|A mid month non-BRAPA pint, in the Phoenix in York - a superb pub.|
"A new GBG pub a day keeps the doctor away", so goes the well known phrase which I've probably just invented, but as February began with 'man-flu' and ended with a swollen ankle, perhaps 38 pubs in 28 days was excessive.
Having said that, I'm disappointed in the total. Only 7 BRAPA days out all month must be something of a record low, and 5 of them consecutively on the wonderful Isle of Man, not just the monthly highlight but probably the all-time BRAPA highlight.
38 is a Feb record though, easily eclipsing the 32 achieved in 2016, and it means I've now done 63 for the year, so cannot complain too much.
|Dad at the Thomas Wolsey, Ipswich (Feb 2016)|
It started with a fantastic day out in Preston with Matthew Lawrenson as the host, and then after a liver shattering 27/28 pubs in Isle of Man, plus a bonus one near Liverpool South Parkway, I was back over there for six more pubs a week later with the 'Heavy Woollen' gang from West Yorkshire.
|Lawrenson & Irvin, at Preston's very good Guild Ale House|
Choosing my top three is always tough, but the standard especially in Isle of Man was so high, it is difficult, but here goes:
1. Masonic, Garston
2. Rovers Return, Douglas
3. Ginger Hall, Sulby
|Me at the Rovers Return, Douglas. Uniquely brilliant.|
I didn't visit a bad pub or have a bad pint all month, some may have been a bit irritating or boring, but honourable mentions must also go to Caledonia in Liverpool, Grapes also in Liverpool, Trafalgar Hotel in Ramsey, the White House Hotel in Peel, Mines Tavern in Laxey and Albert Hotel in Port St Mary but plenty others were above average too.
|White House Hotel, Peel. Understated genius.|
I may as well just list 'em all hadn't I?!
Siberia (pronounced Si-beery-yeh) is where the 'Beast from the East' is coming from, making BRAPA travel difficult as the UK gets the craziest amount of snow in like, ever.
But let's face it, the 'Beast from the East' has been more like the 'Kitten from Thames Ditton' so far.
Pathetic amounts, even in my Yorkshire epicentre. Canadians are laughing at us. So are Canadiens. It's not good.
But whatever the weather for the beginning of March, I need to approach it with a new (old) mentality of 'get as many trips in as possible' as I won't have a beery holiday to get me out of jail this time.
That means getting back on the midweek (or should I say Friday night) pub horse, and cracking the whip in the direction of Greater Manchester again as what it left of North Yorkshire probably is more suitable for bonus summer Sundays.
Weekend-wise, we have more Hull City misery planned, this time in Ipswich. I then may FINALLY get Bucks done, unless I sack Marlow off in favour for starting Cambridgeshire, but that one's up for discussion. A week later Hull City again are on the agenda, with a trip to Birmingham - pub plan currently being negotiated with Tom Irvin who has a 'vision', not bad for a man who lives on Blackcurrant cordial.
As the month progresses, I've arranged a 'Secret' Dad day. He has no idea where we are going even though I did tell him by accident. Let's just say the plan is to 'finish' a county. And being a FIVE SATURDAY MONTH (always the best), March ends with my first Cheshire trip of 2018, another county I'm desperate to put to bed in 2018 but keep getting distracted. 19 pubs still to do in Cheshire so the end isn't in sight yet.
The aim has to be 31 pubs, providing the ankle heals by Fri.
|Gratuitous ankle shot|
The future's bright and purple, the future's BRAP.