Ho ho ho! Or is it Bah Humbug? Well, however you feel about this 'wonderful time of the year', there is one thing that cannot be denied .... as December moves steadily on towards Christmas, pubs are going to get 8.88% shitter (according to offical BRAPA research) as the Twismas Twumper gang block bars up and down the country for their once a year pub visits. Some won't be able to remember how to observe proper pub etiquette, most will pay by card, some will order mulled wine and cider. Some might even bring mistletoe, along with their camel toe, whilst singing Mariah Carey in your lughole. Take care. And if you find yourself in a nightmarish situation such as this, remember, it could be worse, you could be like me, having to tick every pub in the country on the recommendation/whim of a bunch of faceless bearded beer bores.
So what has BRAPA got planned for the festive season then?
Well, the first cardboard chocolate will have been pushed out of the advent calendar by the time you read this, and I will have completed East Yorkshire, making it the second 'county' from GBG 2019 completed after Central London. Big thanks to Father BRAPA here for his chauffeuring efforts. I need to write my blog on those final 4 pubs, but look out for the Board Inn in Bridlington, a late contender for 'pub of the year'. As for the Marine Hotel in Hornsea though, good grief!
|Christmas spirit is alive in Hornsea|
|Tom last time I saw him, scaring Brummies|
|Pub ticking seemed simpler in 1974!|
|What happens when I brave Hertfordshire alone|
|Terrifying scenes last time I was in Preston|
And on the final Saturday of the month, the 29th, there is fun to be had in Lincoln, which was originally going to be Skegness, then Gainsborough, but eventually became Lincoln itself. A Newark or Retford bonus isn't beyond the realms of possibility to end the year.
|Lincoln can be lovely if you avoid their football fans|
|Not saying I got drunk last New Year's Eve but I had fun|
So how did November go in BRAPA world?
Well, to say I had zero time off work, and it was a FOUR Saturday month, to achieve 31 ticks was something of an achievement. 30 was my previous record, averaging out at 27, so I was satisfied.
Highlights? A great day in Cambs. Got VERY drunk in St Neots, bit embarrassed in the Olde Sun but never mind, RM the perfect host earlier that day, glad he wasn't with me late on!
|Locals welcome me into the St Neots bosom|
A bonus Glasgow trip helped, and nice to see John Depeche Modem in Darlo even if he is the craziest Sussex guy with the gammiest leg you could hope to meet, a lovely chap.
|Leg of the month|
Birmingham away was a cracking Hull City day, really liked both the Halesowen pubs we did, they couldn't have been any more different in styles but Swan and Fixed Wheel both impressed.
|Fixed Wheel won me over due to great staff and beer despite being very not my kinda thing|
17th was perhaps my favourite day of the month, when me and Dad did some utterly crazy pubs in the Holderness area of East Yorkshire. Other wordly was the word, the daytime karaoke in Lelley was jaw dropping even when I think nothing surprises me any more! The other 4 were all classics.
|Lelley lady was an absolute star|
Another great day was had in West Yorkshire with work chums, Bradford threw up some crackers, Halifax a tiny bit disappointing after recent amazing trips, but you can't win them all.
|On the swinging seat at the Peacock in Bradford|
And I got back on the Friday night trail with some amusing West Yorkshire pubs, though not too much to really excite, most were rather bland.
The best three going through into the year end awards .....
1. Chequers, Little Gransden
2. New Royal Mail, Thorngumbald
3. Peacock Bar, Bradford
|Mrs Chequers, absolutely great effort from her in a wonderful pub|
1. New Albion, Alverthorpe
2. Raven, Glasgow
3. Alexandra, Halifax / Ale Taster, St Neots
|New Albion, just didn't do enough on the night|
So plenty to look forward to between now and NYE, take care, and if you feel yourself being pushed out by the Christmas pub goers, remember you were there first!