Working from home has provided so many plus points over the last 12 months that I almost missed the one big negative. I'm no longer within striking distance of those after work GBG pubs in West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, and even Greater Manchester!
Back in the faraway golden past of 2019, I'd simply toddle down to L**ds train station after work and instead of going to Platform 15b, I'd stand on a different platform of my choice (I could even roll a 17 sided dice to decide), rest my weary eyes, and before I knew it, I'd be waking up in Todmorden, Shipley or Dronfield. Of course I always had a valid ticket!
Nowadays, I have to physically push myself up and away from my cosy flat, get down to York station, and invariably change at LDS to have that same wholesome range of evening pubby options.
And this is what I did on Wednesday night, for my last BRAPA trip as a youthful 41 year old.
I still have a slight 'fear' of the many variables involved in outdoor only pub ticking, and despite the gleaming Sunshine on Leeds (was the a Proclaimers song?), I took triple layers of clothing, gloves, hat, scarf, fluffy hood. I was sweating by Castleford, though it is the kind of town that makes you sweat regardless.
A student opposite had a clear pencil case containing two Stabilo highlighters, neither of which were green, so I admonished her silently. Then, a shady bloke who looked like he belonged on a wild camping channel on YouTube stole a phone charger that someone had left behind when he realised it fitted his device. I admonished him silently too. I've missed being disappointed by strangers.
Darton was our destination, just north of beautiful Barnsley, where I lived from 1982-1984 when it was very hard for the 4 year old me to get a pint of handpulled and start BRAPA early .....
I sauntered back down the hill towards Darton, and such complacency nearly cost me, especially when I realised I was on the wrong platform and there was no footbridge. But I sprinted round the corner, and soon I was back in York via LDS, home for 20:30. Job's a good 'un.
And may I add, the most GBG-worthy of the four I've been to since 12th April.
Where next I wonder? I'm enjoying this little South Yorkshire after work thing suddenly. I nearly went to Barnsley first thing this morning, but I was feeling a bit fragile after all-day birthday drinks with Sister BRAPA yesterday (in York's wonderful Fox where I've done about 80% of my recent drinking, so not a pub tick, boo).
Hatfield and a few around the outskirts of Sheffield (North, West and South) are my other 'open' options, but I get my first Covid vaccine on Monday so depends on side effects, but as the annoying kids says "only nine more schleeps" til pubs open indoor, so I'll definitely be back on it like a car bonnet from 17th and I cannot wait! Feel like a coiled spring. Is 12 pints a day do-able?
Take care for now, Si