Monday 21 March 2016

BRAPA - A Pub Blog with No Pubs!

"A light was on, but nobody was at home".  Well, that was true of both myself and the Cock Inn at Birdwell on Monday night.

I must declare myself Grade A Idiot - what a schoolboy BRAPA error to make, to assume a fairly rural pub might be open on a Monday, regardless of what the GBG and WhatPub might say.

After the debacle at Doncaster's Marketplace Deli two Wednesdays ago, I will be strictly sticking to Tuesday in the future and adding this 'no Monday rule' to my code of conduct.  I never had this problem with West Yorkshire did I?

My reasoning for attempting a Monday was thus - I am cat-sitting Tue-Thu and had a rare blank Saturday and Sunday so felt this was my one 'window' to shine!

Due to a recurrence of my ankle injury (which as you know, I don't like to talk about!), I'd already cut Hoyland Common out of the evening as I'd have been too tempted to then walk the 1.2 miles to Birdwell rather than get a bus, running the risk of further damage.

Barnsley Bus Station was at it's manic best, with that air of 'I'm friendly but I might stab you' hanging in the air.  My bus driver looked bewildered by my PlusBus ticket but let me on anyway.  A horrible screaming family were behind me (half term), and I got immersed in a complex conundrum of why BT were ripping me off on my latest two bills.  By the time I glanced up, we were already in Birdwell, I panicked and pressed the bell, but two stops too early giving myself a longer walk than needed.  Never mind, it wasn't far.

The pub was down a little slope and looked quaint and wonderful:

Quaint and wonderful, perhaps.
A small light was on by the entrance, but as I approached to take a picture of an etched cockerel in the window, I realised how dark and closed it looked!  I rang the phone number but it just rang out.

It was approaching 5:45pm so I sat on the picnic bench to the right of this photo and decided to wait til 6pm just in case.  I spent the 15 minutes productively, finishing solving my BT issue, changing my contract, declaring them cheating bastards.  I thought I heard a curtain vigorously swiped open, but it was just a lorry swishing through the trees on the main road below.

There were two empty glasses on my picnic bench, had they been there since Sunday?  Had it had a lunchtime opening window?  Forensic analysis could not find the conclusion.  It was cold by now, only a piece of banana cake (courtesy of former work colleague Christina Sidery) could cheer me up.

Banana Cake was superb, and the mystery glasses make a blog appearance!
It was 6:03pm, no signs of life at all.  Freezing cold, I admitted defeat and went for the bus, just missing one that must have been behind schedule.  Driver saw my outstretched hand, but he wasn't stopping for anyone!  5 mins later, I decided I'd cross and do Hoyland Common's Saville Square after all, salvage something from the day, but a Barnsley bus sped round the corner and stopped for me without me even trying for it!  He basically hijacked me, but he too, looked bewildered by my PlusBus ticket.

It was that kind of evening.  

BRAPA eh?  March is proving a tough month.  I'll go again next Tuesday.  Before that, some very sporadic Easter ticking in North Yorkshire on Sat, Mon and perhaps Sunday if I have the energy! 



  1. Where is Tom ?

    You didn't just go to Birdwell to bury him under the patio, did you ?

  2. WhatPub? says it's open 5-10 Monday evenings. And if it had displayed its hours outside, then you would have known whether you were wasting your time. Pubs opening odd hours and not telling anyone is a growing problem.

    Cat sitting, eh? We want pictures >^..^<

  3. Fear not Martin, for I am not under a patio. Not yet, at least, anyway. I just need to hope that Simon doesn't find any Heckington 8 sailed windmill Victorian Porter.

    Si, I enjoyed this uodate very much indeed, very amusing. Just a shame it didn't happen on a dedicated fixture night in the SiTom League.

    I vote that you take the cat to a pub to make up for it, the Green Owl would allow it I'm sure so I don't see why other pubs wouldn't. People do it with dogs all the time, albeit not in the Green Owl.

    On a point of pedantry, as it is Easter this weekend coming, surely it is the Easter holiday rather than half term. Although I did see some children in school uniform today in Scartho (I didn't go to the Rose and Crown sadly) so maybe funny things are occurring.

    When I read the first reference to BT my own reaction was that they are bastards, but happily you have worked that out for yourself. I should say that it is often worth sacking when the prices go up, I'm nearly at that stage. I look forward to haggling with the customer retentions people.

    I like my Mother's banana bread, which is essentially bread shaped cake. How do I get Christina's equivalent?

    Dagger for Duncan

    1. Mudgie, I am getting close to writing a blog entitled to dodgy pub opening hours, it seems to be worse this year than it was in 2014/15. I wonder what the cause is.

      Tom, I thought you might be putting the old style 50p's in the whirlygig to get your 'pay as you go' phone credit back on track?

      I thought "shall I bother doing a blog of this non event?" then thought yes it'll help me vent my spleen! And I really enjoyed it. But hope it never happens again.

      Bertie was at his elusive best tonight, he must have known that Mudgie wanted a photo for as soon as I fed him (and watered my sister's basil - additional task), he shot out through the cat flap! "Bring your own pub cat", could be cruel in Bristol's Bag O' Nails but otherwise, I'd be all for it!! Dogs tend to annoy me as you know.

      You'd do a better job on BT than I ever could, but I do try and learn your penny pinching (I mean frugal) tips!

      Christina actually probably would make some more banana cake if I requested. She's very Christian.

    2. You cheeky sod! I top up my telephone by taking a £5 note and my plastic pink card to the shop in Grimsby Town centre and they give me a receipt responsible for the dismantling of half a rainforest. About 30 seconds later I get a text message informing me that the transaction has occurred. The mobile telephone may be included in internet and landline negotiations.

      I take it that the basil is a herbal plant and not a rat.

      I have noted your recent progress on penny pinching. It is not unimpressive.

      If it helps the argument, I sometimes give blood at a local Christian centre. But sometimes I go to Cleethorpes so I can have ice cream and not have to walk through the area the Christian centre is situated in.

    3. I got paranoid and double checked with my sister to make sure I was supposed to be feeding a plant in her kitchen and there wasn't a rat hidden away, I got no reply.

      Half a rainforest! Haha, sounds about right. I remember those days, circa Sunderland 1999.

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