Monday 31 January 2022


It started in a Shipwrecked hungover Brewhouse in Cleveleys at 11:30am on New Year's Day ......

Col obscures Jane's debut tick

..... and it ended in a tiny side room in Burton's Weighbridge Inn trying to avoid the gaze of a forlorn Mark E. Smith .....

Focus on the stout and nothing will be awkward

Both of these places were top quality micropubs, one of the surprising themes that ran through my January ticking.  The quality of the ale and the busyness of the venues were also common trends, in fact I've never known a livelier pub January since records began!

Dryanuary wasn't much in evidence, I'm glad to report.  Maybe people feel they've suffered enough over the past two years to spend it outside of the pub?  People were friendly, often jovial, at times raucous.  In fact, it all felt like December had gone to 'extra time and penalties' but without the Christmas jumpers or dickheads golden and silver goal rule.  

You might not be surprised to learn that my favourite pub January was also my most productive.  40 new ticks, breaking the 37 I achieved in 2017.  And don't forget 5 pre-emptives, many of which I will tell you about on Wednesday.  

What makes it all the more pleasing is that I never felt like I was pushing myself hard at any stage.  No time off work, no outlandish trips or successive drinking days.  Just making the most of the Boozy Bank Holidays, Thirsty Thursdays and Super Six Saturdays.  

My favourite stat of all - my 40th pub last year was achieved on 22nd May at the Hawkley Inn in rural Hants, amidst yokel tales of muck spreading farmers seeking revenge over adulterous landlords!  So I'm feeling pretty ahead of the game.

The Covid Pheasant tells me how to behave - pub 40 of 2021

I completed two more counties to take my tally up to a (still pathetic but I am sort of still a newbie, honest) THREE.  First South Yorkshire fell after sterling efforts from Christine Taylor ....


And then, despite some opening times misery, the Alexandra Hotel in Hull fell to help me get a full East Yorkshire set .....

Eddie and the Shiny Globe

But before I become too self-congratulatory, and whilst we are talking of Eddie F, hold your horses BRAPA!   Eddie alerted us to an admin error from CAMRA ('impossible!  CAMRA don't make mistakes!' I hear you say, but keep reading) which means that a pub called the Jolly Tap in Wakefield should've been in the book, but isn't! 

So have I not completed West Yorkshire?  Ugh.  Pub ticking, I wouldn't recommend it!  If it doesn't get you physically, it'll start affecting you mentally.  I can't sleep at the moment, I see little Jolly Tap's laughing at me whenever I close my eyes.  Then I need to get up and go for a wee.

How do you pick the best pubs of the month when the standard has been so high?  Well, firstly, you qualify it as 'pub experiences' so no one can criticise you for choosing a Marston's boozer or foody-ish pub on the Scarborough Road ahead of Burton's famous but very heaving Devonshire, half hope no one reads this blog, and cross your fingers.

Playing Bass peek-a-boo with Col at the wonderful but busy Dev

1. Dawnay Arms, West Heslerton 
2. Royal Oak, Barton-under-Needwood
3. Prince of Wales, Chorley
4. Craven Arms, Birmingham
5. Alexandra, Hull

Locals took the Michael mercilessly, but I still loved the PoW in Chorley

In a weaker month, I could put the next best 12 into the reckoning too.  Stuff like anything on NYD, Wellers and Boat & Horses in Newcastle-under-Lyme, the Dobcross Band Club, Phoenix in Brinsworth, the Spoonsies in Rugeley and Cannock, and plenty more, deserve honorary mentions.

Rugeley is a bit like something from another world, but the 'Spoons is excellent

Mascot News

Colin had his quarterly wash, but it has been commented on that his 'white bits' are a bit less white than they used to be, and we'll just have to accept he's getting a bit long in the tooth.  'Would you consider getting another Colin?' asked Mummy BRAPA.  No, cos he'd be an imposter.  Colin will have to get drunkenly left behind in a pub, or totally fall apart, for me to replace him.

