"Just walked past! Don't scream"
Not exactly the most relaxing thing to hear when you are enjoying a leisurely pre-vaccine pint of bitter in the Bradford sunshine.
But the chief stalker in question, RetiredMartin, is far too lovely and fluffy to pull an "I know what you did last summer" on me, nearly as lovely and fluffy as that cauliflower who is currently hibernating.
And the only time 'slasher movie' and myself have appeared in the same sentence is when the police tried to film me getting caught short on Newark Northgate station.
Anyway, Jacobs Beer House, Bradford. A superb GBG entry when I ticked it off back on (let me just consult master spreadsheet .... ) 4th November 2014 in front of a roaring fire with a pint of stout and cheese & onion roll.
And even in the wild, windy downpour one minute, bright sunshine the next, tucked in beneath a main road, just above a subway, on a soggy bolted on bench with no shelter with an empty giant pack of mini cheddars at my feet, it still felt kind of brilliant.
I could smell damp apples and birds twittered in the trees. Two pink haired ladies smoked roll ups, old blokes lurked under brollies with their mates, and the Abbeydale Deception was drinking well.
"Same again mate?" says the reassuringly facial fuzzed barman who am sure I recognise from 2014, you can just tell some chaps are good blokes. "I'd love to stay, but I've got my Covid jab just around the corner" I reply. He smiles in a way that seems to say "Okay BRAPA, I didn't ask".
I leave and bounce down the cobbled lane towards the vaccination centre.
Which takes us back to Martin, now leaning on a wall in the sun at the entrance. "Hello, fancy seeing you here!" I say, but no time for small talk he tells me, or I might miss my slot. Good point, you have to be dead on time for these things.
I needn't have worried. A bit like a Surrey gastropub at 11am, I am one of two customers. The Ballad of a Charmless Man in front of me is being rather charmless so I go in all breezy, like I would a pub. It works. I get the nice lady, although my retro Hull City top is too tight round the upper arm, so as we say in Glasgow it is 'taps aff' (good name for a new micropub?) so she can get to the vein or whatever. I don't do science.
"I can put a screen up?" she offers. But no, am not shy despite my flabby lockdown tummy, let's just it done. I barely feel a scratch, and am out within about five minutes. Ready for round two at the end of July. Indoor Jacobs Beer House return? Yes please.
Martin tells me the car is parked nearby (which with him often means 5 miles up a hill in Ely), let's go pub ticking!
Of course, when I booked my vaccine, BRAPA potential was in mind. Despite living in York, the nearest location that came up on the website was Elland Road, L**ds. No way! I'm allergic.
The second choice was Wakefield. But when I clicked on the Wakefield link, it simply disappeared. That felt a very Wakefield thing to happen. Look, I live in York, I can't help it.
And third choice was this, Jacobs Well, Bradford, where I knew a GBG pub was next door.
The fourth choice had been Scunthorpe. No address, just Scunthorpe. Like if you just stood in the middle of Scunthorpe. someone would eventually jab you.
BRAPA planning had been hopelessly poor, I must admit, kinda embarrassing after my recent "pub tickers guide" blog. But Monday, outdoors only, in Yorkshire, oooof.
My one required Bradford tick was very much closed, which I should have realised sooner.
My second plan was to get three Sheffield pubs done (hence why I contacted Martin the day before to tell him of my plans in case he and Christine wanted to trot down and join). Ale Club (Eccleshall Road), Itchy Pig Ale House and Wisewood Inn seemed hopeful.
BUT being the world's premier pub ticker, Martin noted the Wisewood had put an 11th hour post on Facebook to say they wouldn't be opening on Monday after all! Wow, you really do have to check daily at the moment. What's more , I'd failed to notice Itchy Pig was takeout only. 'Takeout , straight out!" as we say in BRAPA circles AKA 'don't buy a takeout beer cos it doesn't count as a tick anyway'. Catchy eh?
"Not worth your while coming to Sheffield" Martin correctly surmised. "I tell you what, I'll come over to Bradford and we can drive to some West Yorkshire ticks".
Music to my ears .... and he already knew of two or three likely to be open that we both required. Legend.
More on that tomorrow, take care all, Si