You always get one massively weird month in the year, and for the first time ever, it fell in the usually reliable steady month of November.
Ready for a rubbish poem I've spent far too long writing to sum it all up? Good. We all have to suffer (and that is also the 'working title'):
It all started weirdly, micropubbing in Wibsey
Where doggy saliva, was glistening dribbly
Onto grey Sheffield, with the wonderful Welly
But Hull City shamed us, when defence turned to jelly
Post match was peculiar, but not very old
Portland's closing forever, or so we were told
Hartshead with Karl, on a Smirnoff Ice quest
But for GBG clubs, up there with the best
Got cracking on Rutland, but it came at a cost
In Stamford, me and Dad felt totally lost
Folk queued for food, in the lame Tobie Norris
So I had to push in, 'twas the only thing for it
If queuing in pubs becomes social norm
Then BRAPA is dead, cos I'll never conform
To the killing of culture and pub ettiquette
People say "progress", I say "not just yet"
I praised a young barmaid, for being a star
But she took issue that I said 'girl' and not 'woman', (and went to burn her bra)
Quizzed on Quattro and Quo, in the back of a taxi
Met Taylor & Couldwell, in the bowels of Wapentake
Had eight face injections, toffee-nosed Harrow-gate
It didn't stop BRAPA, to continue apace
Drunk London with Dave, a mod lager Miller
Royal Oak was a classic, the new entries were fillers
Next day in MK, it was dining pub hell
But I kept my nerve, I kept my table as well
The Cannon a highlight, was herded like cattle
But it was more than alright, cos we had a meat raffle
Donny surprised me, green tiles in the Draughtsman
Has a station tap ever, been more classy than this one?
And just when I thought the month couldn't get stranger
I went down to Cheshire, and could soon sense the danger
A yank with a sword, steak and caffeine alert
Preston, polyester and paisley, all in the same shirt
Upside down Christmas tree handstands
Words like 'pong' and 'lout', I don't understand
I felt a bit like an imposter
So I became a Doom Bar tosser
Read that sexist beer names had to be a thing of the past
Remembered my Cornish Knocker comment from summer, would sure be my last
Ended the month on thirty, plus a good few pre-emptive ticks
It should've been 32, but right at the end I got man-flu (so felt very sick)
Before that I had a photo-shoot, for that funny magazine they call 'Beer'
Free drinks in York Tap, so at least the month ended with some good cheer
And that's where November thankfully ends
35 in December to achieve my yearly 1200 target? If I do, it all depends
If people don't invite me to their Christmas party
So I can sit peacefully alone in the back of a pub with a pint of 'ale and hearty.
Pubs of the month .....
1. Wellington, Kelham Island, Sheffield
2. Royal Oak, Borough, South London
3. Cannon, Newport Pagnall
Honourable mentions .....
Draughtsman, Doncaster (cannot be nominated as not in GBG), Jolly Brewer, Stamford and Hare & Hounds, Manchester. Hartshead Club in Hartshead was good too.
Dishonourable Mentions .....
1. Blue Bell, Belmesthorpe
2. Tobie Norris, Stamford
3. Butcher's Hook & Cleaver, Smithfield
Best Story .....
A landlady of a micropub in Redcar telling local CAMRA to f .off, even though she got banned from being in GBG as a result.
5 Pubs I have a desire to visit sooner rather than later .....
1. The above Micropub in Redcar
2. Ship, Acaster Malbis
3. Geese & Fountain, Croxton Kerrial
4. Winking Owl, Aviemore
5. Cronx, Croydon
5 Pubs I have no desire to visit before next September but will if they are in next edition of GBG (and in the words of Becki Bondage, "if you have to ask, you'll never know")
1. Real Ale Classrooom, Leicester
2. Station Hotel, Loftus
3. Cheshire Tap, Altrincham
4. Rock n Roll Tap House, Birmingham
5. Well, Mansfield Woodhouse
Thanks, I have nothing else to add and can't be bothered to tell you what I'm doing in December, but I'm sure you're not bothered or will see on Twitter or this blog soon enough.
Sleep tight, wrap up warm, careful of this snow. Let's hope the weirdness vortex closes when the clock strikes midnight on December 1st. Having said that, Tom is "in charge" of Saturday's outing.