Even more worryingly, Keane Lewis Otter (KLO), who has become such a staple of Thirsty Thursday's and filling in when Col is absent, nearly had to leave us.  Yes, with Transfer Deadline approaching, Brentford kept increasing their bid for Keane Lewis-Potter .....

Luckily, our new owners stood firm (at the time of writing, but still not 11pm!) but had the Allam's still been in and not out #AllamOut, they'd have sure as eggs sold him by now, and KLO would need to be consigned to BRAPA history.

Now, being Deadline day, I am denying rumours I've put an 11th hour seven figure bid in for any new signings ......

Weird Owl Unicorn of Driffield FC.  Need the paperwork in order by 11pm, but the fax machine has broken, probably for the best

Progress and Feb

It wasn't planned like this, but the furthest south pub I visited in January was the afore mentioned delight that is the Craven Arms in Birmingham ......

"You're so southern, you're practically French"

And yet, I look at the BRAPA agenda for Feb and EVERY Saturday is in the south of the country.

A shame for Staffs, where we've made great progress of late and isn't too many trips away from completion, though there's not a lot of 'easy' ticks left .....

It's those 4 pubs in that little dangly bit at the bottom which annoy me most.  Can't we just divvie them up between West Mids, Worcs n Shropshire?   I'm sure no one will care.  As long as I don't call a bread roll anything other than a 'cob', I will get out alive. 

The other top county of Jan was North Yorkshire, the BRAPPLE of my Thirsty Thursday eye, not to mention a bit of quality Daddy BRAPA chauffeuring two weeks back.  It now looks like this .....

And I will continue in this area on TT's for now, until I run out of do-able midweek options, and then I'm going to move on to County Durham which I've never fully greened before but am only SIX away from.  And then, when spring gets properly sprung, Lancs and GMR will be back on the agenda.

My first holiday of the year begins at the end of Feb, so look out for that one too.  I'm pretty sure the 40 pubs achieved in Jan will be beaten, the aim is to beat the 52 pubs I did in Feb 2019.

Thanks for reading, and remember six pints a Saturday (+ optional ESB) keeps the doctor away.


Thursday 27 January 2022


When the #BRAPA's Top Twee Towns Guide is published in 2030, Helmsley has got to be a contender for a top 20 place.

In the two minute walk between pay & display carpark and pub, there was a traditional sweet shop, a local butchers, a clothing shop specialising in 'country wear', a wine shop, a Honeysuckle cottage,  a florist called Twig & Twine, a Brown's department store, and if I'd been observant, there'd almost certainly have been someone blow drying a pink poodle in a doggy boutique.  

Not always easy to define a twee town / village, the jury is still out on Harrogate, Hebden Bridge and Chorlton cum Hardy.  They might just be very annoying.  Cheshire seemed a culprit, as Knutsford made me want to gouge my own eyes out, Wilmslow put me into a boredom induced corner, but my overall winner up until today would be Marlow in Buckinghamshire.  A puke inducing town if ever I saw one.  If you have any other candidates let me know.

In Helmsley's defence, Northern Gas Networks were trying to keep it real as Dad circled the pay & display looking for a means to pay, and I suppose, display!  

It had been an incredibly leisurely start for a BRAPA Saturday as we nibbled on cherry scones as provided by #MummyBRAPA, trundling north of York , our 10:45am start amongst the latest ever!

I'd been at my work 'Christmas do' in L**ds Stick or Twist the previous evening.  Self preservation had been the key, and as people kept giving me money to buy massive rounds, I spent most of the evening on the Wetherspoons App or at the bar, skipping every other round, and booking myself on a fixed 22:15 train home.  Result - sober Si when I woke at 9:30am.

We meandered onwards, up the notorious Sutton Bank for great views and a bit of mild peril and we were in Helmsley for 11:55am, perfect timing for a noon opener. 

