Thursday 30 April 2020


I wouldn't normally 'declare' my monthly pub ticking total quite so early (22:53 on last day of the month at the time of writing). 

There's always that late chance in that final 67 mins that a man in a suit and dark glasses (probably Father BRAPA) will knock at my door, and say "your car awaits for the Three Hares in Bilbrough, sir ..... they are open until midnight and are expecting you".  Stranger things have happened in BRAPA.

But not this month, April in the year of our lord 2020, where for the first time in my life I have to admit a grand total of zero pubs have been visited.  I'd never have believed, back in April 2014 when I started this unhealthy hobby/obsession/lifestyle that I'd sit here saying that!

Strange times indeed, and after coping strangely well for the first three weeks of April, I'm just starting to get a increasingly nostalgic (and a bit impatient) for the good ole' British pub.  A pint of bang average handpulled bitter in a nonic, some sweeping bench seating, a random pile of logs doing nothing, some fake bookcase wallpaper, a twild to sneer at, a twog to cower away from, some awkward bar chat with local I can't understand, the anxiety of leaning on the bar hoping the staff will make eye contact with me next, it all feels like something from a distant chapter in history.

What happened to the days when PPE was simply pub ticker shorthand for 'Perfect Pub Experience'?

And when the NHS was simply something Martin Taylor used to do in his spare time to stop him visiting over 99 pubs in the month? 

The only time I witnessed people standing in their driveways applauding at 8pm on a Thursday was when I'd finally vacated their pub and was waiting for the last bus of the night to take me away from their village.   I think they were applauding anyway. 

And the only time people looked on, awestruck, as a 100 year old man shimmied his zimmer purposefully in front of his frail skeletal being, was when old Jack Shaw of Dewsbury went back up for his 15th morning refill at the 'Spoons coffee station. 

How to keep yourself occupied in these times of crisis?  Well, #SADCASE (Si's Ale and Dice Cleaning Adventure Social Exclusion) is still chugging on (it stopped being 'funny' about 5 weeks ago), and I'm still yet to roll a '1' meaning my bottle of Marston's Pedigree is officially out of date when we get to midnight.

#SADCASE does some ironing
#WANKYPUBS (Walks at Night 'kross York Photographed Unprofessionally By Si) threatened to be a good idea, but not sure it is going to get a sequel!   Gonna finally look at the comments after this.

The Knavesmire - rediscovered York pub to visit some time in the future

May, the GBG and Me 

I should have been in Cardiff tomorrow for an overnighter pub heavy end of season Hull City extravaganza.  Sad.  Oh well, I've got the day off work, a bottle of red wine and a long straw.

Hard (well impossible) to imagine when I sit here in a month's time, I'll have got to a pub, but am still holding up hope for end of June, which might be hopelessly optimistic!  Most people I notice are a lot more negative than that.

I have not touched my GBG since lockdown, not that I think it is infected by Covid, I just suspect that looking at all those non-greened pubs will just make me anxious and depressed! 

Lots of chat around when pubs will re-open and the fate of the 2021 GBG, which would normally be out approx 31st Aug.  Will publication be delayed?  Will they just skip a year and go onto 2022?  After all, how many pubs will actually re-open at all, it will surely take months in many cases, especially the more micro ones.  And that would leave the GBG deletions/amendments page on the CAMRA website looking redder than a Jack the Ripper crime scene, so is there any point? 

I'm being selfish really - the absence or delay of a 2021 GBG wouldn't impact BRAPA greatly as it would say our 90%+ completists like Mackay and Taylor, I'd just crack on with my battered 2020 edition. 

I've also had a few thoughts around changing my 'strategy' i.e. not focusing on completing specific counties in the short term, but we'll see where we are by the end of May. 

Stay safe and 'see' you in a month, bonus lockdown fashions content below



  1. I can listen to your music but I can’t pull off wearing those clothes. Wow😀

    1. That fashion is what happens to your brain when you spend your childhood in Saffron Walden.

    2. I don't know if it was having my bedroom decorated in lime green and salmon pink as a teenager but bright coloured clothes just seem normal to me! Can't wait for 'emotional' pub ticking return to the Walden.

  2. Replies
    1. Love his fashions too, watched the 70's one the other week! Those little chaps were quite bright too weren't they?

  3. So, you didn't hear me knocking at 10.53 last night. Shame. Those "please stand at the opposite end of the platform from me" trousers, have out done the black and amber stripes. I hadn't thought it possible.

    1. Ohhhh Dad can't believe I missed you. Amazing how often I wear things you consider 'please stand at the opposite end of the platform' when we are about to get on a train from York at 7am to some pub heavy town! Ohhh I miss those days. See ya soon I hope!

  4. Hello, I have news for you on the GBG front. Current plans (subject to change due to the current situation, being reviewed regularly) are that we will publish in late October. Love reading your blog, slightly horrified at the desecration of the brewery section that occurs each year ;) Cheers, Emma (GBG Managing Editor)

    1. Don't worry Emma, the brewery section came in handy during the shortages after Lockdown was announced.

    2. Hi Emma! Thanks for the exclusive update ..... very exciting. Love the GBG, my joint fave book in the world with 'The Woman in Black' by Susan Hill, only scarier.

      Couldn't possibly comment on the Matthew (Martin) comment below!! Of course, any GBG desecration is purely practical :) Glad you enjoy BRAPA.

      Take care, Si