a women’s only wine shop, to the infamous Jen’s Tipples (never open that I can see), to what looked to be a storefront for a real estate website (now no longer in business). What it is now, I’m not sure–I’m waiting for that bus to pull away so I can see what’s on that now-aqua storefront.

PS “Tipples” are alcoholic drinks. At least I think so.



  1. peterkirsch

    How hilarious!
    Women’s only wine? Now there’s a three-dollar (er…quid) idea if I’ve ever heard one.

    Angie and I often marvel at how little specialty shops, with such narrow niches, can even afford rent, much less turn a profit.

    Great story, powered by some clever–if peculiar–research.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are certainly some strange ideas, including the cereal bar. I know some have had some success, but the one in Iowa City just closed. I’m up for a women’s-only wine store though 😉 Thanks for reading, Peter!


  2. I was wondering what tipples were – and enjoyed the vibe you dovered with heir relationship – noting the 15 years added to the dialogue –
    And now that bus stays in my mind- hmmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes–I wonder what’s behind that bus! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Hope you can join us for a round of Pegman this week, Prior.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so fun. I love how you show the mechanics of the marriage in so few words. It really crackles.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much. Glad you think I captured something there 🙂


  4. I chuckled all the way through. And, maybe oddly, but it doesn’t strike me as weird to have a women’s only wine shop. In a place like Portsmouth, as with Gt Yarmouth were I live, a lady has to be careful where she drinks in town.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, right? I’ll meet you at the women’s only wine shop!

      I don’t think Pegman has ever been in Gt Yarmouth. We will have to give it a try!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not much going on this days. We lost the fishing fleet in 1960s, gained the petro-chem guys for North Sea gas exploration; now they’ve gone north toe Aberdeen. We have service boats for the rigs, and manufacture and install wind-farms. A big come down from what yarmouth used to be. Even the holiday industry busted with cheap airfare to Costa del Cheap. A sad place. Yet amongst our heros we have Nelson, and Dickens wrote David Copperfield here and … then I struggle.
        We have seals. And a land-locked estuary. And the Romans were here.
        You really think Pegman wants to come here? But then, maybe you and the other will see a different side of it. Now that would be interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I so enjoyed reading your take on it. It sounds like a worthwhile visit. Can’t wait to see what others make of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The inside view and the outside … always different.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Just make sure you specify Great Yarmouth, and not just plain old Yarmouth … cos that’s in the Isle of Wight

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh! Good to know. Will do.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. A very amusing look at a challenging relationship! And I didn’t even realize Google had a location history option. I almost wish I still didn’t know — another rabbit hole to dive down when I should be getting work done, lol! But I do like the bit of history you found and imagined a life for here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Joy! I love the Google history feature. Once, it inspired an entire novel for me. It can be a rabbit hole–but a rabbit hole is where the whole Alice and Wonderland thing started. And who doesn’t need a little Alice and Wonderland-type adventure now and then?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good attitude — three cheers for exciting new rabbit holes!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that you focused on the relationship as well as the history of the building. The fact that the shop is behind a bus stop, thus the lines, made me laugh. The lady in the tale seems a bit wonky at best. Thanks for the smile.


  7. Testing… testing… (I just lost my comment on Josh’s post!)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What an absolute hoot. From the frizzy red hair to the Tessa Cohen’s and that queueing for a bus is so very British. Thank you for the laugh out loud moment!! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly! I’m delighted you liked it.


  9. Clarendon Road held a special place in my heart. I used to walk along it twice a day everyday as I wound my way to and from secondary school. No bus queues for me!


    1. Oh wow! That is so very cool.


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