We weren't even the first customer's through the door of Helmsley Brew Co (2018 / 3581) , two walkery (though you can sub the L for an N) young couples are queuing up at the bar.  "Are you paying together or separately?" asks the lady in charge.  "Separately" comes the reply.  Wrong answer as far as Daddy BRAPA is concerned, who lets out an audible groan of frustration.  "Behave yourself!" I angrily whisper.  Can't take him anywhere.  But it is his birthday today so let's be nice.  Everyone is on the three thirds of ales on those paddle things (I don't get it maan), apart from us who get a pint and a half.  Funny place, very much in tune with the Helmsley 'spirit' (i.e. twee A.F.)  The lady is great, really 'owns' the space, like a midfield general in the Ian Ashbee mould, and tells us we've come at the right time cos they've just cleaned the lines and put fresh ale on, and it really is top quality.  Degree too cold for me, perfect for Dad.   It feels more like a 'beer forward' cafe bar than most brewery taps you'd encounter.  Better for it.  A plasma has a series of long haired young blokes playing piano pieces, whilst a little fire bubbles away in the corner.  The folk continue to pile in, a very popular place, glad it isn't summertime!  We're soon at the point where Colin the Cauliflower has to shift so a couple and their bulldog can sit down.  A lady near Dad gets angry when her husband orders her a single gin instead of a double.  Lacked a tiny bit of comfort, Colin got a few glares rather than warm smiles, but I think that was the 'tourist' factor.  Promising start.  

I didn't mind that today was only a four tick day.  I was expecting to be more hungover, but even though I wasn't, sometimes it is more about the 'quality of tick' (i.e. getting difficult stuff done) rather than blasting out six or seven on a train line.  

But even by North Yorkshire standards, sometimes, when Daddy BRAPA is chauffeuring, I can only shake my head and think "how the dickens would I achieve this without a set of wheels?"  Crown in Lofthouse always sticks in my mind.  And now you had this .....

It is like being on the moon.  Or Saddleworth Moor.  We have to wait for sheep to move.  The dip into the village is insanely steep, Chimney Bank they call it, the joint steepest in England.

We pass one likely pub at the top.  Not that.  Continue down and round, until we approach an unlikely shaped building with cartoony inn sign.  Oh, this is it! 

"Doesn't look overly pubby!" I comment to Dad as we get out of the car.  Like the world's most annoying parrot, a bloke appears at my shoulder, wife just behind, and says "give it a chance!"  Who asked you dickhead?  I'm tempted to say "don't you know who I am".  That'd be fun.  

Of course I'm going to give it a chance.  It is what I do!  BRAPA is all about being delightfully surprised (which is one of our 'values' at work funnily enough) or furiously disappointed.  Coach House Inn, Rosedale Abbey (2019 / 3582) is better than you'd expect.  Opens up into a warm, loungey room (no mean feat with quite a bit of food going down) and two barmaids with the jet black hair and shoulders of gladiators are smiling at us from the moment we open the door.  We sit by some French windows in the room to the right, sunrays beaming in providing a lot of natural warmth.  Even more surprising, there is even a pool table at the end which is also where the comfiest seats are - now that is unusual!  I could imagine getting snowed in here on a dark winter's night, wind blowing against the door, it'd be fantastic.  Lots of unusual ales on too if that's your bag, not really what you'd expect from a location like this.  North Yorkshire continues to impress, a lot more than it did back in 2017 the first time I completed it.  

Steep climb back up Chimney Bank, oof, I'm puffing n blowing and I'm only a passenger in the car!  With the sun shining directly into our eyes, I'd feel a pang of guilt if my chauffeur was, say Christine Taylor, Mick Citra, Tim Thomas or Simon Dewhurst.  But Daddy BRAPA, so only 1% sympathy ;)

Pickering isn't too far off.  Dad drops me in the centre and goes in search of a parking space.  

A bit like Richmond, Pickering seems to 'enjoy' chucking a random new entry in the GBG in recent years.  A couple of years back, we had the superbly rugged no nonsense boozer that was the Bay Horse, so I was expecting the same kind of thing from this year's newbie .....

So, I must admit, I'm a tad disappointed by Black Swan, Pickering (2020 / 3583) on first glance at least.  For a Grade II listed, former 18th century coaching inn, it may not of lost its old fashioned shape, but it feels very much like a series of modern refurbishments have sapped a lot of olde worlde atmosphere.  It is very much like a middle-ground between the last two pubs, without the integrity of either.  In happier news, the two ladies behind the bar are friendly, chatty characters.  The one not serving me is saying that she's going home soon, and she's determined to wash her hair, throwing me glances as if seeking my support.  "Oh yes, nothing better than a good hair wash" I mumble in reply, I mean what else could I say?  'Don't do it! I love your filthy locks!'  Obviously not, if I get chucked out before the 25 minutes mark, the tick doesn't count.  The ales are from Great British Breworks at Kirkbymoorside, wherever that is.  A new one on me.  Very pleasant.  I couldn't get a better seat, as I walk through double doors, nod at a barman having his lunch, and find two chairs and a settee in front of a wood burner.  Dad arrives, and seems pleased with my seat selection.  Perhaps the most annoying part of the pub is a trip to the loo.  After negotiating a door that says 'exit' and a steep step, you find the gents!  Then, the tap is a beer tap.  And no way you can navigate that without being an octopus, because the tap doesn't stay on.  Quirky, novelty, impractical hand washing.  On the way back from the gents, I see our hairwash-threatening barmaid from earlier, at a table chatting to a local, telling him she can't wait to have a shower!  She had a theme, and she was sticking to it.  The once roaring fire next to us eventually fizzles and dies too, a bit like the pub experience.


After a couple of sausage rolls, again #MummyBRAPA's contribution should not be overlooked, we point the car towards that Scarborough Road for the final tick of this gentlest of BRAPA days.

The bright sunshine has given way to a glorious sunset by now .....

Well, as they used to say on the Bisto Gravy advert, we saved the best til last here at the majestic Dawnay Arms, West Heslerton (2021 / 3584) , and my old adage "it's all about the people" couldn't be more apt here, the couple running it are cracking people.  You don't need a heritage star, a 16th century settle, a ghost story or tobacco stained walls to be a good pub.  It helps of course, but I'd rather folk running a place to highest standard with a smile of their face in warm n comfy surroundings.  She's from Dudley, and although Tipton is probably the closest I've ever got, always strikes me as a real 'proper person' part of the world.  He chats with us on the struggles of getting the balance right between the ale drinkers and the food aspect.  Dad is in his element.  He stayed the night here with Mummy BRAPA a few years back, and when he says, they remember him.  He fancies some bar snacks to supplement our sausage rolls n scones, so we get the best halloumi fries I've ever had.  And then we fancy puddings, lovely choc brownie and the toffee ice cream with big chunks of toffee in is insanely good.  I can't eat and drink together, so my Selby Mild is going down so slowly, the guy looks concerned and makes sure I'm enjoying it and it is ok.  Have I been doing BRAPA wrong all these years?  Is being a food critic actually where it is at?  Obviously not, but nice to have a change of pace on this most comforting of BRAPA outings.  Oh, and I bet their gravy isn't Bisto.  

Time for the drive back to York, I've paired my phone with Dad's car music speaker so I can treat him to a 1998-2002 punk playlist.  

We've made such good time, it would be rude not to pop into one of our favourite York pubs, the Fox out on the Holgate Road, 15 minutes walk from home.  It is on form as it so often is and gives us a chance for a BRAPA de-brief!

Dad checks his phone to see if we have managed to hold on to a 0-0 at Bournemouth.  Yes we have!  Then his phone refreshes .... we've only gone n won 1-0!  'Want another one Dad?' I ask feeling celebratory, but he says it is time he goes.  Shall I stay?  I can't decide.  He finds a penny and tells me to guess which hand it is in.  If I get it right, I'm staying.  I do!  Hurrah, another pint.  I got my Saturday six after all.

Thanks for reading, see you either tomorrow or Sunday where I'll tell you about a Wobbly Wednesday with a difference.


Monday 24 January 2022


The Thirsty Thursday plan was simple on paper.   An early start, tick off my remaining two East Yorkshire pubs by mid afternoon.  Back in York for teatime for a bit of cooking, cleaning and blog writing before an early night.  Feeling Fresh on Friday for a day at work and my 'Christmas do'.  

That was the plan. 

But as regular readers will know, in the world of BRAPA, if it can go wrong, it probably will.  

Changing at Seamer was the first 'pain point'.  I can't think of a station I more despise changing at.  Every minute feels like an hour.  It is freezing.  The wind blows from all directions.  There are no amenities.  It is always a long wait too.  I've never been more bored or cold than when I wait in Seamer.

Had I used my brain, the bus that would eventually take me to pub one actually originated in York.  It would've been a long ole' journey, but less expensive, and a lot less Seamery.  But no use lamenting what might've been.

Once in Driffield, the closest town to my pub, just after 11am, I popped into Wilko's to buy a packet of biros.  I needed to write some stuff down about pubs in South Hants.  I warned Keane Lewis Otter that if he didn't behave, there were other mascots lining up to take his place.

Julian the Unicorn Owl is bound to get the folk of Stockport talking

The market was on.  That meant that the bus stop I was planning on using was out of use and I had to work out how the buses were being re-routed around the town.  I erred on the side of caution, and got one on the Bridlington Road.  Luckily, a wizened wise old woman was waiting so I knew I was onto a winner.

Our bus driver isn't the most convincing.  I press the bell well in advance, and he screeches to a halt at the Bracey Bridge/Harpham Lane stop and dispatches me on a muddy grassy patch.  A sweet lady who'd waved at a local man earlier, waves at me too, not wanting me to be left out.  Ahhh.   

A sign for the pub gives me hope ......

It is 11:30am as I meander down into the village, occasionally hopping atop the grass verge as tankers and delivery drivers pass.  Fighter jets zoom up above.  It is very rural.  I can smell the muck from the farms and fields.  

11:45am and the pub comes into view.  'Please open at 12' I silently implore.  Luckily, there's a bit of activity outside, looks like a beer delivery.  I walk past, pretending I'm not interested.

So very cold, my face is going numb.  Not much fun stuff to do in Harpham, where's the soft play area?  Instead, I head down to the church.  I love a good old church.  A bit like pubs without the best bits.  If I had a church ticking book you could highlight, I'd consider it.   A few curtains twitch as I take a photo or two .....

Then I see a giant notice on a board saying "if you see any mofos acting suspicious, they might be trying to nick lead off the church roof so get them reported" so I shuffle off.  Suspicious?  Moi? 

11:57am, I've waited long enough.  I walk back up to the pub ......

The door opens, I locate the inner door that leads to the bar, and I'm in!  St Quintin Arms, Harpham (2016 / 3579) and I immediately feel a weight lift from my shoulders.  This should by all accounts be my hardest East Yorkshire tick.  The barmaid smiles warmly, she is a good sort, that much is immediately apparent, I tell her my face is numbed by the cold, and she tells me she was at the match last night, sat on the front row, and freezing, not enough bodies around her!  "Didn't our change of ownership mean the fans had all come back and the ground was full?" I ask her alluding to #AllamOut #AcunIn, pleased to be talking to a fellow Hull City fan, but she says no (well, she actually says 'nerrr') on the basis the announcement had come too late in the afternoon.  I order a pint of Wold Gold (well, 'Werld Gerld') and she points out the little fire for my to enjoy it in front of.  Whilst obviously an old pub with old fashioned values, you can tell that food is a big factor here, as are cushions, it is a tiny bit twee (not Helmsley levels of twee obviously, but trying), but I do like that you have to open two heavy doors to locate the gents.  I like to be made to work for my wee.   I cannot totally relax, I have 25 minutes to sup my pint before my bus whilst staring into the little fire.  A male member of staff puts a snotty tissue on it and says 'cheers' when I move my feet, but nothing happens beyond that.  A cheery goodbye from mine host on the way out, and back out into the cold. 

But doesn't the song say that the Hokey Cokey IS what it's all about?  So why would anyone doubt that?  Or am I reading too much into it?

'Excuse me waiter, there appears to be an Otter in my paarnt'

Not the most convincing 'naughty corner ' in BRAPA history, looks more like you'd get a mild tickle, slap on the bottom and a salted caramel brownie

"You're getting mauled by the ..... lion?"

I'm actually very nervous about catching this bus.  Back up at the main road, I decide to wear my scarf  outside my coat for added visibility.  An ambulance speeds past, and then the bus appears in the distance.  I stick my arm out as inspector gadgetly / bionic commandoly as I can, and I'm relieved when I see her little indicator flashing as she pulls into the road junction.

Back in Driffield, I pop into the 'Spoons Benjamin Fawcett which I ticked with the great Tom Irvin in Jan/Feb 2020.  It is as unconvincing today as it was then.  Acceptable ale, staff not bad, but the customers are SUCH a miserable bunch of droogs.

The Buffalo is drinking soupishly

Tim tells KLO what to think

The train to Hull is on time, it is gone 2pm when I arrive.  Quick 20 minute trek down to my final tick (allow for a diversion due to the ongoing roadworks along Hessle Rurd), a leisurely pint, and then the train back to York.  Simple, right?  

You won't see these hours anywhere online!

It only takes me a minute to recover myself to the extent where I decide I WILL hang around until 6pm, after all I've come this far!

After all, it is well gone 3pm by the time I've walked a very convoluted way back into town.  

I've half a mind to pop into Tiger's Lair, but I'm not sure what the ale situation is so despite two toothless men trying to welcome me in, I squeak ' don't hurt me' and scurry on past.  

Next, a bit of drama as I get stuck behind two crazy ladies with a dog called Tilly.  Tilly breaks free of her lead, and scampers towards the road, luckily one of the ladies catches it up.  Judging by the waccy baccy fumes, Tilly was probably high as a kite.

I finally get chance to overtake them when they spot a pregnant teenager they know, improbably called Pauline, and stop her to ask how the baby bump is. 

In St Stephen's Shopping Centre, I have an idea to go to that upstairs Starbucks that resembles Dr Evil's lair in the Austin Powers films.  But it must have closed down because I can't see it.

Instead, I go to a Costa in town.  I don't want to drink too much ale, what with work tomorrow, and I need warming up, so I order a hot choc with a flake which is becoming a bit of Thirsty Thursday tradition! 

Hull being the ultra friendly place it is, the atmosphere is more Wetherspoons than Costa with old folk leaning over to talk to strangers on other tables.  A man, his wife, and a random third lady who makes no eye contact, possibly a swinger, sees my scarf and chats Hull City with me for a while.

It is nearly 4pm now, two hours until the Alex opens so I head towards the old town and pop into the Scale & Feather (formerly Walters) and it feels exactly as I remember.  Daddy BRAPA came here pre-match last night, gave it a positive review, so I thought why not. 

Two well meaning flat capped blokes, who I think might be beery visitors from West Yorkshire, at the bar aren't giving the staff a moments peace, and intercept me and ask me to have the North Riding Maple Porter.  Very nice.  But not quite as amazing as they are saying. 

Fellow pub ticker Eddie Fogden messages me - he's decided to capitalise on this new found Alexandra opening hours info, and is swooping down to join me at 6.  Hurrah!  Though his Twitter comment didn't flash up as a notification so looked like I was blanking him til he WhatsAppd me.  Oops!

The pub starts to fill up a bit as people leave work, and 5pm ticks around, so I go back to the bar for a second pint, where our flat capped guest stars are still being gregarious.  I decide to have a Roosters XPA for a change.  "Why, may I ask, have you changed from the Maple Porter?" they ask, looking seriously hurt by my decision.  I apologise profusely and indicate I'll try harder in the future to order ale more to their suiting.  

At about 5:30pm, I decide to head down towards the Alex which should be about a 20-25 minute walk.  Allowing for more Hessle Rd chaos, which blocks me off somewhere near Whittington & Cat, leading me down these industrial units in the back streets.

With much relief, I finally get back onto the main road, where the hi-vis yet silhouetted figure of Eddie is lurking outside an open door, 5:55pm.  Hurrah!  Outdoor photos taken from my daytime visit ......

Well, good things really do come to those who wait.  Having heard great things about the refurbishment of the Alexandra Hotel, Hull (2017 / 3580) , a classic in the pub heritage guide, I'm delighted to see it more than live up to expectations.  The two blokes greet us in a friendly way, despite making no attempts to disguise the fact that we are here as pub ticking types!  Good selection of ales too if that's important to you, the Revolutions Chocolate Milkshake thing called Swoon is aptly named, fabulous, and from very near Eddie's Wakefield neck of the woods.  I ask Eddie for a photo by lovely curved bar, and the chaps offer to light up the globe.  It is sometimes the little touches that matter most!  We walk to the left hand side, and the pub really is a feast for the eyes, opening up into a large lounge with pool table and sweeping bench seating.  Even the walk to the loos is glorious, a real rabbit warren of corridors of dark scuffed wooden panels, amazed I found the gents first time.  When I return, one of chaps is perching on the pool table chatting ale and pubs with Eddie.  I quiz him on those pesky  opening hours, sounds like it could be an ongoing work in progress, but he DOES tell me on home match days (Saturdays I think), they'll open 3 hrs before kick off, if that helps anyone?  He confesses he didn't really want to be included in the GBG this year, he feels it was one year too soon.  There's also a sense that when they started the refurb, it was just a little hobby, had no idea it'd take off like it has!  I'm sad that because of my fixed ticket train, I barely have half an hour to appreciate this corker, but I can see myself back here, which I can't often say of GBG ticks.   Fabulous stuff.  

Eddie and the dark globe

Eddie and the lit globe

Guest ticker, trying not to give KLO the elbow or it's a straight red!

Eddie comes with me and it is a mad dash to make my train just on time, he has to tick off the Kingston Hotel down in the old town which I first did in 2002 when they had that horrid 'Inn Brief' section of the Guide.  Despite being very Marstony, I like it and thought the ale was really good when I popped in a few NYD's ago.  So I'm pleased to see it back in, has a gorgeous bar back with an off centre clock, a bit like the Alex but smaller.

Train back all goes smoothly and just as well.   I'd left York at 8:30am, was out of Hull about 6:50pm, all for the sake of two pubs, and in both, I only had a maximum of 25-30 minutes in each!  If that isn't peak pub ticking on public transport, I don't know what is.  

Biggest mistake of my entire day was getting a KFC when I got back to York.  Loved it at the time, but to me, KFC's accentuate hangovers more than anything else.  And I'd been so disciplined with my beer intake too.  Boo!  Felt ill at work all of the next day, and had my 'Christmas' do to attend in Lds in the evening, back on the BRAPA on Saturday morning!  

But only one stat that really matters - East Yorkshire had joined South and West so we now have three completed counties for the year!  Where'll be next to fall?  North Yorks?  Herts?  Staffs?  Hants?  A N Other?  Place your bets now.  

Join me on Thursday when I'll tell you about my latest foray into North Yorkshire.  That is because this week's Thirsty Thursday is actually a Wobbly Wednesday as a kind man has agreed to take me to two GBG ticks and a handful of pre-emptives. 

Take care, and thanks for reading.